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Here are our recommended National Trust Places with Playgrounds
The National Trust has put children at the heart of a lot of their properties over the last few years and if your last experience of a visit was when you were a child then you need to go back, as things have changed a lot! National Trust days out with children are fab!
Whether you are visiting simply for some fresh air, to ride a bike or to play in one of the many adventure playgrounds, we are sure you will find a local National Trust property that you love.
We’ve split this post up into the areas below so you can jump straight to finding a National Trust property where you live, or where you are intending to visit if you’d like to.
Find a National Trust playground near you
Devon & Dorset
Somerset & Wiltshire
Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire
Berkshire, Hampshire & Isle of White
Kent, Surrey & Sussex
East of England
North West & Lakes
Recommended National Trust playgrounds in Cornwall
Tin Box Traveller love Lanhydrock’s children’s play area and will visit it if we are passing on the way to Cornish coast, even if we don’t visit the rest of the estate or house. The girls love digging in the sand pit, slipping down the slides and climbing over the netting. The playground is also perfectly situated next to the cafe so parents can enjoy a coffee within sight of their children playing.
Saltram‘s wooden adventure playground at its entrance which you can use even if you are only visiting the estate for walk in the grounds. Tin Box Tot and Baby loved going down the slide and jumping across the tree stumps”…read more
Find a National Trust adventure playground in Devon & Dorset
Killerton offers a whopping 6,400 acres to explore – plenty of room to stretch your legs. There’s plenty on offer around the estate to keep the children entertained with den building, swings and a fantastic play area build around a huge fallen red oak tree! Jo, from Organised Jo says: “Another nice touch was the wooden garden toys that were scattered around the garden for anyone to play with. My two had a fab time after our picnic playing on the wooden hobby horses pretending they were their princess’ steeds”…read nore
Amazing play areas in Somerset & Wiltshire
Tyntesfield is a spectacular Gothic revival house set in 540 acres of rolling parkland. There are four fantastic play areas for children including a den building village in the woodlands, balance beams and parallel ropes in the orchard and play barns down on the farm. Donna, from What The Redhead Said, says: “LP and Little Man loved playing on the tractor and there was an assault course made from apple crates and wood. It was one of the most eclectic and interesting play areas I’ve seen in a long time and the children loved it – a great place to pass the time”…read more
Great playgrounds for kids in The Cotswolds
Recommended National Trust places with playgrounds in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
Mummy Travels also recommends Cliveden because there’s so much to explore in the huge grounds, but her daughter always makes a beeline for the Storybook Play Den whenever they visit. Themed around fairytales and favourite children’s stories, there are carved wooden statues of different characters, including Kaa the snake and Captain Hook’s crocodile nemesis, plus stepping stones, slides, a climbing ‘web’ and a boat and house to play in. Fantastic for inspiring imaginations as well as being very fun.
Greys Court is a family home set in an idyllic estate. Children can let off steam in the play area or build a den in the woods. There are even resident fairies to hunt for among the trees, making it a magical day out for families with young children. Donna, from What the Red Head said, says:”After the gardens we found the flat maze that the children loved exploring and Greys Fort was also perfect for their ages with the main fort to climb up and a slide as well as the trees everywhere to climb over”…read more
Waddesdon Manor is a magnificent house and gardens in the style of a 16th century French chateau. There’s plenty of space for family picnics and The Stables offers a family friendly place to have a delicious lunch. Louise from Pink Pear Bear says:” The outdoor play area is so amazing! All set onto a hill, so as you walk up you discover more and more areas. There are the standard swings and slides but there are also some really really cool extras like a massive tunnel slide that pops the children out much further down the hill, (small boy went down before we’d even caught them up, big girl bottled it, it is age 6+ though!), a zip wire and my personal favourite, an area for den building”…read more
