Play outdoors this summer holiday at Calke Abbey

Family enjoying garden games at 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, and go wild in the willow maze on the meadow...

Run wild in the Garden of Imagination

Enter through the secret door and discover the Garden of Imagination, open every day at Calke from Saturday 14 July to Sunday 2 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? Follow the delicious smells and look out for the pizza oven, open at weekends in the Garden of Imagination. (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
Exploring the grassy meadow inside the Walled Garden

Lose yourself in A Maze In Calke...

New for 2018, explore the willow maze on the meadow and see if you can find a surprise in the middle! With balance logs and lots of nature-themed activities, there's lots to keep kids entertained out on the meadow this summer.

A Maze in Calke is open every day at Calke from Saturday 14 July to Sunday 2 September, 10:30am to 4pm. Head over to the meadow beyond the car park and start your adventure. Light refreshments will be available to buy if you need an emergency refuel! 

Exploring the Garden of Imagination
Exploring the willow in the Garden of Imagination, Calke Abbey, Midlands
Exploring the Garden of Imagination

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.

Calke Explore is changing

If you're a regular visitor to Calke's outdoor summer play areas, you'll notice that Calke Explore, our woodland play area, isn't open this year. That's because we're working to create a bigger, better version of Calke Explore, so you can explore the outdoors all year round.

Eventually, the new Calke Explore will offer a café, toilets and cycle hire facilities. Step outside and there will be a new car park, footpaths, cycle routes and outdoor recreation areas, including natural play and nature trails that you can explore all year!

We're phasing the project over a number of years, but we hope to open Calke Explore in spring 2019 with pop-up facilities, giving you the chance to let us know what you think. To find out more, head over to our dedicated project page, where you can find regular updates on the project.

Unlimited summer fun

Looking forward to a family day out in our summer play areas? Why not make the fun last all month?

It costs £9.50 for a family ticket into the parkland, but for just £10 a month, you can enjoy unlimited summer adventures at Calke. Ask a member of the park entry team for details about a National Trust family membership when you arrive, and start making a year's worth of amazing memories with your little ones.

Your support means that we can look after special places like Calke Abbey for generations to come. Thank you.