Summer fun for the family

Children jumping for joy in the paddock

The birds are singing, the sun is shining and the kids ready for summer! It’s the perfect time for the whole family to enjoy Canons Ashby at its best.

Family fun

There are plenty of ways to keep the younger visitors entertained this summer at Canons Ashby. So visit again and again to have a go at something different.

You'll find lots for the whole family at Canons Ashby
A parent helps a child complete a trail
You'll find lots for the whole family at Canons Ashby

Come to a special event

The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle by Illyria

Friday 17 August, 6-8pm
Bring the family and a picnic to enjoy this much-loved story, brought to life by Illyria in the beautiful grounds of Canons Ashby.
Dr John Dolittle of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh starts out as a human doctor. But once he is taught by his wise old parrot Polynesia how to talk to animals he becomes the most celebrated veterinary doctor in England. Word of his skill spreads and animals across the world send messages asking for his help. So he buys a leaky old ship and, together with his trusty pet-crew, sets forth on a mission to heal illness, right wrongs and gain a greater understanding of the animal kingdom.
Adults £14, Children (3-16) £8, 0-2 year olds free. (End time is approximate)
Find out more and book tickets here!

50 things to do before you're 11¾ activities

During the summer holidays we will be doing activities themed around our 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ scrapbooks. Get closer to nature with our family-friendly activities and earn yourself a sticker for your book. Find out more about the activities.

Enjoy one of our trails

These trails are free to do and suitable for different ages. Please ask at Visitor Reception on your way in.

Wild Nature Trail

Become a nature detective. Pick up a Nature Trail get outdoors together with the family and see what evidence of wildlife you can find in our outdoor spaces. Be prepared to see the delightful and disgusting side of nature!

Garden spotting trail

Explore the site and tick off all the interesting things you can find. It's great for a range of ages, but particularly for younger kids when other activities may go over their heads.

The house trail

If the weather is a bit wet, why not try the “Stolen!” trail in the house. Lots of objects have gone missing from Canons Ashby, can you help us find them all?


Enjoy family time in the sunshine

Enjoying a day out
Riding high on a fun day out
Enjoying a day out

Play and picnic in the paddock

The paddock is ideal for summer family picnics with plenty of space for the children to run around and let off steam. Don’t miss the small wild play area in the corner of the paddock and through the spinney. There's a home-made den, things to balance on or crawl through and plenty of insect habitats to inspect.

Canons Ashby's wildflower paddock is the perfect place for a picnic
A family having a picnic in the green paddock in front of the priory.
Canons Ashby's wildflower paddock is the perfect place for a picnic

Stretch your legs

Bring your explorers and see what you can find in our outdoor spaces. There are trees to climb around on and animals to see in the parkland (just please don't get too close). Whilst the gardens are bursting with colourful flowers which attract lots of insects, including beautiful butterflies and busy bumble bees.

Enjoy a special treat

Whilst you’re here, don’t miss the Stables tea-room and the Coach House shop.

We make delicious cakes, sandwiches and lunch specials, as well as children's packed lunches.There are high chairs, facilities to warm baby food and both indoor and outdoor seating, to help your day go as smoothly as possible.

In the Coach House shop you'll find beautiful gifts and mementoes, including a selection of local nature-inspired art, homeware and gifts, as well as speciality preserves, biscuits, sweets and drink. There's also lots for the children including books,gifts and games to keep the little ones entertained or allow them to enjoy their pocket money!

Treat yourself in the tea room!
Child enjoying a scone with jam and cream
Treat yourself in the tea room!