As well as having some wonderful properties to visit the National Trust also have some of the best adventure playgrounds in the UK. This post rounds up 20 of the best National Trust playgrounds. I often think what fun it would be to go on a tour of National Trust properties around the UK. One thing is for certain you wouldn’t get bored especially as each place is so different from each other.
What is there to play on – There is big focus on natural play at Hoe fen Wildlife discovery at Anglesey Abbey. With a secret garden, giant two storey lime tree house, discovery cabin, fortresses, outdoor xylophone. Plus a willow tunnel, story telling, den building, hammocks for swinging.
Other things of interest – Visit the Lode Watermill and see flour being made. You can also look around the Jacobean-style house.
Cost of entry without a National Trust Pass – House, garden and mill adult ticket without gift aid is £15.80 and £7.90 for a child. A family ticket is £39.50. There are cheaper prices in the winter.
What is there to play on – Indoor adventure play area, plus the biggest National Trust adventure playground. There’s endless play equipment such as water play, wooden houses, large wooden climbing areas with slides, swings, a miniature steam train, outdoor instruments and so so much more.
Other things of interest – There is a deer park on site and they wander freely so you may see some on your visit. The gardens are also worth a visit especially the orangery and maze. Belton house itself is also worth a visit. Please read our review for Belton House playground.
Cost of entry without a National Trust Pass – An adult ticket for the house and gardens without gift aid is £16.50 and £10.50 for a child. A family ticket is £43.50 and there are cheaper options such as just the grounds or winter discounts.
What is there to play on – There is a natural playground at Blickling estate which includes 55-acres to run around in with winding paths and secret tunnels. Why not see if you can find the secret garden. There is also a wooden adventure castle.
Other things of interest – Why not try one of their trails around the grounds? You can also visit the very grand 16th Century mansion. They even have a cycle trail plus giant games for all to enjoy. There’s even an RAF museum on site.
Cost of entry without a National Trust Pass – For ‘access all areas’ it costs £16.50 for an adult ticket without gift aid and £7.40 for a child. A family ticket is £37.00. There is also a fee of £5 to park for any non members. Tickets are reduced in price over winter.
What is there to play on – Calke Abbey has a relatively new adventure playground. There is a climbing wall and you can abseil down a rope. Plus an underground system, a bridge and more.
Other things of interest – They often have indoor games and activities for families. There’s even the opportunity to dress up. You can visit the house which is full of curiosities. There are trails around the grounds including an old tramway line that’s great for riding bikes.
Cost of entry without a National Trust Pass – For entry everywhere it costs £15.00 for an adult ticket without gift aid and £7.50 for a child. A family ticket is £37.50 and they have other pricing options according to what you want to visit.
What is there to play on – They have a relatively new play area made of wood with a bridge, slide and climbing wall. A lot of it is made to look like features that you can find on the estate. “We love the wooden climbing frames and stepping stones there.”
Other things to do – There’s often trails around the grounds that you can take part in plus children’s crafts. Open on selected days between April and October why not walk up to the Belvedere Tower where you can take in some stunning views.
Cost of entry without a National Trust Pass – For entry to the whole property it costs £9.50 for an adult without gift aid and £4.75 for a child. A family ticket is £23.85.
What is there to play on – The play area is called the Storybook Play Den which is a themed play area. It isn’t massive but it is well done. There’s plenty of characters to find in amongst the play equipment. They even have a giant slide at the back of the house.
Other things to do – There is a large maze made from over 1,000 yew trees at Cliveden which is fun and challenging. Why not visit the water gardens with fountains and a few stepping stones. They also have downloadable walking trails. The house is also open from Spring until early Autumn.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – An adult ticket for the garden and woodlands it costs £14.40 without gift aid and a child ticket is £8.00. A family ticket is £36.80. You can visit the house between March-October for £2 for an adult and £1 for a child.
What is there to play on – They have a fun RAF themed playground including a climbable control tower and a slide shaped as a crashed plane. Plus a natural themed play area. The natural play area has recently added Swinging Steps, Rope Walk, Wobble Board and a Log Walk to it. There’s plenty of branches lying around to make dens.
Other things to do – Croome court is the mansion house at Croome which you can look around. Why not visit their relatively new museum/visitor centre RAF Detford. It housed over 2,000 personnel during WWII and some of these buildings, including the hospital, still remain. There’s also a hide to sit and spot birds at Croome.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – An adult ticket without gift aid is £12.00 and £6.00 for a child for the whole property. Under 5’s are free. A family ticket is £30.00.
What is there to play on – Dyrham’s gardens are perfect for little explorers with its balancing beams, stepping stones, mini maze and a much-loved tractor to play on. Build dens in the wood, or take the Journey of Discovery trail and see what you can find. They have two play areas, one for the under 5’s and another for the under 10’s.
Other things to do – You can also look around the 300 year old house. They have nature trails for children plus craft activities during the holidays.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – An adult standard ticket to the whole property is £13.50 and £6.75 for a child. A family ticket is £33.75.
