Six reasons to visit Calke Abbey for half term

The Tramway Trail multi-use trail 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

Go wildlife spotting and look out for red and fallow deer, our flock of rare Portland sheep and lots of different birds who visit us even during the winter. The bird hides are the perfect place to spot lots of our regular winged visitors.

If the sun is shining and you're out and about exploring the parkland, don't forget to look out for our hidden wildlife sculptures around the park. Pick up an interactive map and see if you can find them all.

2)    You can go back in time… 

Come along to a Stableyard Screening to watch a short film about Calke in the Riding School, then join a tour of the Stableyards and learn loads of cool stuff about Calke’s famous racehorses and where they lived. We’ll be showing films at 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

On Sat 23 Feb, step back in time to the 1940s at the Tea Dance in the Riding School. You’ll find the land girls jiving away with the Home Guard and you can join in with the hokey cokey. The Tea Dance starts at 2.15pm. 

3)    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 and pick up lots of handy tips from our volunteer photography team. The next walk will be on Sat 16 Feb, from 1.30pm–2.30pm. Meet outside the Ticket Office and don't forget to bring your camera (and a parent!).

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

4)    Squirt’s Stable is open for business

Packed full of family 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 Mon 18 Feb to Fri 22 Feb, join us in Squirt's Stable for some nature-themed activities, from 10.30am–4pm.

5)    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.

Serpentine Wood is a popular, winding woodland route, while the Tramway Trail is ideal for family bike rides. For some inspiration, download one of our popular winter walks below. If you prefer to step off the beaten track, pick up a park map and have your own unique half-term adventure.

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.

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. Pick up your 50 Things scrapbook from Squirt's Stable and get started this half term.