Lyme Park voted UK's best place for den building

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National Trust launches 2013 ’50 Things to do before you’re 11¾’

To celebrate the launch of its 2013 list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ the National Trust has identified the best places around the UK for outdoor adventures, including Lyme Park, House & Garden in Cheshire as the best place to build a den.

In a bid to help children reconnect with nature, the charity asked more than 1,700 kids to vote on their top outdoor activities and then set about finding the ultimate places where they could be enjoyed. Over half of the children questioned (63 per cent) chose tree climbing, den building and bike riding as the top three activities to get them into the great outdoors. Nearly all parents (96 per cent) agreed these activities helped to strengthen their child’s relationship with the natural world.

However four in five (83 per cent) of parents reported that their child spends less time playing outdoors than they did at the same age, with almost three quarters (73 per cent) blaming the rise in technology as the main obstacle for boys and over a third (71 per cent) claiming concerns over safety prevent girls from enjoying the great outdoors.

What you can do at Lyme Park

David Morgan, General Manager at Lyme Park said: 'Lyme is a fantastic place to enjoy the great outdoors, and we’re delighted to have been voted the best place to build a den.

'We’re launching the ’50 Things’ campaign with a three-day kite flying event this bank holiday weekend, and you’ll also be able to go den building. Kite flying is No 7 on the ’50 Things to do’ list and we’ll have ’50 Things’ scrapbooks for children to complete as they tick off each activity.'

Mia McDade (aged 8) from Stockport is a National Trust Kids’ Council member and den building ambassador. 'I have completed 46 activities from the ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ list, and den building is one of my favourites', says Mia. 'I’m so glad other children chose it as one of their favourites as well. I love playing outside and I can’t wait to get into some of the new activities in this year’s 50 Things list. I made a den in Knightslow Wood at Lyme a couple of months ago – and it’s still standing! So, why don’t you come down to Lyme this Bank Holiday weekend for some kite flying and den building family fun!'

Three-day kite-flying event

Lyme Park, House & Garden, Disley, Stockport: Sat 4 to Mon 6 May, 11am – 4pm

Please bring your own kite and make for the top of Cage Hill. If there is no wind, kite flying will be replaced by ‘Climb a huge hill’ which is ’50 things’ activity no 28. Please wear appropriate clothing.

Den-building activities are also on offer.

Vehicle admission applies, NT members free. More information at

What you can do in the North West

Other ’50 things’ activities you can do at National Trust places across the North West include:

No 11, Go on a really long bike ride at Quarry Bank
No 2, Roll down a really big hill at Hare Hill Garden
No 45, Find your way with a map and compass at Formby
No 5, Skim a stone at Speke Hall
No 1, Climb a tree at Rufford Old Hall
No 4, Build a den at Dunham Massey

To find out at a glance what '50 things' activities you can do where at National Trust places in Cheshire and across the North West, download the ’50 things planner’ at

Let us know how you get on with ‘50 things’: you can tweet @NT_NorthWest or get in touch at