Dreaming spires and London sights

For kids, this is a Famous-Five holiday full of fresh air and fun. Wear your wellies to Odds Farm Park, walk the beechwood forests or bring ancient mythology to life at the Hell Fire Caves. Grown-ups can head to the lights and sights of London, the dreaming spires of Oxford, or just the welcoming embrace of the White Horse in Hedgerley.

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Country kids

Bring on those Famous Five-type holidays of fresh air and fun, with not an iPad in sight and every knee dipped deliciously in dirt. Kick off the welly-wearing at Odds Farm Park, to meet pigs, ponies, cows, chickens and more. Or just walk the beechwood forests from the door or get out in the garden and come back at teatime.

Try some treetop adventures at Go Ape or ride ponies through the woods with Aescwood Farm Children’s Riding School. Head to the Hell Fire Caves, where you cross a river that mythology says separates the living world from the Underworld. Reach the Inner Temple and watch out for the ghosts.

See England as it used to be in the 1930s, in miniature, at Bekonscot Model Village and Railway. Try to stay upright at Planet Ice in Slough. Pick from 55 rides, shows and attractions at Legoland Resort. Or explore the wonders of the wizarding world at The Making of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros Studio.

Find out about Roald Dahl’s school pranks, peek into his Writing Hut, and find out how Dahl’s real-life adventures inspired his stories at the Roald Dahl Museum. Help yourself to history at Windsor Castle or Cliveden. Or meet ex-police and army horses in retirement at The Horse Trust.

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For the grown-ups

Head for the hills – the Chilterns, with their miles of footpaths that ramble through beechwood forests and along peaceful canals. Stay outdoors for the varied events and attractions at Chiltern Open Air Museum and for the architecture and gardens of Waddesdon Manor.

Beaconsfield is buzzing. Enjoy a thriving performing-arts scene spearheaded by the National Film and Television School. Then get down to the Old Town for a range of restaurants, coaching inns and food from around the world. And stock up on foodie goodies at the farmers’ market on the fourth Saturday of every month.

For everything from helicopter tours over London to clay shoots, quad bikes and perfume workshops, head for Adventure 001. Get pampered and Prosecco-ed at Mulberry’s Exclusive Beauty Spa. Or enjoy a beer and barbecue at the Rebellion Beer Company.

Looking for lively retail? Choose from urban centres, pretty market towns and smaller independents. Aylesbury and High Wycombe offer modern shopping centres, specialist retail opportunities and a great market. Or head out to Bicester for designer outlet shopping, with big brands such as Balenciaga, DKNY and Prada.