Get playful with '50 things' at Calke Abbey

Enjoying the woodland at Calke Abbey, Midlands

Plot an outdoor exploration, get creative in nature and explore over 600 acres of green space as part of your '50 things to do before you’re 11¾' adventure at Calke Abbey. We’ve picked out the best spots to get you started.

'50 things' in the gardens and parkland

No. 2 Roll down a really big hill

Head down to the front of the house, where you'll find a mighty slope to roll down. Make sure you don't slip down a bunny hole... you know what happened to Alice!

Roll down a really big hill at Calke Abbey
Children enjoying the Pleasure Grounds at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire
Roll down a really big hill at Calke Abbey

No. 29 Explore a cave

Hidden in the gardens is a secret tunnel. Do you dare to venture into the dark? There are two other weird and wonderful places to discover in the gardens – a house that once upon a time stored ice, and a cave with a special pond!

No. 44 Watch a bird

As you tip toe through the trees in the Pleasure Grounds, keep your eyes and ears open for the flutter of wings and the songs of the birds. How many different birds can you spot – do you know their names?

No. 45 Find your way with a map

Pick up a map, or take a photo of the map on the information board and take your family on an adventure around Calke. Where will you choose to take them? 

No. 50 Take a friend on a nature adventure

Take it in turns to be blindfolded and guide each other through the Pleasure Grounds. Get them to touch different things and tell you what they think they are – just be careful what you’re touching and wash your hands before you eat!

Burn off some energy at Calke Explore
Children enjoying the natural outdoor play area at National Trust Calke Abbey in Derbyshire
Burn off some energy at Calke Explore

'50 things' at Calke Explore

No. 11 Explore on wheels

Fasten your helmet, ring your bell and explore Calke by bike – mind out for crossing wildlife! The Tramway Trail is the ideal circular cycling route for family bike rides. 

No. 12 Have fun with sticks

And logs! Head over to the natural play area for an adventure in the woods. 

No. 30 Go on a scavenger hunt

What can you discover with your senses? The sound of the wind, the touch of the bark, the sight of a bird... the smell of the food at the Calke Explore kiosk!

Hunting for bugs at Calke Abbey
Calke Abbey, Midlands, Calke Explore bug hunting
Hunting for bugs at Calke Abbey

No. 31 Make friends with a bug

If you wander through to the wetlands, you’ll discover your giant side and a Calke fit for the small but mighty – be careful not to wake any sleeping beauties.

No. 34 Discover wild animal clues

Can you spot the tracks of a fox, a badger latrine, the call of a bird or the evidence of a snail? Get your explorer hat on and see what you can discover.

We love to hear about your adventures in nature. Tag us in your photos online @NTCalkeAbbey, and don't forget to use the hashtag #YourCalke.