Who is the conker champion?
Number 10 on the 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ is to play conkers, and what better place to do it than Stourhead?
Inside the garden just beyond the Temple of Flora is our favourite horse chestnut tree. Underneath it in autumn you will be able to take your pick of conkers to help defeat others in a conker battle.
Once selected, take your conker home and ask for help to drill a hole through the centre of your conker, before threading a string of shoelace through it. You are now ready to play!
Two conker players take turns to hit the other conker with their own, and the winner is the one who’s conker doesn’t break.
The hardest conkers are usually the winners and you can harden a conker by baking it, painting it in nail varnish or even keeping it for a year before using it. This however is considered cheating.
The best spots for conker battles at Stourhead are in the Stableyard, where your spectators and supporters (your family) can sit enjoy the battle from a picnic bench. The lawn by the house is also a great spot, with plenty of space for battles.
If you win lots of games, then keep practicing, one day you could take part in the World Conker Championships. These started in 1965 and still take place on the second Sunday of October every year.