Get playful with '50 things' at Calke Abbey

Splashing in puddles 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.

No. 1 Get to know a tree

You’ll find amazing trees around every corner at Calke, and some of them are over 1000 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?

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. 6 Go welly wandering

It's been a wet winter at Calke, but that just means lots of opportunities to jump in a great big puddle! Grab the wellies and set off on an adventure this winter.

Make a splash at Calke Abbey
Wet weather walks at National Trust Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Make a splash at Calke Abbey

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.

No. 15 Go on a wintry adventure

Throw off the winter blankets and wrap up warm for an outdoor adventure at Calke. Have you been to Calke Explore yet? There's a natural woodland play area which is open all year for little explorers, and great access to walking and cycling routes.

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. 29 Explore a cave

... or a badger sett! Down at Calke Explore, there's a human-sized badger sett just waiting to be explored! Duck in and see what life is like for a badger. 

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.

No. 44 Watch a bird

The best place to see our regular winged visitors is in the bird hide at the far end of the main car park. Take a seat and see who’s popping in for a bit of food.

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!