For a fun day out with the kids (or for the child in you) check out our top picks of family days out just a short drive from a Zipcar city.
As always feel free to suggest your own ideas below, the best ones may even be rewarded.
Look out for these icons for advice on the trip's suitability:
= dog-friendly = young family-friendly
(Just remember to put your dog in a carrier when you take him or her in a Zipcar, them's the rules.)
Plus we've indicated the destinations' nearest Zipcar city and the closest Zipcar to the train station for Londoners making a real break away from metropolis.
Distance from Central London: 11 miles
Like crazy golf? Excited by luminescent waterfalls? Obsessed with dinosaurs? Love listening to the Jurassic Park theme tune on repeat? We're sure you answered yes to all those questions, so you'll want to zip down to Jurassic Encounter Adventure Golf immediately. You can play an 18-hole round of crazy golf surrounded by smoking volcanoes, roaring dinosaurs and cascading green waterfalls. Do you need any more convincing? Thought not.
Beverley Park, Beverley Way, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 4PH; adult ticket from £9
Distance from Central London: 33 miles
The chiddlers will love this award-winning interactive destination. Learn about Dahl the boy to Dahl the writer, with artefacts from his life and even props from the movies based on his works. At weekends and during school holidays there are also a range of workshops and storytelling sessions. You can also go on a Village or Countryside Trail around Great Missenden, to discover the places that inspired Roald Dahl and featured in his stories.
81-83 High Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 0AL; adult ticket: £6.60
Distance from Central London: 20 miles
Paradise Wildlife Park is a childhood favourite for quite a few of the Zipcar team (and when we say childhood, we really mean in their twenties). From powerful Siberian tigers to teeny, tiny tropical tree frogs, there are over 400 animals to get up close to. Plus get all up in a lemur's face with a range of zoo experiences to make your day trip extra memorable.
White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, EN10 7QA; adult online ticket: £13-£18 depending on season
Distance from Central London: 36 miles
One of the most interactive zoos in the UK, Tropical Wings has activities ranging from brushing a goat to feeding an albino wallaby. And if it’s a bit chilly out, make a bee-line for the Tropical House, where you can bask in the heat of the rainforest, surrounded by the flutter of exotic butterflies and colourful birds, any time of year.
Wickford Rd, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, CM3 5QZ; adult ticket from £8.50
Distance from Central London: 16.5 miles
Big cats, gorillas and roller coasters, what more could you want? And it's all on the fringes of London. Take a whirl on old favourites like the Vampire Ride and Ramses Revenge, or feel your stomach skip on the new Scorpion Express. Rides and roller coasters not your thing? Chessington Zoo is over 80 years old and is home to 1,000+ species, from pygmy goats and mischievous meerkats to Sumatran tigers. Plus get interactive with rock pools and rays at the Sea Life Centre.
Leatherhead Road, Surrey, KT9 2NE; adult early bird day ticket: £24
Distance from central London: 21.5 miles
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter offers visitors the ultimate opportunity to step on to authentic sets, discover the magic behind spellbinding special effects and explore the behind-the-scenes secrets of the Harry Potter film series. Tread the original stone floor of the iconic Hogwarts Great Hall, encounter animatronic creatures and wander down Diagon Alley – at the Studios where all eight films were produced.
Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7GS; adult ticket from £30
Distance from central London: 26 miles
If you’ve got kids or have been left to babysit for the day then LEGOLAND is a must (we can’t tell you how many Lego driver’s licences we have at home!). From Duplo Valley for the tots to testing your nerve in Pirate Shores, there’s so much fun to be packed in for the whole family. But our all-time favourite has to be exploring teeny tiny London in Miniland.
Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4AY; adult online advance ticket: £35.10
Distance from Bristol: 34.5 miles; Zipcars available at Bristol Temple Meads Station
Longleat is the oldest safari park outside of Africa, and as such they know how to make a fun day out of it. From your Zipcar you can spot lions, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, elephants, and more. You can even feed the giraffes at the African Village. Take a detour into the Monkey Drive Thru, but don’t linger too long – as you can expect, they can be pretty cheeky! Bringing the kids along? Take the Deadly Safari and let TV’s Steve Backshall help you track down the park’s deadliest hunters (all via a CD guide). You even get a certificate for completing it! And once you’ve finished your safari ride, park up and head into Adventure Park to meet more animals and all kinds of fun for the children (like a bat cave and a castle!).
Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW; adult online advance ticket from £26.77
Distance from central London: 35.5 miles
As the UK’s largest zoo (at 600 acres), Whipsnade is often mistaken for a safari park. While you can take your Zipcar into the Passage through Asia exhibit to spot camel, deer and yak, the best way to enjoy Whipsnade is on foot or on the Jumbo Express steam train. Our favourite bits were the playful Chimpnasium, the oddly graceful Asian Elephants and Lemur Island.
Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2LF; adult ticket £23.50