Go wild this February half-term with the National Trust

Posted on: 29 January 2018 by 50connect editorial

Celebrate the great outdoors this February with a round-up of the National Trust's wildest activities.

February half-term is fast approaching, and there are loads of activities at National Trust places for kids to get messy, muddy and back in touch with nature. It’s the perfect opportunity for the whole family to create special memories and get inspiration for the year ahead.

Give nature a hand and build a bird box at Wicken Fen. Have an island adventure and toast marshmallows over a campfire at Brownsea, or get your hands dirty planting snowdrops at Penrhyn Castle.

Here are some top activities for a wild day out this half-term:

South West

Cotehele, Cornwall

Cotehele, Cornwall

Bushcraft for Kids, 12 – 14 February, 10am – 12pm & 1.30 – 3.30pm

Wrap up warm and head to the woodlands at Cotehele for a morning or afternoon of wild bushcraft. Learn to build a shelter, light a controlled fire and other wilderness survival skills, all under the guidance of Jack, a bushcraft expert from Serious Outdoor Skills.

Price: £6 per child (booking essential)

For more information on Serious Outdoor Skills, please visit www.seriousoutdoorskills.co.uk

Coleton Fishacre, Devon

Wild Wednesday: making homes for wild animals, 14 Feb, 2 – 4pm

Join The National Trust ranger team to tick off number 36 of your 50 things to do before you're 11¾. You can drop in to make bug boxes for your garden, and provide a home for these important little creatures. Check out Coleton’s wild play area too, where little ones can climb, hop, skip and jump on obstacles made from wood from the garden.

Price: Bug box craft £3 per child

Tyntesfield, North Somerset

February half-term fun, 10 – 18 Feb, 10am – 5pm

This half term, why not have a go at some of the 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ activities? There’s plenty of space at Tyntesfield to run around and have a go at making mud pies, hunting for bugs and creating wild art. You can even try your hand at welly wanging, or follow the winter trail around the garden.

Price: Charges apply for some activities.

Brownsea Island, Dorset

February half-term adventure, 10 – 11 February, 17 ­­– 18 February, 10am – 4pm

Brownsea Island is the birthplace of the Scouting movement, and the perfect place for young adventurers to explore. Sail over the seas this half-term, and follow a special trail around the island. Afterwards warm your toes and cook marshmallows over a campfire at the Outdoor Centre.

Price: Free event, but normal admission charges and ferry fares apply.  

London and South East

Hughenden, Buckinghamshire

Hughenden, Buckinghamshire

Making homes for woodland creatures, 12 – 16 Feb, 10.30am – 4pm

All creatures big and small need somewhere to live, but sometimes they need a helping hand to find their ideal home. This half-term, the National Trust team at Hughenden will be on hand to help you construct a special home for the wildlife in your garden. Whether it’s for a hedgehog, woodlouse, spider or worm – you’ll learn all the skills you need to make them the perfect luxury apartment.

Price: £3 per child

Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

Orienteering challenge at Cliveden, 12 – 16 Feb, 10am – 5.30pm

Looking for a way to stretch your legs and brush up on your map reading skills? This half-term, take advantage of the newly-created Orienteering course at Cliveden to explore the woodlands in a new and exciting way. Fun for little ones and adults alike, it could just become your new favourite hobby.

Price: £3 per child

Mottisfont, Hampshire

Heath Robinson inventions trail, 10 – 18 February, 10am – 5pm

Mottisfont is renowned for its imaginative outdoor family trails, themed around its popular art exhibitions. This February half-term, the whole family will be set all sorts of challenges and activities inspired by the eccentric artworks of Heath Robinson – known as the Gadget King and famous for his hilarious drawings of over-complicated inventions.

Price: £1 per trail

The Vyne, Hampshire

Hidden Tapestries Trail, 10 February – 3 June, 10am – 5pm

The Vyne’s famous 18th-century Soho tapestries by Vanderbank were removed for safety when the roof started to leak, and are now awaiting conservation work. Inspired by this story, The National Trust team have created a new outdoor family trail where you’ll be able to search for jigsaw pieces of oriental tapestries hidden across the grounds, and then work out how to fit them all back together again.

Price: £1 suggested donation per child for trail. Normal admission applies

East of England

Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire

Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire

Build a Bird Box, 14 February, 10.30am – 12.30pm, 2pm – 4pm

This half term, take the chance to learn all about the feathery friends at Wicken Fen. Make a bird box and bird feeder to take home, then go bird watching with the National Trust rangers to discover some of the special species that call this pace home. When you’ve finished, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Fen as you savour the tasty delights served in the Docky Hut cafe.

Price: £6.50 per child

Blickling, Norfolk

Sow and Grow half-term Tuesday, 13 February, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Head to Blickling’s walled garden with your little green monsters this half-term to plant seeds in pots, then take them home and watch them grow. Expert National Trust gardeners will be around to show you how. Then grab your wellies and enjoy the trails around the garden, explore the secret tunnels, splash in puddles, build a den or play winter hide and seek. 

Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

Midlands

Hardwick, Derbyshire

Nest Box Building, 15 February, 11am – 2pm

To celebrate National Nest Box Week 2018, National Trust rangers need your help to build more nest boxes for Hardwick’s park and gardens. By lending a hand, you’ll be helping to conserve the UK’s populations of breeding birds by giving them safe spaces to raise their chicks. After all that work you’ll have earned a trip to the Great Barn restaurant, where the whole family can indulge in delicious winter warmer dishes.

