Skip to content

Family-friendly things to do at Canons Ashby

Visitors at Leigh Woods, Bristol
Enjoy the outdoors this winter Canons Ashby | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Come out and play at Canons Ashby. There are lots of activities to keep the whole family entertained and help you create great memories together. What adventures will you have next?

Planning your family visit

Here's the information you need at a glance to make the most of your family day out at Canons Ashby:

  • There are baby-changing facilities in the area outside the unisex accessible toilet and the ladies toilet. These are available to all.
  • High chairs available - Please ask the team for help with your baby food if it needs to be heated.
  • Pocket money books and games are available in the Coach House shop
  • You're welcome to picnic in the Paddock and Parkland, but not the formal gardens
  • Family trails can be picked up from visitor reception
  • The grass can be uneven and boggy in some areas of the wider parkland and may not be suitable for pushchairs
  • The garden has loose gravel paths that may not be suitable for some pushchairs and there are steps and slopes throughout.

Family-friendly events

Merlin’s Enchanted Tree Trail

11 November - 1 January, 10am - 3pm. Normal admission applies & £3 per trail.

Bring your little elves and enjoy the enchanted trail through out outdoor spaces, enjoying some decorations and finding out all about the magical trees all around us. When you’ve finished, pick up a magical treat from the shop or visitor reception to take home! £3 per trail and normal admission prices apply.

A Christmas Quest

30 November - 24 December, 11am - 2.30pm. N ormal admission applies.

This year our Christmas displays will be inspired by the legends which sparked the imagination of John Dryden, member of the Canons Ashby family and the first poet laureate. King Arthur, the semi-opera, by John Dryden and Henry Purcell, astounded audiences from 1691 until today.

For little adventurers, pick up the Christmas Quest children’s trail, find all the ingredients on the list, and help Merlin complete his spell to make a magical Christmas.

This is the second year of "A Christmas Quest", which won "Best Exhibition" at the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum Awards 2023. This year it will be even better!

Festive Handbell Ringing in the church

Saturday 2 September, 11.30am - 12.15pm, no pre-booking needed and normal admission applies.

Enjoy the festive sounds of the Launton Handbell ringers in the beautiful acoustics of Priory Church. Wrap up warm and take a pew to enjoy their beautiful music.

The Knight Before Christmas – candlelit tour

Friday 8 December, 6pm - 7.10pm & 7.30pm - 8.40pm, £16 per person, booking in advance essential. Find out more here.

Join us for a special after-hours tour around the festive house as a fascinating Christmas treat. The Arthurian decorations, full of knights, wizards and dragons, are sure to be even more atmospheric in the evening. Our experienced guide will show you around some of the main show rooms, tell you some fascinating facts, and we’ll finish with mulled cider or hot chocolate and a mince pie by the light of the Christmas Trees. (The candles will be artificial for the safety of our historic house.)

Snowdrop Stories trail

Saturday 10 - 25 February, 10am - 3pm. Normal admission applies, no booking needed.

Wander through Canons Ashby and discover what people have believed about these delicate and beautiful blooms through the years. Look out for the trail ointers as you make your way around the grounds and enjoy the beautiful display.

Father and young daughter in the natural play area at Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire
Enjoy seasonal activities at Canons Ashby | National Trust Images | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor
Visitors walking along a grass path through the garden at Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire. There are summer flowers in bloom on the right and neatly clipper topiary can be seen in the background with the house behind.

Discover more at Canons Ashby

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

You might also be interested in

A child enjoying a scone with jam and cream inside a café

Eating and shopping at Canons Ashby 

Grab a bite to eat in the tea-room, and find a souvenir to remember your visit in the Coach House shop. Head to the old brewhouse where you will now find a second-hand bookshop.

Visitors in the garden near a tree with manor house in background at Canons Ashby Northamptonshire

Visiting the garden at Canons Ashby 

The garden provides plenty of space for the family to have a great day out and enjoy the fresh air. You can also stretch your legs with one of the walks in the wider grounds.

The interior of the kitchen at Canons Ashby house in Northamptonshire. The room has a stone flagstone floor with a large range over and servants bells on the wall.

Visiting Canons Ashby house 

Explore the historic house at Canons Ashby with grand rooms, stunning tapestries and plasterwork which contrasts with the servants' quarters. Find out more about what you can see.

A man and child explore the ruins of Fountains Abbey. The man is holding the little girl as they look up at the stone walls of the abbey.

Family-friendly places to visit 

There are lots of things to do when you visit one of our family-friendly places. Find inspiration for days out and discover a range of activities for everyone.

A mother helps a young child climb over a fallen log in the parkland, on a bright, wintry day.

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’ 

Fancy running free in the fresh air, learning new skills and trying new things? Grab your gear and start your adventure.