Our top gardens for children

Gardens are great places for children to explore and let their imaginations run wild. Our younger visitors can play hide and seek, climb trees and go wildlife spotting. They'll also love getting lost in mazes, playing in treehouses and building dens in some of our natural play areas. Here’s our pick of the best gardens to enjoy some family fun.

To open these gardens and parks safely, we've reduced the number of people we can welcome at one time and you’ll need to book your visit in advance.

We’re still working hard to keep our gardens looking their best. But with fewer staff and volunteers to help out, things may look a little different on your visit. Please bear with us as we adjust to these challenging times.

Which places are open?

  • More than 100 gardens and parks are open in England and Northern Ireland. To avoid disappointment please book in advance, especially at busier times such as weekends, school holidays and bank holidays 
  • Many historic houses are open in England. If you book a ticket for an open garden or park, you may also be able to visit the house. Visits to the houses are limited to ensure safe, social distancing and so we can't guarantee you’ll be able to view the house on the day you visit 
  • We’ve opened many of our cafés and shops at these places to help make your visit feel as close to normal as possible 
  • Hundreds of coast and countryside car parks are open in England and Northern Ireland and most don’t need to be booked 

What's closed?  

  • In line with Welsh Government legislation and the 'fire break' lockdown, all our places in Wales will temporarily close from Saturday 24 October to Monday 9 November  
  • Following the latest official guidance, all National Trust houses in Northern Ireland are now closed. All cafés in Northern Ireland are now takeaway only  

Before visiting, please always check local and national government guidance on travelling. You can check the property webpage in case of local restrictions. We're following government advice closely and will reopen more places as soon as we can. 

Children running through the gardens at Blickling Estate, Norfolk

Blickling Estate, Norfolk 

Blickling’s gardens are an ideal natural playground, with 55-acres of perfect hide and seek spots as well as places to play rounders. Follow the winding paths and the secret tunnels or see if you can find the secret garden.

Visitors in the Parterre garden at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

Cliveden, Buckinghamshire 

Explore the wild woodland play trail or take a boat out on this pretty stretch of the river, which is thought to have inspired the Wind in the Willows. There’s plenty of space at Cliveden for the little ones to stretch their legs in beautiful surroundings.

 Family visitors in the rock garden at Cragside, Northumberland

Cragside, Northumberland 

Look out for red squirrels in the pines overhead, and wildlife in the pond. Then head to the labyrinth. Cut out of a rhododendron forest, it's perfect for a family game of hide-and-seek.

Children running down Hill Top garden path, Cumbria

Hill Top, Cumbria 

Step into the garden of celebrated children's author, Beatrix Potter. Create your own adventures as you explore familiar spots from her much-loved books including the slate-flagged garden path made famous by the Tale of Tom Kitten, and the rhubarb patch where a certain Miss Puddleduck tried to hide her eggs.

Children running in the garden at Killerton

Killerton, Devon 

With space and freedom to explore and play, the gardens here have wide open spaces and winding paths through shady woodlands. Walk, run and cycle in the parkland, woods and orchards. Though bikes aren't available for hire right now, there are plenty of cycle routes open for you to explore if you bring your own.

Family building a den in the woodland at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Kingston Lacy, Dorset 

Kingston Lacy is a favourite for a family day out and it's easy to see why. With a fascinating history and acres of colourful gardens and parkland to explore, an adventure awaits whatever your age and whatever the season.

Children playing on the dodo terrace at Mount Stewart, County Down

Mount Stewart, County Down 

Voted one of the world's top ten gardens, there are lots of different areas to explore with your family. Don't miss the mythical animals on the Dodo Terrace - see if you can count them all.

Rowallane Garden is a riot of colour in the summer

Rowallane Garden, County Down 

Rowallane Garden is the perfect place to go on a wildlife safari. Ladybirds, butterflies, bees, hedgehogs and much more live here, so search up high in the trees and down below under rocks and you’re sure to find some friendly creatures.

 Boy climbing a tree in the grounds at Wallington, Northumberland.

Speke Hall, Liverpool 

The black-and-white Tudor beams of Speke Hall will fire young imaginations in a day out exploring the gardens here. Seek out minibeasts in the woods, discover the secret garden, or bring your own games to play on the lawn as a family.  

Children jumping off a log at Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield, nr Bristol 

With space to stretch out and explore, Tyntesfield is a top spot for having a go at some of the 50 Things activities. Find some funky fungi from amongst the 1000 different species found here, don your wellies for a welly walk or get to know a tree amongst some of the oldest, widest or most interesting of their species.

Fun activities to try at home
Enjoying gardening activities in the kitchen garden at Osterley Park and House, London

'50 things' activities to do in your back garden 

Your garden can be a great place to explore. From discovering the bugs that live there to gazing up and taking in the stars, we've got some great ideas for you to kick off your back garden adventures.