No. 24 Go barefoot

It’s no wonder that going barefoot is one of our top '50 things to do before you’re 11¾'. It's the perfect activity to get mucky, explore the outdoors, and make a lasting connection with nature.

So, peel off your stinky socks and let your bare toes wiggle free. Clamber up beach dunes and feel the warm sand on your soles, dance on soft wet grass in your garden, or listen to the squelchy loveliness of wet mud squishing under your feet.

Don't forget to take a towel for afterwards, and keep your eyes open for glass or other things that might poke your feet.

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Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops, countryside locations and many houses are open. You no longer need to pre-book at many places. Some still require booking ahead, so please check the property webpage before you travel.​

A family enjoy themselves on Compton beach

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight 

There are lots of different textures to feel under your feet at Compton Bay. Rub your foot over stone footcasts made by dinosaurs, and sink your toes into sand. Feel the tickly grass on the nearby Butterfly Walk or have a paddle in the sea to cool down.

A family on a day out at Dunwich Heath and Beach, Suffolk

Dunwich Heath, Suffolk 

Free your feet at Dunwich Heath, where little toes can explore the rough grass and sandy beach. There's also lots of wildlife to spot on the discovery trail and watery creatures to make friends with while you're there.

Close up of child's bare feet amongst grass

Godolphin, Cornwall 

Godolphin is our first ever dedicated barefoot trail. Here your feet can feel everything from smooth slate, to tickly fir cones, the balancing log and soft sand. In fact there are over 20 textures to explore. All you have to do is follow the footprint signs.

Mother and young daughter walking barefoot on a lawn

Hidcote, Gloucestershire 

The Great Lawn at Hidcote provides children with a flat expanse of lawn for a spot of barefoot walking. Little explorers can feel the manicured grass against their feet, as parents take it easy.

Family playing on the croquet lawn at Ickworth, Suffolk

Ickworth, Suffolk 

The croquet lawn in the Italianate garden at Ickworth is perfect for barefoot picnics, where you can enjoy your lunch outdoors and explore the feeling of the grass on your bare feet. Take your shoes off, lay out your picnic rug and enjoy the great outdoors in this beautiful garden.

The Garden, Killerton

Killerton, Devon 

This toddler and buggy walk is ideal for little legs and pushchair passengers. Enjoy a picnic, kick off your shoes and let the grass tickle tiny toes on the garden lawns. There’s flowers and wildlife to spot on route and even a Bear’s Hut to explore.

Visitor on the beach looking towards Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland

Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland 

Walking across Pilgrims’ Way is a real adventure. Kids love the fact that they are walking on sand that will be enveloped by the sea later that day. Make sure you check the tide times before you set off though: you don’t want to turn up when Pilgrims’ Way is underwater.

Close up on a pair of bare feet stretched out on the grass

Lyme Park, Cheshire 

Lyme Park has plenty of lovely grassy areas for freeing your feet. With over 1,300 acres of estate you won't be short of places to explore.

Playing in the sea

Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry 

Portstewart Strand isn’t just about sand. You can paddle in the waves, wind your way through the long grass of the dunes and then dip your toes in the water at the Bann Estuary. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for butterflies, whales, otters, dolphins and seals. If you’re lucky you might even spot the Cinnabar moth. This day-flying insect can look scary because of its vibrant red spots and lines.

Barefoot walking

Strumble Head to Cardigan, Pembrokeshire 

At Strumble Head the whole family can experience a range of textures underfoot: soft peat, small stones, rocky outcrops, heather and gorse. The Pen Anglas headland walk takes you from Goodwick, across rugged coastal heath, reaching the volcanic rock formations at Pen Anglas headland and with views across Cardigan Bay.