Polesden Lacey May-hem this Half Term

Come to Polesden Lacey this half term for a bit of May-hem!

Polesden Lacey May-hem

It’s Polesden Lacey May-hem! As part of the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ ‘ campaign, children can choose to hunt for mini-beasts or a spot of orienteering (or even do both like we did!), from 11am every day, Saturday 24 May to Sunday 1 June. We visited on Sunday 25th May, a fine day as far as weather goes too!

For the price of normal admission, plus £1 per activity, pick up a trail journal with lots of information on the bugs you might find in the Polesden grounds, and the best places to start looking. Or find your way around the gardens using only a map and compass. Collect the secret letters, but don’t get lost!

At the end of the trail there are further activities to do – see the world like a fly would by wearing the groovy glasses! Do some bark rubbing on the trees (and we used our new Usborne cards to spot which trees we’d chosen as well) and feel how a fly can walk up a wall.

Polesden Lacey May-Hem

Of course, a trip to Polesden Lacey isn’t complete without a walk around the grounds which these two trails are perfect for – plus they follow the same route so if you’re feeling really adventurous, do both! How else can you check whether you like butter or not? Or spend a quick half hour in the natural play area? While there aren’t many toilets around the grounds, there are plenty of refreshment stops, which we made good use of (as well as the fantastic cafe as you come in which was well replenished and had freshly baked food on offer).

’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ is a great way for your family to enjoy a day out together, including trails, activities and loads of inspirational ideas.

You can visit any participating National Trust place to pick up your 50 things scrapbook; then download a planner to find out where to tick off the activities in your area at nationaltrust.org.uk/southeast.

You can log your adventures, unlock secret challenges and collect rewards at nationaltrust.org.uk/50things.

Can You Pledge One Hour?

A typical working week in this house involves me leaving around 7.20 and Shaun arriving home around 6.40. This isn’t a unique situation we’re in, and is the norm for most people living in London. Add your commute of up to an hour each way and being at work eats into your day. Andy Stephenson from Weekend Box commissioned a survey recently, and based on the results created Pledge One Hour.

pledge one hour

Pledge One Hour works on the idea that you make sure for one hour a day you spend some quality family time together – and with that is a website with suggestions for activities you can do together.

This all came about as after a survey by Fly Research asked 1,100 parents how much time they spent with their children.

* 40% of parents get less than 1 hour per day of quality time with their children

* 83% want to spend more time with their children and 95% felt that doing activities together made them feel closer as a family.

* 73% cited not having easy access to activities and resources as the biggest barrier to spending more time with their children.

Which is where Pledge One Hour comes in. We’ve reviewed Weekend Box earlier this year and found them great fun. Using everyday objects it did a lot of the thinking for us, and everything is still being played with now. We’re also working through the 50 Things National Trust activity suggestions when we can, so imagine something that covers both?

There are three sections on the website – Explore the Great Outdoors, Indoor Arts & Crafts and Child-Friendly Recipes. They’re all based around things which you should already have – be it sitting outside listening to birds, baking some Popcorn Cupcakes (oh yes!) or just making a miniature kite from an old plastic bag (a Weekend Box activity we’re still getting a lot of play from!) – there’s a lot of choice and it doesn’t cost a lot of money to do it.

As Andy says, “I don’t want to live in a world where parents and children face greater detachment due to the pressures of daily life, where children are left to entertain themselves with solitary screen time or mindless toys that fall short of adding any sensory value to their development. We can’t change the world overnight, but lots of little steps will help to break down those barriers.”

David Bond, Film-maker of Project Wild Thing said: “Our kids are spending almost a third of their waking hours staring at screens and the evidence is clear that this has a serious impact on their health and wellbeing.”

So can you do it? Can you Pledge One Hour? Come and join in – use the hashtag #pledgeonehour and share what you’re doing – with this beautiful weather right now it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and do something fun!

Making Homes for Wildlife – a National Trust Event

There’s a lovely National Trust event to help build homes for our feathered garden friends, making homes for wildlife!

Making Homes For Wildlife

The National Trust on the Surrey Hills are celebrating National Nest Box week (14 – 21 February). As spring seems to have sprung along the North Downs, National Trust Ranger Rob Hewer and his team of woodworkers have decided to host a nest box making event.

Anyone can join this fun woodworking event on Friday 21 February from 10am until 1pm at Westcott near Dorking. Tickets cost £15 per person and include all materials, a cup of tea and of course your beautiful new des res for your feathered garden friends.

Ranger Rob says “as spring seems to be a little early this year, it’s even more important that we help our garden birds. February is a time that they will be prospecting for nest sites; somewhere safe, dry and away from drafts and strong winds is what they’re after”. Rob continues; “all the wood that we use has been felled on the Surrey Hills, meaning that the boxes you make are made from the best local produce”.

Booking is essential for the event and reservations can be made by calling 01372 220644

 

Morden Hall Park Dig It!

On Sunday we headed to Morden Hall Park to check out a new event, ‘Dig It’ – a free one designed for younger children to help them learn about things humans have left behind, and what they did with them in their lives.

Morden Hall Park Dig It

For H, this was tons of fun – objects range from tiles to bits of pottery, a thimble, a CD or even a large shell. We haven’t had the sandpit out since the weather was warmer so having a good dig for things kept her occupied for a while. Afterwards you can draw pictures of the things you’ve dug up (which are of course put back into the sandpit for someone else to dig up).

It’s simple stuff, but ties in with Morden Hall Park’s current Archaeology exhibition to make it interesting for younger children. To join in (it runs until early March), head to the Stable Yard where you’ll find it within the visitor centre.

Morden Hall Park floods

Afterwards of course there’s plenty to do around the grounds – we headed to the Natural Play Area which unfortunately was flooded! If you go, take wellies. Instead we had a wander around the grounds. It’s also worth pointing out that Morden Hall Park is a cycle and scooter friendly National Trust place if you wanted your child to have a go (although also be aware the River Wandle runs in several places through the grounds!).

We’re lucky, Morden Hall Park can be visited (for us) by bus, and has many happy memories whenever we go. There are lots of activities planned in the coming months, head over to the National Trust website to find out more.

