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Come out and play with the National Trust in Derbyshire this summer

Published on Tuesday 2 August 2022

From traditional games and ‘Pavilions of Play’ to nature themed activities and open-air cinema, there are lots of events and activities on offer this summer from the National Trust. 


And thanks to funding from Sport England over 140 National Trust houses, gardens and parks across the country will be encouraging families to get active and take part in a Summer of Sport, with drop-in ‘come out and play’ sports sessions.

Here’s a round-up of the best National Trust events and activities in Derbyshire to keep the whole family busy this summer.

To start your summer adventure, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk   

Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey has a host of fun and engaging activities during the summer holidays, to encourage people to make the most of the long days and get outdoors. The Garden of Imagination is packed full of creative games, to allow littles ones to connect with nature and awaken the senses. 

A new Pavilion of Play, created by Wild Rumpus, has been added this year, including giant periscopes and ear trumpets. Activities can be found across Calke with a bootcamp, including a rope walk, knot tying and much more set up at Calke Explore for those seeking a thrill. Soak up the views of the estate, with a relaxing bike ride along the Tramway Trail, unwind with a picnic in the stunning grounds of Calke or find shade on the gentle blue walk through the Serpentine Woods. Or you can cool off inside the house and discover a new display of sports equipment and activewear from the collection, along with snippets of oral histories from those that played at Calke. 

Film lovers can join in with a night of outdoor cinema and watch a live screening of Rocketman or The Princess Bride.

The Children’s Country House at Sudbury

Open every day for the summer from 23 July to 5 September, The Children’s Country House at Sudbury has a fun filled summer holiday programme. You can explore the grasshopper trail in the garden, try den building or take a moment to relax with our mindfulness plaques. 

The Museum has some new experiences, including spaces where you can make your own collection, reading bedtime stories in the home gallery and the much-loved chimney.

The new Activity Hub has also been launched this year, with all day crafting and activities, plus, the option to go bigger with special activity workshops on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays 11am and 2pm (advanced booking required). 

All visits need to be pre-booked via the website. Please note, the Hall is currently closed and will re-open later in 2022. 
 
Hardwick Hall

Hardwick's secret walled orchard will be filled with adventure and adrenaline this summer, where visitors of all ages can unleash their inner child. Enjoy friendly competition with classic games like tennis and rounders, aim for gold with archery or race around the giant natural assault course. As an extra bonus, on some days there will be an amazing climbing wall so visitors can push themselves to their limit.

Ilam Park, Peak District 

Ilam Park is a great place for families and dog walkers, with gentle riverside walks and far-reaching views. A whole host of sporting equipment will be available to borrow this summer, so come back regularly and try something new.  There will also be things to do in The Oaks (behind the tea-room), especially for little ones. If you are feeling creative join the summer Art Trail - be inspired by the landscape to draw, write, make music or whatever your creativity desires. 
 
Kedleston Hall

With 800 acres of parkland to investigate at Kedleston Hall, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Stretch your legs in Kedleston’s park and gardens with a range of activities encouraging children to be active outside. Derbyshire Archery Club will be delivering free archery every Wednesday until the end of August and orienteering is available at Kedleston every day - pick up a map from the Visitor Reception building. 

Before you leave, don’t forget to pop into the second-hand bookshop (located within the stableyard) and pick up a summer read. The shop stocks an extensive range including children’s' books. 
 
Longshaw Estate, Peak District

Longshaw Estate, provides a stunning backdrop for an adventure in the great outdoors. It’s a great hub to explore Burbage and the Eastern Moors—from enjoying the view from Dukes Seat, to exploring Padley Gorge. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer holidays there’ll be extra sporting activities at the Moorland Discovery Centre. 




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