Half term at Calke Abbey

Natural play areas at National Trust Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

From spooky tunnels to woodland adventures, there's lots to do at Calke Abbey this October half term. Here's some handy inspiration for your autumnal days out, as well as at-home activities to keep the kids entertained whatever the weather.

1) Dare to enter the spooky tunnel...

Scare the kids silly this Halloween with a trip down into the spooky tunnel, where you'll find plenty of dark corners, ghoulish shadows and creepy crawlies. And what was that sound..? 

The spooky tunnel is open from Sat 16–Sun 31 Oct, 11am–4pm. You can enter through the West Door, but will you come back out again? 

2) Enjoy the harvest at Apple Day 

Come and discover all things apple-related as we celebrate apples and orchards in the walled garden on Sat 16 Oct, 11am–4pm.

With apple tasting to get your taste buds tingling, fruity fun and games for all the family, and plenty of apple-related stalls, there's something for everyone at Apple Day. 

Please note that some stalls are only able to accept cash payments. 

3) 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. Cycle hire is also available from the Stableyards; find more information on the cycling webpage.

The facilities at Calke Explore will be open every day, including the toilets, Changing Places toilet and Food and Beverage kiosk. 

4) 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, or search for conkers beneath the horse chestnut trees?

For more walking inspiration, download a route fro the link the below. 

Sunrise over the pond at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Walking at Calke Abbey

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

5) See autumn in all its colourful glory

The parkland and gardens are bursting with vibrant colours this autumn. Look out for rusty golden leaves, colourful mushrooms peeking through the ground and bright pumpkins in the veg plots. 

You'll even find a display of homegrown pumpkins and gourds on the auricula theatre, in all sorts of shapes and sizes. How many pumpkins can you count?

6) Discover weird and wonderful wildlife

Autumn is a great time to look out for wildlife at Calke Abbey. It's rutting season in the deer park, which means the stags will start displaying some unusual behaviours. Can you hear them bellowing? If you're lucky, you might even see them clashing antlers. 

Don't forget to check into the bug hotel at Calke Explore to see what you can find nestled among the leaves.

7) 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: 

Autumn activities for all