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Top spots to find champion conkers

A child's hands holding several conkers
Collecting conkers from the park at Felbrigg Hall, Gardens and Estate, Norfolk | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

If you want to win at conkers, the most important thing you'll need is a champion collection. Look out for conkers that are firm and uncracked. Place these in water when you get home – any that are damaged will float to the surface, so choose those that sink to the bottom.

To make your conkers even stronger, try baking them in the oven for a couple of minutes, then pierce them with a pair of scissors or a screwdriver – an adult will need to help with this. Thread a piece of string about 20–30cm long through the hole and tie it at one end. Now you're ready to play! You'll also be ticking off No. 10 of our '50 things to do before you're 11¾'.

Places to find conkers

Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire
Known as one of the great 20th-century gardens, you'll find an avenue of horse chestnut trees planted by Lord Fairhaven at Anglesey Abbey. Stretching for just over half a mile, you won’t have to look far in your hunt for the perfect conker.Visit Anglesey Abbey
Basildon Park, Berkshire
Wander through the fiery shades of Basildon Park's leafy landscapes and search for fallen chestnuts and conkers, then venture into the pleasure grounds and seek out new opponents to challenge.Visit Basildon Park
Belton House, Lincolnshire
Belton is an ideal place to collect conkers. There are hundreds of horse chestnut trees scattered across its estate, so there are plenty of shiny conkers to find. You won’t need to look far to fill your pockets.Visit Belton House
Blickling, Norfolk
Hunt for the perfect conker on your walk around the garden at Blickling and challenge a friend or sibling to a conker match.Visit Blickling
Brownsea Island, Dorset
With horse chestnut trees dotted around the island, Brownsea is the ideal place for your conker competitions this autumn.Visit Brownsea Island
Avenue of chestnut trees in autumn, with green and gold foliage and leaves on the ground
Coronation Avenue lined with horse chestnut trees at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire | © National Trust Images/James Dobson
Castle Coole, County Fermanagh
There are many horse chestnuts dotted around Castle Coole. Take in the Castle Coole mansion before following the path down towards the woods where you're sure to find a champion conker or two.Visit Castle Coole
Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
Kick through fallen leaves in the tranquil parkland at Charlecote Park, look out for our deer and wildlife, and find the best spots to forage for fallen chestnuts.Visit Charlecote Park
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
Clumber Park is a well-known spot for gathering conkers. You can hunt for conkers by foot or cycle around the park on bikes.Visit Clumber Park
Crom, County Fermanagh
Forage for fallen conkers at Crom as you go in search of the biggest and best that you can find. There are lots of horse chestnuts dotted around the estate – keep your eyes peeled on your walk.Visit Crom
Croome, Worcestershire
Take a stroll near the lakeside at Croome, where there are lots of horse chestnut trees. You can find plenty of conkers on the ground, so gather as many as you can to find the best one.Visit Croome
Conkers emerging on a horse chestnut tree at Lytes Cary Manor, Somerset
Conkers emerging on a horse chestnut tree in Somerset | © National Trust Images/James Dobson
Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire
Autumn at Dyrham Park is filled with interest for nature lovers; a park awash with colour, conkers falling from the trees and a bountiful pear harvest are just some of the delights on offer.Visit Dyrham Park
Emmetts Garden, Kent
Comb the woods and gardens at Emmetts in search of the ultimate conker, and challenge friends and foes against the stunning backdrop of the Weald of Kent.Visit Emmetts Garden
Florence Court, County Fermanagh
Hunt for that champion conker at Florence Court as you rummage through the leaves around the main house. A big horse chestnut tree towers over the second-hand bookshop, which is a good place to start.Visit Florence Court
Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
You'll be able to find conkers all over the park at Hardwick. Take an autumnal walk to find a winner.Visit Hardwick Hall
Hughenden Manor, Buckinghamshire
There are plenty of conkers in Hughenden's surrounding park and woodland, so see if you can seek out the biggest one. Hughenden's champion horse chestnut tree is sadly nearing the end of its long life, but we're doing all we can to keep it going.Visit Hughenden Manor
Three young girls sitting on a bench outside holding conkers on strings
Children playing conkers, Stourhead, Wiltshire | © National Trust Images/Ian Shaw
Ickworth, Suffolk
With 18,000 acres of parkland at Ickworth, there are plenty of conkers to find. The avenues on the Albana walk are a good place to start your hunt.Visit Ickworth
Morden Hall Park, London
At Morden Hall Park, stroll through the avenue of lime and chestnut trees in suburban London and keep your eyes peeled for the perfect tournament conker.Visit Morden Hall Park
Mottisfont, Hampshire
Mottisfont is home to many trees, including grand horse chestnuts and stately oaks. There's ample opportunity here for aspiring conker champions to win their laurels.Visit Mottisfont
Mottistone Estate, Isle of Wight
The estate is home to a healthy population of red squirrels at Mottistone, so you may face some feisty competition with some furry friends in your hunt for fallen chestnuts.Visit Mottistone Estate
Child collecting conkers at Mottisfont, Hampshire, in autumn
Child collecting conkers at Mottisfont, Hampshire, in autumn | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra
Packwood House, Warwickshire
You can’t miss the avenue of horse chestnut trees right opposite Packwood House. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, call into reception for directions for the woodland walk.Visit Packwood House
Rowallane Garden, County Down
See if you can spot all the different colours of autumn and add to your conker collection as you make your way through Rowallane Garden.Visit Rowallane Garden
Sheringham Park, Norfolk
If you walk along Sheringham's main drive, you're sure to find plenty of conkers. Make sure you visit in September and October, which are the best months to spot them.Visit Sheringham Park
Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire
Horse chestnut leaves look particularly stunning during the autumn colour change spectacle at Wimpole. As well as collecting conkers, why not collect some of their fallen leaves too, for a spot of wild art?Visit Wimpole Estate
Two girls exploring the woodland trails at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

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