Playgrounds to explore in Berkshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Mottisfont offers wild play areas, including Boggy Climbing and Pump, Pool and Paddle. There is also plenty of space just to run jump and play. Claire, from Tin Box Traveller visited at Chistmas, she says:”At the stables there was a beautiful Christmas tree, surrounded by all sorts of things for TBT to explore and try out. Everything was very hands on, which was a relief for us as parents of an inquisitive toddler”..read more
and Donna, from What the Red Head Said, says:”We then carried on walking to the water play area where children could pump water, build dams and watch the water move along a reservoir. It was both fun and educational and the children loved it”…read more
It also has a lovely wooden climbing frame but also a water play area where kids can build dams etc. My son loved it when we visited https://Over40andamumtoone.com
National Trust play areas for families in Kent, Surrey & Sussex
Hatchlands Park has an adventure playground as well as huge spaces to wander, run and explore. Donna, from What The Redhead Said, says: “After the adventure playground we followed the Sylvanian Families Nature Trail which had questions to answer and took you on a route through the woods. There were carved Sylvanian figures at different points and Little Man loved finding the signs as we went along”…read more
Ightham Mote always has something on offer to keep all members of the family happy, from meandering strolls to quizzes, trails and adventure playgrounds. There are usually extra activities on offer during the holidays too. Emily, from Emily and Indiana, says: I think adding anything man made would spoil it. Indie loved jumping, climbing, exploring and even got muddy (much to her disgust haha). I think this is so much more fun for children, as they are free to use their imagination. There was no waiting for a swing or climbing up the slide. Indie just got stuck in, and when we finally encouraged her out, she left with a stick magic wand to carry on the fun”…read more
Polesden Lacey is one of the National Trust’s most popular properties and it is easy to see why. It is My Travel Monkey’s closest National Trust site, but also one of our favourites. Set in sprawling grounds over Surrey Hills, their outdoor woodland play area Squirrel’s Corner is a real treat for kids – as it’s a natural obstacle course full of swings, steps, and nooks and dens. Popular with all children is the large wooden Griffen, too.
Scotney Castle is a great place to visit with children. There’s a buggy friendly nature trail with fallen trees to play on and a wilderness camp. A discovery room where children can see what the inside of a mole hole looks like. There’s also a trail that leads you through the estate to the working hop farm. Ting, from My Travel Monkey says: “Our favourite part of the trip was just walking around the estate and soaking in the stunning views of the old castle surrounded by the glistening water”…read more
Hot Pink Wellingtons loves the wonderful natural play area with a mud kitchen, baby tree swing, and ball run. Her boys could have spent all day there!
The best National Trust playgrounds to explore in London
Osterley Park and House Wandering the grounds at Osterley House and Park, one of our favourite local National Trust properties, always beats going inside for us – there are fabulous gardens and a path through the woods. But the highlight is the natural playground, half way around the woodland trail. It’s not huge, and it’s all fairly simple – rope swings, tree stumps to climb on and leap between, plus a den building area – but it’s a lovely reminder that kids only need the simplest inspiration to have fun. As good when my daughter was a toddler as it is now she’s six. Read more about Osterley National Trust playground.
Amazing National Trust playgrounds in the East of England
Anglesey Abbey has a wildlife discovery area designed especially for children. They can explore the story circle and cupboard, wildlife and art cabin, dream dome for toddlers, double floored tree house and the willow and stick woven tunnels. Sonia, from Mummy Constant, says: “we had a picnic lunch near the tree house and then spent the entire afternoon wandering around. We made it to the mill and around that way, the gardens are so pretty and the children had a lovely time. I still cannot believe we spent 6 hours there, it went so quickly and was the perfect day for it”…read more
With a magnificent two storey tree house built around a Lime Tree in the middle of a woods, the playground/discovery centre at Anglesey Abbey has to be our favourite National Trust play area says A Bavarian Soujourn. Follow the signs for Hoe Fen through the woodland path from the main house, and you can’t miss it! Choose from climbing, discovering the secret gardens or playing a spot of natural music on woodland instruments (plus there’s an outdoors cafe for grown ups!). A really great day out.