What is there to play on – There is a natural play area with swings, slides and a wooden climbing frame. Plus a wild play area with den building and a mud kitchen (supposedly the best in the National Trust). Recommendation from Jo at www.arosetintedworld.co.uk. “Massive grounds and a great playground and slide! They also have loads of ducks”
Other things to do – Inside the house you can have a go at playing some games, touch and smell the food and enjoy other hands on activities. The grounds are vast with a bird hide and willow tunnel.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – An adult ticket to the whole property costs £7.70 for a standard ticket and £3.85 for a child. A family ticket is £19.25.
What is there to play on – You can explore the wild play area at Emmetts Garden and scramble through branches, balance across beams, climb over logs and hide out in the den. Play a game of skittles or giant dominoes on the meadow and relax afterwards with a picnic. There is also a teepee for imaginative outdoor fun.
Other things to do – They often have trails on for the kids especially during the school holidays.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – A standard adult ticket in the Spring is £12.00, a child ticket is £6.00 and a family ticket £30.00. There are other pricing levels during the year.
What is there to play on – Suzy from Raising Badgers recommends Erdigg. She says “It has a fabulous, natural playground: the Wolf’s Den. There is a great rope swing but most of the fun is in balancing on the many logs and building dens. We went on a cold, damp Spring day and my two girls played for hours.
Other things to do – You can visit the house, explore the gardens and enjoy one of their walks such as the river walk.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – A ticket for the whole property in the summer is £13.50 for an adult and £6.75 for a child. A family ticket is £33.75.
What is there to play on – Claire Bones from the Ladybird Adventures recommends Fountains Abbey and Studley water gardens. Quote “Our first stop was the children’s play area. Obviously, it was quite wet but that didn’t stop my two adventurers who were soon climbing over abbey shaped climbing frames.
There were some things suitable for little ones like bridges and places to hide under climbing frames. The ball track was a lovely area too where my girls liked working out where to start the ball off so it ended in the basket. For my 5 year old there are lots to climb and to be honest she surprised us both by how confident a climber she has become. This has to be one of our favourite national trust play areas. There is so much to entertain kids and because it is in a woodland area it slowly reveals all the equipment to you.”
Other things to do – You can wander through the 900 year old Abbey and the Georgian water gardens. There is over 800 acres to explore including a Cistercian mill and medieval deer park.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – An adult ticket for the whole property costs £16.00 and £8.00 for a child. A family ticket is £40.00.
What is there to play on – There’s plenty to play on at Gibside. There is a strawberry castle play area with slide, swings, zip wire and more. At Gibside there is a natural play area with tunnels, log bridges and more. They even have a low ropes challenge. You can build a den in the West wood activity area or head on over to the stables to relax and read a book.
Other things to do – During school holidays they often have family friendly trails on which will take you around their grounds.
Cost of entry without a National Trust Pass – An adult standard ticket is £12.00 and it’s £6.00 for a child. A family pass is £30.00.
What is there to play on – Their outdoor playground is well located next to the car park and near the cafe and picnic area. There’s wooden beams, scramble nets and monkey bars. Plus plenty of other play equipment.
Other things to do – They have free outdoor trails during school holidays. There’s also a spotters trail within the house. Children can discover tables where they can get hands on with history.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – An adult ticket for the whole property is £15.35 and it costs £7.70 for a child. A family pass costs £38.40.
What is there to play on – Crow wood is where you will find the adventure playground which has a little stream running by it. There is a big climbing frame, slide, swings, tree house and more. Helen Miller from Talking Mums recommends the play area at Lyme Park.
Other things to do – There is a house to wander around at Lyme park plus some formal gardens. They also have a 1,400 acre deer park.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – An adult house and garden standard ticket costs £13.80 and £6.75 for a child. A family pass costs £34.50.
What is there to play on – There is a couple of play areas with climbing frames, slides, balance beams and more. Plus a very large maze and a woodland trail filled with music and magic. Rachel Evans from Outandaboutmummy recommends Speke Hall. She loves the fab playground, maze and woodland trail at Speke Hall.
Other things to do – You can borrow a tracker pack with binoculars and magnifying glasses to help find hidden objects in the gardens. They have Victoria dress-up in the dairy and you can help metal mickey solve the mysteries of Speke with a family friendly quiz.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – An adult standard ticket for the whole property costs £12.50 and £6.25 for a child. A family pass costs £31.25.
What is there to play on – The adventure playground has over 30 rides and attractions.
Other things to do – You can explore the neo-classical mansion, explore the 50 acres of landscaped gardens including a Japanese garden and a maze. Plus 1,000 acres of deer park. There is also an old medieval hall and a rare breed farm which is authentic to the 1930’s.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – They have different pricing options for the different attractions. A combined ticket (mansion, farm and gardens) costs £13.00 for an adult and £7.00 for a child. A family ticket is £33.00.
What is there to play on – They have four great play areas at Tyntesfield which includes den building, balance beams and parallel ropes. There is a play barn down at the farm. They even have an assault course made from apple crates and wood. You can even explore inside a giant guano bird and an enchanted tree house.
Other things to do – You can also visit the spectacular Gothic revival house which is set in 540 acres of parkland.
Cost of entry without a National Trust pass – A house, garden and estate standard ticket for an adult costs £16.50 and £8.25 for a child. A family pass costs £41.25.
All prices are subject to change. Please check each link for further and up-to-date information. Please be aware that some of these sites may also charge for parking.