Looking for more ways to keep everyone entertained during these last few long summer holiday days?
You don’t have to go far from home to enjoy a change of scene, and experience new adventures in nature at your local National Trust place, in and around Hampshire.
Explore wild woods perfect for hide and seek or building dens at Hinton Ampner, discover bridges over rivers where you can try your hand at Pooh Sticks at Mottisfont, follow geocaching trails in search of hidden treasure at The Vyne or even look out for wildlife with handy nature spotter guides – at all our places.
With acres of space to run and play, these are also the perfect locations to have a go at some of the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities. From hunting for bugs to going for a barefoot walk, rolling down hills or flying a kite, there’s no shortage of ways to get the whole family outdoors and closer to nature.
Once you’re done exploring you can seek out the perfect spot to settle down for a picnic, topped up with delicious ice creams or tasty takeaway snacks and drinks from the café.
Take a look below for some of the best places to discover this summer. You’ll need to book admission in advance, but there’s plenty of mid-week availability so you can get together with friends and family for a socially distanced catch up in the fresh air. What’s more, every single visit helps support the National Trust’s work as a charity to look after special places for everyone, for ever.
Downloadable activities to enjoy at National Trust places and at home
Whether you’re visiting one of our places or staying at home, take at look at all the play ideas we’ve created for you, online. Our handy spotter guides will help kids identify wildflowers, butterflies and woodland animals and coastline creatures. Try our Sounds of Nature Bingo game, or dip into one of our new play packs – they’re full of activities, how-tos and adventures to enjoy with favourite characters, including Peter Rabbit™. Create a mini garden or some bunny ears, start a treasure map and meet magical characters. There’s hours of entertainment ahead, ready to fill the last of the summer holiday.
From 3 August, Mottisfont’s new self-led nature activities will help families explore the gardens to find out what lives here. There are lots of big spaces to run and play in. The paddocks are great for ball games and kite flying, and there are plenty of picnic benches. You can tick off loads of ’50 things’ challenges at Mottisfont – with its bridges and a rushing river, it’s our top destination for Pooh Sticks. There are takeaway treats to tuck into too, including ice cream.
Head out into the parkland for some adventures with nature this summer holiday. You’ll find gnarled trees – some you can climb inside and they’re great for insect hunting too. The nearby woods are the place for a spot of den-building and wild art-making. There are some terrific new spotter sheets to download, and of course plenty of ice cream to tuck into when you’re done.
This big country estate is great for roaming in, and exploring the natural world. Take up our woodland geocaching challenge, or walk down to the wetlands for bird-watching in the bird hide. In the woods you can hunt for animal tracks and make a camp – two of our favourite 50 things’ tasks. There’s plenty of room for picnicking, and our café has a range of takeaway refreshments.
Get stuck into nature by ticking off all the ’50 things’ activities you can do here. Make friends with a bug, or climb a tree. Kids can find out which animals set up home here in summer. And don’t forget to bring your kite – Uppark is set on top of the Downs, which is perfect for kite flying.