Visiting The Vyne with your family
The lush green countryside at The Vyne provides a backdrop for some quality time together this summer. From 23 July to 5 September, a programme of self-led family activities will help you keep the young ones entertained. Feel free to bring along a picnic. You’ll also find a full menu available in the Brewhouse tea-room serving hot food and there's a shop for you to browse.
Passport to Summer
Available for you to pick up for £1.50 each at visitor reception this activity booklet has, among other things, two trails for you to tackle:
House trail: ‘What’s the story?’
While the house team have been busy conserving all the books in the library, you can wander the mansion and hunt for Victorian adventure stories.
Garden trail: A day in the life of Ranger Rabbit
As you look out for Ranger Rabbit on his (signposted) adventures around the gardens, you can find out how our rangers are giving nature a helping hand.
The woodpecker walking challenge
This summer you can enjoy a trail in the woodlands along the yellow walk. Having collected your trail sheet from visitor reception, start at the exit to the gardens, on the corner by the lake and follow the yellow way marked route. Keep a look out for painted woodpecker signs as you uncover what the Ranger team do in the woods to look after and maintain this ancient haven. There is a letter of the alphabet on each woodpecker that you need to write down and then you can use the code-breaker on your trail sheet to decipher the names of our two oldest species of tree.
Get Set, Go activity cards
If the family are stuck for ways to enjoy the outdoors, our free Get Set Go cards offer inspiration in the form of simple activities designed boost your connection with nature. Ask for them at visitor reception and see how many you can get through.
To get you started, here are a few ideas from our list of 50 things to do before you're 11 and 3/4. These are the self-led activities you can do at The Vyne:
Build a den
To get in touch with your wild side, you can build your very own den in the woods. If there are a few of you, try doing a den building competition.
Play pooh sticks
The best bridge for pooh sticks is just past our reception kiosk, on the left. Make sure your sticks are evenly sized and that everybody starts at the same time!
Go bird watching
If you’re quiet enough you should spot some amazing bird life from our purpose-built bird hide.
Track wild animals
Don’t forget to bring your walking boots for a healthy amble around Morgaston Woods. Keep your eyes peeled for animal tracks – foxes, badgers and deer often pass through this natural habitat.
Hunt for bugs
There are all sorts of places at The Vyne where you can spot creepy crawlies. Try looking under stones in the woods or peering into the foliage on your way to the bird hide.
Useful information for a fuss-free day out
Toilets and baby changing
These are on your left after you get through visitor reception and by the Brewhouse tea-room.
Access for pushchairs
The gardens have hard gravel pathways, just bear in mind the dirt tracks through the wider estate can get muddy. Also in some parts of the woods, tree roots cross the path, and to get from the gardens into the wetlands, you need to go down some steps so you might prefer to use a child carrier if you’re planning on going further afield.
Because the Brewhouse tearoom is a bit snug, you’ll need to leave your buggy or pushchair outside. In the house, we’ve got slings for you to carry small children in. Again, you’ll need to leave your buggy or pushchair outside and any items such as bags are left at your own risk.
On dry sunny days, the north lawn by the lake is a particularly popular spot. We’ve also got benches between the north lawn and the bird hide and dotted around the site.
Food for children
The Brewhouse tea-room has childrens’ lunch boxes which have sandwiches, wraps, small vegetable bags, fruit, mini cheeses and cartons of drink in them. If you need to warm up milk, there’s a microwave in the ground floor seating area.
Currently we have a natural play area for very young children just off the Lime Avenue.
Bear in mind that the house, shop, tea-room and children’s play areas are just for humans and guide dogs. That said, wagging tails are welcome in the gardens and out on the estate.
Lovable as they are, it’s good to remember not everyone feels comfortable around dogs and while your four-legged friend certainly needs exercise, The Vyne isn’t the place for this. We ask that you keep your dog on a short lead throughout your visit and use the bins provided.
This way everyone can enjoy their visit and wildlife can thrive. Thanks for your cooperation.
Ball games, Frisbees, scooters, bikes and drones
Unfortunately we can’t have these on the estate because in the past they’ve caused damage to the house and grounds. Instead, you can pitch your child’s expectations in advance and line up an alternative activity such as a trail or woodland walk. Thanks for your understanding.