October half term events

A family plays in the autumn leaves at Castle Ward, Co. Down

Autumn is a feast for the senses as the natural world reveals its many wonders. From conker battles to finding out all about hedgehogs, there’s loads of fun to be had in the great outdoors. Join in at family events across the country this October half term.

Here's a few of our highlights

Children playing in autumn leaves at Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Bodnant Garden, Conwy 

Wild Adventures
22 October–3 November 2018

Autumn is here, and there’s no better place to celebrate it than at Bodnant Garden. This October half term you can enjoy 80 acres of dazzling autumn colour, discover the historic and exotic tree collection, and take part in a host of woodland events and activities, including leaf raking, woodland games, and nature trails.

Children enjoy dressing up at Chedworth Roman Villa

Chedworth Roman Villa, Gloucestershire 

Get Batty
20–28 October 2018

Chedworth is home to several bat species, who nest in the loft space above visitor reception. This half term we’re celebrating our winged friends with a whole week of activities, from special talks by our bat expert to a bat-themed trail around the site. You can also get creative in the pavilion with some arts and crafts, or even try dressing up as a Roman.

The trebuchet in action at Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle, Dorset 

The Great Escape and Trebuchet launch
20–28 October 2018

Are you ready for some medieval heroics? King John has captured one of our knights, but you can bring your own brave teddy to mount a daring rescue. Next, help your furry friend escape by sending them down the zip wire from the Castle keep. You can also see how far a missile launch from our resident medieval siege engine, 'Warwolf II' will travel.

Child looking at apple

Croome, Worcestershire 

Family Trail
20 October–4 November 2018

The orchards at Croome are stuffed full of apples at this time of year – and there are lots of varieties to discover. Follow the autumnal apple trail to find some of these tasty treasures hidden around the parkland. Don’t forget to collect your prize at the end of the trail.

Family on a boat near Crichton Tower

Crom, County Fermanagh 

Hidden Autumn Estate
27 October 2018

This autumn you can experience Crom like never before, by joining our rangers for a guided tour of the estate’s secrets. Take a trip across the lake using the 100 year old wooden boat, followed by a crisp, colourful walk along some of the less-visited pathways. This is one of the most beautiful times of year to explore Crom’s golden woodlands and historic ruins, or seek out deer and red squirrels.

Daubenton's Bat

Ickworth, Suffolk 

Autumn Family Trail
8 September–31 October 2018

Autumn is a time for wonderful walks, especially around the colourful grounds at Ickworth. Follow the family trail along Geraldine’s Walk and learn all about the bats that make their home here. October is also the best month to find conkers – so don’t forget to keep an eye out for the shiny little jewels as you explore the grounds. Who will be the ultimate conker champion?

A scarecrow in a vegetable garden

Mottisfont, Hampshire 

Spot the Scarecrows trail
20–28 October 2018

Harvest time is here, and at Mottisfont we're celebrating with a month of activities and adventures. Little ones will love scurrying round the garden on a new half term trail to find all of the scarecrows that have hidden themselves away in little nooks and crannies. If they’re feeling crafty they can even make their own mini scarecrow to take home.

Children learning new skills at the Apprentice House

Quarry Bank, Cheshire 

Been through the mill
22–26 October 2018

Working in the mill could be a dangerous occupation sometimes. This half term you can learn all about the gory accidents that happened to some of Quarry Bank’s mill workers during the Victorian era. You’ll also get to meet the mill’s physician and some researchers from the University of Manchester, who'll show you historical treatments and how they compare with today’s medical advances. Don’t forget to take a tour of the garden to find out which herbs could be used as medicine.

Children playing Sheringham Park, Norfolk

Sheringham Park, Norfolk 

Natural wonders
20–28 October 2018

There’s all sorts of natural magic happening at Sheringham Park this half term. Join the fascinating fungi trail, hunt for creepy crawlies on our spider safari, or go foraging for food to enjoy a wild afternoon tea. If you’re really lucky you might even spot an owl.

Boy putting conkers into a jar

Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire 

Pumpkin trail
7 October–4 November 2018

Autumn is a time of bounty at Shugborough as the team start to gather in all the seasonal produce. Run around the garden in search of pumpkins on a special trail, or head out to the arboretum where the trees will be dressed in their best and brightest autumn colours, and you can gather conkers for an epic battle. Back in the tea room there’ll be plenty of tasty seasonal treats, just in case you need some re-fuelling.

Brent geese at Strangford Lough

Strangford Lough, County Down 

Brent Watch
27 October 2018

Strangford Lough is one of the best places for wintering birds in the UK, attracting a host of wildfowl and waders. Some of the most iconic visitors are the Brent Geese: every year over 25,000 of these light-bellied birds leave their breeding grounds in east Canada and travel to Ireland to spend the winter. Come along and see how many you can spot, with a ranger on hand to help with identification and answer any questions.

A small hedgehog foraging amongst some leaves

Tredegar House, Newport 

The Secret life of Hedgehogs
27 October–4 November 2018

Come along to Tredegar House this October half term to meet the team from Hedgehog Rescue. They’ll be sharing all sorts of fascinating facts about these shy creatures, and how you can care for them in your own garden. You can also walk a mile in a hedgehog’s paw-prints as you follow a special trail through the Orchard Garden. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for hedgehog-friendly snacks along the way – and find out many slugs one hedgehog eats in order to survive winter hibernation.

A mother and child looking at a tree

The Vyne, Hampshire 

Tree bark rubbing
1–31 October 2018

Have you ever got up close to a tree and taken a good look at its bark? Give it a go and you’ll soon realise how different they are – some smooth, some rough, some a bit knobbly. To really find out what they’re like, you can collect some paper and colouring crayons, place the paper against the bark of your favourite-looking tree, and just start colouring until all the quirky details of the bark appear on the paper. Why not try making rubbings from a few different trees to see how they compare?

Boy doing a nature trail

Ravenscar, Yorkshire Coast 

Mammal bioblitz week
20–28 October 2018

To celebrate The Mammal Society’s National Mammal Week, our Yorkshire Coast rangers have teamed up with other conservation organisations and local wildlife enthusiasts to put the country’s mammals firmly in the spotlight. You can join in with a week-long series of events, including a small mammal survey on the 27 October, where you can get stuck in searching for voles, shrews and wood mice throughout the woodlands and hedgerows.