Playful summer days at Calke

fun at Calke Explore, Calke Abbey, Midlands

Enjoy playful summer days in Calke's natural, outdoor play areas, where kids can go wild and get closer to nature. Enter the Garden of Imagination through the secret door, or go on a woodland adventure at Calke Explore this summer holiday.

Lose yourself in the Garden of Imagination

Enter through the secret door and discover the Garden of Imagination, open every day at Calke from Saturday 8 July to Sunday 3 September, 10:30am to 4pm.

This year's theme is 'hide and seek', and there are plenty of places for children to unleash their imaginations in the walled kitchen garden this summer! Explore the Ivy Cottage hideaway, build a brick wall with our special bricks or play in the buzzy beehive.

If all that exploring works up a thirst, light refreshments will be available from the Potting Shed – or why not try one of our freshly made, wood-fired pizzas? The new pizza oven will be fired up every day of the school holidays in the Garden of Imagination, serving delicious pizzas from 12–2.30pm. (Please note that we may not be able to open the pizza oven on rainy days.)

Exploring the grassy meadow inside the Walled Garden
Calke Abbey, Midlands, Garden of Imagination in the Kitchen Garden

Have a wild adventure in Calke Explore

If you go down to the woods this summer, you’ll discover a whole range of outdoor activities to get little explorers closer to nature.

Brave adventurers can have a go on the climbing ropes and balancing logs, or get to grips with orienteering. Curious kids can pick up a nature pack and seek out some of Calke’s wildlife or even go cloud-spotting!

Don’t forget to complete your adventures with an ice cream! Light refreshments will be available to buy, but you’re welcome to bring a picnic. Calke Explore is open from Saturday 8 July to Sunday 3 September, 10:30am to 4pm.

Climbing at Calke Explore
Children enjoying Calke Explore at Calke Abbey, Midlands, National Trust

Playground adventures

As you enter the Stableyards, you'll discover Calke's adventure playground. Conquer the climing wall, abseil down the rope and attempt to reach the other side of the monkey bars without letting go!

The playground is great fun for children aged 18 months to 12 years old, as long as they’re supervised by an adult.