Autumn family adventures

Jen & Sim Benson By Jen & Sim Benson

Looking for exciting, outdoor family adventures this Autumn? GetOutside Champions, Jen & Sim Benson bring us 5 of the best events on offer at your local National Trust places.

Squirrel spotting

Autumn is a fantastic time for family adventures, as the leaves turn to firey shades, creatures busy themselves with winter preparations and the first frosts start to appear. It’s also a great time for family-friendly festivals: ancient and modern celebrations of the turn of the seasons and the natural abundance of autumn.

Many places looked after by the National Trust are ideal for visiting at this time of year, whether you’re after an organised event or your own adventure. Here's our suggestions to get you started.

1. Red squirrel spotting at Formby, Merseyside

A stone’s throw from Liverpool’s busy streets, Formby’s vast stretch of sand backed by grass-topped dunes and woodland is a perfect place to escape at this time of year.

Spot red squirrels busily collecting their winter supplies; build sand castles, fly kites, paddle or watch the waves from the miles of windswept beach; admire the towering dunes and see renewable electricity being made at the off-shore windfarm.

A great balance of tranquillity, adventure and learning.

Squirrel spotting

2. Autumn Pumpkinfest at Castle Ward, County Down


Pumpkins by Richard Bowen

Having spent the past eleven months in hiding, pumpkins truly come into their own in October, in a celebration of all their bright orange roundness.

Castle Ward has 2,000 glorious gourds for you to try your hand at elaborate carving, make terrifying jack-o'-lanterns, enjoy seasonal artisan food and follow the scarecrow trail at its annual Pumpkinfest.

This is a free event on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October, 11am-4pm.

3. Family fun at Croome, Worcestershire

Home and Hibernate is the October half-term family trail at Croome. Take a look at all of the different types of homes made at Croome by both people and wildlife. Explore the trail around the park and decide where you might build your own home and what materials you would use?

Takes place Saturday 26 October to Sunday 3 November 10am to 4pm, £2 per trail with a prize.

4. Autumn wildlife trail at Trelissick, Cornwall

Follow the Autumn Trail to discover how wildlife prepares for the cold winter months and learn how to make homes for wildlife in our own gardens. Pick up a sheet on arrival and follow the trail in your own time.

Free event, Saturday 19th October to Sunday 3rd November.

Trelissick, Cornwall
Trelissick, Cornwall

5. Apple month at Erddig, Wrexham

October is a celebration of all things apples at Erddig, Thomas Hardy’s childhood home, with lots to get involved in including guided walks, baking demonstrations, apple harvesting and pressing, exploring the community orchard and learning about this fascinating great British fruit.

Regular activities for children of all ages. Saturday 5th to Sunday 27th October.

Gathering apples in the orchard
Pressing apples
Child gathering apples at orchard

Find your local National Trust place and start exploring this Autumn.

Explore the UK with Jen & Sim Benson's fun-packed book, 'Amazing Family Adventures: Fun days out and action-packed weekends’, full of adventures for all ages – buggy-friendly, easy activities lead on to bigger challenges such as orienteering, sea kayaking and surfing for older children.

Packed with handy hints, fun facts and step-by-step guides to activities such as making your own raft and building a bug hotel, each amazing family adventure comes with perfect National Trust places to explore, including fantastic parks, woodland, beaches and mountains.

Published by National Trust Books and available to buy here.

Book cover: Amazing Family Adventures: Fun days out and action-packed weekends

Jen & Sim Benson By Jen & Sim Benson


GetOutside Champions, Jen & Sim Benson, are guidebook authors, photographers and parents. In 2015/16 they spent a year living in a bell tent in Britain with their two young children and in 2017 their book, Amazing Family Adventures, was published by the National Trust.

Find out more about Jen & Sim Benson.


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