And it is quite close to the Overground, from Highbury & I station every 15 minutes, Dalston JUNCTION, not Kingsland every 8 minutes or so. Less than 10 minutes walk from Forest Hill station.
The Serpentine Gallery have their annual outdoor structure open now, it's different each year, but is usually interesting for children and usually has a cafe. We tend to go to the Playground in Kensington Gardens (which is really great) and then walk through to the serpentine gallery - then onto the memorial fountain/water thingy for a paddle if it's hot.
Another favourite is the V&A - I know it's not country, but they do great craft activities for children in the holidays and their courtyard has a fantastic huge paddling area with little fountains for the children to run through. And an excellent (but not cheap) cafe.
Thanks for all the other out of London ideas, I didn't know about a lot of them and they'll definitely be going on my summer hols list.
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