Spring adventures at Hardcastle Crags

Children exploring the woodland at Hardcastle Crags

Whether you're ticking off some of the 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 or exploring the woodland on a walk, there's lots for families to enjoy on a visit to Hardcastle Crags - rain or shine.

50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾  

Get close to nature and tick off some adventures from our 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ list. There's bugs to befriend, puddles to splash in and ponds to investigate so why not challenge yourself to see how many you can tick off on a visit to Hardcastle Crags? Here are a few ideas to help get you started: 

  • No. 31: Make friends with a bug. See how many you can find in the woodland and make some new friends on your visit. 
  • No. 21: Have fun with sticks. Gather up sticks of all sizes and make a trail through the trees.
  • No. 1: Get to know a tree. There's plenty to choose from at Hardcastle Crags. From tall trees to new trees, take a look at the different varieties growing in the woodland.  
  • No. 30. Go on a scavenger hunt: Follow the footpaths through the trees and look for treasures on the woodland floor. 
  • No. 25. Join nature's band. What sounds can you hear from within the trees? Listen for wildlife and sing along with the birds. 
  • No. 45. Find your way with a map: Download our map to help you find your way on a walk. 
Create a wild art masterpiece
Some wild art created by sticks and leaves
Create a wild art masterpiece

Even if the sun isn't shining, you can grab your boots and go on a welly wander, getting muddy as you splash through puddles.

Build the best den ever in the Den Building Area

You're never too old to create a secret woodland hideaway. Just beyond the mill, there's a grassy area which has plenty of space for building dens. Pile sticks against a tree, cover it in leaves and watch the world go by.

Gather up some sticks to make a den in the woodland
A child building a den in the woodland at Hardcastle Crags
Gather up some sticks to make a den in the woodland

Get to know our wildlife 

Spring is a great time to look for signs of wildlife waking up across the woodland.

Look out for frogs and toads near the water and see if you can spot any frog or toad spawn appearing in the millponds. Do you know how to tell the difference?

See if you can spot the frog and toad spawn this spring
Frogspawn in the mill pond at Hardcastle Crags
See if you can spot the frog and toad spawn this spring

In the trees, the birds are singing louder than ever and every day new buds are appearing on the trees and woodland plants.

The woodland is home to all sorts of fantastic creepy crawlies, too. Peak under stones and look within the fallen leaves to see what creatures you can find but be careful – these little creatures need looking after.

Make friends with a bug on your walk in the woodland
A young boy looking for bugs on a tree at Hardcastle Crags
Make friends with a bug on your walk in the woodland