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 lots of spooky things to see and do

Do you dare to enter the spooky tunnel beneath the house? Creep through the dark tunnel and see what sights, sounds and scares you discover along the way… we dare you! The spooky tunnel is open from Mon 14 Oct–Fri 1 Nov, 12.30–4pm.

If that’s not frightful enough, we’re hosting a Pumpkin Party in the walled garden on Thurs 31 Oct, 11am–3pm, where you can carve creepy designs into your pumpkin and add them to our display. Find full details on the What’s On page. 

Carve your own pumpkin at the Pumpkin Party
A carved pumpkin in the tunnels at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire
Carve your own pumpkin at the Pumpkin Party

2) Squirt's Stable is open for business

Packed full of family activities, 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 14 Oct–Fri 1 Nov, join us in Squirt's Stable for some Halloween-themed activities, from 10.30am–4pm.

3) There are lots of things to take photos of

From the red deer with their spectacular antlers, to bright autumn leaves on the trees – there are lots of things to take photos of at Calke Abbey!

Join our team of volunteer photographers for a creative walk in the park, where you’ll pick up lots of handy tips and tricks for taking photos. We’re setting off from outside the Ticket Office on Sat 26 Oct at 1.30pm. Don’t forget to bring a camera and an adult with you. 

4) 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, including a human-sized badger sett, 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. For some inspiration, download one of our popular autumn walks below. If you prefer to step off the beaten track, pick up a park map and have your own unique half-term adventure.

A chestnut tree in autumn at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Autumnal walks at Calke

Escape the crowds this autumn and explore the inspiring parkland that Calke Abbey has to offer.

5) 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 throughout the year. The bird hides are the perfect place to spot lots of our regular winged visitors – you’ll find one in the main car park near the Deer Park, and another down at Calke Explore.

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.

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

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