Magical mansions and gardens

Many of the beautiful houses and gardens we look after are imbued with a magic that you’d normally only find in the pages of a fairytale. There are fascinating stories just waiting for you and your family to uncover on your next day out. From mansions that are guarded by dragons, to gardens where princesses once played, visit one of these places and you’ll find plenty to feed your imagination – whether you’re young or young-at-heart.

Children playing in the garden at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
Will you find the fairy door? National Trust Images/John Millar

Explore the magical garden at Hardwick Hall

How long will it take the kids to discover the secret fairy house in the gardens at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire? They'll love looking inside this magical world.

Children playing in the rain outside Ightham Mote, Kent
Get exploring whatever the weather National Trust Images / David Levenson

Explore the magical garden at Ightham Mote

Ightham Mote, Kent, has a curly wurly tree and goblin’s grotto in its gardens, which children love investigating. The house is charming too – perfect to discover on a rainy day.

Children exploring the tree hut at the centre of Nelly's Labyrinth
Can you beat Nelly's labyrinth and find the tree hut at the centre? National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra

Explore the magical garden at Cragside

Can you and the kids find your way to the middle of Nelly’s Labyrinth? Named after a reputed local witch, it’s just one of the highlights of a trip to Cragside, Northumberland.

Little girl with binoculars
Will you spot Sleeping Beauty? National Trust Images / Megan Taylor

Explore the magical Waddesdon Manor

Fairy tale fans will be in their element at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. Can the children find Sleeping Beauty? Don’t miss the woodland playground in the gardens.

The Bear's Hut at Killerton, Devon
Have you found the bear's hut or the dragon? National Trust Images / Clive Nichols

Explore magical Killerton 

If you think the children would enjoy a day finding out about dragons, a bear hut and an extinct volcano, visit Killerton in Devon. It’s full of legends just waiting to be uncovered.

Playing outside the Thatched Cottage at Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey
Be a prince or princess in the Claremont garden National Trust Images / John Millar

Explore the magical Claremont Landscape Garden 

Claremont Landscape Garden in Surrey was once a place for young royals to play. Let your little princes and princesses continue the tradition when you visit.

The Yew walk at Antony in the mist
Drink in the views from the Yew walk of the 18th-century mansion National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

Explore the magical Antony House, Cornwall 

Walk in Alice’s footsteps through the magical house and gardens of Antony House, Cornwall. This is where Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderful film was shot. Don’t miss discovering Antony’s history too.

Children looking at a concrete garden sculpture at Mount Stewart
Mount Stewart National Trust Images / Naomi Goggin

Explore the magical gardens of Mount Stewart 

The gardens of Mount Stewart in County Down are some of the most unusual in our care. Discover dinosaur statues, go animal spotting and meet the legendary white stag.

Young girl climbing a tree in Bodnant Garden
National Trust Images / Megan Taylor

Explore the magical Bodnant Garden 

Bodnant Garden in Conway, Wales, is known throughout the world for its stunning collection of plants. Explore the grounds with your family on the plant-hunter discovery trail.