Autumn is the perfect time to get outside with the family and create unforgettable moments. And with all kinds of events from bat detecting and pumpkin carving to foraged tea parties and fire lighting, it’ll be impossible for the kids to get bored this autumn half term. It’s also the perfect time to have a go at some ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ activities too.  You could eat an apple straight from the tree, catch a falling leaf or go on a nature walk at night. There’s something magical for everyone to experience at National Trust places this October.

Take a look at our favourite half term events to head to this autumn:

South East

Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

Wand whittling and Witches and Wizard’s training camp, 22 – 30 October, 11am – 3pm

Something spooky is happening at Cliveden. Come along and be bewitched. Start to cast your spell by choosing a wooden wand with the power you wish to possess. Continue on your spellbinding journey into the woods to collect natural things for a magical potion. Don’t forget to dress in your wildest wizard and witch outfits to frighten off any evil spirits.

Please note: all children must be accompanied by an adult. Ideal for children aged 4-11.

Morden Hall Park, London

Half term: Silly Scarecrows, 24 – 28 October, 11am – 4pm

The scarecrows have hidden themselves around Morden Hall Park this half-term, and it’s up to you to find them. Head out on the scarecrow trail, then afterwards why not carve a pumpkin and make some ghoulish decorations to take home? Every day out at Morden Hall Park helps the National Trust care for this place for half-terms to come.

Nymans, West Sussex

Woodland workshop – fire & shelter, 24 & 28 October, 10am – 3pm

Have you got what it takes to survive in the wild? Head to the woodlands of Nymans in West Sussex to find out. An adventurous National Trust ranger will be on hand to teach the basics of creating shelters and building fires from scratch. All budding young explorers welcome.

  • Price: Child (8 – 14yrs) £20 (normal admission charges apply)
  • Booking essential
  • For more information, please call 01444405250



Sheringham Park, Norfolk

Wild Afternoon Tea, 25 October, 2pm – 4pm

Join National Trust rangers as they go foraging for ‘High Tea’. Take a walk through the park keeping an eye out for tasty treats, and enjoy an afternoon tea of foraged produce afterwards. There’s plenty of ‘50 things’ activities to try out in autumn too. You could try catching a falling leaf or going in search of conkers.

Melford Hall, Suffolk

Beatrix Potter story readings, 22 October, 1pm – 4.30pm

Get carried away with the magical adventures of Peter Rabbit and his friends, written by Beatrix Potter and narrated by a National Trust story teller. Afterwards, head to the Banqueting House to check out the secret Beatrix Potter drawings which went on display for the first time ever this year. These beautiful sketches offer a unique insight into the life and personality of the much-loved writer and illustrator.

Ickworth, Suffolk

Making things and having fun, 22 – 30 October, 11am – 3pm

Embark on an autumnal adventure and become a nature detective in Ickworth’s expansive parkland. Climb an ancient oak tree, build a secret den or make a home for a wild animal to nestle up in over the winter. When you’re all tuckered out head inside for a variety of craft activities in the cosy comfort of Ickworth’s West Wing gallery, enjoy a hot chocolate and snuggle up in the story corner.



Hardwick, Derbyshire

Family Treasure Hunt and Leafy Craft, 22 – 30 Oct, 11am – 4pm

Get your creative juices flowing and craft some wild art at Hardwick this half-term. First you’ll have to head out around the park and garden to find your artistic materials. Collect your paper bag at Visitor Reception and gather fallen leaves, seeds, sticks and feathers. Then meet under the shelter of the Cart Shed in the Stableyard to create the final masterpiece. If you’ve still got energy after all that crafting why not explore the park and try out some ‘50 things’ activities. There’s so much to try, from picking blackberries to playing conkers.

Clent Hills, Worcestershire

Litter Bugs, 26 October, 11am – 3pm

Follow the Beastly Bugs trail through the Clent Hills and discover all kinds of gruesome bug facts along the way. You can also do your bit to keep this beautiful countryside haven clean, and collect litter as you go. Every bit of litter you pick helps care for this special place for future years. Afterwards, there’ll be a bug hotel building workshop so you can get creative and care for wildlife all at the same time.


