A playful garden full of fun

Families play tradition garden games at Stoneywell

The garden at Stoneywell has a magical feel. You can easily imagine the grounds being the ideal setting for the Gimson children, who after reading a chapter of Swallows and Amazons, could hop straight out from the window in the main bedroom of the cottage and create their own outdoor adventure. Although the garden has changed over the years, including a greater variety of trees and flowers and areas walled to create an orchard and kitchen garden, the sense of childhood excitement, play and adventure remained unchanged.

Take part in our '50 things to do before you're 11 and 3/4' trail just pick up a wall planner and a map from the stables and head of into the garden for an adventure to tick off some of those top things. Go hunting for bugs, paly nature snap, get up close and personal to some Stoneywell trees or make some music from our natural musical instruments. 

The grounds are the perfect place to let off some steam - head along the zig-zag paths through the heathland where every turn promises exploration ahead - one way to the fort where you can stake your claim and enjoy super views across Leicestershire, the other to the woodland beyond, where dappled sunlight and birdsong await........

   The fort at Stoneywell has seen many childhood adventures over the years

The fort at Stoneywell has seen many childhood adventures over the years
Playing in the stone fort at Stoneywell
The fort at Stoneywell has seen many childhood adventures over the years

If you prefer more sedate adventures pick up a butterfly spotter sheet from the stables and head to the meadow to spot these fluttering jewels of the sky, the deafening hum of grasshoppers and the gentle buzz of bees means there is plenty of other insects to observe and admire. Then head to the tennis court lawn, this wonderfully sunny spot is perfetc for a game of quoits, boules and croquet. 

Overlooking the tennis court
STWS overlooking the tennis court
Overlooking the tennis court

And just in case those gloriously summer days are broken by the odd shower or two then take shelter in the stables. We have craft activities including making a kite and a nature crown as well as a 1950's prop box where you can try on clothes, read books or handle everyday objects from the era, just perfect for kids big and small!

A bumblebee on a chive flower in the kitchen garden
A bee on a chive flower
A bumblebee on a chive flower in the kitchen garden

Families today still venture to Stoneywell to appreciate its grounds just like the Gimsons. For many the gardens and woodland bring back memories of childhood excitement while others enjoyed the opportunities to create plenty of new ones.