11 Best Things To Do In Bromley

Cynthia Lawrence
Dec 12, 2023 By Cynthia Lawrence
Originally Published on Jul 13, 2020
Cute Cowboy baby sleeping

Bromley is an idyllic leafy suburb to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

However, it’s also filled with plenty of fun-filled activities and outdoor adventures for the whole family to enjoy. As one of the largest London boroughs that make up Greater London, Bromley has a rich English Heritage history and is home to some of the most beautiful parks and tourist attractions.

Whether you want to explore hidden caves, soak up some history or go nature rambling, here are some of Bromley’s best hidden gems.

Visit The Home Of Charles Darwin, Down House

Down House is where the famous scientist Charles Darwin and his family lived for forty years. Tucked away in the village of Downe, here is where Darwin spent his days writing theories of evolution - and you can even stand in the very study where he wrote them!

Check the website for opening times and prices, and admission includes a free audio guide.

Why kids will love it: Children of all ages will love the interactive guided tour and exhibitions of Down House, narrated by David Attenborough. On the second floor, a playroom is filled with traditional games and dressing up items which are great for younger children. Most rooms have ‘hands-on’ exhibits that the children can freely explore.

Why parents will love it: A family trail takes guests around the home and into the beautifully landscaped gardens to see Darwin’s greenhouse and beekeepers display. Or trace Darwin’s footsteps with a peaceful stroll through the ‘Sandwalk’ around his estate, followed by afternoon tea and cake in Down House Café.

There is also a picnic area for families who wish to bring their own hamper.

Nearest station: Orpington

Fun And Sand At Church House Gardens

Located behind Bromley High Street, take a wander around beautiful ornamental gardens, a lake full of ducks, and a park overlooking stunning views. It also has an outdoor amphitheatre for summer entertainment.

Why kids will love it: There are plenty of play areas for children of all ages. For younger kids there is a mini playground with swings and tall slides, but the main attraction is the giant sandpit, complete with mini slides and pirate treasure chests, saving you a beach trip!

For older children, there is a skateboard area, basketball court and tennis.

Why parents will love it: If you don’t fancy sunbathing on the grass, there are plenty of seating areas to have a family picnic or relax with a good read! Look out for the resident ice cream van located inside the park which is always a nice treat.

Nearest station: Bromley South

Explore The Chislehurst Caves

Venture into this maze of man-made tunnels and caverns underground. Carved out over hundreds of years and covering twenty-two miles, the caves were first opened to the public in 1900 and are full of historical facts and stories.

Lamp-lit guided tours around the labyrinth leave every hour and last around 45-50 minutes. There is no need to book but do check the website for further details.

Why kids will love it: Children will love being little explorers in the maze of caves while learning fun facts. They also have various quizzes to complete about their tour. Bear in mind children under 3 may find the dark caves a little scary, but all children must be accompanied by a person 21 years and older.

Why parents will love it: For those not afraid of dark spaces, this will be a fun and fascinating family activity. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and, after your exploration, treat yourself to refreshments in the café.

Nearest station: Chislehurst

Get In Touch With Nature At High Elms Country Park

High Elms is a large nature reserve set in 250 acres of woodland, plus a 150-acre golf course. Here you are free to wander in the tranquil woodlands, beautiful wildflower gardens and meadows.

Why kids will love it: There are lots of nature trails to choose from and children will have plenty of fun climbing trees and running around the open space.

Why parents will love it: After a lovely walk in the woods, families can relax in the pretty tearoom and take in the scenery. It also has well-kept areas for family picnics.

Nearest station: Orpington

Get Picking At Hewitt's Farm


Scarecrow strawman in the rice field

Now is the right season for fruit picking and Hewitt's Farm has an abundance of fruit and vegetables. Set in 78 acres of land just outside of Orpington, just grab a bag to ‘pick your own’ and pay per weight.

There is also a huge selection of local produce to buy from their farm shop. Many fruits are seasonal so do check their website for details and opening times.

Why kids will love it: Children are free to roam around the farm and pick their favourite fruits as they go along. It’s also a fun way to learn about gardening and how our fruit and vegetables grow.

Why parents will love it: Parents will equally enjoy wandering around the farm picking the ripest fruit. There is a BBQ/picnic area in the field for family lunches and gatherings.

