Looking to appeal to a whole new generation of families who love the ‘Great Outdoors’, Staffordshire’s Shugborough Estate is offering even more family-friendly treats for 2014.
The 900-acre Estate, which is managed by Staffordshire County Council, is now inviting families to go “wild” with the kids and get back to nature by rediscovering the joys of natural play – with a little help from the pixies!
Fun, fresh air and freedom are being promised at the Estate’s ‘Wilderness’ area – an all-new natural play space created using woodland materials – aimed at giving parents a chance to rediscover outdoors fun from den-building to wood-whittling.
Two areas of the island Arboretum within the grounds of the magnificent Georgian mansion house have been set aside for the ‘Wilderness’, which features clambering logs, stones for cairn building, den-building materials… and even a blindfold trail.
“We can’t guarantee you won’t get muddy, encounter wildlife or even get a splinter. But we absolutely guarantee you will have fun!” said Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure with Staffordshire County Council.
Already recognised as one of Britain’s best ‘upstairs downstairs’ experiences as the nation’s most complete working historic estate, Shugborough, has always been a top visitor attraction for those who simply love the Great Outdoors.
With a heavy focus on natural play, the ‘Wilderness’ area, not only has a magical island backdrop, but also a sprinkling of mythical mystery too.
The name Shugborough is derived from the phrase “meeting place of the pixies” and many of the monuments within the grounds have mystical connections, so the new ‘Wilderness’ fittingly boasts its very own pixie dell for children to discover.
A key element of the Wilderness design is to encourage old-fashioned outdoor fun from kicking-up leaves and building a den, while parents and children can also decorate tree stumps and create their own natural hanging sculptures.
Elsewhere within the grounds visitors can help out at the farm cheese-making, bread-making and even bottle-feeding newborn animals while in the restored Walled Garden youngsters can dress up naked scarecrows and lend a helping hand with child-size watering cans!
Shugborough has long offered a chance to turn the clock back to a bygone era thanks to the costumed characters bringing history to life in the Servants Quarters and Georgian Farm, but for 2014 the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat will join them!
Families can follow the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ trail through the Staffordshire County Museum, housed in the Servants’ Quarters, where visitors will be able to dress up as a character from the book and discover the strange world of Alice in Wonderland.
The Mansion House, Servants’ Quarters, Farm and Walled Garden open again for the season on Friday 21st March 2014.
For details of opening times and more information, visit www.shugborough.org.uk