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Family-friendly things to do at Hardwick

Children running in the garden at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, with the house behind
Family fun at Hardwick | © National Trust Images/David Levenson

There's plenty for families to do at Hardwick, including seasonal trails and woodland walks.

Planning your family visit

  • Baby-changing facilities in the Stableyard toilets.
  • Pushchairs and buggies are not allowed in the house, please leave these outside the Entrance Hall by the front door.
  • Relax and enjoy a picnic in the Stableyard with a stunning view of the Hall.
  • Sometimes, depending on weather conditions, the footpaths may get muddy so don't forget your wellies and warm clothes.
Child and mother playing in the Mud Kitchen at Hardwick for summer of play
Mud kitchen fun at Hardwick | © National Trust Images/Jon Scrimshaw

May Half Term at Hardwick

Come out to play in May! From maypole merriment to musical melodies, there’s something new to explore at Hardwick Hall this half term!

The weather’s getting warmer and the flowers are out in bloom! Let the kids race around the May activity stations in the Stableyard whilst you enjoy a relaxing picnic.

Discover Elizabethan traditions with the Hardwick Maypole and embrace the themes of nature at the flower hopscotch and hoopla. Or try a more creative activity at the music station and storytelling throne to see what masterpieces you can create!

A spotter sheet will be available from Visitor Reception for the whole family to get involved in. Please check the events page for details on any workshops over the week.

Two young girls finding artefacts in a mini sand pit with toothbrushes and trowels
The Festival of Archaeology at Hardwick | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris.

Festival of Archaeolgy: The closing party

Hardwick Hall will host the closing event of this year’s Festival of Archaeology with a fun-filled family day celebrating archaeology & community through hands-on and awe-inspiring activities.

There will be talks and activities exploring the history of the area while inside the festival marquee you can explore the work of the many local archaeology and heritage community organisations.

What's on this summer?

From May half-term to the return of Hardwick's bigger and better Summer of Play, there's always something to get excited for! Alongside Hardwick's summer programme, there are a series of child friendly external events to give you a summer full of memories. Take a look and book your place below:

The Great British Food Festival
The nation's favourite food festival is back with more great food, drink and music! Did you know Friday is family day and kids go free?Book now
The Three Inch Fools: The Secret Diary of Henry VIII
Outdoor theatre at its finest with their brand new comedy – a mad-capped take on Britain’s most epic monarch, and those infamous wives.Book now
Adventure Cinema: Finding Nemo (U)
An amazing Disney open-air cinema experience with a showing of this Pixar classic.Book now
Adventure Cinema: Sing (U)
A fantastic open-air cinema show for all the family!Book now
Adventure Cinema: Frozen sing-a-long (PG)
An fantastic outdoor cinema experience with a Sing-A-Long showing of Disney's Frozen!Book now
Adventure Cinema: Jurassic Park (PG)
A blockbuster outdoor showing of Spielberg's dinosaur classic, Jurassic Park!Book now
Blossom at Hardwick

Visiting the garden at Hardwick Hall 

Discover and blossom in the garden at Hardwick Hall this spring and explore new growth through our Herb Garden and borders.

A member of staff smiles as she pours steamed milk for a customer at the Courtyard Café at Nostell Priory

Eating and shopping at Hardwick 

Enjoy tasty food and drink in the Great Barn restaurant or browse in the gift shop. Both are located within a historic setting at Hardwick.

The interior of the Blue Room at Hardwick Hall with a four-poster bed with blue drapes and elaborate picture wallpaper

The history of Hardwick Hall 

Read how wealth, power and ambition drove Bess of Hardwick to build her grand design, filled with a treasure trove of fine furnishings that can still be seen at the Hall today.