May half-term in Essex

There are lots of opportunities at National Trust places in Essex for kids to get outside and back in touch with nature this May half-term. Here are some of our favourite places to go for a wild family day out.

Family walking dogs

Which places are open and what you need to know before you visit 

We're starting to open some gardens and parklands in England and Northern Ireland at reduced capacity, through advance bookings every week. Most places up to 8 June have now reached capacity. New tickets are released every Friday and we'll continue to add new places over the coming weeks. More than 200 coast and countryside car parks are now open. All houses remain closed for now and all places in Wales remain closed following Welsh Government advice. Read this article to find out what's open and what to expect from your visit.​

Family group climbing on tree trunk

Fun for families at Hatfield Forest 

Bring your family to the forest and enjoy a range of outdoor activities, whether its just letting off steam running around under the trees, building a den or exploring the further reaches on foot or by bike. Look out for flower pressing workshops too.

Bug hunting at Bourne Mill

Explore Bourne Mill 

Tucked away in Colchester, Bourne Mill is a great spot to enjoy a picnic with the family. Spot the wildlife on the millpond, try out the new pedal-power fulling stocks or pick up one of our family activity booklets to help you uncover more of this mills story.

Paycockes House dates from around 1500

Step back in time at Paycocke's 

Step back in time at Paycocke's in Coggeshall and find out what it would have been like to have lived here in Tudor times. Discover with your family, a story from riches to rags, in what was a wealthy merchant's house, built to impress.

Every family day out helps us care for special places for half-terms to come

Thanks to you, when you join, donate, visit or volunteer, your support helps us to look after special places for ever, for everyone.