Summer activities at Mottisfont

A family with pushchair walk beside the river at Mottisfont, Hampshire

During the summer holidays you can enjoy family activities to help you explore the grounds and get back in touch with nature. Look and listen out for wildlife in the water, grassy meadows, and among the plants of the Kitchen Garden. You'll learn about what lives here, and the work we do to help them thrive.

To help avoid contact through individual trail sheets, a large map placed near the entrance of our gardens will help you locate the activity points. You could take a photo to help guide you. There's no set route for this summer trail; the activities are placed at prominent points around the gardens, so you can discover them as you explore.

There are lots of natural features you can play with all around the grounds, too, with opportunities to tick off some of your 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ activities. 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.

Our climbing and water play areas remain closed at the moment: they are usually very popular, making it difficult to uphold social distancing. It's also not possible for us to keep them sanitised with our current limited resources. However, we continue to monitor government advice and will open them as soon as we feel it's possible to do so safely.

There are plenty of other spaces to play in the gardens: 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).

More activities to try

A family group on the rose bridge at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Family activities for outdoor adventures 

There are lots of different ways to take in the sights and sounds of nature. Why not try out some of these fun family activities when you visit Mottisfont? You could try spotting butterflies among our summer flowers, look out for seasonal colours, or see if you could tick off a sounds of nature bingo.

Visiting with your family - here's what you need to know...

  • Free entry for under 5s.
  • Baby-changing facilities in access friendly toilets.
  • Pushchairs welcome around the grounds and catering outlets. There are gently-sloping areas and wide pathways around much of the grounds; pathways are uneven in some places so sturdy tyres are recommended.
  • The Old Kitchen Café and Kitchen Garden kiosk are serving a limited range of takeaway food and drink, including family-friendly snacks and treats. Please note that we're only accepting card payments at the moment, and there's no indoor seating.
  • Additional ice cream kiosk open on sunny days, 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.