H Loves Morden Hall Park

February Half Term with the National Trust

Have an activity packed half term this February with the National Trust!

If the children have been stuck indoors this winter, then February half term is the perfect opportunity for the whole family to get outside and create special memories at some of our places.

Across the country, many National Trust places will be hosting fun family events during the half term week, from trails and craft activities to building dens! You can even tick off some of your 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ with cooking on a campfire and wild art making on offer.

Here are the top family places for a fun day out this half term:

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
The household returns: half term trail, 15 – 23 February, 11am – 4pm
Join in some half term fun with trails and craft activities around the castle as the Bodiam household comes to life again after the winter. Our half term activities centre around the re-opening of the castle as it would have been in medieval times, when the family returned from their winter residence.
Normal admission charges apply: a small additional charge applies for activities.
For more information, please call 01580 830196

Carding Mill Valley and the Shropshire Hills, Shropshire
Kite chaos! 17 – 21 February, 11am– 3pm
Come along and make a kite to fly in the valley. Watch it soar over the heather-covered hills with stunning views of the Shropshire Hills – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Normal admission charges apply – ticket price £2 per item
Booking is not required
For more information, please call Emily Knight, 01694 725000

Cherryburn, Northumberland
Bewick’s boredom busters! 24, 25, 27 & 28 February, 11am – 3pm
Discover the birth place of Thomas Bewick, perhaps one of Northumberland’s greatest artists. Enjoy Cherryburn as Thomas Bewick did as a young lad with free outdoor adventures, including toasting marshmallows at the campfire!
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For further information, please call Cherryburn on 01661 843276

Claremont Landscape GardensClaremont Landscape Garden, Surrey
February half term children’s trail, 15 – 23 February, 10am – 3.30pm
Have fun in the outdoors this February half term. Join us for some activities suitable for children of all ages and guaranteed fun, whatever the weather! Get some fresh air as you walk around this green oasis in the heart of Surrey and enjoy the garden with our children’s trail during the half term holiday. Remember to look out for the thatched cottage, a Victorian refuge filled with fun toys, games, picnic rugs and dressing up clothes.
Normal admission charges apply – trail price 50 pence
Booking is not required
For further information, please call 01372 467806

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
Winter wassailing craft activities, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27 February, 12pm – 3pm
Help us prepare for our winter wassailing in the walled kitchen garden. Make a wassailing wand or a rosy red robin to hang in our orchards, then come back on Sunday 2nd March and help us bless our orchard trees with a traditional Wassailing ceremony. Everybody is welcome!
Normal admission charges apply
For more information, please call 01909 511092

Cotehele, Cornwall
50 things: make some wild art, 18 February, 11am – 3pm
Join us at Cotehele this half term and explore the Tudor house and gardens, perched high above the River Tamar. Get creative by gathering natural materials from the garden and woodlands to create some wild art. Not only will you have lots of fun, you’ll be able to tick off number 18 of your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’. Why not create a visual diary and collage to remind you of your trip to Cotehele.
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01579 351346

Cotehele, Cornwall
February half term fun, 18, 19 & 20 February 11am – 3pm
Join us at Cotehele this half term and explore the Tudor house and gardens, perched high above the River Tamar. Pull on your wellies and have some fun in the outdoors during half term. You’ll be able to tick off some of your ‘50 things’ with wild art making, cooking on a campfire and bush craft activities. For cooking on a campfire: bring your own food and help make a fire to cook a campfire feast for yourself.
Normal admission charges apply.
Booking not necessary for art & campfire
For more information, please call Cotehele 01579 351346 press 0

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
School holiday fun, 15 – 23 February, 10am – 4pm
Follow the clues around the abbey, water garden and medieval deer park to find out about the simple life of the monks who used to live here – could you have followed their strict rules? Then be a grand guest in the water gardens, following clues and finding out about the glamorous Georgian times when the gardens were made. Solve all the clues and you could win a prize!
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01765 608888

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
Funky flying things, 15 – 22 February, 10am – 4pm
Get your craft hats on as we give you all the necessary materials to make your own pet dragonfly! Make it as simple or as fabulous as you like and whizz them home when you’re done.
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01765 608888

Gibside, Tyne & Wear
Spring into spring: half term family fun, 17 – 21 February, 11am – 3pm
There’s lots going on this half term at Gibside, a stunning landscape park and nature reserve nestled on the edge of the city. Take part in the free springtime family activities and outdoor escapades every day of half term. Join us for explorer Monday, foodie Tuesday, wild Wednesday, adventure Thursday and fab Friday.
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For more information, please call Gibside 01207 541820

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire
Bird box building, 11 – 13 February, 11am – 3pm
Bring all the family to Kedleston Hall this half term and enjoy this spectacular mansion and parkland. Make a bird box with our outdoors team for the feathered friends visiting your garden this spring. All materials provided.
Normal admission charges apply – £7.50 per bird box
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01332 84219

Knightshayes Court, Devon
Family fun whatever the weather, 15 – 23 February, 11am – 5pm
Knightshayes Court is a country estate on a grand scale. Enjoy the glorious gardens surrounding the gothic revival house over the February half term as we celebrate the great outdoors. Fancy a gander at golf? A dabble in croquet? Find out about the unusual sports linking to Knightshayes in our trail and take the chance to give a couple of them a go. Round everything off with a locally sourced lunch in our café, as we do our best to help you eat well, move more and live longer.
Normal admission charges apply – ticket price £2 per child
Booking is not required
For more information, please call Knightshayes 01884 254665

Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village, Wiltshire
Dark sky discovery day, 17 February, 10.30am – 3.30pm
Lacock Abbey is looking to the stars this half term. Discover the wonderful world of space and star photography with experts from the Science and Technologies Facilities Council. This is a drop in event with lots of hands-on exploration and fun craft activities. Plus, meet Nick Howes, an award winning star photographer and find out how to look at the skies with Wiltshire Astronomical Society. This event is inspired by the ‘Earth and Sky’ photographic exhibition currently showing in the Fox Talbot Museum. The exhibition displays pictures of beautiful starry skies, close-ups of planets, and breath-taking images taken by the Hubble telescope.
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For more information, please call visitor reception on 01249 730459

