Summer family days out at Newtown in 2017

Newtown in summer is the perfect place for families to explore. There are meadows to hunt creepy crawlies in, creeks to watch birds from, woods to find geocaches in and lots of organised activities throughout the holidays. So whether you’re eight or eighty, the whole family can relax and enjoy the Island’s only National Nature Reserve. And every time you spot a bird or find a bug, you’re helping to look after the special place that they live in.

Throughout summer 2017, we’re running our organised events for you to come along to. You can hunt for bugs and tick off some of your 50 things activities every week of the holidays. And of course, you can always try all the other self-guided things to do at Newtown too, any time you visit.

A male dark green fritillary butterfly suns itself on a child’s hand

Our new family butterfly trail

Our work at Newtown means it's a great place to spot butterflies dancing through the meadows and woods. We've created a new family trail that shows you where to find them and which ones you're most likely to see. Download it here or pick up a copy, then follow the simple route. There are activities along the way too, suitable for toddlers to older adventurers. It's about one hour there and back with a little one - 0.9 miles.

Try an organised summer holiday event....

Children on a bug-hunt at Sheffield Park, East Sussex

We're going on a bug hunt

Every Wednesday between 11am and 1pm over the summer holidays at Newtown younger explorers can pick up a magnifying glass and ID sheet and head off through the meadows and woods in search of at things creepy crawly. Our self-led event is great for anyone interested in bugs and butterflies, but particularly suited for those aged 8-12 years. You'll probably find lots of bugs in just an hour, but you’re welcome to take as long as you like.

Bug Hunt

50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 this summer

Every Friday from 11am to 4pm this summer holiday you can pop to Newtown where we'll help you tick off some of your 50 things challenges. Whether you want a little help identifying a strange bug, or just need some materials to make a masterpiece of wild art, our organised activities will help you get started. Our self-led event is perfect for those aged 6-12 years. You are welcome to take as long as you want, but each activity is likely to take half an hour to an hour.

Other self-guided activities to try any time......


We have three bird hides at Newtown, from which all ages can enjoy spotting birds. Whilst parents and grandparents can relax and read our bird books downstairs, upstairs in our Mercia Seabroke hide you’ll find a hidden world just for little explorers. From here you’ll get a great view of the black headed gulls on the scrape. We have binoculars to use and you can always ask our knowledgeable volunteers which birds you can see. You’ll be able to tick off No.44 on your 50 things activities list too.

See what bird life you can spot at Newtown
Girl looking through a telescope in the hide at Newtown National Nature Reserve

Explore with a tracker pack

To help you explore even more, you are always welcome to borrow one of our tracker packs from the visitor point. They contain everything a budding wildlife enthusiast might need such as bug pots, hand lenses and an identification chart. Explore the woods and meadows with it and see which creepy crawlies or colourful butterflies you can find. Our tracker packs can be used by all ages, but are most likely to be enjoyed by those aged 8-12 years.


For older explorers, we’ve got several geocaches hidden around Newtown waiting for you to discover them. Just remember to bring along your smartphone and pick up our trail sheet at the visitor point, before heading off to find the secret locations.

Useful information:

  • Our car park is free for NT members and there is a small charge of £1 a day for non members.
  • Our toilets are located by the visitor point in the car park
  • If it starts to rain, head for the visitor point where parents and grandparents can discover the history of the area, whilst younger explorers try some of our family activities.
  • As there are no catering facilities at Newtown, you might like to bring a picnic. There are lots of benches with views of the creeks and meadows for you to sit on whilst you tuck in.