Come Out and Play with the National Trust this Summer


From pop-up play pavilions with a family-festival feel to interactive storytelling and open-air theatre, there are lots of events and activities on offer this summer from the National Trust.

And thanks to funding from Sport England over 140 National Trust houses, gardens and parks will be encouraging families to get active and take part in a Summer of Sport. With drop-in ‘come out and play’ sports sessions including archery and athletics, hopscotch and hockey.

Here we’ve rounded up some of the best and most exciting National Trust events and activities to keep the whole family busy this summer.

To start your summer adventure, visit

Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire

Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire

  • Big Camp, 23-24 July
  • Come Out and Play at Ashridge Estate, Monday 25 July to Sunday 4 September.

Summer in Ashridge Estate means big family days out. We will be running our Active Explorer’s packs again, aimed at ages 5-10 year olds, which are there to help keep your curious kids entertained. Filled with activities such as orienteering, den building, bird watching and wild art, it’s the perfect way to get the kids connecting with nature. Packs are on sale from the visitor centre. Come out and play with self-led activities and borrow box available every day 10am-4pm from 25 July-31 August, as well as Time Trial Tuesdays to compete in a challenge and Thursdays to enjoy pond dipping. Meadley’s Meadow is a perfect picnic spot to take a break or use the picnic benches in the visitor centre or by the café. Big Camp is priced at £50 per pitch, pre-booking essential. For more information and to book the Big Camp head to the website:

Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire

  • Come Out and Play at Dunstable Downs, Saturday 23 July to Sunday 4 September.

Summer at Dunstable Downs will be full of fun and games, with an action-packed calendar of sporting activities every day. A sporting village will host a variety of sports including football, table tennis, orienteering, cricket, volleyball, archery, tennis and athletics. Sporting challenge cards will be available to test the athletic ability of the sportiest visitors. Local sports clubs will also be making special guest appearances to give live demonstrations and have-a-go sessions in an exciting summer of sport programme. Explore family-friendly walks via an accessible track or through wildflower rich chalk grassland. Rest at the wooden benches or spread the picnic blanket out and watch the clouds blow by in a sky of red kites and gliders. On a rainy day you can still enjoy the view from the café. For more information head to the website: