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Ruislip Lido with children – let’s explore!

Photos at Ruislip LidoEverything you need to know about visiting Ruislip Lido with children. In this series of blogs I will share all my favourite parks and outdoor spaces that can be visited from the Hillingdon area.

Where can you go on a open air train ride, play on the beach and eat ice cream, then escape into the quiet beauty of the woodland?  Ruislip Lido is just one of my favourite places to take the kids.  It has everything!

Ruislip Lido is a 60 acre lake with sandy beaches set on the edge of Ruislip Woods and has a narrow gauge railway around it.  It is one of the most popular outdoor family locations in the area and can get very busy in summer.  There is plenty to do and on busy days I tend to slip off into the woods where it is quieter.

What’s at Ruislip Lido?

  • cafe
  • sandy beach
  • playground
  • adult outdoor gym equipment
  • lake
  • water splash pad
  • train rides
  • walking
  • woodland
  • meadows
  • pub
  • parking (free for Hillingdon residents)

Twins on the miniature train at Ruislip lidoRuislip Lido with Children

Ride the miniature railway

You could walk round the lido to the beach, but why would you when you can catch a miniature train! The train runs weekends and school holidays, starting from Willow lawn and running to the beach.  Watch out for Santa specials at Christmas.

Beach

This is probably the best beach in London!   It may also be the only one!  Great for picnics and sandcastles, though it is best not to venture into the water, since blue-green algae has been seen here and can poison the water.

Playground

The playground is on and next to the beach and has a variety of slides, swings and roundabouts, and a huge wooden pirate ship for climbing on the beach.  The location is also great for parents since you can lounge on the beach or pick up a coffee from the cafe next door.

Water splash pad

Running in the hotter months, this is great fun for all ages.  A rotating variety of fountains and jets keep the little ones running between them, though the water is freezing cold so do take a furry towel for when it all gets too much!

Outdoor gym

It’s not supposed to be for the children but I can’t seem to get mine past it!  A variety of exercise machines installed next to the lake.

Nature

Woodland

Park woods immediately surrounding the lido leads onto Bayhurst country park and Mad Bess woods.  It is a large area with footpaths and bridleways. Highlights include bluebells in spring and lovely autumn colours.

Meadows

Close to the car park is a footpath going into poors field, where cattle often graze.  There are great blackberries here in the autumn!

Lake and waterfowl

If you walk round the lake there are plenty of ducks, swans, geese and seagulls watching your every move hoping for bread.   Toddlers beware at the official feeding spot on Willow lawn, you are quickly surrounded by swans if you so much as hint at having food.  Feeding from behind the wall at the dam is much safer!

Feeding the swans at Ruislip lido

Eating

Lakeside Cafe

The lakeside cafe is a pleasant and large cafe located right next to the beach and playground.  Run by San Remo it has the usual selection of sandwiches, toasties and my favourite the all day breakfast.  There are also many flavors of ice cream all year round.   It has quite a bit of indoor space and some outside tables too.  They have a good number of highchairs and children’s meal options, though strangely no baby changing table in the cafe toilets.  There is a baby changing table in the beach toilets just outside.

Train station tearoom

A nice little tearoom next to the Willow lawn, open when the train is running for hot drinks and snacks.

Pub

The Water’s Edge pub is very well located with a large beer garden next to the lake.  The food is mostly carvery.  Worth a stop for a beer on a hot day if you can get away with it!  There is also a small playground for customer’s children.

Toilets

There are public toilets in several locations.

  • At the train station near willow lawn, but these are only open when the train is running.
  • Round the back of the pub.
  • At the beach (with baby changing).  Closes quite early in the winter.
  • There are also toilets in the pub and in the lakeside cafe.

Getting there

Address

Ruislip Lido, Reservoir Road, Ruislip, HA4 7TY

By Car

There are two car parks on site.   They do get full at popular times.

  • Willow Lawn car park is for Hillingdon First card holders only. This car park is free for Hillingdon First users at all times, users will get an all day ticket on presentation of their Hillingdon First card.  There is no parking in this car park for non-Hillingdon First card holders.
  • The main car park, situated at the end of Reservoir Road on the left is for use by all other visitors.   Parking charges in the main car park vary from £2 to £5 for an all day ticket, depending on the time of year.  for more details see
    London Borough of Hillingdon Council’s website at http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/planyourvisit.

By public transport

The H13 and 331 bus services run frequently throughout the day.  The H13 service runs past both Ruislip Manor and Ruislip LUL stations providing excellent transport connections for visitors.
Journeys on public transport can be planned quickly and easily using Transport for London’s journey planner  Transport for London journey planner or by simply visiting the Ruislip Lido  pages on London Borough of Hillingdon Council’s website at http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/planyourvisit.

More links for information

Photos of Ruislip Lido

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