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Things to see and do in The Children's Country House Museum

Children looking at some of the exhibits in the The Children’s Country House at Sudbury, Derbyshire
Children engaging with the Museum exhibition at the Children's Country House | © National Trust/James Dobson

We’ve been busy adding new spaces and experiences for the young and the young at heart, to enjoy at the award winning, The Children’s Country House Museum. You can wander freely through the museum, and explore how each space celebrates the escapades and challenges of childhood across the centuries.

The Pathway to the Museum

Start your journey in The Pathway to the Museum. Here we take curiosity seriously, welcoming you to explore, seek, look and connect with the museum objects and stories.


But it wasn’t all fun and games for children in the past. Experience first-hand, the realities of life for children who were employed through the ages. Venture down a Victorian mine tunnel and get involved with activities to see what life was like for children working in domestic service. Daring young ‘sweeps’ can take on our chimney climb and crawl into the darkness to get a feel for what it would have been like for the real-life chimney sweeps.

Child playing in the chimney in the Work Gallery at The Children's Country House at Sudbury, Derbyshire
The chimney is always a big hit with children | © National Trust Images/John Millar


A space for self guided play and discovery. Grow your creativity and look for visual connections with the patterns, shapes and colours in this space.

Use giant 3D jigsaw pieces to create your own connections between different parts of The Children’s Country House. Crawl into the makers station and explore these pictures. Fit them together to make your own creature for others to see.

This is a space that we'll continue to evolve based on your feedback.

Children playing with interactive toys in Toys Through Time Gallery at The Children's Country House at Sudbury
Children playing with the interactive toys | © National Trust Images/David Levenson


This gallery turns home life on its head. Many visitors are fascinated by the doll’s houses, which provide a miniature scale insight into family life of times gone by. Here you can learn about family life and the impact that the Second World War had on children of that era.


They say that school days are the best days of your life, but our Victorian school teacher thinks otherwise. From semolina dinners to school uniforms, you’ll need to sit up straight and pay attention for fear of the dreaded dunces hat, when you experience this space.

Comstumed interpreter dresses as a school mistress and visitors in the recreated Victorian classroom at The Children's Country House at Sudbury, Derbyshire
Sit up straight and listen or wear the dreaded dunce's hat | © National Trust Images/John Millar

The Space Station

Astronauts assemble! Blast off in the space station, with a range of space themed toys and games.


With an amazing array of toys including the Betty Cadbury Collection of Playthings Past, you can take a look at toys through the ages, including many of Betty's treasured mechanical toys.

Betty's collection truly is one of a kind, a culmination of a lifelong passion for toys. During her life she was considered an expert in her field, with one of the finest collections going. Today, we are lucky enough to be able to display her efforts for you to enjoy.

Say cheese

Time for a photo - which character will you be?

We asked some of our Children’s Country House Ambassadors what they want to be when they grow up. Can you guess which jobs they chose? You can ‘say cheese’ and have a photo with your face in the mirror artwork.

The south front of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, with geese resting on the lawn.

Discover more at The Children's Country House

Find out when The Children's Country House is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Children running in the garden at The Children's Country House at Sudbury, Derbyshire

Visiting the Garden at The Children's Country House 

Explore the Garden and explore, admire and connect with the beauty of nature.

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Eating and Shopping at The Children's Country House 

Grab a bite to eat at the Fairytale Forest Café or picnic in the grounds or Boathouse. The jungle-inspired fundraising shop is a treasure trove of gifts and goodies for children and adults alike.