50 things to do before you are
11¾ School holidays are a giant, fun-sized adventure for kids, but for parents, filling the days can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Don’t panic though, the National Trust is coming to the rescue! To coincide with the May half term, the Trust is re-launching its ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ outdoor campaign, giving children loads of opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy a whole series of classic adventures, from building dens to climbing trees. Throughout May and into summer, National Trust properties are running organised ’50 things’ activities, but families can also try any of the challenges under their own steam by signing up at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50things. Children can log their adventures, unlock secret challenges and collect rewards. You can also pick up a free ’50 things’ scrapbook at any participating property, and get cracking straight away, filling the book with stickers when tasks are ticked off.
Special event: Join the Great Big Tree Climbing Company at The Vyne in Hampshire and you’ll enter the canopy of a huge oak tree, using ropes, knots and karabiners whilst being securely attached in a harness. If you’re feeling brave you can take the zip wire back down! 24th May, 11am – 5pm, £15, book on 07584 088664.
With hundreds of ideas for all the family to enjoy, here are some great places in Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey to try some of our favourite ’50 things’!
Build a den Who doesn’t like making their own den in the woods with branches, mud and leaves? Claremont in Surrey was once the playground of princesses and today it’s a great place to build a den, run around in the rain or go on an adventurous treeclimbing weekend. Other good places in Surrey for den building include Ham House and Garden. In West Sussex, try the woodlands around the beautiful gardens of Nymans and Uppark House (where wood piles are left out for this purpose), as well as Mottisfont, The Vyne, and Hinton Ampner in Hampshire.
Climb a tree Keep three limbs on the tree at all times and choose a tree with big, strong branches that you can reach from the ground. Black Down is on the border of West Sussex and Surrey and is the highest point in the South Downs National Park. There’s a very old pine on the western side of Black Down with lovely branches - generations of children have climbed it and there are terrific views. Other locations include the wider estate of Hatchlands Park in Surrey and the huge plane trees at Mottisfont in Hampshire. Special event: Wild in the Park day at Petworth House in West Sussex takes kids to the best spots in its ancient parkland to try tree climbing, den building and bug hunting. 29th & 30th May, 10.30am – 12.30pm, £2 per child, booking essential on 01798 342207 20
Special event: Build a den day at Hinton Ampner introduces kids to acres of glorious beech woodland, and the secrets of making a great woodland shelter. 25th May, 11am – 3pm, normal admission charge only, no booking required. vantagepointmag.co.uk
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