Mottisfont, Hampshire
Wildlife week, 15 – 23 February, 10am – 11am
Join us this half term and learn about the hard work local groups do to look after our wildlife. See what you can discover amongst the crystal clear river, babbling brook and ancient trees. Pick up a trail from visitor reception and meet the wildlife experts each day in the stables.
Normal admission charges apply
For more information, please call 01794 344020

Newark Park, Gloucestershire
Snowdrop week, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23 February, 11am – 4pm
During this half term week come and have fun as a family. Newark has a fantastic show of snowdrops in a lovely setting. Take a walk through the glade to see spectacular snowdrop displays, then grab a hot drink and warm up with a walk around the house. With real snowdrops and other flowers carpeting our woodland, there will also be a snowdrop trail for children. The Cotswold estate has three marked trails to explore too. The house will be open, so come inside to warm up and enjoy our quirky interiors and spectacular views.
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01793 817666

Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire
Half term fun, 15 – 23 February, 11am – 5pm
Discover Nunnington’s beasts among the Yorkshire manor house and gardens. Themed family activities will be happening throughout half term, including a children’s trail to keep all family members entertained.
Normal admission charges apply – ticket price £8.25 per adult
Booking is required
For more information, please call 01439 748283

Packwood House, West Midlands
Family fun days – February half term, 15 – 23 February, 10am – 3pm
Take the family to this Tudor house, park and gardens for half term. Pull on your wellies and head off on the welly walk through the woods – build a den, play hoop-la, splash in the puddles and have your own family adventure. Take a stroll around the lake and see if you can spot our Canada geese.
Normal admission charges apply
For more information, please call 01564 782024

Polesden-under-snow-©National-Trust-Images-Nick-MeersPolesden Lacey, Surrey
Half term activities, 15 – 23 February, 10am – 4pm
Come and have fun at Polesden Lacey this half term. The whole family can enjoy this country retreat with fine views across the rolling Surrey Hills. There’s a lot to explore with garden trails, adventure play area and loads of wide open spaces to run free.
Normal admission charges apply, plus £1 per child
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01372 452048

Rievaulx Terrace, North Yorkshire
Half-term fun!, 15 – 23 February, 11am – 3pm
Take part in our children’s trail amongst one of Yorkshire’s finest landscape gardens, tick off activities on the ’50 things’ list, take a walk through the woodland or discover our natural play area.
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For further information, please call 01439 748283

Rufford Hall, Lancashire
Half term: tudor games, 15 – 23 February, 11am – 3.30pm
Bring your little lords and ladies to try their hand at Tudor games in the Great Hall. They can follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare as it was believed he performed here as a young lad.
Normal admission charges apply
For more information, please call 01704 821254

Saltram, Devon
February half-term, 15 – 23 February, 12pm – 3pm
Get out this half-term and explore Saltram – a magnificent Georgian house in the Devonshire countryside. Make the most of half-term and join us at for games, activities, trails and tours inside and out. See if you can spot the snowdrops that have just woken up from winter.
House activities at the weekends only.
Normal admission charges apply
For more information, please call 01752 333500

Studland Beach, Dorset
Go wild, 15 – 23 February, 10am – 3pm
Join us on Studland beach, a vast area of golden coastline and heathland for a self-led den building, wild art, orienteering and geocaching this half term. Get your ‘50 things’ list out and start ticking off those activities!
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For more information, please call Studland Office 01929 450500

Stackpole, Pembrokeshire
February half term ‘50 Things to do before you’re 11¾’ challenge, 27 & 28 February, 11am – 1pm
There’s nothing quite like fresh air, exercise and family time spent on this beautiful stretch of coastline with sandy beaches, wooded valleys and lily ponds. You can’t beat the fun you’ll have in the great outdoors, creating memories that will last a lifetime. But sometimes convincing your kids to get outside can be a bit of a struggle. We want to encourage kids to get mucky, discover their wild side and most of all enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer! Join us on Stackpole court site to get your ‘50 Things’ challenge started.
Normal admission charges apply – ticket price £2 per child
Booking is not required
For more information, please call Stackpole Centre reception 01646 66142

Standen, West Sussex
Half term family fun, 15 – 23 February, 11am – 4pm
Come and join us for fun family trails and activities in our Arts and Crafts house and hillside garden.
Normal admission charges apply, small charge for some activities
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01342 323029

Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
February half term holiday fun! Gruesome graves tour, 17, 19 & 20 February, 2pm – 3.30pm
Explore an Anglo-Saxon royal burial site this half term. Join a special tour of the burial mounds for youngsters but don’t forget to bring an adult! Walk around the ancient land and discover the incredible story of the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon king. Have an adventure and meet the King lying in state surrounded by his treasure or dress up as an Anglo-Saxon for the day.
Normal admission charges apply
Book on the day
For more information, please call 01394 389700

Tudor Merchant’s House, Pembrokeshire
Half term Tudor fun, 15 February – 02 March, 11am – 2.30pm
If you’re visiting Tenby during half term week, why not call in and play our Tudor Family Fortunes game? Will you be the merchant or the scullion? Find out about the ups and downs of daily life for this busy Tudor family in the year 1500.
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01834 842279

The Vyne, Hampshire
The big tree climb comes to The Vyne, 20 February, 11am – 5pm
Join us to climb some very big tree indeed! As part of ‘50 things to do before your 11 and 3/4’, we bring you The Great Big Tree Climbing Company. Two friendly instructors help all ages reach new heights at an oak tree deep in our woodland. They will teach you how to enter a tree’s canopy using 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 on the ground and if you’re feeling brave you take the zip wire back down! Suitable for ages 6 to 100! For details about how we can adapt activities for those with special needs please contact adam@bigtreeclimbing.co.uk in advance.
Booking essential, please call 07584 088662 or please book online: http://thevynetreeclimbing.eventbrite.co.uk/20/02/2014
Ticket Price: £15 each

Tyntesfield, Avon
Fab Feb half term fun 2014, 15 – 23 February, 11am – 4pm
Follow our Fab Feb trail around the Victorian country house and gardens, take part in some family orienteering through the parkland and join in all of the outdoor activities on offer, there’s a lot to keep you busy! The trail runs every day during half term and costs £2.50 per trail (includes a prize).
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For further information, please call 01275 461 964

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire
Family cookery school, 20 & 21 February, 9.30am – 1.30pm or 2pm – 5.30pm
Waddeston Manor is the ideal place to become a master chef this half term .Have fun creating a selection of goodies with our team of chefs. The course will include lunch or afternoon tea, all cookery ingredients and a goody box to take home. Suitable for children 7-11 years of age. Choose from two sessions 9.30am – 1.30pm – with lunch or 2pm – 5.30pm with afternoon tea.
Places limited to 15 adults and 15 children for each session – ticket price £20 per person
Booking advisable, please call 01296 653226

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire
Knights’ and princesses’ week, 15 – 23 February, 11am – 4pm
Join us during February half term for knights and princesses week; make your own swords, crowns and tiaras in the coach house at the stables. Hunt for the hidden shields on our trail around the gardens.
Normal admission charges apply – ticket prices £2 per child
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01296 653226

Winchester City Mill, Hampshire
Terrible Tudor’s half term fun at Winchester City Mill, 15 – 23 February, 11am – 4pm
This year we are celebrating the 460 year anniversary since Queen Mary Tudor made a Royal gift of the City Mill to the people of Winchester. Family activities include – quizzes, trails and make and take sessions. Discover how our freshly milled stone-ground flour can be combined with a wide variety of locally grown produce to make Tudor period bread, cakes and other treats.
Normal admission charges apply
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01962 870057

Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire
Den building, 23 February, 10.30am – 12.30pm, 2pm – 4pm
Come along to a fun family event and have a go at building your own den in our woodland belts. Guided by our staff and volunteers utilise fallen branches, leaves and other natural materials to build your den, and then watch it be ‘tested’ at the end of the session.
Booking is essential, tickets £2.50 each
For more information, please call 0844 249 1895

Woolacombe, Mortehoe and Ilfracombe, Devon
Family bash & burn day, 18 February 11am – 3pm
Bring your kids and join the Woolacombe rangers at Mortehoe to clear the bushes which threaten the grassland flowers. We will then build a bonfire and use it to toast marshmallows. We will provide you with child friendly equipment and show you how to have fun whilst working safely. This is a great way for active families to let off a bit of steam during the half term break!
Booking is not required
For more information, please call 01271 870555

It’s Snowdrop Time with the National Trust

Roll out the white carpet, it’s snowdrop time with the National Trust!

Nymans snowdrops ©National Trust Images Stephen Robson

For that first glimpse of spring, the places cared for by the National Trust have beautiful displays of snowdrops across the country. The delicate white flowers transform woodlands floors in early spring and are the first signs of life after the winter months.

Matthew Oates, Nature and Wildlife expert for the National Trust, said “In the garden, the pinnacles of snowdrop leaves provide the very first sign of spring. The flowers themselves arrive later in pure white glory and, on mild, late winter days, are beloved by honey bees. They are best seen in half-light and, of course, amidst the winter snow.”

From stunning bulb meadows to the UK’s largest winter garden, here are the special National Trust places to enjoy a family day out surrounded by snowdrops:

Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire

Anglesey’s garden has 240 different varieties of snowdrop scattered across 114 acres. Meander through the paths and soak up the fabulous show that the garden offers during this time. But snowdrops will not be all that you see: the winter garden shows coloured tree barks, winter flowering shrubs, ground cover plants and even the first signs of daffodils.

Special snowdrop tours, weekdays from 3 February – 9 March, 2pm

Join a special weekday tour at 2pm to uncover Anglesey Abbe’s fascinating snowdrop story and gain expert advice from the gardening team.

Booking is advisable on 01223 810080.

General admission charges apply, free tour.

Booking advisable, please call 01223 810080.

The Argory, Co. Armagh

This spectacular riverside estate has a stunning display of snowdrops and other beautiful spring bulbs throughout February. Snowdrop self-guided walks run every Saturday and Sunday in the month, where the scenic walk shows off the garden as the frost thaws, with stunning backdrop of sweeping vistas. There are also delicate snowdrop plants available to buy in the shop and children can enjoy the adventure playground.

Snowdrop walks, 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 February 12pm-5pm

After a self-guided walk through the blankets of wonderful snowdrops that cover the estate, enjoy a warm refreshment in the courtyard coffee shop.

Normal admission charges apply. Booking is not required

For more information, please call 028 8778 4753

Attingham Park, Shropshire

Watch the woodland floor transform into a stunning carpet of snowdrops during Attingham’s snowdrop season. Stroll around this great estate near Shrewsbury, look out for deer and see sprinkles of the delicate swowdrops in beautiful parkland, designed to impress.

Snowdrop evening walk, 21-23 February, 5.30pm – 8pm

Walk up to the bothy along the mile walk and follow the candles and fairy lights through the woods to experience the park and snowdrops in a different light. At the end, step into the warmth of the Bothy and enjoy a cup of mulled wine.

Booking is not required for this event.

Park and grounds admission charges apply.
For more information please call 01743 708123.

Belton House, Lincolnshire

With delightful gardens, a luxuriantly planted orangery and lakeside walks, Belton is a pleasure to explore all year round and never more so as the early signs of spring creep in. Don’t miss the delicate displays of snowdrops that melt away all your thoughts of winter.

Normal admission charges apply.

For more information please call 01476 566116

Chirk Castle, Wrexham
Chase away those winter blues with a bracing walk around the beautiful gardens and woodland at Chirk. Glimpses of the spring bulbs can be found throughout the garden, scattered between clipped yews, herbaceous borders, shrub and rock gardens, as well as drifting along the woodland floor.

Snowdrop days, 1-28 February, 10am-4pm

See the pleasure ground wood carpeted with delicate snowdrops, a sure sign that spring is on its way. Explore the medieval tower and dungeon and then warm up with homemade soup or a delicious slice of cake in the tea-room.

Normal admission charges apply.

Booking is not required for this event.

For more information, please call 01691 777701.

Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Thousands of snowdrops will bloom in Britain’s largest winter garden at Dunham Massey. The garden contains almost 700 different plant species and a further 1,600 shrubs specifically bred for the seven-acre wonder. January heralds the first signs of spring, where clusters of over 100,000 double and single snowdrops and 20,000 narcissi bloom amongst the trees.

Garden admission charges apply.

For more information, please call 0161 941 1025.

 Attingham snowdrops, credit Harriet Clarke

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Yorkshire
Set in 323 hectares of beautiful countryside, this World Heritage Site offers an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate Britain’s heritage and natural beauty. Early spring is the perfect time to explore the picturesque abbey ruins and amble through the beautiful landscaped Georgian water garden, surrounded by white carpets of snowdrops. This is a stunning sight that dates back to the 19th-century, when Earl de Grey planted snowdrops to spell out his name along the backs of the river Skell.
Normal admission charges apply.

For more information please call 01765 608888.

Make a weekend of it: Turn a visit to this magnificent site into a long weekend in a unique cottage. With eleven holiday cottages on offer, including apartments in the luxurious Fountains Hall and five cottages converted from a group of 18th-Century farm buildings, there’s something for everyone.

Ickworth, Suffolk

Throughout Ickworth Park, along the oak walk and the trim trail, snowdrops are complemented by the golden glow of aconites. Geraldine’s and Erskine’s walks are woken from their winter sleep by Galanthus‘s arnott, a relatively large snowdrop with a strong honey scent providing a feast for the eyes and nose. Discover amazing views of the estate or warm up in the west wing restaurant with delicious food and drink (Friday to Tuesday).

Garden admission charges apply.

For more information please call 01284 735270.

Make a weekend of it: Stay at the heart of the estate in one of Ickworth’s four cottages: there’s the quirky round house set in an enchanting woodland glade, two redbrick Victorian cottages in the parkland and the former head gardener’s cottage with its own walled garden.

Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Kingston Lacy welcomes a dazzling blanket of snowdrops each year. The garden wakes up to spring in January and February when thousands of bulbs burst through the soil, transforming the garden into a sea of white. Special snowdrop openings are a tradition at Kingston Lacy so visitors can wander through the displays and salute this first welcome sign of spring.

Park and garden admission charges apply.

For more information please call 01202 883402.

Make a weekend of it: With pink walls and a thatched roof, 524 Pamphill Green Cottage is a delightful semi-detached cottage tucked away in a quiet part of the Kingston Lacy estate.

 Kingston Lacy, Lady walk snowdrops©National Trust Images Richard Pink

Mottisfont, Hampshire

Snowdrops thrive along the banks of the Font stream, where the warmer water creates its own microclimate, teasing them into bloom a week or two before their companions in colder corners of the garden. Elsewhere, the open acres of the river garden are magically transformed by drifts of purest white.

Snowdrop walks, 15-16 and 22-23 February 10.30-11.30am, 12.30-1.30pm and 2-3pm.

Take a walk through the grounds with Mottisfont’s knowledgeable guides and witness the beauty of the wild snowdrops that carpet the woodland, heralding that spring is finally on its way.

Normal admission charges apply.

Booking is not required for this event.

For more information, please call 07769301992.

 

Newark Park, Gloucestershire                   

At Newark Park there are snowdrop drifts throughout the garden and they mingle with aconites and cyclamen to give a very impressive show. There are six varieties and Newark is a haven for Gloucestershire galanthophiles.

Snowdrop week, 15-16 & 19-23 February, 11am-4pm

During half term week, why not have fun as a family at Newark Park, following the snowdrop trail around the estate. Get the children to have a closer look at the flowers and take a photo to create a special snowdrop memory.

Normal admission charges apply. Booking is not required for this event.

For more information, please call 01793 817666.

 

Nymans, West Sussex

This 20th-century garden is famed for its amazing collection of rare and important plants. At the start of spring, spot wonderful displays of snowdrops as well as camellias and magnolias underplanted with a host of daffodils and grape hyacinths. The bulb meadow in the walled garden is full of snowdrops and early narcissus and there are rare hellebores all around the garden.

By Valentine’s Day, over 150 different types of plant are flowering at Nymans and our snowdrop drifts offer cool contrasts to fiery witch hazel oranges and the rich red stems of our dogwoods.

Garden admission charges apply.

For more information please call 01444 405250.

Make a weekend of it: For people who love being close to nature, a stay at Woodlands Cottage is a great way to discover Nymans. The perfect retreat, the pretty cottage is surrounded by beautiful lakes and woodland walks.

 

To plan a family day out with the National Trust visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

 

To book a holiday cottage visit: www.nationaltrustcottages.co.uk

Have yourself a National Trust Christmas!

Christmas is a time for traditions, from those passed down through generations of families, to new discoveries that become part of your festive celebrations – why not have yourself a National Trust Christmas this year – there’s plenty on offer.

For many, a day out at a beautiful National Trust house and garden is already a Christmas ‘must do’. Over the festive season, National Trust places will be decked out with Christmas sparkle, Father Christmas will pay a visit to special grottos and atmospheric estates will be packed full of family traditions, old and new, to bring to life Christmas through the ages.

Here’s a selection of top National Trust Christmas days out for all the family:

National Trust Christmas treats

Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire
1920s Christmas experience, 23-24 November, 30 November-1 December, 7-8 and 14-15 December, 11am-4pm
For the second year running, Nunnington Hall will be celebrating Christmas, 1920s style. Join the team for a festive experience to remember as you discover the Hall as you might have found it on Christmas day over 90 years ago. Your visit to will take you on a journey through the different stages of Christmas day in the Fife family household. You can also experience the tastes of a 1920s Christmas in the house, with sherry in the dining room and sugared almonds in the drawing room. Throughout the day, there’ll be hair and make-up demonstrations on how to achieve an iconic 1920s look, perfect for a Christmas party.
Normal admission charges apply,
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01439 748283.

Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire
Winter lights festival, 29 November-1 December, 6-8 and 13-15 December, 5.30pm-7.30pm
Enjoy a night-time family adventure as illuminations transform the gardens at Anglesey Abbey into a light-fantastic wonderland with music, food and entertainment.
Visitors can enjoy a one-mile circular walk through the winter garden and along the riverside path, taking in iconic features such as the mystical, Himalayan silver birch grove. There will also be live music along the route, with entertainers performing dazzling light displays, and opportunities to taste delicious, barbecued local fare, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.
Adults £10.50, Child £7.50, family ticket £32 (2 adults and up to 3 children).
Booking is essential via the National Trust Box Office on 0844 249 1895.

Osterley Park and House, Middlesex
Deck the halls, 30 November-1 December, 12pm-4pm
Christmas riches to rations, 7-8 and 14-15 December, 12pm-4pm
Take a journey through Osterley’s past this Christmas and see how the celebrations have changed throughout the years, following fashions and fortunes in the decorated house. There will also be lots of fun activities to enjoy on the ground floor and you can also pop to the shop for a unique selection of gifts.
Normal admission charges apply.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 020 8232 5050.

Petworth House & Park, Petworth, West Sussex
A festive feast for the eyes, 30 November- 22 December (Saturday to Wednesday), 10.30am-3.30pm.
Petworth House is hosting a month-long spectacular for a unique Christmas experience. In the historic kitchens, you can journey through a series of darkened rooms, each one hosting an imagined culinary scene, brought to life with dramatic lighting, atmospheric sounds and kitchen characters in extraordinary costumes. In the centre of the hectic kitchen is a show-stopping gingerbread recreation of Petworth House, complete with twinkling lights, and a dusting of snow. In the scullery, an exhausted kitchen maid slumps into a pool of soapy bubbles overflowing from a sink stacked with dirty dishes. Giant fish float in a flooded larder, while in the frosted dining room there are ‘frozen’ floral arrangements and a sparkling, snow-covered floor. Throughout the journey, children can enjoy looking out for scurries of servant mice hiding in pots, pans, nooks and crannies, preparing their own, splendid miniature feast.
Visitors can round off this magical adventure with a delicious fantasy-themed menu in the restaurant with dishes such as green ham and eggs, mock, mock turtle soup and advocaat and cinnamon Jelly. A children’s menu is also available, serving delights including an over-the-top pudding known as ‘chocco bocker glory’.
Adult £6, child £3.
Booking is advised on 0844 249 1895, entry with timed tickets.

Standen, West Sussex
Garden of lights, 30 November – 1 December, 6-8, 13-15 & 20-22 December, 4.30pm – 7pm (last entry 6.30pm)
Explore the gardens at Standen, magically transformed by thousands of lights to the story of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker’. Warm up in the Barn cafe with some festive treats and visit the shop to browse for Christmas gifts.
Adult £6, Child £3, Family £15.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01342 323029.

Mottisfont, Hampshire
The Swan Queen’s ball: Christmas at Mottisfont, 1 December– 5 January 2014 (except 24 and 25 December), 11am – 5pm
Come on a magical journey as the Swan Queen prepares for the ball. As the frost glitters and the mist rises from Mottisfont’s river, discover a winter wonderland of beautiful trees, decorated rooms and stunning evening gowns from ‘Talons & Tiaras’.
Children can race around the grounds on a magical quest trail to solve the mystery of the Swan Queen’s secret and gain entry to her palace. There are sparkly dresses and handsome cloaks to try on in the boudoir, and crafty fun making tiaras and crowns. Then it’s time to join the Swan Queen at her ball in a beautiful room filled with sparkling lights and dancing silhouette shadows, and at the centre, an 18th-century style swan feather ball gown.
Special weekend events are also on offer, including dance classes.
Normal admission charges apply.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01794 344020.

Father Christmas at Killerton, Devon ©National Trust Images, Arnhel de Serra National Trust Christmas

Killerton, Devon
A Christmas Carol, 4 December – 5 January (closed 25-26 December & 1 January), 11am – 4pm
Experience the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future and follow the Christmas trails in the house and park. See stunning displays in the house as you follow Scrooge to find the meaning of Christmas. Feel festive with Christmas trees, lights and the magic behind this festive classic.
Normal admission charges apply.
Booking is not required, for more information please contact 01392 881345.
Make a weekend of it: Take your pick from one of five cottages on the estate. There’s Forest Cottage (sleeps 6), Killerton Park Cottage (sleeps 4) Longmeadow (sleeps 4), or one of three adjoining cottages (once a medieval thatched farmhouse) which includes Mattress Cottage (sleeps 5) and Broad Ley Cottage (sleeps 6).

Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate, Cheshire
A Victorian Christmas at the mill, 7-8 and 14-15 December, 11am-3pm
Join the festive fun at Quarry Bank Mill with its traditional Christmas weekends. Meet the Victorian characters and find out more about customs from the past. Tell Father Christmas what’s on your Christmas list. Enjoy Christmas carols, stories and finish your day with a warming mince pie.
Normal admission charges apply.
Booking is not required, for more information please contact 01625 527468.

Attingham Park, Shropshire
Lord Berwicks’ Christmas, 7-8 and 14-23 December, 11am-4pm
Step back in time and enjoy festivities from Attingham’s 200-year history with the house decorated for Christmas through the ages. On selected dates, step through the magical door and join Father Christmas and his elves in the mansion.
Normal admission charges apply, ticket charge £6.50 per child’s visit to Father Christmas, including a gift.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01743 708123.

Wallington, Northumberland
Christmas at Wallington, 6-8, 13-15 & 20-22 December, 10.30am–3.30pm
Experience a traditional Christmas at Wallington. Admire the beautiful decorations and enjoy carol singing and seasonal music in the house as you soak up the special Christmas atmosphere. There’s also the chance to try some Christmas crafts, follow the festive trail and hear stories with Mrs Santa.
Normal admission charges apply, plus a small charge for some activities.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01670 773600.

