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Best NationalTrust places for families

46 replies

beeyourself · 17/06/2019 02:26

We're trying to make the most of our national trust membership this year so thought we'd have a week away hitting as many as possible!

What are the best places that have stuff for under-10s (one preschooler)?

OP posts:

TeenTimesTwo · 18/06/2019 07:18

Mottisfont Abbey nr Romsey, Hants.

They do good children's trails in the holidays.
There is a river walk where you can feed the fish.
They have a small pump/canal/lock system to play with
They have a play area made from tree branches/trunks
Lots of space to run around, a slope to roll down
House has picture exhibitions, often with children's authors
Nice teas

Also, if you have the ££, it is close to Paulton's Park (home of Peppa Pig World) which is a great theme park mainly for under 12s.


freshasthebrightbluesky · 18/06/2019 07:20

freshasthebrightbluesky the new NT in Barnsley is Wentworth Castle Gardens as me and DD went on Sunday (& joined NT). Nice playground for children, baby deer allegedly in deer Park and some lovely grounds to walk in.

Sounds great. Thinking about it, I might have been there many years ago pre dc but I don't remember much about it. I'll have to go back and take my dc at some point!


BikeRunSki · 18/06/2019 07:33

We went to the NT place in Barnsley in Saturday - Wentworth Castle Gardens . We went often when the council owned it, until it closed 2 years ago. Very pleased that it is reopen now, just as lovely, with the addition of scones and golf buggies. Playground is still amazing.


hopeishere · 18/06/2019 07:37

Northern Ireland!! Perfect for a week touring and you'd get six good places visited.


BikeRunSki · 19/06/2019 12:12

I have just come back to this thread the recommend Northern Ireland. The Giant’s Causeway is why I have recently joined the NT.


PopWentTheWeasel · 19/06/2019 12:14

Belton House in Nottinghamshire. Huge woodland playground. Clumber Park as well - the stately home has been demolished but nice grounds and you can do bike hire.


DustyOwl · 19/06/2019 12:17

Corfe castle is pretty cool and you can use your national trust membership to park at Studland to go to the beach for the day!x


Ceara · 19/06/2019 12:22

Came on to say Mottisfont too! In the south of England Avebury Manor is also v child friendly - unusually for an NT property you can sit on/touch everything, except the handpainted wallpaper in one room. It's also in the middle of the stone circle and henge, a world heritage site, and there's an archaeology museum on site too.


hopeishere · 19/06/2019 18:11

@BikeRunSki you do know you don't have to pay to access the Causeway?? It's a bit of a local sore point. Although I do realise the Trust is doing conservation work there.

PortStewart strand is worth the membership!!


BikeRunSki · 19/06/2019 20:04

@hopeishere, yes I realise that and had been told by many people before we even booked the trip! I’m a Geologist and visiting the GC has been a long time in the coming, and I wanted the facilities/info of the visitor centre, and I love a good audio guide. We went to Carrick a Rede twice, and then went to the Lake District at half term. Our membership has paid for itself in 3 months. I go also genuinely support the work the NT does.


bluechameleon · 19/06/2019 20:12

Waddesdon Manor is excellent. Great playground for all ages (one time recently I saw a school party of teenagers having a whale of a time on the big slide and zip wire), aviary, pretty gardens, fun bits of "ruins" to explore, dessert cafe with ice cream and waffles. Plus you go on a bus from the car park for bonus toddler points. They do excellent special events too every school holiday.


Magicpaintbrush · 19/06/2019 20:39

There are lots of lovely National Trust places in Kent, Surrey and Sussex - Ightham Mote, Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Scotney Castle, Chartwell, Emmetts Garden, Bodiam Castle, Nymans, etc. They often do trails and events for children so if you check their website you could visit on a day when they have something fun going on. Also take a look at their '50 things to do before you are 11 and 3/4' booklets.


CanIGoToBedNow · 19/06/2019 20:47

Bodiam is my go to castle for people not from the area - it’s just a fab day out and they often have things on for kids (good Easter events)

Knole is great and you can take bikes and see deer really close up.

Went to Sissinghurst on Thursday and the gardens are just spectacular - took my 4 year old and she was a little bored.

Churchill’s house (can’t remember what it’s called) is a good trip


theluckiest · 19/06/2019 21:20

There's loads of places in the Midlands...
String ham is brilliant for kids: nice house, deer park and a massive play field with a bunker at one end for the kids to disappear into! 9 yr old DS2 loves it but there's enough room for 13 yr old DS1 to take his football & have a kick around too


theluckiest · 19/06/2019 21:20

Oh bollocks autocorrect!!

That should be Attingham!!!!! Argh...


Parkmama · 19/06/2019 22:15

Cliveden - (Near Maidenhead) Beautiful grounds to walk in and nice children's play area and a maze, best in summer, house is a hotel so not one for exploring really

Basildon - (Near Reading) Nice house to explore and lovely walks around the grounds and through the woods (no play area as such) good winter option spending time in the house

The Vyne - (Near Basingstoke) lovely big house to explore and nice grounds

Greys Court - (Near Henley on Thames) nice family home to look around, gardens and grounds to explore with children's play area in the woods

Waddesdon - (Near Aylesbury) visit in November / December when they have the Christmas market and decorate the house, lots to do and very festive

Hughenden Manor - (Near High Wycombe) lovely big house full of history and kitchen gardens to explore, play area of sorts in the woods, great for dog walking


SwimmerGirl40 · 19/06/2019 22:18

Fell Foot park on the opposite side of the lake is nice too. Nice place to swim (adults can stand all the way across as it’s the shallow end of the lake), lovely gardens and park, plus a cafe.

Is the amazing cake shop still at Wray Castle?


CountFosco · 19/06/2019 22:21

I'd look at a map of the properties and go somewhere where there are a lot. Or go to Scotland and explore the NTS sites.

Apropos nothing has your DC got a Blue Peter badge? Get them to send a picture in or something because there's lots of interesting places you can get in for free. Saved us a fortune during half term.


IggyAce · 19/06/2019 22:30

Chirk castle my ds loved learning to sword fight with one of the knights.
Nostell priory lovely play area and great to walk around.
In the North East there is Ormesby Hall they often have activities on during the holidays. They also have model train set up and a Thomas one that the kids can control.
Souter lighthouse always has activities during the school holidays. Plus indoor pirate ship and you learn about smugglers and shipwrecks.
Also recommend Fountains Abbey, Cragside, and Gibside.


Vinorosso74 · 19/06/2019 22:54

My DD enjoys Wallington when we visit family in the north east. Cragside is definitely worth a visit if you're in those parts.


BikeRunSki · 20/06/2019 06:02

Lindisfarne castle, if only for the drive to the island!

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