Playful summer days at Montacute House

Wessex Longbow Archers showing visitors how to use the longbow

If you’re looking for fun things to do with the family over the holidays, why not head over to Montacute House and Garden where there is a variety of activities to keep the whole family happy, whatever the weather.

Montacute is an Elizabethan masterpiece of architecture and design, its warm hamstone construction casts playful shadows across its elegant garden making it the perfect backdrop for a summer’s day out. Visitors love the wibbly-wobbly hedges, perfect for a game of hide and seek, or why not pack a picnic to enjoy in the garden or wider estate where you can also enjoy the swings in the park.

At Montacute House every Wednesday and Thursday from 11 am to 4pm 25 July – 30 August you can join the Tudor archery, take aim, and learn more about Elizabethan warfare, £2.50 for six arrows.

Do you know your Peascods form your Sellengers? Why not take part in our historical dance sessions and test your dancing knowledge and spend some quality time together with your family on Monday 6 and Saturday 27 August, 11.30am and 3.45pm.

You'll find lots of activities in the family picnic area and stable block, including giant dominos, quiots, hobby horses and bats and balls. You can even draw your own family shield.  Ask in reception for a map and directions.

If the weather turns foul you can explore inside Montacute house. A stroll around offers a glimpse of historic interiors, beautiful furniture and fantastic portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. Undertake the Montacute House family trail and see if you can spot the Phelips family coat of arms, a unicorn in the bedroom or even an elephant in the parlour!

Also within the Elizabethan house is our Women in Power exhibition on Elizabeth of Bohemia, a female symbol of militant Protestantism from the 17th century. Featuring portraits from the collections of the National Portrait Gallery and National Trust, the display brings together a selection of portraits of Elizabeth of Bohemia (1596-1662) and significant figures in her court.

The courtyard café offers freshly prepared home cooked food, from seasonal lunches and freshly baked cakes to homemade soups and sandwiches.