Get playful with '50 things' at Calke Abbey

Explore the woodland at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

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.

No. 1 Get to know a tree

You’ll find amazing trees around every corner at Calke, and some of them are over 1,000 years old! Feel the rough bark under your fingers, explore the insides of a tree, or take a closer look at some of the deadwood at Calke – it’s home to lots of important minibeasts. What will you spot?

There are lots of trees to explore at Calke Abbey
A child exploring inside a tree at Calke Abbey, Derbsyhire
There are lots of trees to explore at Calke Abbey

No. 4 Build a den

It’s time to get hands-on! Head over to Serpentine Wood, collect some great big sticks and build yourself an awesome den. All in a day’s work!

No. 8 Spot a fish

Peer into Calke's ponds and see if you can spot a fish wriggling under the surface! There's a pond very close to the main car park – follow the steps down towards the pond and take a look.

No. 11 Explore on wheels

Feel the wind in your hair on a family bike ride along the Tramway Trail, Calke’s relatively flat, circular cycle route.

The best place to start your bike ride is at Calke Explore. Follow the signs on the driveway, then park up and roll straight onto the Tramway Trail.

The Tramway Trail is perfect for family bike rides
Tramway Trail cycling route at National Trust Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
The Tramway Trail is perfect for family bike rides

No. 16 Wear a wild crown 

You'll find twigs and leaves all over the place at Calke, the perfect materials to make a fantastic crown. What will yours look like? 

No. 31 Make friends with a bug

Calke is home to lots of bugs, beetles and butterflies – you’ll be able to spot lots near the ponds or in the Flower Garden. There's even a giant bug hotel down at Calke Explore, so you're bound to bump into some minibeasts if you take a wander in the woods. 

No. 44 Watch a bird

Spring is the perfect time to listen out for birds having a sing-song. Watch carefully, and you'll see all sorts of different birds flitting between the trees. Can you name any of them?

No. 50 Take a friend on a nature adventure

Had a great adventure at Calke? Share the fun and enjoy your favourite challenges over and over again. The adventures never need to end!