Go on an adventure and discover somewhere new this bank holiday with the National Trust

Go on an adventure and discover somewhere new this bank holiday with the National Trust

Enjoy the last few days of summer at some of the best National Trust places in the country for a family day out

Keep the kids entertained all weekend long with a whole host of ‘50 things’ activities, including big tree climbs, wild art sessions and bug hunts. Or, take a trip back in time with historical re-enactments, have-a-go archery and spy lessons.

It’s also one of the best times of the year for enjoying Britain’s beautiful coastline, and what could be better than a day’s coasteering or a guided kayaking trip? For a gentler day out there are beginner’s cycle rides and tractor tours.

Here’s a taster of some National Trust places where you can get away from it all this August bank holiday:

Take to the tree tops

Croome, Worcestershire

Tree Climbing, 22 August, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Spend an hour or two with some highly-skilled instructors this summer holiday and you’ll be taking in the views from the tops of the trees in no time. Professional instructors will teach you how to use ropes, knots, carabineers and harnesses to climb as high as you can and zip wire back down again. Afterwards take a break in the RAF themed playground and take on the parachute swing, aeroplane slide and see what you can spot from the lookout tower.

This is activity is led by The Great Big Tree Climbing Company.

Price: £15.50 (ages 4+) plus a small booking fee (booking essential)

For more information, please call 0800 055 6760.

To book email: adam@bigtreeclimbing.co.uk

NT 2

Fell Foot Park, Cumbria

Big Tree Climbing at Fell Foot, 19, 20, 26 & 27 August, 10.30am – 5pm

Reach new heights and enter a tree’s canopy using ropes, knots and carabineers. Once at the top of the tree if you’re feeling brave you can take the zip wire back down again. Situated at the very southern tip of Lake Windermere, Fell Foot Park is a great, family friendly location to play, explore and relax in after an adventurous day in the trees. Sweeping lawns offer plenty of space for games, picnics and gentle walks, while easy lake access makes the park perfect for paddling, swimming and boating.
Minimum age: Six years old
Length of session: one hour

Price: £15 plus a small booking fee (booking essential)

For more information, please call 015395 31273

Book online at www.fellfoottreeclimbing.eventbrite.co.uk


Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Big Tree Climbing, 24 – 25 August, hourly from 10.30am – 4.30pm

Climb in the canopy of the big tree in Preserve Copse with the supervision of highly skilled and friendly instructors and get a bird’s eye view of Polesden Lacey and beyond, and if you’re brave enough take the zip wire back down again. If you fancy stretching your legs and getting your feet firmly back on the ground again, there are acres of grounds to explore and perfect spots to sit back, relax and enjoy the views.

One hour sessions limited to seven children per session. Suitable for children from age six years (no height restriction) Full tuition, safety equipment and harness will be provided.
Price: £15.50 per hour session (booking essential, free entry to grounds for participant, plus one accompanying adult if child is under the age of 16).

For more information, please call 0800 0556760

Book online at www.polesdentreeclimbing.eventbrite.co.uk


Stourhead, Wiltshire

Learn, discover and climb with our tree climbing experts, 22 & 29 August, 11am – 3pm

This year Stourhead is offering some sky high fun with Forest Fridays. Join the arboreal gardeners Alan, Mark, Emily and Joe to explore the secrets of caring for Stourhead’s tree collection. With a head for heights and the help of lots of rope, they’ll show you how they inspect and maintain even the tallest of trees. You’ll have the chance to climb as high as you can and experience Stourhead as never before. Afterwards, see if you can find the tallest oak tree in the UK, standing at a whopping 40.4 metres tall in the grounds.

Price: Normal admission fee applies, plus £5 (per climb)

For more information, please call 01747 841152


Leigh Woods, near Bristol

Great big tree climb, 21 August, hourly from 10.30am – 4.30pm

As a family, tick off tree climbing from your ’50 things’ list in style with the Great Big Tree Climbing Company at Leigh Woods. Two highly skilled and friendly instructors will teach you how to enter a tree’s canopy using ropes, knots and karabiners, whilst being securely attached in a harness at all times. Enjoy the amazing experience of life in the tree tops before bravely zip wiring to the ground. Leigh Woods is a great place to explore and play or build a den. Let off steam in the natural play area or bring a picnic and enjoy a game on the plain. Each session contains a maximum of seven people to ensure a unique and intimate experience for everyone.

