Six reasons to visit Calke Abbey for half-term

A family exploring the stableyards at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

There's plenty of exploring to be done at Calke Abbey, whatever the weather. Here are our top six reasons to visit this half-term...

1)    There’s loads of weird and wonderful wildlife

It might be cold and wet outside, but winter is still a great time to see wildlife at Calke Abbey. Go for a walk around the Deer Park to see our herd of red and fallow deer, or pop into the bird hides to see some of Calke's regular visitors to the bird feeders.

If you're out and about exploring the parkland, don't forget to look out for our new hidden wildlife sculptures around the park. Pick up a Seek and Reveal map and see how many you can spot.

2)    You can have a go at kite-flying

Head out onto the meadow with your kite and see where the wind takes you! Join us on Sunday 11 February for a kite-flying day, from 11am–4pm. 

See where the wind takes you at our kite-flying day
A kite-flying event at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire
See where the wind takes you at our kite-flying day

3)    You might meet a character from Calke’s past… 

We’re uncovering lots of new stories in the house this year. Get a sneak peek as we open the family apartments during the half-term holidays, from Sat 10 Feb to Sun 25 Feb, 11am–4pm (last entry 3.15pm). 

If you visit on Sat 24 Feb, you'll be greeted by characters from Calke's past as they tell lots of stories about Calke's history (12.30pm–4pm). The Riding School will be hosting a 1940s tea dance from 2.15–3.15pm, where you can jive the afternoon away.

4)    There are lots of things to take pictures of

Are you a budding photographer? There are lots of places to take great photos at Calke, from countryside and country houses to woodland and wildlife.

Come along to one of our popular photography walks for children to pick up lots of handy tips from our volunteer photography team. The next walk will be on Saturday 17 February, from 1.30pm–2.30pm. Meet outside the Ticket Office and don't forget to bring your camera!

Pick up some handy photography tips on a camera walk
A 'kids with cameras' walk at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire
Pick up some handy photography tips on a camera walk

5)    Squirt’s Stable is open for business

Packed full of nature-inspired activites, Squirt’s Stable has everything you need to get crafty this half-term. Dress up in costumes and discover what it was like to live at Calke. Play in Sir Vauncey’s study where there’s lots of old books, or have a go at some seasonal arts and crafts.

From Saturday 10 to Fri 23 February, join us in Squirt's Stable for some spring activities. Squirt's Stable will be open from 10.30am–4pm.

Get creative at Calke Abbey
Squirt's Stable is the family activity area at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire
Get creative at Calke Abbey

6)    You can tick off lots of your '50 things' list

How many things have you ticked off your '50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾' list? There are lots of things you can tick off at Calke. Roll down a big hill, explore inside a tree, splash in a puddle or go on a really long bike ride along the new Tramway Trail.