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Family days out at Scotney Castle

A small child playing in autumn leaves
The timeless joy of playing with colourful autumn leaves | © John Miller

Let the adventures begin! Discover your very own fairy-tale castle tucked away amongst acres of park and woodland, or get involved with some of the family-friendly events and activities running all year round at Scotney Castle and start making memories.

Sometimes everyone just needs to get out of the house to blow away the cobwebs. Here are some ideas for activities you can do with your family this autumn and winter at Scotney. We recommend you book your car parking in advance to guarantee entry but otherwise there's no need to book for anything else.

Christmas at Scotney

Meet Carrot the snowman and all their Scotney snowman friends in the free, family-friendly trail around the garden and ooh and aah at all the decorated Christmas trees and sparkly lights around the mansion house. We've even got a room full of 1960s games to play and a special Christmas writing station where children can compose their letters to Santa and post them in the special Scotney North Pole postbox. Why not check all our Christmas events and opening hours?

'50 things to do before you're 11¾'

Here are just a few of the ideas from the list ...

  • No 2: Roll down a really big hill
  • No 4: Build a den
  • No 6: Go welly wandering
  • No 8: Spot a fish
  • No 9: Eat a picnic in the wild - you'll find a perfect spot in the garden or on the estate
  • No 10: Play conkers
  • No 12: Have fun with sticks
  • No 13: Make a mud creation - head to Badger & Perpper's play area
  • No 22: Find some funky fungi - look but don't touch!
  • No 50: Take a friend on a nature adventure - double the fun!

Why not check out the full list here?

A child aiming a bow and arrow
Test out your archery skills at Scotney's Heritage & Harvest Autumn Fair | © Annapurna Mellor

Good to know

  • Accessible WCs with baby and toddler changing facilities are available in the central Courtyard, near the shop and tea-rooom. An additional change area is next to the black timber clad property office by the car park. (Note there are no toilet facilities in the garden or on the estate.)
  • The Badger and Pepper play area complete with mud kitchen, ball run, play house, toddler swing and natural drum kit is a perfect place for younger children to let off steam. You'll find it in the main garden, half-way down the hill on the right-hand side.
  • The tea-room in the Courtyard sells a wide range of snacks and ice-creams, children’s lunch boxes, and hot and cold drinks and full meals. Full lunches are available 12-2pm.
  • At peak times there is an additional kiosk in the Courtyard selling drinks and snacks. Doggy ice-creams are also on sale in the Courtyard tea-room so no family member need miss out.
  • The shop in the Courtyard sells a range of good-quality pocket money toys as well as children's books.
  • The second-hand bookshop by the Visitor Entrance is also well-worth a browse with children's titles from just 50 pence, and other books from £1.
  • If it is practicable, baby carriers are a better way to travel with young ones on the estate as the routes are not fully buggy-friendly. The estate can also become very muddy and water-logged in winter or after heavy rain.
  • Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead. Only assistance dogs may go into the house, castl and walled garden.
  • The paths in the garden are all-weather and suitable for prams, buggies and mobility scooters. There are some steps from the terrace at the back of the house, but an alternative route into the garden is available. Prams and buggies need to be left outside when visiting the mansion house.
  • For everyone's enjoyment and safety, scooters, bicycles and ball games are not permitted in the garden.
Two children running across open parkland in autumn clothes with a tree in the foreground
Fresh air and exercise to blow away the cobwebs | © John Miller
Children playing in the woodlands at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

‘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’.