Price: £15.50 (booking essential and suitable for ages 6 years and above)

For more information, please call 0800 0556760


The Vyne, Hampshire

The Big Tree Climb, 22 – 23 August, 11am – 5pm

Visit The Vyne to climb some very big trees indeed and tick off number one on your ‘50 things’ list. Two friendly instructors help all ages reach new heights and to climb an oak tree deep in the woodland. You will learn how to use ropes, knots and karabiners, whilst being securely attached in a harness. Once at the top of the tree you will gain an experience which can’t be found anywhere on the ground and if you’re feeling super brave you take the zip wire back down again. Once your feet are back on terra firma test your skills with an orienteering trail, take a stroll in the woodlands or experience the Hidden Realm play space.

Price: £15 (booking essential)

For more information, please call 0800 0556760


Get active and try something new


Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire

Den Building – 50 things, 27 August, 10.30am – 12.30pm & 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Come along to a fun family event and have a go at building your own den in the woodland surrounding Home farm and this working estate. Guided by staff and volunteers, find fallen branches, leaves and other natural materials to build your den. Finish off the day by toasting marshmallows on the camp fire and admire your creation.

Price: £2.50 (booking essential, suitable for children aged 5-12)

For more information, please call 0844 249 1895


Attingham Park, Shropshire

Archery at Attingham, 23 August, 10am – 4pm

Visit Attingham this summer and explore the beautiful parkland and mansion set in the heart of this great estate between Shrewsbury and the River Severn. Visitors are being offered the chance to unleash their inner Robin Hood at a have-a-go archery in the grounds with the help of Bowbrook Archers. Family picnics are a great way to refuel after a day of adventures: head up to the Orchard to find our favourite benches under the apple blossom. If you fancy an extra treat, why not pick up an ice cream at the Carriage House Café on your way home.

Price: Normal admission fee applies, plus £2 for six arrows

For more information, please call 01743 708148

 NT 1

Speke Hall, Garden and Estate, Liverpool

Xplorer Orienteering Challenge, 24 & 31 August, 11am – 1pm

If you are looking for a fun family activity to try out this bank holiday exercise your navigation skills with the orienteering Xplorer Challenge at Speke Hall. It’s a great way to discover the outdoors and have an adventure in the gardens and woodland. After you’ve got back to base discover the amaze-ing hedge maze. Growing bigger every year and changing all the time, it’s a real puzzle to solve for all the family.

Price: Normal admission fee applies

For more information, please call 0151 427 7231


Castle Ward, County Down

Family Coasteering, 23 August, 10am – 2pm

Starting from Castle Ward demesne venture along the exciting coastline of Ballyhornan and Strangford Lough for an adrenaline filled session of rock hopping and cliff jumping – jumps are not obligatory, but they are a lot of fun!

Weather dependant and suitable for age 12 years plus.

Price: Adult £49, Child £36 (12yrs and over only) under 18s must be accompanied by an adult (booking essential)

Contact Clearsky Adventure Centre on 028 4372 3933 or fun@clearsky-adventure.com


Lizard Point and Kynance Cove, Cornwall

Kayaking at Mullion, 23 August, 9am – 1pm

Visit Cornwall this summer and take to the water at Mullion on this guided kayak trip exploring caves, coves and the island. Spot seals and basking sharks and if you’re feeling lucky have a go at fishing for your dinner. Novices to experts welcome.

Price: £40 (booking essential)

For more information, please call 01326 558424


Stonehenge Landscape, Wiltshire

Really Wild Natural Art, 22 August, 2pm – 4pm

Create a fun book of mono prints to record your natural finds around the King Barrows Ridge at Stonehenge. You will be able to make drawings of the barrows and of all the interesting things that you can find around them, whether they are feathers, grasses, seed pods, flowers or twigs. Build a drawing book of the objects you find and create a lasting memory of your time in the ancient landscape surrounding Stonehenge.
For ages six to 12 years

Price: £5 (booking essential)

For more information, please call 0844 249 1895


Ysbyty Ifan, Gwynedd

Night Critters Walk, 22 August, 8.30pm – 10pm

Come and see what creatures are out and about after dark at an agricultural estate, rich in wildlife and history. Join the team for a night time walk and tick-off some more of your ’50 things’ such as hunting for bugs, tracking wild animals and star gazing in the Welsh countryside. Learn how to set up a moth trap and use bat detectors to see and hear as many night time critters as possible.

Booking advisable, no additional charges

For more information, please call 01690 71332


Tyntesfield, near Bristol

50 Things activity – Try rock climbing, 23 August, 11am – 3pm

Try some rock climbing this weekend and tick off number 46 of your ’50 things’ list in the heart of the Somerset countryside. Vertical Extreme will be at Tyntesfield with their mobile wall. Although not on real rock, this wall will give you a good taster of what climbing is all about, and with a range of grades, there will be something to challenge everyone and adults too. Open to all aged two and above.

