Five things to do at Calke Abbey this half term

Natural play areas at National Trust Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

While we're not able to run our usual half-term activities, there's plenty of exploring to be done at Calke Abbey, whatever the weather. Find five things to do with the kids at Calke, booking information, and at-home activities here.

1) Go wild in Calke Explore

Calke Explore is open all year round for a family adventure in the woods. With a natural play area, giant bug hotel and lots of things to climb on, the kids can go wild in nature while you relax with a cuppa.

Park at Calke Explore for easy access to the Tramway Trail – the perfect family cycling, scooting and walking route. 

The facilities at Calke Explore will be open every day, including the toilets, Changing Places toilet and Food and Beverage kiosk. Please note the badger sett remains closed at this time. Admission to Calke Explore is included in your booking.

2) Stretch your legs on a walk in the park

This half term, why not explore the ancient parkland on one of the suggested routes, or discover your own adventure on paths not marked on a map.

Serpentine Wood is a popular route winding through woodland, and you can follow the way-marked route to see the deer in all their magnificence. Why not stop off to build a den in the woods along the way?

For more walking inspiration, download a route fro the link the below. If you prefer to step off the beaten track, pick up a park map and have your own unique half-term adventure.

Sunrise over the pond at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Walking at Calke Abbey

Everyone needs a place to escape to. Immerse yourself in nature this spring on a peaceful walk in over 600 acres of inspiring parkland at Calke.

3) See spring in all its colourful glory

The gardens are bursting with spring colour at this time of year – can you find all the colours of the rainbow in the walled garden? 

Start at the auricula theatre and walk through the Flower Garden and Physic Garden, where you'll find the scarecrows watching over the veg plots. The Walled Kitchen Garden is a great enclosed space where the kids can run around in the long grass. 

4) Discover weird and wonderful wildlife

Spring is a great time to look out for wildlife at Calke Abbey, from longhorn cattle and roaming deer to birds, beetles and butterflies.

At Calke Explore, check out the bug hotel to see what tiny residents you can spot, or pop up to the gardens to visit the beehive. It's foraging season, so you'll see lots of bees coming and going from the hive to collect nectar from the plants in the garden. 

Over in the deer park, you might spot some new-born fawn, although they like to hide among the bracken! The herd is made up of red and fallow deer – can you tell the difference? Look out for lambs too, as they bounce around in the meadows. 

5) 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.

Here are some great ideas to get you started this half-term: 

Don't forget to book your visit in advance

You can book online via the What's On page of the website. If we're fully booked, please try again for another day, as we can't guarantee admission if you haven't booked. 

We encourage all visitors to use the car parks on the estate – either the main car park, or the car park at Calke Explore. This helps us to manage social distancing at Calke, and ensures the safety of all staff, volunteers, visitors and the local community. 

We ask everyone to be mindful of other visitors while you exercise, and keep your distance as per the latest government guidelines. 

Please note that the children's play area in the Stableyards remains closed at this time, and may not re-open until social distancing measures are lifted. 

Activities to keep busy