Ways to enjoy May with the National Trust

Fun with the National Trust this May
Fun with the National Trust this May

With spring flowers in full bloom, warmer weather on the way, bank holiday weekends and half-term school holidays to look forward to, May is the ideal time to get outdoors and try new things.

There are heaps of activities for the family to enjoy, including plenty of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ challenges, from tree climbing to den building.

Spend the May bank holiday and May half-term with the National Trust and explore some unforgettable places. What’s more, every single visit helps the charity look after special places for ever, for everyone.

First May bank holiday weekend

n Nymans, Handcross RH17 6EB, tel: 01444 405250

Woodland workshop – Forest Forensics! 3 May, 10am – 3pm, book on 01444 405250, £20, for children 8 years and above

Budding biologists are invited to meet ranger Tom Hill to take a closer look at the incredible variety of nature and wildlife in the Nymans woods. Trees, wildflowers, birds, butterflies, fungi and mini-beasts make up just some of the species children will be taking a look at.

Bring a full packed lunch, bottle of water, outdoor clothing, binoculars and pocket-sized ID books (if you have them), and a permission form with contact details for parents.

n Bluebell & wildflower woodland walk: 2 May, 11am – 12.30pm, free, normal admission charge only, no need to book

Rumoured to bloom on St George’s Day (23 April), there are carpets of delicately scented bluebells and other woodland flowers in the ancient woodland at Nymans, which you can enjoy on a guided tour.

We can’t predict exactly what will be in bloom but we can promise you a lovely springtime experience!

n Petworth House and Park, Petworth GU28 0AE, tel: 01798 342207

Museum Mondays: 4 May, 10.30am – 4pm, free, normal admission charge only

Join Petworth House on a new monthly journey that delves into highlights from this world-class museum collection and highlights intrigue from its past. This month, the theme is Food and Dining - enjoy a free 15 minute talk and tour in the Servants’ Quarters, at 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. Suitable for older children and adults.

n Uppark, South Harting, Petersfield GU31 5QR, tel: 01730 825415

Flowers and spring trail: 2 – 4 May, 12.30 – 4.30pm, free, normal admission charge only

See rooms in this Georgian mansion decorated with fresh flowers picked from the garden, whilst outside, there’s a brand new spring trail for kids to discover.

Half-term fun and second bank holiday weekend

n Nymans, Handcross RH17 6EB, tel: 01444 405250

Sow a seed: 23 – 31 May, 10.30am – 3.30pm, £1.50 per plant (inc pot and compost)

Tick off number 41 from your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ list of challenges. We’ll provide the seed, post and compost, and show kids how to sow seeds so that they can take their pots home and watch plants grow into something edible!

Discovery family trail: until 31 May, 10.30am – 3.30pm, £1 per trail

Look through a picture frame and discover a new view of Nymans. This trail, designed to test your imagination, is inspired by the exhibition by artist Mariusz Kaldowski, in the gallery this spring, and depicting the unique beauty of Nymans’ plant collection.

And there’s more………..

Nymans is a big place and packed with nooks, crannies and varying terrains – perfect for the young explorer! Take a look at the family explorer map to find the best places for an adventure.

Try out a natural play trail and delve into a bamboo jungle before crossing balancing beams! Venture into the woods to search for geocaching treasure, or hunt for bugs – check out the bug hotel to see who’s moved in.

There’s lots of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ challenges too, so don’t forget to cross them off in your 50 things booklet.

n Petworth House and Park, Petworth GU28 0AE, tel: 01798 342207

Wild in the Park – family event: 25 & 29 May, 11am – 2pm, children £10, adults £3 (to include lunch), book on 0844 249 1895

Bring along your aspiring young adventurers for an action packed outdoors experience. Explore the park, learn essential skills, get closer to nature and enjoy a special lunch cooked in the open air.

Spring Dig: 25 – 29 May, 10am – 4pm, free

Join our archaeological team in the park for guided tours of live excavations, as they unearth more of Petworth’s exciting hidden history. Make your way to the south west corner of the park, by Tillington village. Suitable for all ages.

n East Head, West Wittering PO20 8AJ PO20 8AJ, tel: 01243 513275 (Chichester Harbour Conservancy)

Pebble People, 29 May, 30.30 – 5pm, £1 per child

We’re asking kids to help us create a giant pebble people artwork – the bigger the better. It’s simply a case of lying down in a row on the sand, tracing everyone’s outline with pebbles, then painting all the stones, so that we end up with a life-size ‘pebble people’ montage.

For more information call Chichester Harbour Conservancy on 01243 513275.

n Uppark, South Harting, Petersfield GU31 5QR, tel: 01730 825415

Den building: 30 May, 11am & 4pm, free, normal admission charge only

Den building is one of the national Trust’s most popular ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ challenges. Find out how to create a fantastic woodland hideaway with our garden team, in the woods around Uppark’s garden.

For more information on National Trust events, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events

For more information on our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ campaign, visit www.50things.org.uk

Report and picture contributed by the National Trust.