Come on an autumn adventure at National Trust places in and around Hampshire. It’s a treat for the senses, introducing children to the tangy smells of rich earth, fallen leaves and apples ready to harvest. Sounds change in autumn too, with the rustle and swish of crunchy foliage, and the plop of falling conkers in our woodlands.
From an eco time travelling sound adventure at Mottisfont, to harvest fun and piles of pumpkins at Hinton Ampner, there are new sights, sounds and experiences throughout the season. As temperatures cool and colours intensify, our activity trails introduce families to all the drama that autumn has to offer – help Uppark’s hibernating wildlife, or hunt for bright treasures and experience seasonal sensory delights at The Vyne.
Specially for autumn, they’ve also created a series of downloadable activities, to enjoy indoors or out, at home or at one of their places. You’ll find loads of ideas to help you and your family make the most of this vibrant season. Upcycle your pumpkin to help wildlife, create simple fruit feeders for birds, and discover fun things to do on an autumn ramble.
Find out more here
Every time you visit a National Trust property in Hampshire, you help look after these special places for autumns to come.
Mottisfont, nr Romsey
Award-winning children’s arts charity, The House of Fairy Tales, have sprinkled some time-travelling magic over Mottisfont, with an interactive half-term sound adventure. A colourful fold-out map takes families on a message trail left by visiting elder time traveller Peat Frankland and his granddaughter Lot, from the future. On your journey to special places around the gardens, you’ll be able to hear voices from the future*, discover clues and making and doing activities that explore ideas about a greener, fairer and wiser world. This contemporary take on a folklore adventure is suitable for all ages.
The Mottisfont Earthshot – An Adventure through Time: 16 October – 7 November, £1. *Sound accessible via QR codes and smartphones. Narrative also printed on the map (for those without smartphones).
Other activities at Mottisfont this autumn: help the garden team by gathering crunchy fallen leaves for compost-making, using our mini wheelbarrows and rakes. In the Gardener’s Cottage in the walled garden there’s a daily ‘make and take’ corn dolly activity to try (free of charge, until 31 October). You’ll find lots of colourful gourd displays dotted around the grounds too – in doorways, in wheelbarrows, and in Mottisfont’s special ‘gourd theatre’ display – perfect for autumn selfies.
The Vyne, nr Basingstoke
Family activities throughout the season celebrate the richness of autumn. Hunt for colourful ancient treasures in the house or delve into a world of earthy scents and crunchy leaves on the sensory garden trail (both 6 Sept–31 Oct). At half-term there are fancy bat characters to hunt for and a prize (22 Oct-1 Nov). We’re a top spot for autumn woodland too – explore it on the woodpecker walking challenge, complete with special trail sheet and code-breaker.
Hinton Ampner, nr Alresford
There are loads of fun things to do at Hinton’s Harvest Celebration (1-31 Oct). You can pose for pics with the pumpkins, scarecrow and his little dog too. Come back at half-term to help our forgetful head gardener find his tools – on the Harvest Helpers sensory trail (23-31 Oct). There are acres of parkland and woods to explore; perfect for colourful leaf collecting to make wild art.
Uppark, nr Petersfield
Uppark’s Hibernation Trail teaches kids all about the things animals need for their winter sleep. Find out how to help hibernating frogs, and what happens in a hive when it gets colder. Did you know that dormice can sleep for up to ¾ of the year? Uppark’s woodland is a great place to explore in autumn too – check out the amazing leaf colours, and try a spot of wild art.
Image credit National Trust / Claire Shuter