Autumn family activities at Mottisfont

Three children walk beside the river in autumn at Mottisfont, Hampshire

There’s plenty of space to run, jump and play here, and always something for families to do - rain or shine.

Autumn activities

In celebration of the season, we’re offering different nature-inspired mini-trails and activities for curious minds every weekend from 19 September.

  • 19-20 September: gather sticks and leaves from to make leaf boats, perfect for floating down the river.
  • 26-27 September: hibernation, or migration? As you explore the gardens, find out more about which creatures hibernate here and which migrate for the winter.
  • 3-4 October: go on a scavenger hunt around the grounds to pick up autumnal windfalls.
  • 10-11 October: what's in our veg patch? Discover what produce you can usually grow in the Kitchen Garden and what you could grow at home.
  • 17-18 October: use found materials from our gardens to create natural works of art. 
  • 31 October-1 November: help us create our own compost by gathering up leaves from the paddocks. You can learn more about the types of tree they come from, too. 

October half term 

You can also take part in a creative, harvest-themed trail from 17 October – 1 November. These self-led activities include looking at nature's patterns, dancing like a falling leaf, and finding inspiration in the trees for poems and pictures.

More family fun...

Wooden bridges and a rushing river mean we're one of the country's top destinations for playing pooh sticks - challenge your family to a game when you visit. Ball games and frisbees are welcome on the paddock areas (though please not on the formal lawns in front and behind the house, or in the walled rose gardens).

Hints and tips for a family visit

  • To avoid disappointment please book in advance, especially at busier times such as weekends and bank holidays. However, where space is available on weekdays, pre-booking may not always be necessary. If you do not book we cannot guarantee admission.
  • We're sorry, but our climbing and water play areas remain closed. We haven't been able to carry out essential maintenance to these facilities this year, and we don't feel we can open them safely. We will work on these when we can, but this may take some time.
  • Free entry for under 5s.
  • Baby-changing facilities in access friendly toilets.
  • Pushchairs welcome around the grounds. There are gently-sloping areas and wide pathways around much of the grounds which are suitable for pushchairs and little legs; pathways are muddy and uneven in some places so sturdy tyres are recommended.
  • The Old Kitchen Café and Kitchen Garden kiosk are serving mainly takeaway food and drink, including family-friendly snacks and treats. Some limited seating in the Old Kitchen Café. Please note that we're only accepting card payments at the moment.
  • Additional ice cream kiosk open on weekends if weather permits, with a wide range of scoop ice cream from Jude's.
  • Picnic spaces around the grounds.
  • Breast feeding welcome anywhere around the property.
  • Pocket money gifts, toys and children's books available in the shop.
  • Ball games and frisbees welcome, though please not on the formal lawns in front and behind the house, or in the walled rose gardens.
  • Bikes, scooters and trikes are not allowed anywhere on site, due to vehicles operating onsite at all times, unfenced waterways, gravelled paths and visitor feedback. We only allow toddler push-along bikes, operated at all times by a parent/guardian.
  • Areas of open water around the garden and grounds - close supervision strongly advised at all times.

Book your visit

Girl sitting in a car boot at Ashridge, Herts

Please book ahead before visiting

The car park, most of the gardens, one café, refreshment kiosk, shop and toilets at Mottisfont are open. We've introduced advance booking to keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing. To avoid disappointment please book in advance, especially at busier times such as weekends and bank holidays. However, where space is available on weekdays, pre-booking may not always be necessary.