Plan your family day out

Father and son in the house at Sizergh

Whether you’re after a wild play area to let little legs run off some steam, a peaceful garden for a pram-friendly walk, or a children’s trail through a house filled with treasures, there’s something for all ages here at Sizergh.

Useful information

  • Toilets and baby-changing facilities can be found in Ashbank Visitor Centre in the main car park, and in the Old Forge next to the house.
  • The cafe offers a range of children's lunchboxes containing sandwiches, fruit, a treat and juice or water. Hot lunches are also available and tray bakes, cakes and scones are baked fresh each day. Indoor and outdoor seating is available and it is dog friendly throughout. 
  • If you’d rather bring your own picnic, tables and benches can be found outside Ashbank Visitor Centre, in a quiet spot off the orchard, and down by Gardeners’ Cottage. There are also plenty of benches around the gardens and hidden follies. Please remember to take any rubbish home with you or use the bins provided. 
  • Prams and backpacks can be left on the ground floor of the house.
  • Pocket money priced gifts and souvenirs are available from the shop.
  • Dogs are allowed in the wild play trail and on the estate, but aren’t allowed in house or garden (except for assistance dogs). 

Our top picks...

sizergh play

Wild play trail

Test your balance and bravery as you head into the woodland to follow the wild play trail, where hours of family fun are waiting. Follow the clues to reach the end, trying the climbing wall, balance beams, rope swing and stepping-stones along the way. This natural play area was made by our talented ranger team and is most suitable for ages 3 and up (although smaller children will need a helping hand from a grown up!)

sizergh portrait

Children’s scallop trail in the house

The house is full of thousands of quirky items – from King James II’s blood to boomerangs and spears. If you’re really observant you might also notice scallop shells hidden everywhere you look: in paintings, carved in wood, and in stained glass. These shells are symbolic of the Catholic faith which has played an integral part in the Strickland family’s lives across the centuries. Pick up a trail sheet when you enter the house to see how many examples you can find.

Family sitting on bench in the garden at Sizergh

The glorious garden

From the tropical ferns in the Stumpery to the bright and beautiful selection of flowers in the Herbaceous Border, summer is a delight for the senses at Sizergh. See which vegetables are growing in the Kitchen Garden and hear the buzzing of the bees and clucking of the chickens in the apple orchard. Keep an eye out for Charlie the garden cat on your way round – he’s often sunbathing when the sun’s shining. If it’s raining, see if you can find all our top places to shelter from a summer shower.

Fritillary butterfly on bracken

Walks and wildlife spotting on the estate

There are three popular walking routes in the estate which are marked in a map available from Ashbank, our Visitor Reception building. In summer, look out for butterflies in abundance in Brigsteer Woods or birds on the wetland at Park End Moss. You’ll spot orchids and ancient anthills on Sizergh Fell and apple blossom at Holeslack woods.

Children exploring the garden at Sizergh

50 things to do before you’re 11¾

Enjoy the great outdoors whilst getting closer to nature with our '50 things' list of self-led activities for young adventurers. There’s something to see and do at Sizergh all year round, but here are a few of our top suggestions to get you started. Build a den out on the wild play trail (No.4), watch a bird from the bird hide at Park End Moss (No.44) or go cloud watching from the lawn by the Mirror Lake (No.33).