Here is an overview of summer camps and activities that we can recommend or have been recommended by other parents across London:
Cricket is an increasingly popular sports, and where better to learn it than at Lord’s Cricket Ground? Lord’s Cricket Academy will run dedicated cricket courses by age group for all levels, including one day beginner’s introduction courses. On the opposite side of London, the famous Wimbledon Club offers equally popular cricket (and tennis, and hockey!) camps for children aged 6-9 and 9 – 15.
For junior athletics, check out the Battersea Park Millenium Arena , which will shortly be announcing their junior summer camps. Will to Win offers tennis camps for ages 4 – 16 in various locations, including Hyde Park, Chiswick and Regent’s Park. The tennis pros might well choose Dukes Meadows in Chiswick. Their tennis camps can be combined with golf, skiing or multisports in the afternoon.
For swimming, you are spoilt for choice. Love Swimming fast track courses are held at the luxurious Dolphin Square gym in Pimlico. If you are based in Hampstead, have a look at Paul Dillon Swimming lessons at the UCS pool. Those aged 7+ can perfect their swimming technique at the state of the art Latymer Upper School swimming pool via Nautilus swimming camps, while younger children or those who would rather swim in a 1:1 environment can book fast-track private lessons instead.
The Richmond Gymnastics Association runs gymnastics summer camps for children from Reception age upwards starting from 19 July 2022. There is a junior camp for 4 – 9 year olds and a senior camp for 9+. Those based in SW London can’t go wrong with Fulham FC for their holiday football camps, while the Sports Society runs “high performance football” camps from July 11th onwards.
Science, Maths, 11+ prep and chess
See our dedicated post on STEM and Maths camps for summer 2022 here.
Multi-activity, exploration and outdoors
Explore London Holiday Club offers a full week of adventure that will give children a taste of London’s most exciting activities that can include Oxygen Freejumping Park, Go Ape, Murder Mystery Challenges and Hut building. If this is not adventurous enough, real daredevils can try a freerunning / parkour course with the Foucan Academy or the Gorilla Circus Flying Trapeze School in Regent’s Park.
If you’re looking for full day activity camps, Camp Beaumont offers summer camps at UCS Hampstead Sports Ground, Mill Hill, St Helen’s and Tiffin School in Kingston, to name a few. ActivCamps run multiactivity camps at the Emanuel School in Clapham, Wimbledon College and Barn Elms Sports Trust. The Holiday Academy runs full day activity camps at the beautiful Cavendish School in Camden with a forest school option. This camp is suitable for children aged 3.5 – 12.
Little Forest Folk are the forest school experts in SW and West London but beware, their holiday camps sell out quickly – bookings go live on June 28th. Wild about our Woods offers a forest school experience in Barnet and Haringey. In additional, check out Wild Learning which offers outdoor adventure holiday clubs in a wide range of locations, including Wimbledon, Sheen, Highgate, Muswell Hill and other camps further afield at competitive prices. Their motto is “They’ll be tired. They’ll probably be dirty. They’ll certainly be happy“!
Drama, Music and Dance
For children aged 7+, the best camp in this category is probably the one offered by the Sylvia Young Theatre School in Marble Arch. Other parents swear by the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in Hampstead (ages 6 – 18) – although it is not clear yet if they are running this summer. For a variety of locations, Stagecoach is a well established drama programme for kids. If you are located in Hackney or Stoke Newington, Showkids is the place to go, catering for ages 4 – 16. While they run term time activities for children aged as young as four, their holiday camps are for children from 8 to 18 only. They offer tailored weeeks for different age groups from 4 – 16. For the younger children, Perform run drama courses from children 4+ to boost their confidence via fun and games.
Of course, you may not actually be looking at camps or childcare and just need inspiration for what to do with your children during the holidays. Here are some of our top things to do with your child this London for the perfect “staycation” in London
- A day out at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. Our personal favourite is the adventure playground Tumbling Bay, but a cycling course in the velodrome or a ride down the UK largest slide are just a few of the other activities on of fer.
- The Royal Institution usually runs exciting science workshops throughout July and August, although this might be reduced to online talks this summer – stay tuned!
- Take your children on a guided tour of the Globe Theatre! Hear the story of the original 1599 theatre, how the Globe battled to survive plague, fire and political oppression, and how one man’s vision saw it rise again after 400 years.
- Borough Market is one of my children’s favourites, perhaps because of the ice lollies they get to customise at the gelateria 3Bis
- spend a day outside of London on a farm. Our favourites are Bucklebury farm in Berkshire and Bocketts Farm in Surrey. Horse riding at Vauxhall City Farm also highly recommended, especially their “Own a pony for a day”!
- a day on the Princess Diana Memorial Playground (come early to beat the crowds!) and/or Battersea Park Zoo – combine it with Go Ape if you are already there.
- visit the free Museum of London Docklands
- spend a day in Greenwich exploring Greenwich Park, Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory…