A guide to the great outdoors this autumn half term

Posted on: 23 October 2017 by 50connect editorial

With events held across the whole of the country, there is an outdoor activity for everyone this half term.

Autumn is the perfect time to get outside with the family and create unforgettable moments. And with all kinds of events from woodland adventure days to wildlife watching, it’ll be impossible for the kids to get bored this autumn half term.

Here are the National Trust’s top half term events to head to this season:

South West


Bath Skyline, Bath and North East Somerset

Woodland Adventure Day, 26 October, 10.30am – 2.30pm

This half term, Fairy Wood is the place to go for an adventure. There’ll be a day of wild activities on offer: from fire-lighting and games to cooking over the campfire.

Price: £12. Booking essential. Suitable for ages 5+. Each child must be accompanied by an adult.

Mortehoe, Devon

Family Volunteering Bash and Burn, 26 October, 11am – 3pm

Bring all the family for some free outdoor fun out in the fresh air, and help the National Trust rangers with the vital task of clearing some of the gorse bushes at Mortehoe. Tools and training provided by our Rangers, and afterwards, you can treat yourself to some marshmallows toasted over the campfire.

Suitable for children age five and above.

Price: Free

South East

Mottisfont, Hampshire

Half term ‘Patchwork’ trail, 21 – 29 October, 10am – 5pm

Mottisfont is renowned for its family-friendly trails and this October half-term they’re offering another special activity-based adventure to stretch young imaginations. Inspired by the kaleidoscope of colours in Mottisfont’s Kaffe Fassett textiles exhibition, little ones can create bright drawings of feathers, tree bark and more to add to their 'patchwork' trail sheet, as well as colourful leaves and crunchy twigs that they pick up along the way.

Price: normal admission applies

Land Art Weekend, 14 & 15 October, 10am – 5pm

Practice your outdoor craft skills at Mottisfont’s Land Art weekend. All visitors are welcome to help create a piece of temporary art using natural materials, radiating out across Mottisfont’s beautiful grounds. Afterwards, these artworks will be left to melt back into the landscape.

Price: Normal admission applies

Bateman’s, East Sussex

Folklore and Fairy Tales Trail, 20 - 29 October, 11am – 4pm

Many of Rudyard Kipling’s works were inspired by the landscape surrounding his beloved home, Bateman's. During half term, alongside our Arthur Rackham exhibition, the little ones and adults alike will be able to follow a trail throughout the grounds to discover more about the folklore and fairy tales of Sussex.

Price: £2 per trail


Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

Nature survival skills, 25 Oct, 10.30am – 12.30pm and 2pm – 4pm

If you’re planning an adventure, it’s important to know a few basic skills. This session will give you a taster of activities such as shelter building & fire lighting, so you’re ready for your next intrepid journey into the unknown.

Price: £5.50 per child. Suitable for ages 8+

Blickling, Norfolk

Sow & Grow, 24 October, 10.30am – 12.30pm

The National Trust team at Blickling are currently working hard to restore the estate’s walled garden. To celebrate, they’re hosting a ‘sow and grow’ session where they’ll help your little green-fingered ones plant seeds in pots, which they can then take home to grow on a sunny windowsill. 

Price: Normal admission applies.

Mr Dunning’s Recruitment Tour, 26 October, 2pm

Join Mr Dunning the Butler and Kathleen the Scullery Maid on a tour of the attics, pantry and kitchen at Blickling. Find out what your duties will be, where you’ll live and how much you’ll get paid. You can also follow the trail through the house finding objects that tell more of the amazing stories of the people who lived here in days gone by. Then have fun dressing up at the end where you’ll be able to recreate photographs and portraits in our very own photo booth. Will you be a beautiful lady, a dashing duelling baron or a cook of a grand house?

Price: Normal admission applies. Early booking on the day is essential for the tour as places are limited.

Sheringham Park, Norfolk

October half term: 50 things to do before you’re 11¾

Sheringham will have plenty to keep little ones occupied during October half term, including lots of opportunities to have a go at some of the National Trust’s ‘50 Things’ activities.

Spider Safari, 23 October, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Creepy creatures with too many legs, or fascinating fly-munchers? However you feel about spiders, there’s plenty to learn with this family-friendly workshop. Brave souls will even get the chance to hold one of the scary beasts, and tick off #30 of the ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’.

Price: Adult £4.90, Child £2.90. Booking essential, normal admission applies


Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Tree-mendous Autumn Crafts, 23 Oct –27 Oct, 11am - 3pm

The Kedleston estate is particularly beautiful in autumn when the trees in the parkland begin to turn to shades of gold and russet. To celebrate this seasonal display the National Trust are hosting drop-in craft activities during half term, which all the family can get involved with. What’s more, every visit you make helps to look after this landscape and keep these special trees thriving.

Price: £2.50 per child, normal admission applies

Upton House and Gardens

Nocturnal Nature Trail, Warwickshire, 21 Oct – 29 Oct (except Thursday), 11am - 4pm

The woods at Upton House are home to all sorts of nocturnal creatures, including rabbits, badgers, and muntjac deer. This trail will teach you all about these special creatures – and although they’re rarely out during the day, you might see some footprints which are a sure sign of their presence.

Price: £2 per child


Quarry Bank, Cheshire

October half-term: Meteorites and fireballs, 23 – 27 October, 11am – 4pm

As part of Manchester Science Festival, Quarry Bank will be hosting some special family-friendly fun this half-term.Try your hand at interactive experiments in the garden and have a go at space-themed craft activities then step inside the giant inflatable Cosmodome and find yourself flying through the Solar System or gazing at the stars. With experts from the University of York on hand to guide you, it’s the perfect experience for budding astronomers, and you’re sure to pick up a useful fact or two.

Price: £2 per person for the Cosmodome show (booking essential). Normal admission applies


Evening bat walks, 24 - 26 October, 6pm

Did you know that there are 18 species of bat in the UK? This evening walk around Langdale is guided by a National Trust ranger, who will take you to some of the top places for bat-spotting and give you a few fascinating facts along the way. Afterwards, you can cosy up in the Sticklebarn Tavern to enjoy a sausage supper around the fire and a spooky film.

Price: Adult: £10, Child: free. Booking essential

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens, North Yorkshire

October half-term, 21 October – 5 November (except Monday), 10.30am – 5pm

Have a hoot at Beningbrough this half-term as they explore all things owl-related. On selected day join a storyteller for magical tales, use your imagination in the owl-making workshop and get up close and personal with our feathered friends. Glide through the gardens to follow the owl-themed art trail ‘Oh wise owl’ and discover new sculptures hidden in the places you might expect to find an owl.

Price: Normal admission applies

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, North Yorkshire

Awesome autumn weaving, 21- 29 October, 11am – 4pm

Medieval monasteries like Fountains Abbey often had small farms – called granges - that provided food for the monks. Swanley was one of three ‘home’ granges within walking distance of the abbey, and it’s had a makeover to take it back to this historic era. This autumn you can try weaving at the Grange using glorious autumn-coloured wool, and discover just how important this seemingly basic fibre was in medieval times. You can even take your piece of weaving home with you.

Price: Normal admission applies


Bodnant Garden, Conwy

TreeFest, 13 October – 10 November, various times

Autumn is here, and there’s no better place to celebrate it than at Bodnant Garden. This October half term you can enjoy 80 acres of dazzling autumn colour, discover the historic and exotic tree collection and take part in a host of woodland events and activities, including birdwatching walks, willow weaving, fungal forays, woodland games, giant noughts and crosses, and marshmallow toasting over an open fire.

Price: Normal admission applies. Willow weaving and fungal forays £2 per person, booking required.

Plas Newydd, Anglesey

Red squirrel week, 30 October – 3 November, 11am – 3pm

In 2008, six red squirrels were released into the gardens at Plas Newydd in an attempt to boost the numbers on Anglesey. The project worked, and there are now over 100 of the shy critters on the estate. To celebrate this success, the National Trust is hosting a series of special walks, talks and squirrel crafts with the Anglesey Red Squirrel Trust during October half term, so you can learn more about these special animals and maybe even spot one for yourself. What’s more, every visit helps the Trust to look after Plas Newydd, so it can continue to be a haven for red squirrels.

Price: Normal admission applies. There may be small charges for some events.

Stackpole, Pembrokeshire

Bushcraft drop-in day, 30 October, 11am-3pm

Join the National Trust rangers at Stackpole for a day of woodland adventure. There’ll be plenty of drop-in activities on offer where you can practise your bushcraft skills. From fire lighting to shelter building, you’ll be able to pick up all the basics of woodland survival.

Price: £5 per child, normal admission charges apply

Northern Ireland

Strangford Lough

Strangford Lough, County Down

Brent Watch, 21 October, 11.30am - 1.30pm

Strangford Lough is one of the major destinations for wintering birds in the UK, attracting a host of wildfowl and waders. One of the most iconic visiting species is the Brent Geese: every year over 25,000 of these light-bellied birds leave their breeding grounds in east Canada and travel to Ireland to spend the winter. This is a great opportunity for visitors to spot these special birds, with a National Trust ranger on hand to help with identification and answer any questions.

Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed at this event.

Price: Free

For more information and ideas for great seasonal days out, visit National Trust

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