Sutton Hoo makes for a great National Trust day out for all the family, especially if you mini archeologists in the family. There is plenty to see and do with adventure playgrounds, activity and tracker packs and seeing a king laying in state, surrounded by his treasures. Trish, from Mums Gone To… says: “Children can try on typical Anglo Saxon clothes, peep inside a full size replica of a burial chamber and listen to taster talks by the cheerful, enthusiastic Sutton Hoo Society guides. Most people come here to see the famous mask and although it is only a replica, there is something quite arresting about it”…read more
Family friendly play areas in the East Midlands
Belton House has lots of family fun on offer no matter the weather. There’s an outdoor adventure playground, an indoor play area and a discovery centre that is open at weekends. Amanda, from Ana Mum Diaries, says: “It’s the perfect setting to spend time together as a family. With playgrounds, cafes and shops lots to do and see. We bought a football whilst we were there at the gift shop, which is definitely something to remember for other NT trust weekends we go on”…read more and Donna, from What The Redhead said, says: “LP and Little Man loved climbing up the steps to the house – and down them again. They had a great time playing hide and seek with lots of bushes to hide behind! The gardens are the perfect place for little adventures”…read more
Calke Abbey is an unstately home sat in a stunning estate. Instead of being restored to its former glory,the rooms have been preserved as they were when handed over to the National Trust in 1985. There is a time capsule of stories to discover inside and plenty of space to run and climb outside Penny, from Parentshaped says: “Watching your kids completely absorbed in playing, no fights, no need for help or explanation. They know exactly what to do outdoors”…read more
Calke Abbey has a really lovely play area, with everything you would need to keep the kids entertained. As you go through the courtyard they even supply lots of old fashioned toys to play with too like hoops and sticks and stilts. (Very happy for you to use any images)
Hardwick is in Derbyshire. It was Malfoy Manor in the Harry Potter movies and it’s such a vast and imposing building but beautiful too. Donna from What the Redhead said visited recently and loved the woodland trail which runs along the side of the car park. They were really grateful that the National Trust staff pointed it out to them on the map or it could have easily been missed. The trail at Hardwick had fairy doors to find and so many activities – it was a real natural playground in the forest. There were ropes to climb along, fallen trees to climb over, swings and so much more. You can read Donna’s full review of Hardwick here.
Recommended National Trust playgrounds for kids in the West Midlands
Attingham Park has plenty of parkland to run and play. Michelle, from Mummy From The Heart, says: ” The play field is just as it sounds, a massive fenced and gated area with swings, slides, climbing equipment, natural hills, a fort kind of area, concrete table tennis tables and loads more. It is perfect for imaginative play and there is so much there for the kids to do. We managed to bag a bench and table as there were quite a few dotted around for the adults but also lots of families had taken a large area with blankets and such on the floor for a fun picnic”…read more
Dudmaston is a beautiful country house set in over 3000 acres of unspoilt countryside. The house is still a family home, it isn’t perfect and pristine, but is well loved and cared for. There are trails inside and out for the children to discover secrets as they explore. Emma, from Mrs Shilts, says: “There’s a great wooden playground for children to let off some steam within the Orchard. There’s a slide, big rope swings, a wooden play house and balance beams to hop over. Olly loved playing on the slides and we had so much pretending to play shops in the wooden play house. It’s a great space for children”…read more
Hanbury Hall is a stunning country house just waiting to be explored and there is always something exciting to discover outside in the gardens and surrounding parkland. Sarah, from Taming Twins, says: “It has everything you need for parents and children, wide open spaces, kids pedal tractors, a playground that’s the stuff three year old dreams are made of, oh and some super scones. read more
Wonderful playgrounds to explore in the North West & Lakes
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”…read more and 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”…read more
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 more
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”…read more and 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”…read more
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.
Quarry Bank Mill has a fantastic indoor kids area now. Swing, wooden teepee, reading area, lots of drawing areas, dressing up and giant snakes and ladders.we’re told by the Theladybirdsadventures.co.uk that it’s well worth visiting.