Price: Normal admission fee applies, plus £5 per ticket

For more information, please call 01275 461900


Walk in someone else’s shoes


Sutton Hoo, Suffolk

Anglo-Saxon Encampment: Warriors and Combat, 23 – 25 August, 10.30am – 5pm

This hauntingly beautiful Anglo-Saxon royal burial site with far-reaching views over the river Deben, is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. This bank holiday come and try spear throwing, archery, throwing Francisca axes and decorating shields. If you really want to walk in your ancestor’s shoes, see if you can wiggle like a warrior in the unique Anglo-Saxon spear dance. Find out about authentic Anglo-Saxon arrow-fletching and watch the combat demonstrations.

Price: Normal admission fee applies

For more information, please call 01394 389700


Mottisfont, Hampshire

Exhibition: Quentin Blake and friends, 19 July – 14 September, 11am – 5pm

A summer of fun, exploration and wonderful stories awaits you at Mottisfont this summer. One of the nation’s best-loved artists comes to Mottisfont in a new exhibition of work by Quentin Blake and other leading contemporary children’s illustrators including Michael Foreman, Emma Chichester Clark, John Burningham, Helen Oxenbury, Rebecca Cobb and Oliver Jeffers. Visitors will be able to see for the first time 21 new drawing made by Quentin for the hit West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Families can take inspiration from the exhibition and set off on an epic imaginative story trail around the house and grounds, creating their own illustrated books as they go. On selected weekends, there are loads of hands-on activities too: make nature-themed books, meet some of the authors, and enjoy performance and storytelling, including storytellers from the Roald Dahl Museum.

Special event weekends: 2-3, 16-17, and 30-31 August.

Price: Normal admission fee applies

For more information, please call 01794 344020


Emmetts Garden, Kent

Beatrix Potter Summer Trail, 1 – 31 August, 10am – 4.15pm

Standing on one of the highest spots in Kent, Emmetts Garden offers panoramic views over the unspoilt Weald as well as some great walking opportunities. Follow in the footsteps of the families who lived and played here and step into the world of Beatrix Potter this summer.

Help Tom Kitten find his lost clothes and spot Mrs Tiggywinkle arm deep in her washing. The much loved characters have set up a trail around the garden filled with activities and challenges.

Price: Normal admission fee applies, plus £1 per trail

For more information, please call 01732 750367

 NT 5

Coleridge Cottage, Somerset

C.S.I: Coleridge Spy Investigation, 1 August – 1 September, 11am – 5pm

Inspired poet or French Spy? The British government has sent you as their secret agent to find out! 215 years ago, poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was investigated by the British government as a suspected spy. Crack codes and navigate the treasure map around the poet’s cottage and garden in this spy-themed trail to win a prize.

Price: Normal admission fee applies, plus £1 per trail

For more information, please call 01278 732662


The Workhouse, Nottinghamshire

Pop-up Paupers and Picnics, 24 & 31 August, 12pm – 4pm

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in a workhouse? Meet characters from The Workhouse’s past and hear about their experiences of Victorian life. Bring your own picnic to enjoy in the grounds while listening to pauper tales.

Price: Normal admission fee applies

For more information, please call 01636 817260


On land and water


Nostell Priory and Parkland, West Yorkshire

Nostell Priory Steam Fair, 24 – 25 August, 10am – 5pm

Only a stone’s throw from Wakefield lies Nostell Priory, built on the site of a medieval priory it offers landscaped parkland and gardens. This bank holiday the annual steam fair returns for a weekend of traction engines, vintage cars, classic motorcycles and historic lorries. To satisfy any transport enthusiasts needs there’s also an auto jumble, display of old tractors, fairground organs and funfair.

Price: adult £8, child £4 (under 16’s), concession £7 (over 65’s), family £20 (2 adults 3 under 16’s)

For more information, please call 01751 200839


Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Fort, Northumberland

Haltwhistle South Tyne Trail Sky Ride, 25 August, 10am – 12.30pm

Go on a really long bike ride this bank holiday and follow the South Tyne Trail along the old Haltwhistle – Alston railway line. At 11 miles long on National Trust land, this ride is not to be missed. The old railway line provides a great view of the surrounding countryside and a nice flat ride. Follow the iconic landmark to the star of the show Lambley Viaduct which offers spectacular views across the landscape.

Booking essential

For more information, please call 01434 321888


Petworth House and Park, West Sussex

Adventure Ahoy! 26 July – 31 August, 10.30am – 4pm

Set sail on a stormy seaside adventure and discover a story about scary sea monsters, pesky pirates and magical mermaids on this interactive summer trail that takes you around the Pleasure Grounds of this great estate. Once ‘adventurers’ have made it safely to dry land they’ll find out how to turn their trail sheets into 3D pirate ships. Afterwards you can go for a picnic in the parkland, enjoy woodland walks and views over the surrounding countryside.

