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Family-friendly gardens

A grandfather and grandson in the play area at Dyffryn Gardens in winter
Exploring the play area at Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Find natural play areas, go exploring on buggy-friendly paths and spot lots of wildlife along the way. Here’s our pick of gardens that the whole family can enjoy.

Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Blickling’s gardens are an ideal natural playground, with 55 acres full of hide-and-seek spots and places to play rounders. Follow the winding paths and see if you can find the two secret tunnels.Explore the garden at Blickling
Chirk Castle, Wrexham
There's a colourful garden to explore at Chirk Castle full of plants and wildlife to see. Spot different types of birds, hunt for insects or fungi, or let off some steam in the natural play area.Explore the garden at Chirk Castle
Cliveden, Buckinghamshire
Head to the Story Book Play Den for a game of make-believe or find your way to the centre of Cliveden's Giant Maze. You can even take the steps down to the River Thames for a boat trip.Explore the garden at Cliveden
Cotehele, Cornwall
Take the buggy-friendly route around the garden, quay and down to Cotehele Mill to see everything this place has to offer. Burn off energy in the play area by the Cherry Orchard or challenge each other to build the biggest den.Explore the garden at Cotehele
Cragside, Northumberland
Venture along stone paths that weave between giant rocks and look out for wildlife, including red squirrels, along the way. Go exploring in the labyrinth and search for the wizard and storyteller's chair.Explore the garden at Cragside
Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan
Escape the city with a relaxing wander through Dyffryn's many gardens. Look out for secret garden rooms, picnic on the enormous Great Lawn and let your imagination run wild as you balance on the Log Stack play areas.Explore the garden at Dyffryn
Visitors in the Parterre Garden in winter at Cliveden, Berkshire. The mother is taking a photo on her phone of the father and son playing around on the large grassy lawn.
A family exploring the Parterre Garden at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Megan Taylor
Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk
In the Walled Garden at Felbrigg, spot resident hens and see which seasonal fruit and veg are growing. There are lots of buggy-friendly paths in the garden and places to play hide-and-seek.Explore the garden at Felbrigg Hall
Florence Court, County Fermanagh
Look out for red squirrels foraging for food around Florence Court's garden or head to the play area, complete with rope swings and slides. Borrow a balance bike free of charge from the visitor centre to help teach the next generation of cyclists.Explore the garden at Florence Court
Gibside, Tyne & Wear
There's lots to do in the gardens at Gibside. Try out the explorer trail or let your imagination run free at the Strawberry Castle play area. Explore a nature playscape, low ropes course and den-building area, and see what wildlife you can spot from the bird hide.Explore the garden at Gibside
Glendurgan, Cornwall
If you're feeling adventurous, why not take on Glendurgan's maze? Have a turn on the Giant's Stride rope swing or explore the Apple Shed, where you can try on bee-keeping outfits and design a bug hotel.Explore the garden at Glendurgan
Killerton, Devon
With space and freedom to explore and play, the gardens have wide-open spaces and winding paths through shady woodlands. Explore the buggy-friendly path around the garden or take an adventurous climb up to the top of the Clump and test your den-building skills.Explore the garden at Killerton
Kingston Lacy, Dorset
Kingston Lacy is a favourite for a family day out. With acres of colourful gardens and parkland to explore, an adventure awaits you whatever your age and whatever the season.Explore the garden at Kingston Lacy
Mottisfont, Hampshire
With its chalk stream and bridges, Mottisfont is a great place to play Pooh sticks. Follow the river walk to fields behind the house where there's plenty of space to run around. In the garden, Mottisfont’s paddock area has picnic benches and room for games, or you can test your limits in the Wild Play area.Explore the garden at Mottisfont
Mount Stewart, County Down
Voted one of the world's top 10 gardens, there are lots of different areas of Mount Stewart to explore with your family. Don't miss the mythical animals on the Dodo Terrace – see if you can count them all.Explore the garden at Mount Stewart
Nymans, West Sussex
Stop by the Play Glade for fun and games. Build a den, put on a performance on the mini stage or explore the nearby bamboo jungle. Then, head out into the woodland and see how many wooden sculptures you can spot.Explore the garden at Nymans
A young child in a winter coat walks along a rope bridge in the adventure play ground at Gibside while her dad watches on next to her.
Visitors in the adventure play ground at Gibside, Tyne & Wear | © National Trust Images/John Millar
Penrhyn Castle and Garden, Gwynedd
Penrhyn Castle has an adventure playground and lots of trails to explore. The spacious castle grounds are perfect for families with lots of energy.Explore the garden at Penrhyn Castle
Polesden Lacey, Surrey
Embrace your inner animal in the natural play area at Polesden Lacey. Hop on the swings, race through the rabbit tunnel and climb the giant bird's nest. The bottom level of the bird's nest is wheelchair accessible and a hub for sensory play.Explore the garden at Polesden Lacey
Rowallane Garden, County Down
Go searching for wildlife at Rowallane Garden, home to ladybirds, butterflies, bees, hedgehogs and much more. So search up high in the trees and down under rocks and you’ll be sure to find some friendly creatures.Explore the garden at Rowallane
Scotney Castle, Kent
Head to the Badger and Pepper play area, complete with musical instruments, a toddler swing, play hut, ball chute and mud kitchen. There are accessible all-weather paths through much of the garden so you can bring the buggy along with you.Explore the garden at Scotney Castle
Speke Hall, Liverpool
Fire up young imaginations when you explore Speke Hall's gardens. Find your way out of the hedge maze, discover the secret garden or follow the Giant Childe of Hale play trail to find out about the local legend of John Middleton.Explore the garden at Speke Hall
Stourhead, Wiltshire
There's lots for families to explore in the garden at Stourhead. Bring a picnic blanket and eat your lunch outdoors at one of the many grassy spots by the lake, or discover the historic grottos and temples around the site.Explore the garden at Stourhead
Tyntesfield, Somerset
With space to stretch out and explore, Tyntesfield is a top spot for having a go at some of our '50 things to do before you're 11¾' activities. Find different types of fungi, try out some den building or get to know some of the oldest, widest trees in the grounds.Explore the garden at Tyntesfield
Family walking down the main drive with lady in a tramper at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire - CTA crop only

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