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

Splashing in puddles at Calke Abbey, Midlands

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.


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.


13. Make a mud pie

When the wet weather arrives, get your wellies on and make the most of that mud.

But whatever you do – don't eat those pies! They wouldn't taste very nice at all.

18. Create some wild art

Collect some fallen leaves, sticks and conkers and make a spectacular piece of art. You'll find all sorts of art supplies in the woods and around the park.


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.


36. Make a home for a wild animal

Craft a hotel for bugs, a house for a hedgehog or a snail shelter.

Collect lots of building materials such as twigs, leaves, moss and stones, then make a cosy home for a wild animal.


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.