The holidays are over, the leaves are falling and back to school fever has swept the UK. With your sun-soaked French villa now a distant memory, it’s time to swap those cocktails for a 6am alarm and spend your evenings organising PE kits and packed lunches. Getting back to the grind is great for routine (and paying the bills) but in all the hustle and bustle of the new term, it’s easy to forget to take time out with your family. If you’re ready for a break to catch up and reconnect, check out our six ideas for family time at The Grove.
There’s nothing like getting lost in the wilderness to create real bonding time. If your family is looking for an engaging way to enjoy the countryside, The Grove has a great selection of nature trails and cycling tours to explore. You can even add a new dimension to your walk by trying out geocaching – the high-tech treasure hunt that allows you to seek hidden containers through a global positioning system. The app can be downloaded onto a smart phone and used to make your outdoor adventures more exciting. Alternatively, The Grove has also planned a more traditional treasure hunt during the half term break, where families can work together to solve clues as they wander around the hotel’s extensive grounds.
Just 50 minutes from The Grove, is the original home of Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Knebworth House is now one of Hertfordshire’s top attractions for family days out. Set in acres of stunning grounds, the house is packed with stories and heirlooms to discover. The venue plays host to numerous concerts and events, including the upcoming ‘Pumpkin Trail & Treats’ over Halloween. Children (and adventurous adults) are invited to arrive in fancy dress before being given a ‘pumpkin passport’. Walking through the house’s beautiful grounds, they can collect stamps from spooky staff, which can be exchanged for a goody bag at the end of the tour. Families are encouraged to bring along readymade decorated pumpkins, with prizes available for the best ones. The Garden Terrace Tea Room is also open during the event for guests to warm up with some toasty drinks and snacks.
With the autumn nights closing in, it’s time to make the most of the days. For a fun family treat with a modern twist, try booking in for an afternoon tea at The Grove. Boasting spectacular views of the grounds, you and your family can indulge in fresh savoury sandwiches, along with all the traditional sweet treats- topped with Devonshire clotted cream. It might not be friendly for the waist line, but we can guarantee it’ll be a great afternoon for the whole family. Served in the lounge and library, the hotel can also provide a selection of board games to keep families entertained long past dinner time.
London day trip
It might be a peaceful country retreat, but The Grove is only half an hour from central London. Ideal for culture vultures, adventure junkies and foodies, the capital is home to hundreds of incredible restaurants, theatres, music venues, museums and shops – as well as quirky activities like cable cars and escape rooms. If you wanted to extend your stay in the city, you could also spend the night at our luxury sister property The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences in the heart of Mayfair. Centrally located, all of London’s hotspots will be on your doorstep. Whether you’d prefer to dose up on culture by wandering around some of the world’s most famous art galleries, check out a west end musical, or try out some of London’s street food venues, you won’t be short of things to do.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London- The making of Harry Potter
It’s been 20 years since JK Rowling released her first novel about a boy wizard, and since then ‘Harry Potter mania’ has swept the globe. For every child who’s ever fantasised about whizzing round the countryside on a flying broomstick, a visit to the nearby The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The making of Harry Potter is a must. The home of filming for all eight Harry Potter movies, the tour offers you the chance to immerse yourself in the wizarding world, wandering down the famous Diagon Alley and sipping butterbeer. As well as discovering the movie sets, original costumes and props, young Hogwarts hopefuls can even snag themselves their very own magic wand.
Sometimes there’s nothing better than snuggling up with your family on the sofa for an old-fashioned movie night. With a wide range of films on offer at The Grove, there’ll be something to please everyone from the comfort of your bedroom. Whether you’d rather stock up on popcorn or order some treats from rooms service, staying in and getting away from it all can be the ultimate luxury. It’s time to swap your work suit for a dressing gown and get ready for some serious relaxation time.