Whether it’s spectacular landscapes ablaze with colour or dark moody skies over ravaging seas, autumn is a time to feast your eyes on the wonders of the natural world. And with all kinds of events from bat detecting and wild crafts to Hallowe’en trails and pumpkinfests, it’ll be hard for the kids to get bored this autumn half term.
Why not build a secret hideaway using only what you find on the woodland floor, make a home for a wild animal or pluck up the courage to befriend a spider? It’s the perfect time to tick off some of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 3⁄4’. From running in the rain to hunting for fossils and bones, there’s something magical for everyone to experience this October.
Here are our National Trust half term events in the South East
Hallowe’en – Witch and Wizard Week, 24 October – 1 November, 11am – 3pm
Follow the clues on this spooktacular Hallowe’en trail to find the ingredients for a mysterious magical potion, with prizes at the end. Don’t forget to come dressed in your wildest wizard and witch outfits to frighten off any evil spirits. Make the most of your visit and explore the giant yew-tree maze, storybook-themed play area and majestic beech woodlands to make it a day to remember.
Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01628 605069
Osterley Park and House, Middlesex
Craft cart, 29 October 12pm – 4pmJust a stone’s throw from London, Osterley Park and House is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the Big Smoke. Keep those little fingers busy this half term and try your hand at crafts, taking inspiration from the autumnal colours, ancient meadows and eighteenth- century surroundings. Why not add some wild art to your crafts and incorporate leaves, conkers and feathers into your piece for an autumnal adventurer look.
Price: Free event, donations welcome (normal admissions fee applies)
For more information, please call 020 8232 5070 http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley-park/
Pumpkin trail, 24 October – 01 November, 10am – 4pm
Do you dare take on Chartwell’s eerie Hallowe’en trail? Snaking around Sir Winston Churchill’s family home and gardens, you may discover some spooky things along the route, and perhaps even a prize at the end. Make a whole day of it and visit the playhouse designed for Churchill’s youngest daughter Mary, or explore the woods and build your own secret hideout. You may even come across Jock, the resident cat, making his daily inspection of the grounds.
Price: £1 per trail (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01732 868381
Nymans, West Sussex
Spooky Nymans, 24 October – 01 November, 10.30am – 3.30pm
Join Ruby the Ranger or George the Gardener on a spooky quest around Nymans’ garden and woods this Hallowe’en. Follow George’s trail clues to discover some of Nymans’ strange and unusual creatures. Older explorers can take up Ruby’s trail, along muddy pathways down into the woods. Keep your eyes peeled and you may be able to tick off no.30 on your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 3⁄4’ list – hold a scary beast!
Price: £2 per trail (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01444 405250