Things to see & do

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Guided tours

See areas not normally open to the public on a guided tour. Photographers can join our professional photographer and warden guides and get up close to the unique Cold War AWRE structures.  Please book in advance.

Wild child (or adult)

At the end of the summer and early autumn you can get up close to nature, whatever your age. See the amazing varieties of moths as our moth trap is opened and have the chance to have a bird fly from your hand.

Children's quiz trail

Become a spy for the day with our children's quiz trail. Just ask for a copy of the trail when you arrive. Complete your Code Book and have it checked by the Spymaster to receive your MEGASPY card.

Want to visit the 'Pagodas'?

AWRE Laboratories 4 and 5, the 'Pagodas'

AWRE Laboratories 4 and 5, the 'Pagodas'

The 'Pagodas' are Laboratories 4 and 5 of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE) site. The buildings in this area are highly unstable and contain deep pits and drops. 

For this reason you can only get close to the 'Pagodas' on a guided tour, when a warden will make sure you're safe.

On a standard visit you can follow the Red Trail to the edge of the AWRE site and see inside Laboratory 1, which gives you a good idea of the interior of the labs as they were all based on the same basic design principle - to contain an explosion.

You've got to see...

  • Thrift on the Isle of Wight in May © NTPL

    Spring beauty

    Sea thrift flowers in the salt-marsh, skylarks sing on high, sheep's sorrel turns the shingle red...

  • Hares return to Ickworth © Andy Rouse

    Mad as a...

    After Easter brown hares are still frisky. You might even see them box.

  • Meadow brown butterfly on the Isle of Wight © Matthew Oates / NT

    Summer haze

    Butterflies flutter and stoats and weasels play. Just a heads up - summer is our busiest time.

  • Look out for the distinctive barn owl hunting at dusk © northeastwildlife.co.uk

    Autumn skies

    Barn owl and marsh harrier hunt in the low autumnal sun. Migrating waders and wildfowl stop by.

  • Look out for the distinctive barn owl hunting at dusk © NT

    A helping hand

    Our team of volunteers have a wealth of knowledge about the site. Stop them for a chat.

Don't be disappointed...

We only have a small number of ferry tickets available each day and can sell out early.

Follow us on Twitter if you can and we'll do our best to let you know if we're selling out early during the day.

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Things to remember

  • Bombs were dropped and are still here - keep to the visitor trails!
  • There's no tea-room so bring your own food and drink
  • It's much bigger than you think - be suited and booted for walking
  • The weather can change suddenly and dramatically - be prepared
  • If it's your first visit allow at least three hours to look around
  • We can sell out of tickets so arrive early to avoid disappointment

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