Bring the whole family together this Easter with a National Trust trail through lovely grounds, spotting the signs of Spring and enjoying the fresh air. And of course, each National Trust Easter trail ends with a chocolate egg, or vegan and free-from egg, made here in the UK using cocoa that’s responsibly sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
Stowe is a vast and exciting natural playground for children. It has been a tourist attraction for more than 300 years for the scale and beauty of its garden. The landscape features have been precisely sculpted and provide instagrammable views with winding paths, wildlife-filled lakes and intriguing statues and monuments - perfect for hide and seek. This Easter, visitors should limber up as things get sporty amongst the spring flowers in the landscape gardens.1st-16th April. Normal admission applies plus £3 per trail, includes a chocolate or vegan and free-from Easter egg.
There’s a natural playground for climbing, balancing and make-believe at Hughenden. It’s handily placed near the orchard, with picnic tables under the blossom for that all-important parental coffee whilst the children play. Children also love the walled garden with its narrow paths for running along and there’s also a willow tunnel to wind their way through. Children are also fascinated by the interactives in the exhibition about Hughenden’s secret map-making history in the Second World War. This Easter, with daffodils and primroses all around them, children can get explore the lifecycle of the flower from seed bank to bloom in Hughenden’s immersive and playful activity trail.1st-16th April. Normal admission applies plus £3 per trail, includes a chocolate or vegan and free-from Easter egg.
Waddesdon’s popular Woodland Playground has been newly refurbished and features a brand-new zip wire, board rider, swings and roundabout. In the gardens, children love to spot the rare and exotic birds in the Aviary and learn about their conservation programme. There’s also acres of room to roam and winding paths to chase along in the garden. At Easter, Waddesdon is jam-packed with lots of fun games and creative activities. The trail starts at the back of the manor and wends its way around the grounds before ending at the Woodland Takeaway and Toyshop. Note the different dates of Waddesdon’s trail, plus the need to pre-book via the website. 29th March - 10th April. Normal admission applies plus £3 per trail, includes a chocolate or vegan and free-from Easter egg. Pre-booking essential.
Ascott is an Old English manor with a black and white half-timbered façade. It’s the variety of the gardens that really enchants people. The garden is a wonderful mix of formal and informal, with fountains, sculptures and colourful bedding plants interspersed with architectural hedging. There are some real surprises too, which children love, including a striking contemporary garden. At Ascott this Easter, families can spot the signs of Spring while running, hopping and skipping through games in the gardens, have a go at creating some giant art and plant a seed to take home. All visits to Ascott should be booked in advance via the website but Easter trails can be purchased on arrival.1st -16th April. Normal admission applies plus £3 per trail, includes a chocolate or vegan and free-from Easter egg. Please pre-book your visit.
It’s worth visiting the house at Claydon before heading out on the Easter trail. Children tend to be as wowed by the sumptuous interiors as adults and there’s a handy trail to pick up and follow around the house to engage children. Plus, Florence Nightingale’s quarters are always a fascination for younger visitors. When families reach the lawn, it’s time for the Easter adventures to begin. With traditional children’s party games and ‘pin the tail on the bunny’, it’ll be a weekend for making memories. 7th - 10th April. Normal admission applies plus £3 per trail, includes a chocolate or vegan and free-from Easter egg.
Head down the driveway and you’ll find the children’s play area nestled in the woodland. It’s near to the tea-room and toilets and there are benches to sit on while you watch little ones play. There’s also plenty of space for some den building. Carry on along that roadway and it’ll take you on a walk around the estate with fallen logs for balance-walking, chalk pits for dashing up and down and lambs in the farmer’s fields in the spring. At Easter, the activity trail will take place beneath a shower of blossom as the spring flowers are splashing the garden with colour.1st– 16th April. Normal admission applies plus £3 per trail, includes a chocolate or vegan and free-from Easter egg.
Images by Chris Lacey & James Dobson