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Family-friendly things to do at Mottisfont

A child on climbing equipment in the play area at Mottisfont, Hampshire
The Wild Play area at Mottisfont, Hampshire | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

With plenty of space to run, jump and play, there's lots to keep children of all ages busy at Mottisfont. Challenge yourself in our Wild Play area, try some of the '50 things to do before you're 11¾' challenges and play a game of Pooh sticks from one of the wooden bridges. In the summer holiday you can discover the wonderful world of John Burningham with our family-friendly exhibition and trail, 20 July - 29 September.

Planning your family visit

Here's all the information you need at a glance, to make the most of your family day out at Mottisfont:

  • Baby-changing facilities in access-friendly toilets are located at the welcome centre, stables, lower corridor in the house and kitchen garden
  • Pushchairs are welcome everywhere except inside the house. There are gently-sloping areas and wide pathways around much of the grounds. Pathways are uneven in some places so sturdy, all-terrain tyres are recommended
  • Drinks, snacks and light lunches with family-friendly options are available from the café and additional outlets, with indoor and outdoor seating areas and picnic benches around the grounds
  • Breastfeeding is welcome anywhere around the property.

There's no need to book, but Mottisfont may get very busy during school holidays and bank holidays. Mornings tend to be busier than afternoons. If you have the flexibility, a weekday visit is generally quieter than a weekend, even during school holidays. If you can only visit over the weekend, Saturdays are usually less busy than Sundays.

What do you need to know when visiting the garden?

  • Toddler push-along bikes operated by a parent/guardian are welcome, but please be aware that bikes, trikes and scooters are not allowed
  • There are areas of open water around the garden and grounds so close supervision is strongly advised
  • Please don't bring windbreakers, gazebos, pop-up tents, parasols or barbecues.

Family-friendly events

John Burningham exhibition and activity trail

20 July - 29 September
Exhibition 11am-4.30pm (last entry 4pm), trail 10am-5pm daily (last entry 4.30pm).

Discover the wild and wonderful world of John Burningham with a family-friendly exhibition and activity trail. You’ll find original illustrations in the gallery, with comfy reading zones, giant scenes for family photos, and dressing up. Outside, a Burningham-themed trail weaves through Mottisfont’s gardens, with games and challenges to complete. Property admission applies (free for National Trust members, Art Fund members and under 5s), plus £3 per trail.

Plan your visit

Children taking part in a trail in the rose garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire
Children taking part in a trail | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

More family-friendly things to do in the garden

Our Wild Play area includes three large wooden structures built for climbing, balancing and exploring. Duck and dive through multiple entry and exit points to play together. The play area gets very muddy during periods of wet weather, so come dressed for mess.

Wooden bridges and a rushing river make Mottisfont one of the country's top destinations for playing Pooh sticks – challenge your family to a game when you visit. Ball games and frisbees are welcome on the paddock areas.

'50 things' activities

Why not try some of the '50 things to do before you're 11¾' challenges? From rolling down a hill to making friends with a bug, there's something for every young explorer to do.

Visitors in the walled rose garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire

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Find out when Mottisfont is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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