Exploring National Trust days out in the North West & The Lakes
We’re big fans of National Trust days out. They’re wonderful for kids and it’s always worth checking out which properties are nearby if you’re enjoying a holiday or staycation here in the UK. Many of them have great adventure playgrounds, activities for children and space outdoors to explore, so make for a great day out.
Here’s some inspiration for fantastic National Trust days out in the North West & The Lakes.
Aira Force & Ullswater
Aira Force & Ullswater offers more than just a beautiful waterfall. There are also trails to explore, a play area and plenty of choice for picnicking spots.
Joanne, from Kids Days Out Reviews, says: “Aira Force is pretty accessible actually. There’s a lot of steps both up and down and it looks like it could get muddy in wet weather, but there is a clearly defined, maintained path, and places to take some great pics”
Deb, from My Boys Club, says: “On a clearly marked path we crossed small bridges, explored the woods, the boys paddled in streams, we climbed stone staircases, stopped to take in the breathtaking views across the lake and took the highest path to the falls as we approached from above”
Dunham Massey is a house and gardens that is filled with history. Keep an eye out for the deer, explore the log pile, build a den and wander through the ever changing secret garden.
Jane, from Hodge Podge Days, says: “We like Dunham because it’s great for “family” walks, meaning it’s flat and well paved, perfect for bikes, scooters and the wobbly legs of small children”…read more
Read Jane’s review to find out more about Dunham Massey.
Hilltop was Beatrix Potter’s farmhouse and is kept as a time capsule of her life. Inside the house everything is kept exactly as she wanted, right down to what pages she wanted books opened on, when she gifted her home to the National Trust. You can even visit Mr McGregor’s garden on your visit.
Hannah, from Make Do And Push, says: “We had such a wonderful time at Hill Top Farm. The staff inside the house are incredibly knowledgable and very friendly, and the lengths they go to to preserve all of her items and her house are admirable”
Read Hannah’s blog to discover more about Hilltop Farm.
Lyme Park holds a glorious house, surrounded by gardens, moorlands and a deer park. Here’s what we thought: “if you are a 6/7/8 year old then this [adventure playground] is amazing for both adult and child. If you have 3/4/5 year olds like we do then it was amazing for the kids, but it did involve quite a lot of adult participation as some of the towers and rope bridges were quite adventurous and a little scary”
Jane, from Hodge Podge Days, says: “We scrabbled around the woods, exploring, hiding, searching for bear caves and bears as well as keeping our eye out for the Gruffalo”
Rufford Old Hall
Rufford Old Hall is a beautiful Tudor manor house. Follow the trail through the house, hunt for bugs in the garden or let off steam in natural play area.
Hayley, from Hayley From Home, says: “The woods aren’t too big so perfect for little legs but there is still lots to see on the circular route. We headed over wooden bridges and looked out for the trolls underneath and checked out the dens that had been built in the woods”
Read Hayley’s blog to discover more about Rufford Old Hall.
Speke Hall is a stunning tudor house set in a picturesque estate. There are woodland trails to follow, nature trails to explore and tracker packs available to hire.
Here’s what we had to say: “My three love the adventure playground in the woods, particularly the zip wire and we must have played in here for a good hour or so, with parents stationed at either end of the zip wire to get them on and off! A trail that links the two playgrounds is a fantastic idea and we will definitely end up back here a number of times over the Summer”
Read our review of Speke Hall.
Tatton Park has plenty of space to stretch your legs with 50 acres of landscape gardens and 1000 acres of deer park to explore. Kids will love the 30 rides available in the play area and visiting the rare animals in the farm.
Here’s what we had to say: “After wrenching the kids away from the HUGE adventure playground we followed our map of exciting adventures and made our way into the Courtyard of the Stables”
Hayley, from Hayley From Home says: “We parked up and had our picnic in the area by the car park. We discovered there was a little train to take you down the farm which is a bit of a walk if you have little ones”
Quarry Bank Mill
Quarry Bank Mill is a museum with a difference. the whole 400 acre estate is full of historical features from the early years of the industrial revolution, including a working mill, workers cottages and the apprentice house where the children who worked in the mill lived. There is also a children’s play area and family trails to keep your little ones happy as they explore.
Ting, from My Travel Monkey, says: “Fascinating and steeped in history from the Industrial Revolution, this National Trust site is really worth a visit – we spent several hours here and could have done a lot more had it not been for an excitable little fella who is a terrible fidget”
Read Ting’s review of Quarry Bank Mill.
Wray Castle is a real life fairy tale castle with everything in place for a great day out with children. There’s a Peter Rabbit adventure, dressing up and craft rooms, castle building and more!
Rachel, from the Ordinary Lovely, says: “When it comes to keeping children entertained, Wray Castle is a very precious jewel in the National Trust’s golden crown. It is an absolute joy to spend time in and at. The castle building is a young child’s dream. It’s the castle of fairy tales and story books”
Hannah, from Make Do and Push, says: “Nick and his Dad had a great time building castles inside, whilst Busby, Nick’s Mum and I explored the bluebells outside.”
Read Rachel’s review of Wray Castle or head to Hannah’s blog to discover why Wray Castle is a great family day out.
Great National Trust days out
Thank you for reading my guide to National Trust days out in the North West! I hope you found it useful.
If you’re looking for more National Trust properties to visit, why not visit my guide to 100 Amazing National Trust Days Out With Children across the UK.
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This post on National Trust days out in the North West is part of my series on National Trust days out with children.