Chirk Castle, Wrexham
Christmas at Chirk Castle, 7-22 December 11am – 4pm
Celebrate the festive season with Chirk Castle. See the beautifully-decorated rooms, meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto and discover where all the toys are made in the elves workshop. There’s also the chance to browse for unusual gifts in the National Trust shop or sample delicious festive fair in the tea-room.
Adult £5.25, Child £2.63, plus £3 to visit Father Christmas.
Booking is not required, for more information please call 01691 777701
Make a weekend of it: Stay bang next door to the castle in Chirk Home Farm Cottage which sleeps four or stay in a 1930s villa at the top of Offa’s Dyke, with views that are second to none (sleeps five).

Springhill, Co. Londonderry
Magical Christmas memories, 7-8 & 14-5 December, 4pm – 8pm
Visit Santa and Twinkle-Boots in the grotto and see the house festively decorated for Christmas. With children’s crafts, mulled wine and mince pies, this will be a magical Christmas you will never forget.
Adult £9, Child £12.
Booking is essential for this event, please call 028 8674 8210.

Project Wild Thing

It’s time to re-wild our kids with more wild time – here’s Project Wild Thing!

Project Wild Thing is a film and part of the UK’s biggest ever campaign to reconnect children with nature and outdoor play. It is being launched today by the newly formed Wild Network, as it encourages the nation’s parents to swap some of their kids’ screen time for wild time [1].

 

Project Wild Thing

Swapping thirty minutes of screen time for an extra half an hour of wild time every day would decrease children’s time in front of screens by ten per cent [2]. This could help increase levels of physical activity, alertness and ultimately improve their well-being [3].

This new campaign is being launched on the back of an important and compelling new documentary film, Project Wild Thing, which is being shown at over fifty cinemas across the UK from the 25 October [4].

Three years in the making, Project Wild Thing takes a funny and moving look at one of the most complex issues of the age – the increasingly fragile link between children and nature.

In a bid to get his daughter and son off the sofa and outdoors, filmmaker and father David Bond appoints himself as the Marketing Director for Nature.  He wants his brand – nature – to stand out from the crowd of brands competing for their attention.

David works with branding and outdoor experts to develop and launch a campaign to get children outdoors and into nature – the ultimate, free, wonder-product.

Filmmaker and star of Project Wild Thing, David Bond, said: “I wanted to understand why my children’s childhood is so different from mine, whether this matters and if it does, what I can do about it.

“The reasons why kids, whether they live in cities or the countryside, have become disconnected from nature and the outdoors are complex.

Project Wild Thing isn’t some misty eyed nostalgia for the past; we need to make more space for wildtime in children’s daily routine, freeing this generation of kids to have the sort of experiences that many of us took for granted.

Project Wild Thing

“It’s all about finding wildness on your doorstep and discovering the sights, sounds and smells of nature, whether in a back garden, local park or green space at the end of the road.

“Spending time outdoors is hugely beneficial to children and young people. Research clearly shows that it improves their health, reduces stress and boosts wellbeing.”

The Wild Network [5], which is made up of more than 370 organisations, large and small, is leading a campaign calling for more wild time for every child, every day. Members of the network include the National Trust, RSPB, Play England and the NHS Sustainable Development Unit.

Andy Simpson, Chair of the Wild Network, said: “The tragic truth is that kids have lost touch with nature and the outdoors in just one generation.

“Time spent outdoors is down [6], roaming ranges have fallen drastically [7], activity levels are declining [8] and the ability to identify common species has been lost [9].

“New research published last week illustrates the scale of the challenge with only one in five (21 per cent) children aged eight to twelve years old having a connection with nature [10].

“With many more parents becoming concerned about the dominance of screen time in their children’s lives [11], and growing scientific evidence that a decline in active time is bad news for the health and happiness of our children [12], we all need to become Marketing Directors for Nature.

“An extra thirty minutes of wild time every day for all under 12-year olds in the UK would be the equivalent of just three months of their childhood spent outdoors [13].

“We want parents to see what this magical wonder-product does for their kids’ development, independence and creativity, by giving wild time a go.”

Suggestions of how to get more wild time playing outdoors in nature include everything from collecting conkers, camping or snail racing to playing leaf snap and counting autumn colour on trees.  The new ‘Wild Time’ app [14] is available to show how technology can help give time-pressed families a bucket list of ideas to help get their kids outdoors.

Starting in January 2014 the Wild Network will publish, over the course of the next year, a series of short, focused policy asks to tackle the most serious barriers between children and nature.  These will put children, nature and outdoor play firmly on the agenda of the political parties in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

The discussion about swapping screen time for wild time will continue on twitter via the feed @wearewildthing and using the hashtag #wildtime.

PROJECT WILD THING EXTRAS – Fairy Fair from Green Lions on Vimeo.

 

[1] Wild time is all about playing outdoors and spending time in the natural world.  It’s about the time outside of the structured school day – it could be time on the journey to school, after school or at weekends.

[2] Children are on average spending four and a half hours a day surfing the internet or watching TV (Childwise 2013 Monitoring Trends report http://www.childwise.co.uk/childwise-published-research-detail.asp?PUBLISH=53).

[3] Letting children go out to play is one of the best things that parents can do for their children’s health – outdoor play uses more calories than clubs and tuition, (Making children’s lives more active, University College London, 2004); children who said they ‘noticed and enjoyed their surroundings’ most days (i.e. were connected to their local environment) had much higher well-being scores than those who didn’t (The Children’s Society, The Good Childhood Report, 2013); and children that are exposed to nature score higher on concentration and self-discipline; improve their awareness, reasoning and observational skills; do better in reading, writing, maths, science and social studies; are better at working in teams; and show improved behaviour overall, (Sigman, A, ‘Agricultural Literacy: Giving concrete children food for thought’ (2007) http://www.face-online.org.uk/resources/news/Agricultural%20Literacy.pdf).

[4] Project Wild Thing goes on general release in cinemas nationwide from 25 October and is available on Curzon Home Cinema from Sunday 27 October at 7pm (http://www.curzoncinemas.com/film_on_demand/). All proceeds from the release of the film go to the Wild Network. Tickets can be bought via the website at http://www.projectwildthing.com. You can join the conversation about the film on twitter using the hashtag #projectwildthing.

