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Family-friendly things to do at Polesden Lacey

Children in the garden on a sunny day in August at Polesden Lacey, Surrey
Children in the garden at Polesden Lacey, Surrey | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Escape to Polesden Lacey with the family for a day out and a chance to make memories to last a lifetime. Explore, move, wonder and let imaginations run free. The gardens and wider estate are perfect for running, chasing, nature spotting and lots more. Whether you're six or 60 there's something for everyone here at Polesden Lacey. Plan ahead and see what upcoming events we have at Polesden Lacey this summer.

Planning your family visit

  • Baby change facilities are available in the main toilet block, opposite the coffee shop.
  • Accessible, buggy friendly pathways (you can find a map here), unfortunately buggies are not allowed in the house but hip carriers are available.
  • Spend hours in Kestrel Corner Natural play area.
  • Children under-five's scooters and bikes can be used in the pleasure grounds – just be careful on the sloped pathways and on busier days.
  • Polesden Lacey has a cafe and coffee shop both with indoor and outdoor seating areas. During busier times we open an additional outlet serving snacks and drinks. There are also plenty of picnic benches around the grounds to sit down and enjoy your own picnics.

Summer of Play

13 July - 8 September 2024

Join us this year for Summer of Play, sponsored by Starling Bank. Grizwald the Griffin will be back again at Polesden Lacey this summer. See what you can discover in the play hub in Crab Apple Orchard this year, inspired by the fantastical world of Grizwald the Griffin. Step into a straw-bale castle and let the fun begin. From a medieval kitchen, market stall and thrones to miniature stables. There’s plenty of space to play and shady spots when you need a rest from all the fun, or have a break and bite to eat.

Summer of Play is free with usual admission or free for members. There is no need to book but we can get busy during peak times especially in the summer holidays, bank holidays and on weekends. Click here to find out more information.

Two children peer through a summer play installation
Visitors at Polesden Lacey, Surrey | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

The Last Tree and The Art of Nature in collaboration with Luke Adam Hawker

Until 25 October 2024 10am – 4pm

Join us for a special collaboration with best-selling author and renowned artist Luke Adam Hawker. Discover the beauty of nature through art as you view some of the most loved original illustrations and pages from his book ‘The Last Tree’. Inside the house, Hawker’s artwork will be exhibited alongside Mrs Greville’s Fabergé and art collection. Continue outside to find a new way to connect with nature as you observe and draw the trees at Polesden Lacey. Take the time to be curious, listen to the rustling leaves and feel in the moment with your surroundings.

This event is free but normal admission fees still apply, no need to book before arrival. Click here to find out more.

Artist Luke Adam Hawker drawing a tree
Artist Luke Adam Hawker drawing a tree | © Alex Leggatt
Illustration of child walking through a forest
Time Passed | © Luke Adam Hawker

Family-friendly things to do in the gardens

The gardens are filled with perfect picnic locations, ball games are allowed in the pleasure grounds, so are the perfect spot for the whole family. Take a wander down the double Herbaceous Border or step into the Rose Garden and see how many different roses you can see and smell.

Picnic benches are available in Crab Apple Orchard or head over to South Lawn and pull up a deck chair to enjoy some lunch or maybe even an ice cream.

Small bikes and scooters are allowed in the pleasure grounds, as well as ball games and kite flying. Make sure you're mindful of other visitors whilst playing games.

Head over to Kestrel Corner play area, built using wood from the Polesden Lacey estate. Enjoy the swings, tunnels and giant nests as you embrace your inner animal and get closer to nature. Find out more here.

A girl crawls through play area rabbit's burrow
A girl crawls through play area rabbit's burrow | © Eddie Hyde/National Trust

Pop - up Children's Theatre

Saturday 3,10,17,31 August

Join us for some highly entertaining pop-up theatre for children this summer and enjoy watching these family-friendly performances.

On Saturday 3 and 10 August , People’s Theatre Company will present A Treasure Hunt Adventure Story and on Saturday 17 and 31 August, The Cat's Grin Theatre company return with their wonderfully creative and funny interpretations of scenes from some of Shakespeare's plays.

The performances will rotate around the gardens including South Lawn, West Lawn, and the Rose Garden in turn. This is a free event but usual admission applies, click here to see performance times.

Lazy Jazz Sundays at Polesden Lacey

Every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, 4 May - 8 September 2024, 2pm – 4pm

Enjoy the warmer days of summer whilst the sounds of Jazz drift across the South Lawn on a lazy Sunday and Bank Holiday weekend afternoons. The musicians will be playing a selection of jazz music, ranging from the 20’s, 30’s, Gershwin, Cole Porter, to more recent easy listening numbers for you to relax and enjoy. Bring a picnic, a rug, and soak up the atmosphere and the stunning views across the valley.

Click here to view the bands performing this summer.

Visiting the house with Children

Open each day 11am - 3.30pm. From 4 November the house will be closed for 3 weeks (except weekends) while we prepare for our Christmas offer.

Take a look and wander around the downstairs of the house, most of the downstairs is as it was in Mrs. Greville’s day, with sumptuous interiors, from the stunning décor in the gold Saloon to the inviting library and intimate tea room, with Margaret Greville's extensive collection of books, ceramics, objets d’art and paintings beautifully displayed throughout.

Until 25 October 2024 we invite visitors to come and see The Last Tree and The Art of Nature Exhibition, in collaboration with best-selling author and renowned artist Luke Adam Hawker. There's even a room to encourage yourself and your little ones to have a go at drawing a tree of your own.

Unfortunately buggies are not allowed in the house, please park them outside while you visit. Hip carriers are available to borrow, if you ask a member of staff at the house doors they will be happy to help.

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’ activities

No. 4 Build a den

There are lots of perfect den building spots to be discovered at Polesnden. What will your den be? A meeting place for spies, a fairy castle or perhaps a bear’s den?

No. 34 Discover wild animal clues

With badgers, squirrels, rabbits and more, there are lots of different things that you can search for when you're on the trail of an animal at Polesden. Look out for footprints, fur and poo, and you might find something sooner than you think.

No. 50 Take a friend on a nature adventure

Double your fun by sharing your next nature adventure with a friend. Explore your secret wildlife hideouts together and make the great outdoors your new playground.

No 33: Go cloud watching

Head to the sloping South Lawn, 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.

Download all 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ here.

The Saloon at Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Discover more at Polesden Lacey

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

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