From huge Lego theme parks to the sprawling Windsor Great Park, and all-year-round Christmas celebrations at Lapland to ice skating and skiing centres, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Bracknell.
Activities in Bracknell
Whether you’re a big kid with little kids or just an enthusiastic AFOL – that’s an adult fan of lego, acronym fans – you’ll love Legoland. This a huge Lego-based theme park just a 15-minute drive from our Bracknell Twin Bridges hotel.
Built in 1996, the theme park is aimed at children aged three to 12 years, with dozens of rides, workshops and building zones across the park. And with over two million visitors each year, it’s the most popular theme park in the UK. In total, there are 20 different areas and themes across Legoland, covering everything from traditional rides like log flumes and rollercoasters to a Lego fire engine and Miniland – a 1:20 scale zone which uses nearly 40 million bricks to recreate famous towns and cities from across the world.
The park is only open from March to October, with a few dates outside those months for special events, including Christmas.
Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park
A huge slice of land covering 4,800 acres including a lake and waterfall, Windsor Great Park originally dates back to the 14th century when it was a royal hunting ground. The park is now largely free for visitors to explore, and is the perfect spot for picnics, long walks, family days out, mountain biking, cycling, fishing and horse riding. If you can, try and check out the impressive Copper Horse at the Long Walk dedicated to George III, take a trip around the Environmental Centre and ride the vintage carousel at Savill Garden.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to actually visiting Lapland itself, a visit to Lapland UK around Christmas is a decent substitute (and less than five miles from our Bracknell Central hotel). The family-friendly attraction is filled with elves, fake snow and jolly Santas, as well as an ice skating rink, gingerbread decorating and toy making workshops. To get the most out of the experience, book ahead and customise your trip, including meeting the big bearded man himself.
Spread over 335 acres, Dinton Pastures contains fishing lakes, miles of pathways, bird watching hides, adventure golf and a large play park. Located several miles west of Bracknell, the park is a haven for wildlife, with kingfishers and migrating birds, while you can also hire boats, canoes, kayaks, pedalos, stand-up paddleboards and more from April through the summer from the activity centre.
Look Out Discovery Centre
Live vicariously through your children at the amazing Look Out Discovery Centre, a few miles south of Bracknell along Bagshot Road. Taking an interactive, hands-on approach to nature and science, there are over 90 activities to enjoy at the centre, including launching a hydrogen rocket, building your own house or creating your own boat in the indoor stream. Open daily from 10am to 5pm, the centre is also part of the same complex as Go Ape and the Swinley Bike Hub, and also has its own coffee shop.
Coral Reef Water World
Over the road from the Look Out Discovery Centre is the Coral Reef Water World, a fantastic leisure pool packed with five slides, a huge pirate ship packed with water cannons, and an erupting volcano. Sessions can be booked online, and there’s also a sauna, spa and steam room for adults who want to indulge in a bit of quiet time.
John Nike Leisuresport
Dedicated to the colder pursuits, the John Nike Leisuresport Complex is home to the Bracknell Ski Centre and an Olympic-sized ice rink. A mile west of the town centre, the ski slope is the longest artificial one of its kind in the south-east of England, and has several lifts and beginners slopes, catering for skiers and snowboarders, as well as snow tubing – large inflatable rings that hurtle down the slope.
The nearby ice rink is open throughout the year and offers skate and equipment hire, lessons and open sessions. It’s also the home to the Bracknell Bees who are part of the National Ice Hockey League.
Lily Hill Park
Less than a mile from the town centre, Lily Hill Park is a historic park packed with woodlands, gardens and sculptures. The woodlands are made up of ancient beech and oak trees, as well as an Edwardian water garden, and play host to a wide range of animals including birds, bats and rare wildflowers. Perfect for a relaxed stroll on a sunny day, the park also has the longest picnic bench in England carved from one single piece of wood, making it the perfect spot for an al fresco snack or lunch.