[5] The Wild Network was launched on the 25 September this year.  Hundreds of organisations, large and small, and thousands of individuals, have come together to create a movement whose aim is to reconnect kids with nature and outdoor play.  Details on how to get involved can be found here –http://projectwildthing.com/thewildnetwork and you can also see a list of organisations involved athttp://projectwildthing.com/organisations. Members include the Woodland Trust, Wildlife Trusts, National Trust, RSPB, Play England, Scouts Association, Swarm and the NHS Sustainable Development Unit.

[6] Time playing outside during the week and at weekends has halved in one generation and   children are more inclined to stay indoors and watch television, play computer games and even do their homework, than go outside to play, (JCB Kids Fresh Air Campaign, 2013) and fewer than 1 in 10 children regularly play in wild spaces, versus about half a generation ago, (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/Childhood%20and%20Nature%20Survey_tcm6-10515.pdf).

[7] Gaster, S. (1991) Urban Children’s Access to Their Neighbourhoods: Changes Over Three Generations, quoted in Louv, R. (2005) Last Child in the Woods, p123; two thirds of parents now believe that their children have less freedom to roam than free-range chickens (ICM poll for Playday, 2010).

[8] Only half of seven year olds are getting the hour of exercise that they need every day according to research by the UCL Institute of Child Health (http://www.bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/8/e002893).

[9] Three times as many children could identify a Dalek as a magpie, “Wildlife alien to indoor children”, National Trust, 2008, (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/what-we-do/news/archive/view-page/item737221/).

[10] Details of the research findings and methodology from the RSPB and the University of Essex research, published in October 2013, can be found here:  http://www.rspb.org.uk/connectionmeasure.

[11] Research commissioned by the online retailer Pixmania showed that more than 70 per cent (72%) of parents believe that children are too attached to gadgets (http://www.primarytimes.net/parent_times_news_0121_iPaddy.php).

[12] Reports published over the summer about the impact of an inactive and indoor lifestyle on children: British Heart Foundation and the University of Oxford (http://www.bhf.org.uk/default.aspx?page=16375); and Public Health England (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/aug/28/children-health-tv-computer-games). The Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, Simon Gillespie, even called for a return to ‘a traditional outdoors childhood’ to prevent children from being the first generation in history to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.

[13] If every child in the UK under 12 years old spent at least half an hour of wild time every day that would be the equivalent of 4.5 million hours a day or 1.64 billion hours in a year.  There are just over 9 million children under the age of 12 in the UK (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference–tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-319259).

[14] Details of how to download the new ‘Wild Time’ app for iPhones and the Android version can be found here: http://projectwildthing.com/wildtime.

Gatton Park Trail – National Trust

Sunday morning, it’s 8am and Shaun informs us that the weather is set to be good until early afternoon when it’s going to rain. So we got up and outside – after our previous trip was cut short we tried the Gatton Park Trail again!

Gatton Park Trail

The Gatton Park Trail is in Reigate, situated near Reigate Fort and at the top of a very large hill looking down over the Surrey Downs – you get excellent views of planes taking off and landing at Gatwick. The walk goes around Gatton Park as the land is split, of the 600 acres 340 is owned by the National Trust, and 260 by The Gatton Trust. We only got to the National Trust side, as the Gatton side is open the first Sunday of every month until October (and also qualifies in the Gardeners World 2 for 1 on gardens ticket, if you bought the April edition).

It is a circular walk which is popular with dog walkers, horse riders and cyclists – and us! The best bit? As we walked around almost everyone said “morning!” – a real nice cheery start to our day.

It’s buggy-friendly (if you need one), though there are some evil hills. There’s plenty of seats to rest (especially if you’ve a tired four year old who has done really well with all the walking), we found loads of bramble bushes too which was great for foraging – we had a yummy bramble and apple pie for tea that night – and checked off number 21 on the 50 Things Challenge for this year – H is doing pretty well with these! We all failed trying to catch leaves.

Gatton Park Trail

As far as accessibility goes, parking is free nearby (you don’t have to be a National Trust member), with refreshments in the car park at a reasonable price (and the only toilets are there as well). The Gatton Park Trail is free, and open all year round. Allow a couple of hours to do it – there are nine unnumbered markers along the way, and free maps from the refreshment area.

You can hear the M25 in the distance too.

We found parts of the Gatton Park Trail muddy but that wasn’t a problem, we had good walking shoes on so we were fine (but muddy). Mid-way you get to see the Millenium Stones – ten standing stones to mark the double Millenium, with each stone representing a 200 year segment. They’re in the middle of a field owned by sheep and goats, so remember to close the gate…!

It was an enjoyable walk and one I’d like to do at a different time of year, maybe in Springtime. Our next stop is to get to Gatton Park itself in October, before it closes until next year – the gardens look amazing!

National Trust Surrey Hills Challenge Coming Soon

With the glorious autumn colours starting to emerge, now is the time to get outdoors and explore the beautiful Surrey countryside.

Leith Hill National Trust

 However, with recent National Trust research revealing that 1 in 6 Britons never walk more than 500m from their car, Polesden Lacey is challenging the residents of Surrey to prove that they are more energetic than the rest of the country! As part of the National Trust’s Great British Walk, in partnership with Pru Health, the first ever Surrey Hills Challenge will take place on Saturday 12 October. The full route is 23 miles and links three of the area’s iconic high spots – Leith Hill, Box Hill and Ranmore. There will also be two shorter circuits – one between Leith Hill and Ranmore of 16 miles, and one to Box Hill of 13 miles, so anyone can take part, whatever their level of fitness. There will even be a 5 mile family loop.

All routes start at the Polesden Lacey car park which will be open from 6.30am to give everyone a chance to finish their chosen walk before it gets dark. There will be checkpoints along the routes offering free water, toilets and first aid support. Please register in advance on 01372 452048. Registration fee is £15 per person, or £5 per family for the short family route. Everyone who completes the challenge will receive a memento.

Box Hill Amazing Views

Full information is available from www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polesdenlacey (we spotted one of the links doesn’t work, so maybe keep trying!)