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Family-friendly things to do at Hughenden

Two children lying in a pile of autumn leaves at Castle Ward, County Down
Children playing in Autumn leaves | © National Trust Images/John Millar

If you want to get the family outside having fun whatever the weather, visit Hughenden. Discover trails through woodlands and views across the Chilterns, make dens and look for wild animal clues. Come to Hughenden, your adventure starts here.

Planning your family visit

  • Baby-changing facilities in Stableyard (accessible toilet) and inside the second-hand bookshop (steps to access).
  • Child's play area is open daily next to the Orchard (weather permitted).
  • Children under five on scooters and balance bikes are allowed under close supervision.
  • Accessible routes for pushchairs and wheelchairs around the gardens and pleasure grounds. We would recommend a carrier for woodland adventures.
  • The entrance to the manor is up two small steps but temporary ramps are available, which staff will put out on request. Pushchairs will need to be left in the arcade at the front of the Manor. Front carriers are permitted around the house and hip straps can be requested from the House team.

Family Friendly Events:

Autumn Menu Spotter Trail: What did Dizzy Desire for Dinner?

Running until Late Autumn

Can you find all the ingredients for Benjamin and Mary Anne's dinner hidden around the Manor? The shopping list will take its inspiration from a historic menu in Hughenden’s collection, which will also be on display.

Play area at Hughenden in Autumn, Buckinghamshire
Play area at Hughenden in Autumn | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

10 family-friendly things to do this Autumn at Hughenden

If you want to explore on your own, we have had 10 ideas which might help you on your way:

1. Have fun in the natural play area

Climb and explore in the play area next to the orchard, use your imagination and be a super hero, pirate, or explorer.

2. Find a story in the second-hand bookshop.

Browse the selection of story, picture and non-fiction books in the second-hand bookshop. You might find a book by your favourite author or discover some new ones. Read aloud, or find new facts to impress your family.

3. Spot a trail

Run or walk up one of our trail pathways. Try putting your arms out and fly along like a World War II aeroplane. Did you know that Hughenden was used a secret location for making maps for the pilots to use during the second world war? Find your way around the paths and make a memory map of the Manor estate.

4. Tree bark rubbings

Take a paper and pencil and rub the bark to make an artwork from one of our trees. See how the bark from different trees make a different pattern. Can you put your arms all the way around the trunk and give a tree a hug? Maybe ask a friend to join you and play chasing around a large tree, just like our cheeky squirrels like to play.

5. Make a drawing of the house

Bring your sketchbook and make a drawing of the house. Design your own manor house or castle with towers, rectangle window shapes and a huge wooden door. Jot down the names of the colours for a painting or coloured pencil drawing to finish at home.

6. Den building

Be an outdoor architect and build a den fit for a nobleman. Hide in it and stay safe from the elements, just like the ancient people from long ago would have done, imagine what it would be like to build your own house for survival. You could make a mini manor for some of the wildlife animals to explore later. Maybe a rabbit or squirrel family will play in your creation after you’ve left for home.

7. Make a piece of natural art

Take four sticks and make a frame to start your own piece of art. Search for natural materials, such as leaves, seeds and pine cones to arrange inside your frame. Think about make a pattern or image such as a person or place. Perhaps you could create a natural portrait of Disraeli, or a landscape with the Hughenden Manor house.

8. Climb a really big hill

Get stronger and faster by climbing a really big hill. Feel your heart beating in your chest and your muscles getting warmer as you walk or try running up the slope. How far can you run uphill? Can you feel gravity pulling you and making it feel hard.

9. Wildlife spotting

Keep an eye out for wildlife as you explore the estate. Look out for birds, bees, squirrels and other creatures that call Hughenden home.

10. Have a picnic

Bring a blanket or sit on a picnic table in the orchard and enjoy an alfresco lunch and all-important parental coffee whilst the children play.