Posted: 24th May 2016
Do you remember the feeling of rolling down a really big hill? For those 10 seconds there was nothing else in the world but the smell of the grass and the sun on your face, the smell of the grass, the sun on your face, the smell of the grass and the incredible thrill of tumbling, being on the edge of out-of-control.
Such simple pleasures are among the National Trust’s suggestions for 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ - the campaign to get kids outdoors and in touch with the natural world around them. They include intrepid activities like climbing a tree and damming a stream, as well as more intimate activities such as mud pie-making, hunting for bugs, and the joy of a producing a piercing whistle from a grass trumpet.
There are 50 things scrapbooks and activities at National Trust places, alongside enough trails and play activities, crafts and garden games to give the whole family a summer adventure.
The countryside and parkland looked after by the National Trust is perfect for summer exploring and picnicking. The beautiful gardens are at their colourful best in summer, filled with paths and lawns to run along, walled gardens to hide in, and peaceful shady spots where you can close your eyes and soak up summer scents and the dreamy buzz of insects.
National Trust members visit for free, but there is sometimes a separate charge for specific events and activities. All profits go to the care and upkeep of the special places we look after for you and future generations to enjoy. All details and other ideas for family days out can be found on the National Trust website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/regionlondonsoutheast/london-and-the-south-east
Local highlights include:
Uppark House and Garden - school holiday trails
23rd July – 4th September, 11am to 4pm, normal admission charge plus £1 per trail
Have fun following the family fun trail around grounds at Uppark. If you bring a kite, you can take advantage of Uppark’s wonderful location on top of the South Downs.
Uppark House and Garden - medieval falconry display
6th August, 11am to 4pm, normal admission charge only
A falconry show with a twist! Local bird of prey experts, Hawking About, present this show as a Medieval falconry sports day. Dressed in authentic costume, they will involve the audience every step of the way, culminating in a human tunnel through which he’ll fly his birds.
Woolbeding Countryside - bat, moth & star gazing night
14th July, 9 – 11pm, adults £3, children £2, book on 01730 816638
Hear and glimpse the shyest wildlife stir as dusk turns to night. Enjoy the twilight hours as we search for woodcock and the elusive nightjar across the woodland edge and heath, finishing with a look at the stars.
Woolbeding Countryside revealed
4th August, 10.30am – 2pm, £3 (not including tea), book on 01730 816638
Take in the changing landscape of river, wood, farm and heath on a guided walk through this beautiful river valley. We’ll stop off at Woolbeding Gardens tea room on the way, for refreshments.
Woolbeding Countryside - woodland art & campfire cooking
11th August, 11am – 1pm, £5, book on 01730 816638
Make your own natural art and have a campfire lunch in our glorious woodland - all materials provided, just roll up!
Woolbeding Countryside - Picnic in the Park, free
20th August, 6 – 9pm, free entry
Bring a picnic, sit back & enjoy live music from local bands, in a beautiful park setting.
Woolbeding Countryside - Dog Fun Day
Sunday 31st July 10.30am – 3pm, free entry, £1 per class
Shows, dog agility, working dogs, stalls, a must for all dog lovers!
Watch the fun, or take part. We’ve got dog showing classes, dog agility and working dog demonstrations. Support local stalls and charities and find out how you and your dog can get along better with livestock and wildlife.
Hinton Ampner - Straw bale maze
Until 4th September, 10am – 5pm, normal admission charge only
Last summer’s straw maze at Hinton Ampner was such a huge success. It’s coming back in time for the May school holidays!
Can you little ones beat the maze? Let them loose in the ancient parkland, as they run round the giant puzzle to find the surprise in the centre.
Falconry sports day
13th August, 11am – 4pm, normal admission charge only
This isn’t any old falconry demonstration. Local bird of prey experts, Hawking About, present this show as a Medieval falconry sports day. Dressed in authentic costume, they will involve the audience every step of the way, culminating in a human tunnel through which the birds will fly.
Mottisfont - Beatrix Potter: Play and Childhood exhibition and trail
16th July to 18th September, normal admission charge only
This exhibition of 30 delightful and original Beatrix Potter watercolours and drawings celebrates the 150th anniversary of the author and illustrator’s birth.
The artworks, rarely shown outside of their home in the Lake District, feature some of Beatrix Potter’s most famous characters, from naughty Peter Rabbit to the extremely mischievous Two Bad Mice. You’ll also discover a selection of rare vintage Beatrix Potter dolls and figurines.
Accompanying the exhibition is an action-packed family trail inspired by Beatrix’s playful characters and colourful stories. On set weekends there’s a host of additional Beatrix Potter-themed fun, including storytelling and drop-in sessions with artists. These will run on 30 and 31 July, 13, 14, 27 and 28 August.
Mottisfont – Big Picnic to celebrate Beatrix Potter’s Birthday
28th July, 3 – 4.30pm, normal admission charge only
28th July is Beatrix’s birthday. Bring blankets, picnics and birthday buns and join in the celebrations on the lawn, with storytelling and party games. Favourite cuddly toys are invited too.
The Vyne - tree climbing
23rd July, 5th & 20th August, 2nd September, 10am – 3.45pm, £20, book on 0800 0556760
For a vertical adventure, join the Great Big Tree Climbing Company at The Vyne, and you’ll find yourself entering the canopy of a huge tree, using ropes, knots and karabiners whilst being securely attached in a harness. Two friendly instructors are on hand to help you every step of the way.
Suitable for ages 6 and upwards.
The Vyne - map and compass challenge
7th August, 12pm, normal admission charge plus £3 per child, book on 01256 883858
This outdoor brain-teaser is a great summer challenge. Borrow one of our compasses and put your map reading skills to the test as you hunt down points marked on the map, taking you on an adventure through the orchard and down to the lake. For ages 7 and upwards
The Vyne - teddy-sized raft building
3rd & 31st August, 12pm, normal admission charge plus £3 per child, book on 01256 883858
We’ll equip you with all the materials you need to build your own miniature raft for the rangers’ teddies. Then try it out on our lake and see if it floats. This activity is for rangers’ teddybears only, as they don’t mind going for a swim if they have to!
The Vyne - make a trail with sticks
27thAugust, 12pm, normal admission charge plus £1 per child, book on 01256 883858
We’ll show you how to create your own unique trails using a variety of sticks. Then see if anyone can follow it right to the end.
Winchester City Mill- themed baking demonstrations
10th & 23rd July, 13th August, 3rd September, 11am – 3pm (mill open 10am – 5pm)
This bustling working watermill hosts regular themed baking demonstrations that use the mill’s own stoneground flour to make seasonal treats. You can taste the results too, and take home free recipe cards. Whilst you’re at the mill, experience the full force of the River Itchen as it roars beneath the building – known as the Thrill of the Mill. Don’t forget to view the latest CCTV footage of the mill’s resident otters, who also love the Itchen!
Winchester City Mill – Summertime fun
21st July to 4th September, 10am - 4pm, normal admission charge only
As well as a range of quizzes and trails to take you around this ancient working watermill, participate in our summer challenge everyday throughout the holiday. Are you bold enough to take on the Mill?
Winchester City Mill – A Tudor Wedding
23rd & 25th August, 11:30am & 2pm, normal admission charge only, but booking recommended to avoid disappointment – call 01962 870057 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pedlars and Petticoats will be bringing their costumed characters to the City Mill for four performances only. Meet them and hear about the marriage of Queen Mary I ("Bloody Mary") to Phillip II of Spain, which took place in Winchester Cathedral in 1554. Learn about Tudor customs and habits, find out how to behave at court and, most importantly, how not to lose your head!