Half-term in the South East

Our places can provide the backdrop to half-term fun in the South East. You and the kids can appreciate the wonders of the natural world, art and history through fun family activities. This article refers to October half-term 2020, check back later for our February 2021 offer.

Four children play in autumn leaves in the grounds of Mottisfont, Hampshire


There's a special harvest-themed trail throughout half-term at Mottisfont for you and the family to enjoy, as well as being able to take in the leaves changing colour across the gardens. Hinton Ampner’s estate offers glorious autumnal walks, lined with ancient golden oaks and canopies of Norway maple. Our gardens continue to be vibrant with deep greens, oranges and yellows along with crops of root vegetables in the Walled Garden. There’s fun for all the family with our 50 things activities – grab those wellies...

Claremont's lake in autumn


Escape outdoors this autumn at Claremont Landscape Garden in Surrey and enjoy beautiful vistas and golden leaves, with routes around the garden to suit all abilities. Roam the gardens and countryside estate at Polesden Lacey, hunting for conkers and funghi. Or try a self-led walk across the parkland at Hatchlands.

A family exploring the park in autumn at Petworth

West Sussex 

This half term you can roam the parkland at Petworth looking for deer in the mist. Crunch through the autumn leaves on a nature walk at Standen. Or patter round the garden paths at Nymans. As the leaves start to colour, curl and drop, get closer to nature in Sussex and the South Downs.

Children playing in autumn leaves that have dropped to the ground underneath a tree in the parkland


Basildon Park comes alive with autumn colour in September and October, as the leaves turn beautiful oranges and reds. Look out for blackboards with nature activity ideas around the estate in October. Slightly further afield at The Vyne, come for days out that will give you rosy cheeks and a misty breath. There will be 50 things activities with opportunities to dance like a leaf and collect some wild treasures, or go welly wondering in the woodlands.

Family getting close to nature at Waddesdon Manor


Discover autumnal delights at Hughenden on a walk under a canopy of amber leaves in the woodland. Our apple orchard shines in autumn, where we harvest fruit from nearly 40 varieties of old English apples, and there's a self-led tree trail for families around the gardens. Or at Waddesdon come for Halloween half-term for a week of family fun with pumpkin carving, a terrifying trail and spooky afternoon teas.

Children playing in autumn leaves at Bodnant Garden, Conwy


There's lots to do this October half term at our places in and around Oxfordshire. Crunchy leaves, conkers and pumpkins galore will have you embracing the magic of nature at Greys Court, bracing the elements and enjoying the views at White Horse Hill or playing in the woods at Basildon Park.

The first frosts on the lawns at Osterley


At Osterley Park take a leisurely stroll around the garden as the leaves turn or bring your four-legged friend for a ramble in the estate. If you want something a little faster our Cycle Hire Station is available at weekends so you can explore the estate on two wheels. Or grab a 50 things list and see how many they can do.

Lots of bird activity at Newtown

Isle of Wight

50 things activities will be scattered around the gardens and wild area at Mottistone Gardens, and your kids can can collect items such as fallen leaves, acorns, feathers and twigs to attach to their stick and create a journey stick to remember their time in the gardens.

At Newtown National Nature Reserve, try the nature trail quiz about identifying berries and nuts, and see if you can spot any of them growing on the way on your walk this October half-term.

And for something a little more Halloween flavoured, self led discovery trail of sailors' superstitions and pirate treasure at the Needles Old and New Battery.

Children playing with leaves in autumn


As the season changes and the autumn sun casts a golden glow across Knole, come and enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature with self-led spotter trails for the kids. Or visit Scotney Castle this Autumn to see the beautiful colour in the garden. The team will be highlighting our best autumnal trees around the garden, and children can learn about what makes them special.