Five reasons to visit Calke Abbey for half term

Natural play areas at National Trust Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

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

1) There are over 600 acres of playground

How big is your back garden? Ours is over 600 acres! With woodland walks, wide open meadows and plenty of pathways, you can have loads of fun exploring the parkland here at Calke Abbey.

Don’t forget that Calke Explore is open all year round for a family adventure in the woods. With natural play, a giant bug hotel and lots of things to climb on, the kids can go wild in nature while you relax with a cuppa. 

In the rest of the estate, Serpentine Wood is a popular, winding woodland route, while the Tramway Trail is ideal for family bike rides. If you prefer to step off the beaten track, pick up a park map and have your own unique half-term adventure.

2) The display of autumn colours is fabulous 

As the leaves begin to turn the park becomes a kaleidoscope of colour with every shade of gold, brown and yellow you can imagine. Take a walk to see the 'Old Man of Calk' our 1000 year old oak tree, kicking up the leaves as you go. Head up to the gardenba nd see the scarecrows in their autumnal glory and our super diplay of weird and wonderful, gourds, pumpkins and squashes on the theatre. You'll be amazed at the variety of colours, shapes and sizes

3) There’s loads of weird and wonderful wildlife

Autumn is the perfect time to go wildlife spotting. Look out for red and fallow deer in the Deer Park; it's rutting time so the males look magnificent as they strut their stuff, with their super antlers, deep red coats and rumbling bellows, it's certainly a sight and sound to behold. Make sure you keep an eye to the skies in search of birds who spend the winter here as they start to arrive during the autumn months, great flocks of redwings and fieldfares take advantage of the seeds, nuts and berries on offer throughout the parkland. Don't forget to keep your eyes on the ground too though and see how many weird and wonderful fungi you can spot, the meadows provide a good spot for the many colours of waxcaps that spring up in October and November.

A waterfall along one of Calke Abbey's trails, Derbyshire

Winter Walks at Calke

Enjoy crisp, winter walks at Calke and explore seasonal highlights around the estate.

From the red deer with their spectacular antlers, to Parasol mushrooms popping up around the estate – there are lots of things to take photos of at Calke Abbey.

Brush up on your photography skills at Calke
Children photographing snowdrops at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Brush up on your photography skills at Calke

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

How many challenges have you tried on your '50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾' list? At Calke, there are loads of things you can have a go at.

Explore inside one of Calke's huge ancient trees, build a brilliant den in the woodland (Serpentine Wood is an excellent den spot) or enjoy a really long bike ride along the Tramway Trail. 

Let us know what you get up to this half term @NTCalkeAbbey and don't forget to tag us #YourCalke.