National Trust - Autumn 2016


Quarry Bank, Cheshire

Hunting for Infection, 24 – 28 October, 10.30am – 4pm

Hunt for the areas of infection in the Apprentice House and discover more about the gruesome parasites which invaded the children who worked at the mill in special family-focused Apprentice House tours. Plants are also at risk from infections and invasive species. Learn how fast these can spread through the environment, by playing games to stop them in their tracks.

Sticklebarn & the Langdales, Lake District

Evening Bat Walks, 25 – 27 October, 6pm – 8pm

Take a walk around Langdale with a knowledgeable National Trust ranger to learn more about the bats that live here. Enjoy snacks around the fire afterwards and a spooky film at Sticklebarn. It’ll be an evening of cosy, spooky fun.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire

Make a home for a wild animal, 25 – 27 October, 10am, 11am, 1pm & 2pm (1 hour sessions)

As winter approaches we’re not the only ones wrapping up warm in preparation for the chill. Our prickly friends are also looking for somewhere to bed down, and you can help them out. Roll up your sleeves and head to the stunning Fountains Abbey to make a wooden hedgehog box for your garden. Bring the family and book early as it’s always a popular event.

Wallington, Northumberland

Autumn Adventures, 22 – 30 October, 11am – 3pm

Celebrate the changing season at Wallington this half-term with indoor activities and outdoor adventures every day. From Hallowe’en crafts and pumpkin carving to leaf collecting and creating wild art there’ll be something to get everyone involved, whatever the weather. Warm up afterwards with a tasty hot chocolate in the Clocktower Café, where every treat you buy helps the National Trust care for places like Wallington for future generations.


 South West

Castle Drogo, Devon

October half-term fun, 22 – 30 October, 11am – 4pm

Follow the creepy castles trail around the garden of the magnificent Castle Drogo. Afterwards, you can explore the rugged Dartmoor countryside, with nearby Teign Gorge and Fingle Woods. Why not have a go at some ‘50 things’ activities and climb a tree, or catch a falling leaf? On Saturday 29 October there’ll be creepy crafty fun at the castle to get stuck into.

 Killerton, Devon

Lantern making and parade, 23 October, workshops 3pm – 4pm & 4pm – 5pm, dusk parade at 5.15pm

As night falls over the Killerton estate you can make the most of the seasonal darkness. Join the workshop around the campfire in the woods to learn how to make your own lantern. Then use your lantern to lead the way on the magical dusk parade through the grounds at 5.15pm.

Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire

Autumn Family Nature Day, 23 October, 11am – 3pm

Celebrate autumn wildlife at Old Lodge with the Bath Natural History Society. Test your bird spotting skills using the equipment available, discover mosses, fossils and fungi under the microscope and take part in two fungus identification walks. Warm up afterwards with a hot chocolate and a sweet treat in the Dyrham Park tea room, where every penny you spend helps the National Trust care for special places for autumns to come.


Northern Ireland

The Argory, County Armagh

Half-term Hallowe’en Fest, 22 – 30 October, 12pm – 4pm

Look no further for things to do this October half-term. At The Argory you can carve out a pumpkin, explore the Hallowe’en trail, try some ghoulish treats in the café and watch scary movies, if you dare…



Plas Newydd, Anglesey

Red Squirrel Week, 24 – 29 October, 12pm – 3pm
Head to Plas Newydd this half-term to celebrate the beautiful red squirrels that live there. There will be red squirrel walks and talks with knowledgeable National Trust volunteers, as well as woodland crafts and whittling demonstrations with the rangers. You could even carve your very own wooden red squirrel to take home.

Erddig, Wrexham

Wicked wild art for Halloween half-term, 22 October – 6 November, 11am – 3pm

Set your imagination wild with an arty Hallowe’en half-term at eerie Erddig. There’s plenty to do in Wolf’s Den as part of the National Trust property’s spooky wild art activities. Make mud monsters and terrifying tree creatures then gather around the campfire to toast marshmallows.

Every single visit supports the National Trust’s conservation work, looking after special places for people to enjoy for years to come.