Price: £3 per trail

For more information, please call 01798 342207


Dinefwr Park and Castle, Carmarthenshire

Tractor Trailer Tours, 20, 22, 27 & 29 August, 12.30pm – 1.30pm

All aboard – Dinefwr Park and Castle are firing up the tractor once again to give visitors the chance to get a closer look at the White Park Cattle and discover a little more about the work the Dinefwr team do on the magnificent National Nature Reserve. Afterwards why not stop beneath a 400-year-old oak tree or next to a flower rich hay meadow and watch the world go by whilst having a picnic.

Weather permitting.

Price: Normal admission fee applies

For more information, please call 01558 824512/823902


Carding Mill Valley and the Shropshire Hills, Shropshire

Raft Building, 22 & 29 August, 11am – 12.30pm & 2pm – 3.30pm

Carding Mill Valley is a massive area of heather-covered hills with amazing views of the Shropshire Hills. It’s the perfect place to kick off your ‘50 things’ adventure. Visit in August and see if you can make a raft that’ll float on the reservoir. You’ll be shown how to knot and lash the equipment together before coming up with your own design and the final test; to see if it floats.

Price: £10 for activity (booking essential)

For more information, please call 01694 725000


River Wey and Godalming Navigations and Dapdune Wharf, Surrey

Shipwreck Explorers Family Fun Day, 24 August, 11am – 5pm

Visit the River Wey, a tranquil waterway running for nearly 20 miles through the heart of Surrey this bank holiday. A fun and exciting day for all the family is on offer with the Nautical Archaeology Society at Dapdune Wharf. Get kitted up like an underwater archaeologist and have a go at handling real life artefacts from an underwater site.

Price: £2.50 for children’s activities

For more information, please call 01483 561389


Crom, County Fermanagh

Cot Trips, 25 August, 1pm – 5pm

Enjoy this wonderful opportunity to see Crom from a different perspective, experiencing the tranquil landscape of woodland and historical ruins. Cruise around the Lough in Crom’s 100 year old traditional craft and enjoy the views.

Weather dependant and booking essential

Price: Normal admission fee applies, plus ticket: adult £4, child £2 (booking essential)

For more information, please call 028 6773 8118


Fantasy and fairy tale


Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire

Maleficent’s Enchanted Forest Trail, 24May – 31August

As well as providing a stunning backdrop to the film, the Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire, families will be invited to explore the ‘real’ Enchanted Forest with a special Maleficent-themed trail. Running throughout the summer holidays, the trail costs £1 per child and is inspired by the nature-loving fairies and magical creatures from the film.  As families explore the forest using the trail they’ll discover more about the wildlife that calls Ashridge home, including rare butterflies and songbirds, as well as fungi and mini-beasts, plus it offers plenty of opportunity to complete a few of the ‘50 things’ activities.

Price: £1 per child (access to the estate is free)

For more information, please call 01442 851227

Further info about the Enchanted Forest Trail here


Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire

School Holiday Fun – Time Wizards, 22 – 31 August, 10am – 5pm

Little Billy and Lizzy are time travelling twins and have been on an excellent expedition here on the estate. They’ve journeyed through the ages and seen everything from medieval monks to Georgian lords and ladies. However, they’re now stuck somewhere in time and need you to help them get back to 2014! Follow the clues they’ve left and crack them to find out where they are. There will also be a chance for you to design your own time travelling machine in Swanley Grange

Price: Normal admission fee applies

For more information, please call 01765 608888


Springhill, County Londonderry

Princesses and Pirates, 24 – 25 August, 12pm – 5pm

Lots of glitter and swords are expected at Springhill over the bank holiday weekend. Budding princesses and pirates can discover the Springhill treasure trail and enjoy lots of sparkling and swash-buckling games and crafts. Prizes will be given for the best dressed princess and pirates and judging will take place at 3pm.

Price: Normal admission fee applies, plus ticket: adult £3.50, child £1.50, family £8.50

For more information, please call 028 8674 8210


Melford Hall, Suffolk

Beatrix Potter story readings, 23 & 30 August, 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Get carried away by the magical adventures of Peter Rabbit and his friends as written by Beatrix Potter and narrated by one of the Hall story tellers. Beatrix Potter was a cousin of the Hyde Parker family and came to love Melford through her many visits. She drew inspiration from the house and gardens and even gave her Jemima Puddle-duck toy to the children to keep. Don’t miss the watercolours she painted during her time at Melford Hall in a room dedicated to her in the house.

Price: Normal admission fee applies

For more information, please call 01787 379228