Nearest station: Knockholt

Be Entertained At The Churchill Theatre Bromley

The Churchill Theatre has a variety of family entertainment; from musicals and plays to opera and circus acts, there is something for everyone. Bear in mind, dates have been rescheduled due to COVID-19, so do check the website for updates.

Why kids will love it: Younger children will enjoy stage productions such as In The Night Garden. While older kids will love the book and movie adaptations like Sleeping Beauty and The Addams Family.

Why parents will love it: There are plenty of shows for the family to enjoy including real circus productions and musicals. Book a table at The Restaurant and make a night of it!

Nearest station: Bromley South

Meet The Animals At The Christmas Tree Farm

While the name states otherwise, Christmas Tree Farm isn’t just for Christmas! Located in the village of Downe, it’s home to a wide selection of farm animals from pigs to llamas. The farm is currently closed until further notice, so check the website for updates.

Why kids will love it: This is a great way to introduce younger children to farm animals in a smaller setting. They are able to wander around with a bucket of feed for the chickens and other animals. There are also good facilities available for handwashing.

Why parents will love it: Parents will love the tranquil setting, and it’s a great way to amuse the kids for a couple of hours. While visitors are not able to bring their own picnic, there is a restaurant onsite and a small booth selling food and refreshments.

Nearest station: Orpington

Get A Birds Eye View At The Willow Bird of Prey Centre

Get up close and personal with thirty different species of owl, hawks and falcons. You can either watch them show off their impressive speeds in flying demonstrations or be trained in handling one of the birds if brave enough!

Why kids will love it: Children are able to get up close to these large birds in a safe environment. This is a great way to learn about our feathered, regal friends!

Why parents will love it: Parents will equally enjoy watching the demonstrations, and for those who love walking there are six acres of beautiful woodlands heading to the blueberry meadows. There is also an onsite restaurant for afternoon tea.

Nearest station: Knockholt

Fun In Kelsey Park And Minigolf Course

Formed within 21 acres of the Kelsey Park Estate, this park first opened its doors in 1913. Take in the stunning views and manicured gardens, but its main attraction is the grand lake running through the park. Kelsey Park also has a children’s playground, tennis courts and a minigolf course.

Why kids will love it: Besides plenty of open space to run around, there are funactivities for all such as Crazy Golf or the children’s playground located at the north end of the park. Do check the website for prices and opening times.

Why parents will love it: Parents can enjoy strolling through the beautiful, landscaped gardens, admiring the wildlife or feeding the ducks in the vast lake. There are also two cafes to enjoy refreshments.

Nearest station: Beckenham Junction

Do As The Romans Do In Lullingstone Roman Villa

This former family home holds one of the most outstanding Roman villa survivals in Britain. Showcasing stunning mosaics, wall paintings and a light show that brings to life the villa and Lullingstone’s interesting collection of Roman artefacts. Hidden within the beautiful setting of Darent Valley, you can also visit its heated bath-suite and ‘house-church’.

Why kids will love it: Children will love dressing up in traditional Roman costumes. There are also period games to play that were popular in Roman times.

Why parents will love it: Families are welcome to bring a picnic to eat on the grounds and enjoy the stunning views of the Darent Valley and River Darent.

Nearest station: Eynsford

Playtime At The Pavilion

Located in Bromley Town centre and accessible from The Glades shopping mall, The Pavilion has plenty of fun-filled activities including a state-of-the-art bowling alley, soft play and a walk-in swimming pool. As it’s currently closed, so do check the website for opening times and updates.  

Why kids will love it: Younger children will love the soft play area that has two areas for different age groups, while the whole family can enjoy a game or two of bowling.

Why parents will love it: The Pavilion has a central restaurant and bar for parents to relax and dine in while the kids have fun. It’s conveniently close to the enclosed soft play area so you can still spot your little ones.

Nearest station: Bromley South

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Written by Cynthia Lawrence

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Media and Cultural Studies

Cynthia Lawrence picture

Cynthia LawrenceBachelor of Arts specializing in Media and Cultural Studies

A lifestyle journalist for national magazines, Cynthia resides in London with her son and husband. With an unhealthy obsession for homes and interiors, Cynthia takes inspiration from her fabulous family travels and exciting adventures. She has a Bachelor's degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Middlesex University.

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