Price: Free event, normal admission applies

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Kite Flying Day, 11 February, 11am – 4pm

With lots of grass meadows and open spaces, Calke is perfect for having a go at kite flying. Bring along your kite, buy one in the shop or make one in the special kite workshop. The Midland Kite Fliers will be one site to thrill you with their skills, and help you make the most of the spring weather.

Price: Free event, normal admission applies

Attingham Park, Shropshire

Attingham Park, Shropshire

Willow lantern making, 17 & 22 February, half hour sessions between 10.30am – 12pm and 1pm - 3.30pm.
Cup lantern making, 20 and 23 February, drop in between 10am – 4pm
Lantern Lit Walk, 23 February, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

During February half-term, visit Attingham to learn how to make a lantern ahead of the special Lantern Lit evening walk on 23 February. All the family are welcome and you can chose to make either a traditional hand crafted willow lantern with WildLife Survival School on 17 and 22 February, or drop in to make a colourful cup lantern on 20 and 23 February. All materials including battery tea lights are provided.

Price: Willow lanterns £5 (booking essential), Cup lanterns £2, Lantern Lit Walk £4 per adult, £2 per child (booking essential).

Moseley Old Hall, Staffordshire

Wassailing and Campfire Cooking, 19 – 23 February, 10.30am – 3pm

Join the national Trust team at Moseley Old hall this February as they carry out the tradition of wassailing around the orchard: waking up the trees from their winter slumber, banishing evil spirits and ensuring a good harvest. Afterwards you practice your campfire cooking and toast some marshmallows over the fire.

Price: £1 per person. Normal admission applies

North

Gibside, Tyne and Wear

Plodge at Gibside, 10 – 18 February, 11am – 3pm

Dig out your wellington boots and enjoy the countryside fresh air at Gibside this February. Prepare yourselves for welly-wanging, splashing around in the puddles and much more mud mania. On 17 February you can also visit the monthly Beer and a bite night, held within the 18th century landscape garden – the pub will be open and you can also tuck into delicious street food from local producers.

Price: Normal admission charges apply.

Cherryburn, Northumberland

Spring Stargazing, 12 February, 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Join Ace of Space Astronomy for a fun and interactive way to learn all about the cosmos. Explore the planets, moons, stars and beyond, followed by stargazing outside at Cherryburn (weather permitting).

Price: £5 (booking essential)

Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire

Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire

Feathery February Fun, 12 – 18 February, 12 noon – 3pm

Celebrate the arrival of spring and the National Trust team at Nunnington for fun activities this February half-term. Whether it’s discovering the feathery friends’ garden trail, making a fat ball bird feeder or building a bird box, there’ll be plenty of things for you and your family to get stuck in to.

Price: Normal admission charges apply (a small charge may apply for some activities)

Hare Hill, Cheshire

Ranger training, 23 February, 10.30am – 3pm

Join us for a fun filled day learning some of the skills that the National Trust rangers use day-to-day. Have a go at knot tying, throwing a rope, making a swing and building a den.

Price: Normal admission charges apply 

Wales

Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Snowdrop Planting, 12 – 15 & 19 – 22 Feb, 11am – 1pm

Take a trip to Bodnant Garden’s Old Park Meadow in February to see swathes of snowdrops out in full bloom. For several years National Trust gardeners, volunteers and visitors have been helping plant thousands of extra bulbs every season, and 2018 is no exception. Join the team as they plant an extra 10,000 snowdrops, and relax in the knowledge that you’re helping to care for this special place for generations to come.

Price: Normal admission charges apply 

Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd

Snowdrop Planting, 12, 15, 19 and 22 February, 11am – 3pm

If you’re at a loose end this February half term, why not head to Penrhyn and help the National Trust to make the snowdrop display even better than previous years? Grab a trowel and help to plant more bulbs around the garden, before heading off to explore the rest of the castle’s delights - from exploring the railway museum to finding out what life was really like in the Victorian Kitchens.

Price: Normal admission charges apply

Tredegar House, Monmouthshire

February half-term, 10 – 25 Feb, 11am – 4pm  

Get the whole family closer to Mother Nature this February half-term. There’ll be nature trails throughout the garden, an opportunity to make your very own bird box on selected days (5, 16, 21, 22 & 23 Feb), plus loads of ‘50 things’ activities to get stuck into. You could make some beautiful wild art from twigs, leaves and feathers or have a go at setting up a snail race.

Price: £4 for bird box activity. Normal admission charges apply

Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire

February Half Term, 17 – 25 February
11am - 12.30pm: Making bird feeders
2pm - 3pm: Bird spotting walk

Get off to a good start this spring and nature a helping hand by crafting your very own bird feeder. All materials will be provided and there’ll be experts on hand to help you create the perfect pit stop for feathery friends. Afterwards you can explore Dinefwr’s parkland with a National Trust ranger to see how many birds you can find, plus have a go at some of the ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ activities. Once you tick off all 50 challenges, you'll be a seasoned adventurer.

Price: Normal admission charges apply

Aberdulais, Neath Port Talbot

Detective Trail, 10 – 25 February, 10.30am – 4pm

There's a wealth of wonderful things for families to see while exploring Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall.  If you’re up for a challenge why not pick up a tin detecive pack and get started on your Aberdulais expedition, taking on the sensory trail to discover hidden secrets.

Afterwards, warm up in the cosy Old School House Tea Room.

Price: Normal admission charges apply

Northern Ireland

Springhill, County Londonderry

Nest Fest, 17 - 18 February, 12pm – 5pm

As part of National Nest Box Week join Springhill’s rangers to find out more about the lives of our feathered friends, and how and where they make their home. Help to rejuvenate Springhill’s bird boxes, learn how to build your own nest and make some bird feeders to take home.

Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

For more information about each venue, visit National Trust

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