Play the natural way with National Trust

Published : 03 Aug 2016 Last update : 04 Aug 2016

Are you looking for something to keep the kids entertained during August? Whether you want to warm up, cool off, or chill out - the National Trust has lots of ideas to help you make the most of your summer adventures.

The conservation charity has fantastic natural play areas at many of their special places and everything you need for a really wild time this summer. Pick up a ‘50 things to do’ scrapbook when you visit and tick off as many wild activities as you can.

Here’s a taster of what you can do at a place near you. There are lots more great hints and tips to help you and your family to enjoy the great outdoors at all of the National Trust’s special places at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ni

The natural play area at Florence Court has plenty of secrets waiting to be discovered. Play a tune on our wooden glockenspiel, test yourself on the balance beams or have a look for the creature that has built a huge nest out of willow. Don’t leave without having a go on the rope swings and keep an eye out for our friendly red squirrel – he’s a bit larger than life!

There’s plenty to keep kids entertained at Crom. Pick up one of our tracker packs and get hunting for animals of all kinds across the estate, or become an explorer with one of our GPS devices and find a hidden geocache.

At Mount Stewart collect a tracker pack from reception and explore the red squirrel trail - use the binoculars to keep a look out for fluffy tails in the trees. Clamber over the lower boughs of the trees on the lawn, count the ducks on the lake or explore the new demesne trails.

Enjoy outdoor adventures at Rowallane Garden from hunting for creepy crawlies to climbing trees, rolling down a hill and ‘potty planting’ in the stable yard. As you explore the garden try balancing on log bridges or spotting some of our wooden carvings in the nooks and crannies.

Children will enjoy jumping, swinging, splashing and climbing at Castle Ward and Murlough NNR. You will be amazed at what there is to see and do for all ages. Search the shoreline for crabs or shells, find a geocache or learn to kayak on the water.

Come along to Springhill and enjoy our natural play trail with new and exciting additions for summer 2016. We’ve got strange creatures, new games and our tree guy, Ernie, who is always ready to give a hug! Spot our resident sparrow hawks or the mighty peregrine falcons as they fly noisily overhead.

At The Argory explore the natural play area with an impressive jungle climbing frame that will challenge even the most daring of kids. There are low ropes and balancing logs, rope swings, bridges and a zip wire to take you from the play area out into the woodland.

The north coast is a natural playground for all ages. Why not go fossil hunting at Larrybane Quarry and then take the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge challenge to go bird-watching on the island.

In Cushendun, all the family will enjoy tree climbing in the beautiful forest on Glenmona Estate, or you can test your skills on the forest’s outdoor playground.

The stones at the Giant’s Causeway are perfect for rock pooling, you never know what you’ll discover in the basalt columns. While you’re there, see if you can find the camel, wishing chair and the organ.

At Downhill Demesne tackling the spider’s web, climb the causeway stones and challenge the walking see-saw at the Bishop’s natural play trail.

It’s time to explore the great outdoors and for kids to let their legs and their imagination run wild.