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Family-friendly things to do at Hatchlands Park

Visitors on a trail at Hatchlands Park, Surrey
Visitors on a trail at Hatchlands Park | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

There is plenty of family fun to discover on a visit to Hatchlands Park this spring. Take a family stroll through the open parkland and ancient woodland, visit the natural play area and don't forget to say hello to our resident donkeys. Find out more and plan your visit.

Muddy paths

Please remember to bring your wellies or walking boots as the parkland paths can become wet and muddy at this time of year.

Planning your family visit to Hatchlands Park

Here is the information you need at a glance to help plan your next day out to Hatchlands Park:

  • Children’s highchairs are available from both cafés, on request
  • You can find baby changing facilities in the male, female and accessible toilets in the cobbled courtyard
  • Not all of the parkland and woodland paths are hard surfaced – for the most buggy friendly routes please ask at reception when you arrive
  • If you're in need of a pit stop, you'll find picnic benches and tables throughout the garden and parkland
  • Children’s bicycles below a height of 75cm (floor to handlebar) are welcome
Illustrated map of Hatchlands Park
Illustrated map of Hatchlands Park | © National Trust

Hatchlands family map

Where are the donkeys? How long does it take to walk to the play area? And what is the Admiral’s Dog? All these questions and more are answered by our new family map for Hatchlands Park. We asked visitors what their favourite parts of a visit were and drew them on the map. So if you’re wondering where's the best place for a picnic or which is the coolest tree, then we have you covered. Pick up a free map when you arrive, plan your lap of the woods and make Hatchlands your new family tradition.

May half-term butterfly trail

Sat 25 May - Sun June, 10am-4pm

Pick up your free spotting sheet and see how many butterflies you can find in the meadow and the parkland. Discover some fun facts along the way and don't forget to look out for the colourful wooden butterflies too! Free. Normal admission to the property applies. Find out more here

Hunting for bugs at Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate, Gloucestershire
Enjoy butterfly-spotting this summer | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Family-friendly things to do in the parkland

Speak to our friendly team at reception to find out the best way-marked route for buggies and wheelchairs. Don't forget to visit our early years play area, next to Morris and Callum's stable block by the courtyard.

Natural adventure area at Hatchlands Park

Head out into the parkland to Great Wix Wood. As you enter the wood, you'll find Wizard Wix's Willow Warren, our natural adventure area for children. This is the perfect spot to run around, get active and enjoy nature. Here are a few ideas for fun things to do when you get there:

Balance beams and leaping logs

You can follow the willow tunnels to find the beams then balance your way along to the wizard sculpture. Head back along the other side leaping from log to log, how many can you do in a row?

Tree House

Let your imaginations run riot. The Tree House could fill the role of an enchanted castle, a haunted house, a secret hideaway, or just a dry spot to shelter on a rainy day. It's also a real-life lookout post where you can get up into the trees for a bird’s eye view through the beautiful woodland.

Bug burrow

The bug burrow could fill the role of a hobbit hole, a spooky cave or a secret hideaway. It’s also a real-life opportunity to get down into the earth and up close to nature, enabling you to watch the creepy-crawly world slither past on its way through Great Wix Wood.

Den building

Underneath the trees you'll find a big pile of logs, branches, bark and leaves. You can play with them however you like but they're great for making dens. This is one of the most popular pastimes at Wizard Wix's – it's also one of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Hatchlands tower

Show off your climbing skills on our new wooden tower. At just over 3 metres tall it's ideal for older children to explore.

Sculptures

You'll find wizards, a falcon, a badger, a green man, mushrooms and more. The biggest ones are made from the trunks of old trees that used to stand here, but you can pick up some of the little ones and move them about. How many can you find?

Two children climb up the steps of a wooden tree house in the adventure play area
Climb to the tree house lookout in Hatchlands' adventure play area | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Family-friendly things to do in the house

Explore the house and collections with the children’s trail, while the little ones can have fun spotting hidden objects with the 'I Spy' challenge sheet. Pick up your free trail sheets from the entrance hall in the house. The house is open from March until November, 12-4pm daily, except Saturdays.

‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’

Get closer to nature with the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. There’s plenty of outdoor activities to do all year round, so get out in the fresh air and build a den, make your world spin by rolling down a hill or tickle the taste buds with a picnic in the wild.

Many could be done at home or in your garden, but here are a few that you can enjoy as part of your visit to Hatchlands Park:

  • No. 1 Get to know a tree: Some trees have spaces big enough to get inside, others can be climbed, many have colourful leaves to catch. You can find ancient trees to study in the woodland and, halfway along the driveway at Hatchlands, you'll find a huge hollow trunk to explore.
  • No. 12 Have fun with sticks: There are so many ways that you can have fun with sticks. Build a den, play the drums, make a wand, lay a trail, create a home for wildlife – the list is endless. Check out the woodland areas at Hatchlands for all your stick-based needs.
  • No. 31 Make friends with a bug: Because of the dead wood we leave when trees fall, Hatchlands is an amazing place to hunt for bugs. There are hundreds of species for you to find, including some that are really rare. Check under logs or stones, in the dead wood piles or holes in trees that are still standing. Be gentle, and avoid wasps, snakes and crocodiles.
  • No. 33 Go cloud watching: If the weather's dry, find a comfy patch of grass, lie back and watch the clouds go by. With a little imagination you can create whole worlds and the tall tales that might take place there, from the shapes you see in the clouds.

Visitors at Hatchlands Park, Surrey

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