National Trust days out

Discover the best National Trust days out in the UK. We visit family-friendly National Trust locations across the south with our toddler in tow.

Exploring Boarstall Duck Decoy with the National Trust 🦆

A family day out at Boarstall Duck Decoy

Boarstall Duck Decoy welcomes visitors to see one of the few remaining duck decoys in the UK.

Built in the 16th-century, the duck decoy was used to catch waterfowl for Boarstall Manor.

Although once very common in Britain, there are now only four left in the country. This one was built around 1697.

What is there to do?

Surrounded by woodland, you can enjoy a peaceful stroll among bluebells, ancient trees and wildlife in this charming place.

It offers visitors an hour of tranquility as you wind your way around the lake.

Is Boarstall Duck Decoy family-friendly?

It is to an extent. I’d probably suggest leaving your buggy or pushchair at home.

The area is mostly covered in wood shavings but there are some muddy and uneven areas if you stray from the main path.

You may choose to navigate them with your buggy but I’d probably bring a carrier instead for younger children.

There is lots to see! A highlight is the lovely children’s natural play and den building area with carved wooden mushrooms dotted around.

There are plenty of places to stop and appreciate your surroundings and lots to discover in the woodland. It is also surprisingly quiet, adding to the tranquility.

Please note, that there are no baby-changing or breastfeeding facilities. However, there are male and female toilets available.

Where can we eat and drink?

There is no cafe but you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy and dedicated picnic tables are available.

How much does it cost?

Boarstall Duck Decoy offers free entry for National Trust members. If you are not a member, please see the entrance prices below:

  • Adult – £5
  • Child – £2.50
  • Family – £12.50
  • Family with one adult – £7.50

Boarstall Duck Decoy is open on Sundays and Bank Holidays from 3 April to 25 September 2022. You do not need to pre-book your visit and it’s cash only.

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Exploring Upton House and Gardens with the National Trust 🌲

A family day out at Upton House and Gardens

National Trust’s Upton House and Gardens welcome visitors to the beautiful former country house and gardens of Lord and Lady Bearsted each day between 10am – 5pm.

On arrival, you’ll make your way down the tree-lined North Drive. Eventually, you will be greeted by the entrance to the honey-coloured stone country home alongside its beautiful terraced gardens.

What is there to do?

There is lots to do! Within the house, you will find plenty of character alongside a plethora of renowned and impressive artwork including paintings, porcelain, and tapestries. Some of the National Trust’s most celebrated paintings are featured within the gallery at Upton House and Gardens!

The expansive South Lawn behind the house leads to a deceptive and steep ha-ha with a terraced hillside beneath. This is surrounded by the Orchard, Wild Garden, Mirror Pond, Sunken Lawn and Bog Garden.

The gardens offer numerous landscapes including the orchard, woodlands. grassland and lakes. It’s truly a beautiful place to wander around and full of colour in spring.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can grab to grab a bite to eat in the Pavillion cafe or treat yourself to local produce at the gift shop.

For those feeling adventurous, you’re also welcome to explore the surrounding countryside if you fancy.

Is Upton House and Gardens family-friendly?

Upton House and Gardens are indeed family-friendly! However, it’s probably best to bring a carrier if you plan to go with a baby and leave the buggy at home.

Within the house, buggies will have to be left outside. Once in the gardens, there are lots of steps and slopes which would be awkward to navigate. However, there is a wheelchair-accessible route that partially covers the garden that you may wish to use if you do choose to bring your buggy.

Please note, the house and gardens are located near the edge of a valley and there are a few steep drops as well as open water elements.

You will find baby-changing, breastfeeding, and toilet facilities available in the Courtyard.

The onsite Pavillion cafe offers serves light lunches, snacks and hot and cold drinks. A children’s menu and high chairs are available also.

If you wish to, you can also take advantage of the sunshine and enjoy a picnic in the gardens.

How much does it cost?

Upton House and Gardens offer free entry for National Trust members. If you are not a member, please see the entrance prices below:

  • Adult – £13.00
  • Child – £6.50
  • Family – £32.50
  • Family One Adult – £19.50

Stephanie xox

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Exploring National Trust Stowe 🌲

A family day out at National Trust Stowe

National Trust Stowe welcomes its visitors to a vast Georgian landscaped garden and parkland each day from 10 am-4 pm.

Once parked at New Inn, there’s a short walk downhill to the garden entrance where you will be free to explore over 250 acres of nature.

Image of property map by National Trust Stowe

What is there to do?

There is lots to do and you can expect plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Stroll around the scenic garden at your leisure before heading into the surrounding parkland to discover its secrets.

You’ll see lakes, temples and plenty of monuments, alongside beautiful flora and fauna. If you choose to go off-the-beaten-track and explore further, you’ll be spoilt.

You could easily spend an entire day wandering around discovering new sights and sounds throughout the parkland.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, feel free to grab a bite to eat in the cafe, browse second-hand books at the Old Dairy Book Shop or treat yourself to local produce at the gift shop – all located at New Inn on the way out.

Exploring National Trust Stowe - The Palladian Bridge

Is National Trust Stowe family-friendly?

It is indeed! There are buggy-friendly routes around the garden and surrounding parkland and you’ll also find baby-changing, breastfeeding, and toilet facilities available at the New Inn entrance.

The onsite cafe offers a children’s menu and high chairs are available also.

How much does it cost?

National Trust Stowe offers free entry for National Trust members. If you are not a member, please see the entrance prices below:

  • Adult – £13.00
  • Child – £6.50
  • Family – £32.50
  • Family One Adult – £19.50

Children under five are free.

Please note, if you would also like to visit Stowe House, this is charged separately.

Stephanie xox

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