Autumn 50 things adventures

A family and dog explore the outdoors in autumn

We’ve picked out our top ten things activities to do this autumn at Hadrian’s Wall. From bird watching to kite flying to stargazing, we’ve got something to suit every adventurous family.

Run around in the rain (no. 6)

Hadrian’s Wall is a great place to explore whatever the weather. Splash around in puddles and pretend you’re a Roman soldier, fresh off the boat from Italy and experiencing the joys of British rain for the first time. And, unlike a Roman soldier, you can dry off in the Visitor Centre afterwards with hot drinks and cakes!

Fly a kite (no. 7)

Blustery autumn days are perfect for a spot of kite flying, and where better to send your kite soaring into the sky than the wide Northumberland moors around Hadrian’s Wall?

Make a trail with sticks (no. 12)

Making a trail with sticks is a great way to keep your friends and family following you round for a couple of hours. Gather up sticks, pinecones or pebbles and lay them on the ground in the shape of arrows. Make sure the arrows are easy to spot on the ground – lay them on paths or on grass so they stand out, rather than on top of lots of other sticks and leaves. Then let the hunt begin!

Create some wild art (no. 18)

Colourful leaves and bright berries make autumn the perfect time for creating your own unique work of wild art. You can use anything you find on the ground (as long as an animal isn’t already using it for their house!) so the only limit is your imagination! Look for interesting shapes and different textures as well as beautiful colours – nuts, seed pods, pebbles and pinecones are all great arty materials. Then, either make your artwork outside or, if you’re aiming to create something more ambitious, take everything you’ve gathered home and get creative there.

Go stargazing (no. 27)

With the clocks changing and the nights drawing in, autumn is the ideal season for stargazing. Join us for a special stargazing event on 23 October, perfect for families of all ages to explore the moon, planets, stars and beyond. What’s more, many of the names we use for our constellations today were first invented by the ancient Romans, making Hadrian’s Wall the perfect place for a spot of stargazing. Find out more about the event here

Hunt for bugs (no. 31)

Be a nature detective and hunt for creepy-crawlies around the wall. Look in cracks along the wall, in patches of long grass or under stones and dead wood – you’re almost certain to find something. Once you've found your bugs, remember to be gentle with any that you choose to pick up as they'll probably be scared of you. Also, make sure you put your bugs safely back in their homes once you’ve finished looking at them.

Catch a falling leaf (no. 33)

That magical moment in autumn where a golden leaf comes away from the tree and floats down to the ground - can you catch it as it falls? Catching a falling leaf might sound easy, but with a gust of wind the leaf that was heading straight for your outstretched palm often ends up in a muddy puddle instead. You’ll have to be quick to catch your leaf!

Make a home for a wild animal (no. 36)

Come autumn time, ladybirds, hedgehogs, butterflies, dormice and bats are all ready to curl up for a nice long sleep over the winter. Why not make them a cosy home to hibernate in? Have a look here for lots of great tips from the National Trust about building your animal home and then do some research to find out exactly what kind of home your chosen animal likes. Then you can go out to Hadrian’s Wall all ready to make your little house, which might just keep a little creature snug and warm this winter.

Go bird watching (no. 44)

The national nature reserve at Greenlee Lough is a fantastic spot for birdwatching, with a bird hide and a boardwalk through the reed beds. As well as water, birds like ducks, teal and swans, elsewhere along Hadrian’s Wall you might also see swallows gathering to migrate to Africa. Take binoculars to help you see birds up close, a book to help you identify which birds you see and a notebook to record your sightings.

Find a geocache (no. 49)

Geocaching is an exciting outdoor treasure hunt for the whole family, and there are now several ‘caches’ hidden around Hadrian’s Wall. All you need is a GPS device or a smartphone (you can download a free geocaching app for Android or iPhone, or use the website). Once you’ve found a cache near you on, just enter the co-ordinates in to your device and follow its directions. Once you reach the right spot, you might have to use a bit of imagination to find the cache! Why not start with this cache  in the wood just next to Housesteads fort? Most caches have a log book for you to leave a message in. The satisfaction of finding the box is a reward in itself, but sometimes you will find a strange array of trinkets that people have left to swap. Remember, if you take a treasure out of the box, make sure you leave something else in its place for the next person to find.

To help you keep track of all your adventures, you can also download our 50 things app for Apple here and for Android here