Family friendly places

Have fun dressing up © James Day

Have fun dressing up

Step into the past with some dressing up, try climbing a chimney or go on a treasure hunt in one of our houses. Roll down hills, re-enact great battles in ruined castles or climb cargo nets.

Our houses, gardens and estates are teeming with opportunities to explore - and have something exciting to offer come rain or shine.

If you're still looking for inspiration, check out our ideas for rainy days.

Find a place to visit

Some of our most family friendly places to visit

  • Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire

    Welcome to country house living 30s style. See if you can spot all 37 clocks or check out 1930s clothes. Discover acres of lawn or wander down Emperor’s walk comparing its statues. Explore the meadows and the wildlife discovery area. Rain: Be in the living room at 3pm when the Pagoda Clock erupts into music and life. Shine: Recreate the poses of the statues in the garden.

  • Arlington Court, Devon

    There are plenty of adventures to be had at Arlington whether indoors or out. The carriage museum boasts many interactive activities, such as our carriage comfort test, while the wider estate is a prime location for letting little legs burn off some energy. Sun: stroll down to our two play areas and test your balancing, swinging and climbing skills. Rain: explore the house using our shells and model ships quizzes.

  • Belton House, Lincolnshire

    Uncover the glitz, glamour and wealth of the 17th century. Discover the stories of a 'perfect' country house inside and out. Swing and slide your way around the mega-sized adventure playground. There’s also the Discovery Centre in the stable yard for seasonal hands-on activities. Rain: Crawl and climb through the indoor play area. Shine: Enjoy miniature train rides through the playground in the summer.

  • Brockhampton Estate, Herefordshire

    This fairytale house has a lovely crooked gatehouse and ruined Norman chapel. Discover fun sculptures on woodland walks including a lifesize replica shire horse and a small house built from willow branches. Rain: In the house spot a carved lion, and leather fire buckets from the 19th century. Shine: Follow the Nursery Rhyme Trail or visit the meadow.

  • Castle Drogo, Devon

    England’s last castle, Castle Drogo looks like a medieval fortress. Enjoy spotting the fake castle features like the arrow splits before heading inside to a mixture of old and new. Outside, follow the winding paths and try to find the children’s playhouse set within its own cottage garden. Rain: Grab a quiz and spot objects from across the ages. Shine: Find the Bunty House.

  • Castle Ward, Co Down

    Built in the 1820s, very little of this house has changed since the 1900s. Wander down by the river and spot a kingfisher or buzzard. Those of you with an appetite for action can try out the playground with slides and swings galore. Rain: Visit the Victorian Past Times Centre and find period toys and costumes to try on. Shine: Enjoy a woodland, lakeside or parkland walk.

  • Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire

    Enjoy a gentle stroll followed by a relaxing picnic by the lake. Hang out on the climbing forest in the play park, or pick up a family tracker pack and see what you can find. Sun: Get on your bike – enjoy a family bike ride and choose from over 20 miles of cycle routes through spectacular scenery. Rain: Learn about the park’s animal inhabitants at our new Discovery Centre.

  • Corfe Castle, Dorset

    Enid Blyton fans may get a strange sense of feeling that you know the place well, as this ruin featured in the Famous Five. From spooky ruins and grisly dungeons, to medieval loos and murder holes - there’s loads to explore. Rain: Find out which English king was the first to wear a dressing gown or play with all the interactive displays. Shine: Have a Famous Five picnic.

  • Dinefwr Park and Castle, Carmarthenshire

    Friendly volunteers will guide little fingers through hands-on activities at Newton House, and don’t miss the thrilling views from the castle. Sun: See the shy, fallow deer munching away under the trees on waymarked walks through the park or let off steam in the children’s play area. Rain: Listen to servants chatting about their daily work or take a hidden history tour.

  • Erddig, Wrexham

    Erddig brings the 'upstairs, downstairs' story alive. Outdoors, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, cycle hire or take one of the circular walks. Rain: Look for the gamekeeper, the housemaid and the blacksmith among the portraits of the servants in the servants’ hall and basement passage. Shine: Find the 18th century waterfall known as the 'cup and saucer' in the park.

  • Gibside, Tyne & Wear

    The former home of the Queen Mother’s family, the Bowes-Lyons, is one of the few places left to see red squirrels and red kites. What’s more, there are woods to explore and open spaces to run around in. It’s also a great place for a welly walk or to make mud pies. Sun: Go wildlife spotting or have a go on the low ropes climbing challenge. Rain: There’s plenty of indoor fun with the milkable cow and the Playhouse.

  • Ightham Mote, Kent

    A fantastic moated manor house so hidden away that during the English Civil War, Cromwell’s soldiers got lost trying to find it. Don’t miss the crypt and the very unusual dog kennel. Rain: Travel back to Tudor times in the chapel and crane your neck to see the hand-painted ceiling. Shine: Enjoy a lakeside walk.

  • Lanhydrock, Cornwall

    Below stairs visit the housemaid’s closet, complete with dusters and polishes and the well-stocked linen lobby. Outside, discover the Victorian gardens or enjoy the adventure playground, complete with wobbly bridge. Rain: Spot the mythical beasts carved into the Long Gallery ceiling. Shine: Walk beneath the dramatic avenues of beech trees.

  • Lydford Gorge, Devon

    Follow the walks through different sections of the gorge, see the breathtaking White Lady Waterfall, pass over the tumbling water at Tunnel Falls and watch the river bubble as you ‘walk the plank’ over the Devil's Cauldron. Rain: Watch woodland birds from the bird hide. Shine: Spot butterflies, dragonflies and dazzling damselflies as well as creepy bugs and beetles.

  • Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire

    Children can stretch their legs in style here and hone their detective skills as they hunt for wildlife among the grand temples and monuments. Stowe is a great spot to enjoy a family picnic on a sunny day. Rain: Find shelter in your favourite temple and guess its hidden meaning. Shine: Enjoy a walk around the gardens, followed by a picnic under one of Stowe’s beautiful trees.

  • Sudbury Museum of Childhood, Derbyshire

    Sudbury is a late 17th century house celebrating everything from outdoor adventure to stories and imagination. Younger visitors can try fun activity sheets and garden trails as well as see a colourful garden made entirely out of plasticine. Rain: Experience life 'below stairs' on the Meet the Butler tour. Shine: Picnic on the meadow as the swans swim by.

  • Sutton Hoo, Suffolk

    The home of the ship-burial of an Anglo-Saxon warrior king, including weapons and treasure. Dress up in costumes, see the large burial grounds and have fun in the children’s play area. Rain: Be transported by our film to a world of Anglo-Saxon kings, craftsmen and poets. Shine: Explore the estate with on one of the woodland or heathland walks and enjoy the estuary view.

  • Trelissick, Cornwall

    Work out the time in the scented garden using the sundial, discover exotic plants like the skunk cabbage in the bog garden or walk the rustic bridge in the Dell where the tropical looking Australian ferns transport you to another land. Rain: Discover not one but four summerhouses dotted around the garden. Shine: Find the perfect place to picnic in the sheltered garden.

  • Wimpole Home Farm, Cambridgeshire

    This is a farm that invites you to look, touch and even feed its animals. Hidden among the trees, the adventure playground is perfect for those who love to climb, slide, scramble and swing, while tiny tots can enjoy their own play. Rain: Find out how the Farm Manager manages a modern farm. Shine: Watch the Jersey cow on the milking machine and join in grooming the donkeys.