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Family adventures on Brownsea Island

Family of four sitting on a log in the woods on Brownsea Island.
A family enjoying the woods on Brownsea | © National Trust Images/ John Millar

Let imaginations run wild in our natural play area and cross some of the '50 things' off your list as you explore the island and take part in our seasonal trails.

May half term family trail

Have fun this half term as you follow our interactive trail and learn some fascinating facts about animal poo. Follow our unique and quirky trail dedicated to animal droppings. Animals in the wild see poo as something valuable – it can be used, reused, recycled, and even played with. Have fun doing different activities as you learn some poomazing facts. Roll balls like a dung beetle, try to identify the poopetrator and discover which animal has the nicest smelling poo. Free entry no need to book.

Bushcraft workshops

New for 2024 season, bring your parents along to these seasonal family bushcraft workshops with local expert Joe Peartree. From wood carving, fire lighting skills, animal tracking to foraging and den building, the sessions will vary according to the season. Suitable for age 5+ through to teens and adults. These workshops are on every Friday and Saturday during every school holiday, booking is essential.

Free family trails available at all times

Scouting skills activity booklet

In the spirit of Baden-Powell’s first experimental Scout camp, held on Brownsea in 1907, this trail sheet contains an activity map and skills challenges to enhance your practical, observation and tracking skills. Perfect for Scouts and Guides and fun for all the family too. Pick up a trail sheet from the visitor centre.

Brownsea Island nature trail

Explore the wonders of the natural world with a tick list scavenger hunt, natural art or try your hand at some nature-based activities and exercises. Collect your trail booklet from the visitor centre. What will you spot?

Child swinging along wooden bars with her hands in the natural play are on Brownsea Island.
Child enjoying the natural play area. | © National Trust Images/ Annapurna Mellor

Natural Play Area

Located at the heart of the island, families will find our natural play area equipped with balancing beams, climbing frames and see-saws. Here you can practice soaring, scrambling and scampering - can you match the agility of our resident rare red squirrels?

'50 things' on Brownsea Island

There's lots of activities on the '50 things to do before you're 11¾' list to keep you busy on the island. No. 32 Float in a boat, can be crossed off your list as soon you step aboard for your ferry ride to Brownsea – a great way to begin a day’s adventure. And it doesn't stop there. You've the chance to tick off welly wandering – perfect for rainy days on the island – as well as eat a picnic in the wild, make friends with a bug, cloudwatching, discover wild animal clues and find your way with a map. See the full list.

Good to know

  • Baby-changing facilities are available at the Courtyard near Reception, Visitor Centre and Outdoor Centre.
  • The Visitor Centre and Engine Room are open with activities and family-friendly displays on wildlife and history.
  • Free all-terrain pushchairs are available to hire for the day. Booking advisable, please call 01202 492164.
  • Picnic benches and benches available across the island.
  • You can re-fill your water bottle at the Villano Café or at the Outdoor Centre.
  • Children's options are available on the menu at the Villano Café.
  • Pocket money gifts are available at the Trading Post at the Outdoor Centre.

A photo showing an empty all terrain pushchair on gravel in a garden
Hire a free all terrain pushchair available from reception | © NT/Olivia Gruitt

All terrain pushchairs

Make the most of your visit by reserving a free all terrain pushchair by calling us on 01202 492164. Our pushchairs have large rubbery wheels and can cope well with Brownsea's gravel tracks and paths.

Two girls exploring the woodland trails at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’

Have fun exploring nature and the great outdoors with our list of ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’.

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