Sponsored by Starling Bank the National Trust’s Summer of Play invites families to experience Trust places in new and exciting ways.

Taking place over the summer school holidays and set against the backdrop of the National Trust’s historic houses and beautiful gardens Summer of Play activities will have a family-festival feel. Designated areas will be jam-packed with outdoor games and experiences. 

Let imaginations run wild with role play and mini stages, unlock limitless possibilities to design and build with construction zones, make art and music with nature’s materials, or slip away to a cosy book nook.

Give new (and old) sports a go with games including croquet, tennis and cricket. Get competitive with tug of war and egg and spoon races. Or, put your skills to the test with den building and mazes.

Designed with families in mind Summer of Play activities will be dotted around National Trust sites, so there’ll be plenty of space to enjoy the games and activities as well as picnicking spots, shady rest areas and of course, toilets, cafes and pop-up kiosks offering refreshing food and drink.

What’s more, every time you experience a National Trust day out, you help care for these special places for future generations.

 Here is what’s happening near you this summer, please check property website for opening days and times:

Antony, Torpoint  

Summer of Play

July 21 – September 3

Head to Antony for jam-packed fun for all the family. Build a den, complete the obstacle course or enjoy a game of tennis. After a day of play, treat yourself to an ice-cream and relax with a picnic in the beautiful garden at Antony.

Normal admission charges apply/free for National Trust members

No additional event charges. 

Cotehele, near Saltash  

 Summer of Play

July 22 – 3 September

Explore the garden and orchards at Cotehele this summer. Challenge the family to a race around the orchard or why not get creative in the performance area? How about seeing who can build the tallest tower? Or who can throw the most bean bags at a game of corn hole? Visitors can enjoy an ice-cream from The Edgcumbe at the quay, Barn Restaurant and Mill Reception or relax in a shady picnic spot in the garden or across the estate.

Normal admission charges apply/free for National Trust members

No additional event charges. 

Lanhydrock, Bodmin

Lanhydrock Summer of Play

Daily from Saturday, Jul7 22. 10.30am-5pm

The Lanhydrock gardens are being transformed into a family play hub for the summer. There are lawn games and giant building blocks on the old tennis court, a specially constructed barefoot trail in the parterre and a magical music circle in front of the house. Take part in a family sack race, dress up in the theatre room or enjoy a picnic and some cloud-spotting on the formal lawns. Catch Mrs Candy the cook and the other Victorian staff around the house and garden every Thursday to learn about life in the Victorian country house. Look out for Friday storytelling sessions in the nursery and garden, subject to availability. 

Normal admission charges apply/free for National Trust members

No additional event charges

Pot and Paint Workshops with the Victorian Gardener

Subject to availability, every Friday throughout the holidays (7 days in total)

Join William the Victorian gardener for a children’s pot and paint workshop every Friday throughout the school holidays. Learn about gardening the Victorian way and discover some of the wonderful plants and trees that grow in the Lanhydrock garden. Decorate your very own terracotta pot and plant seeds ready to grow at home. Please contact the property first to see if the event is scheduled, to avoid disappointment. 

Booking essential 0344 249 1895.

Pentire, near Polzeath 

Summer of Play

July 22 – September 3

There’s lots of fun to be had this summer at this exceptionally beautiful headland. Have a go at a bean bag toss, hula-hoop-off and balance board. Visitors can enjoy an ice cream from the Pentyr Café or relax at a shady picnic spot in the orchard. 

Normal car parking charges apply/free for National Trust members

No additional event charges.