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Visiting The Argory with Family

Children playing in the woods at Hardy's Cottage, Dorset
Enjoy the great outdoors with family at The Argory | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Find out everything you need to know about visiting The Argory with kids. From playing in the play areas to borrowing balance bikes and essential information on where you'll find baby-changing facilities, bringing a picnic and more.

The Argory has something special for kids of all ages. The newly refurbished playpark blends seamlessly with the landscape, allowing kids to have adventures in nature while their imaginations run wild. For indoor play, The Argory offers the interactive space 'The Light Box.' Kids can create their own neon art masterpiece, discover the journey of light at The Argory over the years, and enjoy interactive light and sensory games. Located in the courtyard, The Lightbox is a great indoor space for kids to enjoy, come rain or shine.

A family huddle together on the lawn at The Argory, three small children are on balance bikes
Training wheels and family fun at The Argory | © Steven Henry

Planning some family time with the kids this summer and not quite sure what to do? At The Argory we've got summer sorted - read on for our top things to do in June, July and August.

Open daily throughout June

We have extended our opening hours in June for familys to experience woodland walks, sports activities, play park, balance bikes, house tour, bookshop and café. Lots to keep the whole family entertained!

Join in with the Summer of Play

1 July - 31 August

Get your heart racing in nature this summer. Explore The Argory to find games to keep you active in the sun. Play tennis on the lawn, build a den near the Walled Garden, and brave the barefoot sensory walk. If you're still full of energy after that, you can make some music, stage a show, and walk the plank!

Games will be available everyday, and are included as part of standard admission.

Summer of Play is sponsored by Starling Bank

  • Giant Drafts
  • Football
  • Hoola Hoops
  • Tennis
  • Balance Boards
  • Orienteering
  • Giant Jenga

There is no additional charge for this session. Normal admission charges to The Argory apply. Under 5’s and members FREE.

We wish to include as many kids as possible with this additional Rugby Tots activity so initially the maximum number of sessions per child is two.

Balance Bikes

Cycling is an important life skill and a healthy way to explore outdoors. At The Argory, we've got the perfect training ground for little ones who have not yet found their wheels.

You don’t need to book the balance bikes as they will be given out on a first come first served basis, and are free to use - just turn up and get going!

Improved Play Park

Earlier this year work was completed on the play park at The Argory, giving it a much needed makeover. Complete with accessible trampoline, mud kitchen and kid sized picnic tables, the newly improved play area has been a big hit with kids and grown-ups alike.

Pack a Picnic

Why not give al fresco dinning a try this summer at The Argory. We have picnic benches across the ground and picnic blankets to borrow. And with the with and the Courtyard Café serving sandwiches, drinks and ice cream, you don't even need to worry about packing the cool bag, you just have to come along and we'll do the rest.

Want to bring your youth group, playgroup, or club for a fun-filled day?

For special group rates email argory@nationaltrust.org.uk. Reduced group rates available for minimum number of 15 kids.

When you come out and play at The Argory, you're helping us look after nature's playground.

Family visitors by the lake at Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire
Family on riverside | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Planning your family visit

  • Children under 5 go free.
  • Hit the trails and head up to the Natural Play area where hours of den building fun and exploring opportunities await you.
  • Tracker packs available to borrow to add to your adventure.
  • Calm (sensory) bags available to borrow free of charge from the visitor reception for visitors with additional needs.
  • Accessible buggy-friendly paths around the lake, gardens and up to the Natural Play Area.
  • Some parts of the woodland may present a challenge to buggies.
  • High chairs and children’s meals available in the Tea-room.
  • Children must be supervised at all times as there are water features in the formal gardens and uneven surfaces on site.
  • Baby changing facilities located in disability access toilets in the Carpark Toilets, Visitor Reception toilets and the Courtyard.
  • The Tea-room offers a selection of tasty kids meals and treats. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
  • You're welcome to bring a picnic. There's plenty of picnic tables, benches, and spots to lay out a blanket. Please use the bins provided when you're finished.
  • Seasonal activity sheets available to the courtyard.
  • Scooters, balance bikes and bikes with stabilisers can be used at Mount Stewart (adult and bikes without stabiliser not permitted)

Play areas

Where to start...

  • Start with a walk around the pleasure gardens to embrace the seasonal sights and sounds.

  • Walk along the Blackwater river to do a spot of bird watching.

  • Hit the trails where adventure awaits, with 10 miles of trails, then head up to the Natural Play area for some rest for the adults and more fun for the kids.
  • Take a wander round the Mansion house and hear how the Bond family children lived and the adventures they had. Stop by the Tea-room for a treat before finding a good read in the children's section of the second-hand bookshop & browse the gifts in the Coach House Colelctive shop.

Playground

The newly refurbished playpark is located near the main visitor car park. Our aim was to create an interactive environment that feels like part of the landscape, allowing kids to enjoy adventures in nature while their imaginations run wild. We hope it encourages your little ones to look up and around, admire the views, engage with their senses and appreciate being outdoors.

The Argory Park
The Argory Park | © Catriona Corrigan

Balance bikes

Balance Bikes are the perfect way to help your future cyclists learn how to ride in the safety of the great outdoors. Cycling is an important life skill and a healthy way to explore outdoors. We want to help the next generation’s cyclists learn to ride, starting their lifelong love of cycling in beautiful natural surroundings. That's why we are delighted to offer free-to-hire balance bikes to our visitors.

The balance bikes and helmets are available to hire from visitor reception. You don’t need to book anything, and the balance bikes are free to use - just turn up and get going.

The Lightbox

This interactive space 'The Light Box' allows families to follow the story of light at The Argory. Kids can create their own neon art masterpiece; discover the journey of light at The Argory over the years, and enjoy interactive light and sensory games. Located in the courtyard The Lightbox is a great indoor space for kids to enjoy come rain or shine.

50 things to do before you’re 11¾

Are you ready for your next wild adventure? The Argory is the perfect place to explore outdoors and tick some fun activities off the National Trust’s '50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ list.

Here are just some of the activities you can conquer with family and friends at The Argory. How many can you do on your next visit?

  • No. 1 - Get to know a tree
  • No. 4 - Build a den
  • No. 5 - Skim a stone
  • No. 8 - Spot a fish
  • No. 18 - Create some wild art
  • No. 34 - Discover wild animal clues
  • No. 44 - Watch a bird
  • No. 50 - Take a friend on a nature adventure
A child in red wellington boots jumps a creek
Child Jumping in red wellington boots. | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

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