Summer family days out at Newtown

Newtown in summer is the perfect place for little ones to discover nature. 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 they live in.

Throughout the summer, 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 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 event....

Bug Hunt

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

Every Thursday from 10am to 1pm 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.

The common blue buttery

Beautiful Butterflies

Each Monday 5-26 Aug, 1pm. The wildflowers in our meadows are important for little butterflies. They feed from the nectar the flowers make. It means that in the summer, the fields are filled with these delicate little creatures. Our short walk for little ones will help them spot the butterflies that live here and there's even a chance to see fluttery moths too. We expect the walk to take 1.5 hours and it's just right for those aged 7-12 years.

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
See what bird life you can spot at Newtown

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 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 can try some of our family activities. Or hide in one of the three bird hides located by the estuary. The vistor point and hides are great places to retreat to when you need a shady spot too.
  • There are cold drinks to purchase in the Old Town Hall (closed Fri & Mon) but you might like to bring a picnic if you need to feed hungry tummies. There are lots of benches with views of the creeks and meadows for you to sit on whilst you tuck in.