May half term at Upton House and Gardens

A family sat on the lawn at Upton House having a picnic

Get out with the family this May half term: enjoy our 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 activities, book onto our special outdoor storytelling event, or join in with royal explorations and games.

The weather is warmer and the gardens are starting to burst with colour. Bring the family for a day out and join in with celebrating early summer and the Platinum Jubilee.

Half term storytelling: A New Leaf performed by Brian Acton

Mon 30 May, 11am-12.30pm & 2pm - 3.30pm

Child - £8.00 (includes 1 x accompanying adult free of charge), Adult - £5.00 (per additional adult). Pre booking essential. For more information and to book see here.

Artist Brian Acton presents A New Leaf, a story-walk for families combining prose, poetry and song.  Join Brian on a creative journey through Upton’s Woodland Walk and discover tales of ancient woodland, the challenges of conservation and new beginnings.  What would you do if a blackbird sang to you?

Enjoy storytelling outdoors in the Woodland at Upton
A leaf starting out its life
Enjoy storytelling outdoors in the Woodland at Upton

Royal Explorations at Upton House & Gardens to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee

2 June- 4 Sep (normal admission applies, donations welcome). More information here.

We're celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a right royal summer in the house and outside in the gardens. Little princes and princesses can pick up a special royal trail and explore Upton's connections to kings and queens past and present. 

We have a self led tour for adults too and you may come across one of our week day pop-up talks featuring fascinating stories about royal pomp and patronage, fashion and wealth, associated with these collection items. Talks will start from 23 May until mid September on weekdays only.

Please note, pop up talks will run mid week days only and are subject to availability and last minute change. They are delivered on an ad hoc basis and do not need to be booked. More information will be available at Visitor Reception. 

Platinum Jubilee - traditional outdoor games in the sunken garden (self led)

2-5 June. For more information see here. (Normal admission applies).

Join in with traditional outdoor games in the sunken garden. Try your hand at bean bag throwing or compete for the crown of quoit king or queen!

Jubilee blossom crowns

2-3 June, 10.30am - 1.30pm (plant centre). Normal admission applies & £2 per crown.

Celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee by making a paper blossom crown with your little ones at Upton House and Gardens. It's the perfect accessory for a fairy king or queen to wear in our woodland walk.

Have fun with traditional games outdoors
Kids playing wooden games
Have fun with traditional games outdoors

50 things to do before your 11 ¾ around the Woodland Walk and gardens

The gardens are open to enjoy with plenty of places to explore and picnic with the little ones. Follow the pathway leading through the Woodland Walk, a perfect place to spot creepy crawlies and wild animals. What birds and insects will you find? If you see any see any furry or feathered friends, remember to stay quiet so you don’t scare them away. 

We also have plenty of 50 things to do before your 11 ¾  free activity sheets avialable at Visitor Reception, a perfect addition to tick off playful challenges while exploring the gardens. How many will you complete during your visit?

Stop off for refreshment at the Pavilion Café serving a range of tasty treats, or carry on to the Main Lawn to enjoy a picnic and stretch those legs surrounded plenty of green space. From here enjoy views of the spring colours tumbling down from the edge of the South Lawn to the Mirror Pool below.


Pavilion Café and Shop

The Pavilion Café is open for take away snacks and light lunches. Choose from a range of delicious homemade cakes, and hot and cold drinks (menu may vary daily). There is limited seating indoors and outdoors, but plenty of beautiful spaces to picnic in the gardens. 

The gift shop and plant centre are open daily selling a range of souvenirs and seasonal plants. There is a wide selection of pocket-money toys and games, including a range perfect for little garden explorers.

Every penny spent in the café and shop helps us raise funds to continue to look after Upton House and Gardens for the future. Thank you for your support.


The house is open (check times here). You do not need to book in advance, but when the site is busy there may be timed tickets to visit inside. This will be advised at Visitor Reception on arrival and you can collect tickets from here. 

Treat yourself to something tasty
Child enjoying a scone with jam and cream
Treat yourself to something tasty