Come out and play at Hardwick

Children in the garden, at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, with the house behind

Join us for a summer of family fun at Hardwick, from 5 August to 4 Sept, 11-4 everyday.

Come out and play 

Join us for a summer of family fun at Hardwick. Our secret walled orchard will become a place for activity, adventure and adrenaline, where visitors of all ages can unleash their inner child. Enjoy friendly competition with classic games like tennis and rounders, challenge yourself to hit the target with archery or race your Grandad round our giant natural assault course. As an extra bonus, on some days we will have an amazing climbing wall so you can push yourself to your limit.

All activities are free of charge, general admission prices apply.

Go climbing: dates coming soon

try out your skills on a mobile climbing wall (restrictions apply – minimum age 6, maximum weight is 17 stone, not suitable for wheelchair users).

Some of our favourite 50 thing to do at Hardwick 

1. Get to know a tree

There are an abundant variety of trees at Hardwick, from different species to different sizes and shapes. With a variety of different walks to go on such as Lady Spencer's walk across the 2,000 acres you'll be spoilt for choice to get to know a tree.

Get to know a tree
Children climbing a tree in the grounds of Mottisfont, Hampshire.

National Trust / John Millar

Get to know a tree

4. Build a den

One of the staples of childhood imagination and fun, create a temporary home in nature with the branches you can find. Go to Lady Spencer's wood where you will find lots of naturally fallen branches for you to collect and build your own den.

6. Go welly wandering

Don't let a bit of rain keep you away, grab those wellies and your waterproof jacket and get splashing in some puddles. At the park centre, around the millers pond or along the woodland walk, they'll be many an opportunity spot. After your outdoor, wet weather adventure, visit the cafe to warm up with a hot chocolate.

Have fun on a rainy day
Child in red wellies splashing in puddle

National Trust Images / John Millar

Have fun on a rainy day

25. Join nature’s band

From beautiful birdsong to the rustle of leaves on the tree, discover the mixture of sounds within nature’s band. Listen closely to the rhythm and pitch then join in. Clap your hands, whistle or knock sticks against each other, it all counts so be sure to give it a go.

30. Go on a scavenger hunt

See what wonderful treasures you can find. Explore new colours, sights and smells and get to know nature’s variety of plants, seeds, prints and animals within Hardwick. Our top tip is to take a photo of your favourite things.

31. Make friends with a bug

A woodlouse? A caterpillar? A beetle? Which bug will you choose to make friends with? There are a huge variety of bugs in so many sizes, colours and shapes, all of which play an important role in our world. Look closely and discover how marvellous these mini-beasts are.

Getting hands on with some bug hunting at Hardwick
Child hunting for bugs at Hardwick park

National Trust

Getting hands on with some bug hunting at Hardwick
Dan and son filling in an activity trail sheet summer

Family activites for outdoor adventures

Bring to life your adventures at Hardwick with an activity sheet or spotter's guide, available here to download before your visit.

Family activites for outdoor adventures

44. Watch a bird

Take time to watch a bird go about its day, listen to it sing, watch it fly and notice its colours. At Hardwick we are home to a wide variety of birds and can be seen all over the estate, from the windows of the house where you can see the birds soar in the sky, to the gardens where you can see them scurry for worms.