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”…read more and 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 more
National Trust places with playgrounds in Yorkshire
Beningbrough Hall is set in stunning gardens and is home to National Portrait Gallery paintings. Children are encouraged to be creative with crafts and workshops dotted around. There are also play trails to explore and a great wilderness play area to let off some steam. Nicky, from Yorkshire Wonders, says:”There are several ride on trikes and bikes which the children can ride and then leave wherever takes their fancy. This becomes a bit of a treasure hunt for the children as to who finds a bike first. It’s a massive relief if they find them at the same time”…read more
Nostell Priory is an 18th century house that was built on the site of a medieval priory. There is lots to explore and discover in the gardens and woodlands, with baby carriers and hip seats available to hire – making this a truly family friendly National Trust house. Cathy, from Mummy Travels says: “outdoors includes a huge kitchen garden, adventure playground with zipwire, walks around the lake and activity sheets to take along, plus formal gardens, woodland… you could probably come every week and not run out of areas to explore for a few months”…read more
Wandermust Family really likes the Nostell Priory playground as it is close to the main attractions of house and gardens and it has a woodland aesthetic which fits with the surroundings. The area is quite big and includes smaller slides and make believe sections for toddlers as well as larger climbing and balancing equipment for older children.
Fountains Abbey‘s remains are the most complete Cistercian abbey ruins in the country. There is plenty of space to play and climb and picnic. There are regular activities and trails throughout the school breaks too. Cat, from Here Come The Hoopers, says: “The park was a big success with lots of wooden bits to climb, zip wires and den building section. It was a bit damp but they went off anyway and were happy enough”…read more
Fountains Abbey is also the favourite outdoor play area for Theladybirdsadventures.co.uk. It’s full of large wooden climbing frames, bridges, dens and more. Many are abbey shaped. Something for all ages.
Amazing playgrounds in the North East
Cragside is an extraordinary Victorian house set in stunning gardens and woodlands. Make sure to check out the labyrinth, barefoot trails and adventure playground. Sam at North East Family Fun writes “The labyrinth has it’s own car park but we decided to walk from the play area. It’s just under one mile on easy terrain and you are rewarded with spectacular views of the countryside. There are 4 ‘trim trails’ along the way too which help to break up the journey – they are basically mini obstacle courses….It is such a lovely place for a family walk.”…read more.
Gibside has plenty of space to run wild and three different play areas which are sure to be a big hit. Play knights in the wooden fortress, explore caves in the nature playscape and build a den in the woodland area. Sam from North East Family Fun writes “The Strawberry Castle play area which was the main reason for our visit [is] fantastic with mock castles and houses, a giant sand pit, water play (when in operation), rope swings, zip wires”…read more
The theming throughout is fab and there are loads of picnic tables for grown ups
Wallington Hall is a fascinating historical house set in a stunning 13,000 acre estate, so there definitely plenty of space to stretch your legs! Sam, from North East Family Fun, says: “We spent approximately four hours at Wallington and enjoyed some proper outdoor family fun. There is so much to see and do and we only just touched on some of the activities on offer”…read more and Cat, from Here Come The Hoopers, says: “We headed back via the Adventure Playground and Play Fort which they really enjoyed. Imogen loves a good set of monkey bars at the moment and Abigail enjoyed the zip wire”…read more
Top National Trust playgrounds for kids in Wales
Chirk Castle offers a real family day out, with giant games in the garden, play areas and den building. The Castle has lot’s of activities and dress up to keep children entertained while they follow the trail too. Here’s what we had to say: “There was also a family room at the top of a tower where the girls could do some colouring, make jigsaws (of knights naturally) and build a castle. I was incredibly impressed that at every turn there was something else for them to do. In places like this there is usually only a ‘token’ child activity. This seemed to have been designed with children in mind”…read more
Erddig is a much loved family home set in a 1,200 acre estate. There are teddies to spot and a cuddly bug trail follow around the house.Outside is plenty of space to run around and stretch your legs and a play area that spans nearly two acres! Wolf’s Den within Erdigg is a natural playground. Full of tree swings , tree trunks to climb and loads of things to explore. The perfect outdoor adventure. www.tippytupps.com
Tredegar House has seen it’s fair share of dark days and golden ages over the years. Inside you are completely immersed into the history of the house with a hands on, interactive experience. Outside there is 90 acres of parkland to explore and a great playarea for the kids. Ali, from We Made This Life says: “Visiting Tredegar House was utterly fascinating and it’s history was brought alive by the amazing staff who guided us through the various rooms. They were brilliant with the children too…There was a huge box of dressing up which the children loved and they were even encouraged to brush the hats in the butler’s pantry”…read more