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Things for families to do at Runnymede and Ankerwycke

A little girl jump and a little boy kneeling in the grass in front of a river at Runnymede, Surrey
Children playing on the banks of the River Thames at Runnymede and Ankerwycke, Surrey | © National Trust Images/John Millar

There’s plenty of family-friendly fun at Runnymede and Ankerwycke, with an interactive kids’ nature walk, activities inside and outside our architectural artwork Writ in Water, and willow sculptures with an added twist. Plus, make the most of the river, with a trip on a paddle steamer.

Coming soon - Runnymede Junior Ranger Programme

Thanks to funding from Runnymede Borough Council we're launching a brand new Junior Ranger Programme for young people aged 13 - 15 years. For anyone interested in careers in agriculture, the environment, the outdoors, sports, leisure and tourism, this programme is a great wait gain valuable work experience and learn practical conservation skills. Applications for this opportunity open on 1 September. Follow the link below for more information and register your interest.

Young people working with National Trust rangers at Ilam Park, Peak District
Gain work experience, make friends and help us look after Runnymede | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Follow the Nature Knights walk

Pick up a trail booklet from the Magna Carta Tea-rooms, or from a member of outdoor staff, and get ready to explore Runnymede as a Nature Knight.

Follow the route using the trail points in the booklet, try the activities as you go, and keep track of your adventure in your Knights Notes.

Look out for a range of plants and wildlife with regal names, and enjoy the natural beauty of Runnymede, whatever the season.

Go inside a willow sculpture

There are two groups of larger-than-life willow sculptures at Runnymede, both created by local artists, Willowtwisters, with the help of visitors, volunteers and local groups.

As the name suggests, The Haymakers depicts a rural haymaking scene, while the figures that make up The Last Survivors conceal a secret – go inside each sculpture to discover poems about land and freedom written by members of the local community.

Visitors explore the Writ in Water architectural artwork which features words from the Magna Carta carved in stone
Exploring the Writ in Water architectural artwork | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Immerse yourself in Writ in Water

Writ in Water is an interactive architectural artwork celebrating science, nature and history. Before visiting it, pick up a Writ in Water activity sheet from the Magna Carta Tea-rooms or a member of outdoor staff.

Outside the circular building, you’ll be challenged to make a sensory map, by listening, smelling, viewing and touching the things around you. Then head inside to learn how, and why, it was built.

Please note, the suggested age for this activity sheet is 7 years and up.

Take a Victorian paddle steamer down the Thames

During spring and summer, you can enjoy Runnymede and Ankerwycke from a different point of view, with a boat trip along the River Thames.

Across the road from the Magna Carta Tea-rooms, you'll find the Lucy Fisher, a replica Victorian paddle steamer that will take you on a leisurely cruise along the Thames toward the Runnymede pleasure grounds and back.

For more information visit French Brothers River Thames passenger boat cruises.

Look out for seasonal events

We run seasonal events at Runnymede and Ankerwycke throughout the year.

Visit our events page to find out more.

Useful information for planning your visit

There are toilets and baby changing facilities in the Magna Carta Tea-rooms.

The tea-rooms also sell family friendly drinks and snacks as well as kids’ lunchboxes.

We have new accessible paths along the river and to our memorials and artworks. If you’re going further afield, you might prefer to use a child carrier.

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