Summer adventures for families in the South East

Firmly placing hand, then foot, then hand, then foot, on branch after branch, peering through the canopy, peeking down through the leaves - do you remember the thrill of it as a child? Or skidding down the grass, throwing yourself down the hill, seeing sky following earth as you roll and roll... Such simple pleasures are among the activities you can get stuck into with the kids at our places across the South East this summer.

Children climbing trees at Morden Hall Park

London 

Flinging off your shoes in a triumphant arc, feeling the cool grass beneath your toes and trying not to think about beetles and slugs. There's uncomplicated fun like this and more in London this summer. You could take on the fun and games with Jaques at Ham House and Garden, and the wild play area at Morden Hall Park.

Children play in a den made out of branches

Kent 

Explore the great outdoors this summer at Chartwell, with woodland and a treehouse to explore and plenty of activities to complete. Join in fun activities like summer trails and craft activities and tire the whole family out on guided walks at Scotney Castle and Knole.

Children playing pooh sticks at Tyntesfield

Oxfordshire 

Launching a stick into a stream, watching it fall in slow motion and be whisked under the bridge, then swept frantically along by swirling eddies - do you remember the thrill of it as a child? Playing Pooh sticks is just one of the 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ in Oxfordshire. Whisk the whole family away on an adventure this summer.

Den building Killerton Devon

In and around Hampshire 

Spending ages finding the best sticks, getting Dad to build the really high up bits, then spending all afternoon serving your sister pretend cups of tea from your new woodland living room. Den building is just one of the things to try with the kids this summer in Hampshire.

Child smiles after rolling down a hill

West Sussex 

Spend time outside exploring the gardens and parkland we look after in West Sussex with trails inspired by nature. Become a plant hunter at Petworth, create your own view of the garden with art activities at Nymans, search for creatures hidden in William Morris designs at Standen and learn all about gardening and the trees at Sheffield Park.

Fly a kite

In and around Berkshire 

Launching a kite, your dad flinging it hopefully in the air then leaping to avoid the double-back and dive. But when the wind took it and the strings tugged and it was flying, actually flying - do you remember the thrill of it as a child? You can bring the kids for some fresh air and fly a kite on lawn at Basildon Park, or make wild art in the woods at Cliveden.

Boy climbing tree

Surrey 

Keep the whole family on the sunny side this summer. Take part in family trails, crafts and games at Polesden Lacey, Hatchlands Park, Claremont Landscape Garden, Winkworth Arboretum and more.

Family jumping waves together at Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight 

The breeze whips up your hair,you're gasping as the cold edge of the surf tickles your toes, the sun warms back of your neck. Here it comes...here it comes... ready and... jump.... Bring the kids to jump over waves on the beach at St Helens Duver this summer, or try a sandcastle competition. There's all this and more for you to enjoy with the family on the Isle of Wight

 Children using blades of grass as whistles in the garden

In and around East Sussex 

Delve into Kipling's stories this summer with storytelling, summer trails and puppet making workshops. Discover Bodiam Castle brought to life with fun activities including archery or enjoy open air performances at Smallhythe Place. From the Jungle Book trail at Bateman's to 50 Things at Bodiam Castle, there are adventures big and small waiting at our special places in and around East Sussex

Bug hunting

In and around Buckinghamshire 

This summer holiday the whole family can join in at the places we look after in Buckinghamshire. Set the kids to task on 50 things to do before you're 11 and 3/4, see if you can master croquet or golf at Waddesdon, try tree climbing at Hughenden or play outdoor games at Canon's Ashby.