50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ at Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey, Midlands, Calke Explore bug hunting

We think Calke is a brilliant place to visit to tick off items on your 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ adventure. Don't forget to pick up a scrapbook in Squirt's Stable to help you keep track.

6. Run around in the rain

Grab a raincoat and get those wellies on. There's lots of places for you to run around in the rain in the park.

Make a trip down to the wetlands and see the splashes in the pond.

 
 

7. Fly a kite

All you need is a windy day. Our meadow by the stables is the perfect wide open space to fly your kite.

Make sure to look up and check nothing will get in the way before your flight begins.

 
 

9. Eat an apple straight from a tree

Only if it's ripe and ready! Come along to our apple day in the orchard to learn more about apples from our gardeners.

 
 

10. Play conkers

Collect some conkers from around the park and shine them up ready to play.

Conkers comes from horse chestnut trees and we have plenty around the park for you to find.

 

11. Go on a really long bike ride

The Tramway at Calke is nice and flat and perfect for a bike ride. The route goes through tunnels and countryside.

Don't forget to take a drink and a snack in case you need a rest, the route is about 8km in total. 

 
 

12. Make a trail with sticks

Collect some fallen sticks and lay a little trail to follow. You can make your own path through the woods.

 
 

21. Pick blackberries growing in the wild

Delicious blackberries are growing everywhere! Have a look in the hedgerows and see how many ripe ones you can find.

Don't forget to rinse them before you eat them!

 
 

22. Explore inside a tree

Calke Park is full of old trees and some of them have hollows so big you can climb right inside.

 
 

25. Make a grass trumpet

There are 600 acres for you to find the perfect blade of grass to make music.

Top tip: make a hole in the grass with your fingernail then position the grass right in between your thumbs.

 
 

31. Hunt for bugs

We rank 10th best site in Britain for invertebrates, which live on dead and decaying wood. Check under big logs or stones, in the dead wood pile and under the bark or in the holes in trees.

Don't forget to put the bugs back after.

 
 

33. Catch a falling leaf

We have hundreds of trees around the Calke estate and they will be shedding lots of leaves this autumn.

How many different coloured leaves can you catch?

 
 

34. Track wild animals

Follow footprints, feather and fur and track the animals that live in Calke park.

Or look for other signs – badgers love making a mess in front of the house hunting for grub.

 
 

44. Go bird watching

Find our two bird hides next to the deer park and in the wetlands. Keep silent as a mouse and watch the birds at play.

Take a camera and see what you can spot. Rare turtle doves have been seen in the hides before.