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Family-friendly things to do at Lytes Cary Manor

Family walking at Lytes Cary
Family walking at Lytes Cary | © John Millar

Learn about the wildlife around the estate, the carved characters and creatures you may spot in the house, enjoy seasonal activities or some quality time in the great outdoors.

May half-term

Out and about backpacks

From 27 May to 2 June, you can pick up a backpack from Visitor Welcome and discover what is inside for a fun visit. They include things such as activity booklets, jump ropes, beans bags and more. Booking is not required. Backpacks provided on a first come first serve basis.

Play croquet

Borrow the croquet equipment and enjoy challenging someone to a game on the croquet lawn from 27 May to 2 June. Booking is not required and equipment is loaned on a first come first serve basis.

Planning your family visit

  • Baby-changing facilities
  • Pushchairs welcome
  • Outdoor natural play area in the woodland
A father and daughter hold hands and walk out over flagstones through an old wooden doorway
Leaving Lytes Cary Manor along the Screens Passage | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Family-friendly things to do in the house

Throughout the manor house, there are steps and access can be quite narrow so we ask that pushchairs are left in the Screens Passage of the Great Hall (where you enter).

Things to look out for in the house:

  • The Great Hall is one of the oldest parts of the house. If you look up you can spot the angels at the bottom of each of the rafters – they each carry a shield decorated with the Lyte coat of arms.
  • ‘The Good Companions’ are a pair of leather figures flanking the fireplace in the Great Parlour. They are also sometimes known as ‘fireside companions’ and their purpose has long been a subject of discussion. One idea is that they were brought to the table if there were only 13 people for dinner, as this was seen as bad luck.
  • What animal you can spot in the Screens Passage of the Great Hall?

Family-friendly things to do on the estate

If you venture off the beaten track, you'll discover a woodland play area and three waymarked trails at Lytes Cary Manor that take you out onto the estate through open fields and woodland. The trails are all between a mile and a mile and a half, so suitable for short and long legs alike.

Things to spot on the estate walks:

  • Kingfishers
  • Dragonflies
  • Butterflies
  • Wildflowers
  • Shrill carder bumblebee: one of the UK's rarest bumblebees
  • Orchids

You might also catch the ranger team working hard carrying out some footpath maintenance or monitoring butterfly species.

For any adventurers working through the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ list, you’ll be able to tick off quite a few.

Orchard with spring flowers at Lytes Cary Manor
Orchard with spring flowers at Lytes Cary Manor | © Andrew Baskott

Picnic at Lytes Cary Manor

Wrap up warm and a relaxing lunch outdoors can still be had in one of the many picnic spots at Lytes Cary.

The turning circle is one of our favourites, as you get the best of both worlds with a view of the Apostle Garden and house, but you also look out to the estate and the circular water tower built in imitation of the ancient dovecote at Avebury. There are a few benches here.

There’s also a large picnic table under the trees at the start of the White walk. The ranger team have routed the shapes of leaves from native trees into it, so you can always test your leaf knowledge while munching sandwiches.

And just in case you’ve forgotten anything, a selection of snacks and warming drinks are available from the tea-room.

The outside of Lytes Cary in summer with hedges to the left

Discover more at Lytes Cary

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

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