Come out and play with the National Trust this summer

From an immersive gallery experience that encourages kids to follow their dreams, to evenings of outdoor theatre, there are loads of new events and activities on offer this summer – at National Trust places around Hampshire.  And thanks to funding from Sport England we’ll be offering extra outdoor fun to help families get active.

PICTURED ABOVE: Children on Mottisfont’s river | National Trust Images, John Millar

PICTURED ABOVE: Mottisfont with summer wildflowers | National Trust Images, Simon Newman

Mottisfont, near Romsey

Little People, BIG DREAMS exhibition and trail, 23 July – 4 September, for ages 3 to 7+

This summer, an immersive gallery experience and outdoor activities introduces families to trailblazers and dreamers who have made a big impact on the world around us. Featuring colourful illustrations from the best-selling picture book series Little People, BIG DREAMS, this interactive exhibition and trail introduces little artists, activists, sports stars and scientists from all over the globe, drawing on their inspiring stories to encourage children to be bold, be brave and dream big. 

PICTURED ABOVE: Girl with Frida Kahlo book – Quarto Group, Sally Felton & David Attenborough book cover | Quarto Group

Meet Malala Yousafzai and hunker down in a tent full of colourful rugs, cushions, and books to read. Step into blown-up scenes from Martin Luther King’s story – see the crowds and hear his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech. Lie on Frida Kahlo’s bed and practice drawing your feet, just like she did, and grab some binoculars to discover the natural world with David Attenborough.

PICTURED ABOVE: Child with Greta Thunberg book – Quarto Group, Sally Felton 

Outside, an inclusive activity trail inspires creativity and courage, with more little people to meet. Kids can try out sporty challenges and learn about sporting heroes, in the special Olympic Arena. They’ll complete their own ‘Booklet about Me’, with pictures and thoughts about what makes them happy, and in the BIG DREAMS art gallery they can add self-portraits and write down their dreams.

PICTURED ABOVE: Walking through the woods at The Vyne | National Trust Images, James Dobson

The Vyne, near Basingstoke

Acres of sprawling gardens and woodlands are just waiting to be explored in the summer holidays, along easy to navigate paths.

From 22 July to 4 September, there’s a whole range of new activities introducing kids to the natural world. In the woods, ‘treasure’ trails challenge little ones to find the oldest trees and to create stories about The Vyne’s hidden past. The ‘build it up’ nature experience will get the family developing their den-building ‘survival’ skills. Look out for swooping birds, fluttering butterflies and dancing dragonflies with the help of spotter sheet guides. There are more fun nature activities on the Everyone needs Nature trail.

National Trust Images

Note: this year, due to infrastructure work, you need to pre-book a car parking space to guarantee entry, at

Hinton Ampner, near Alresford

With its hedges, grassy parterres and myriad of paths Hinton Ampner is great for games of hide and seek, plus its spacious lawns and parkland are perfect for picnics and wildlife safaris. From 16 July to 4 September kids can follow Sprout the Scarecrow to hunt for our favourite places and their secrets, on the Hidden Hinton garden trail. Discover a secret path, design your own stained glass window, and find out why sheep poo is magic. 

PICTURED ABOVE: Running through the yew avenue at Hinton Ampner | National Trust Images, Chris Lacey

Outdoor theatre at Hinton Ampner
The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny: Thursday 11 August, 7 – 8.40pm. Gates open at 6pm

Quantum Theatre are back with an enchanting new version of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny. Peter and cousin Benjamin know that they are not to go into Mr McGregor’s garden, but they can’t resist and soon find themselves in all sorts of scrapes, including coming face to face with Mr McGregor himself! How will they ever escape?

Booking essential at, or call 020 8317 9000

PICTURED ABOVE: The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny – Quantum Theatre 

Uppark, near Petersfield

Set high on the South Downs, there’s plenty of room to let off steam on Uppark’s huge lawn. Wander into the wildflower meadow to watch butterflies and bees collect nectar; you can picnic in there too. From 16 July to 4 September families can find out how we protect the house and wildlife here on the Conservation Trail challenge. Have you got what it takes be a ranger, gardener or conservator? Grab a trail sheet and hunt out the 10 activity points in the garden, woods and meadow. You’ll be drawing butterflies, bouncing like a hare and helping
build a giant nest.

There’s Bug Bingo too – keep your eyes peeled for centipedes and caterpillars, bumblebees and beetles and cross them off for a full bug house.

Outdoor theatre at Uppark
The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny – Thursday 18 August, 7.00 – 8.45pm. Gates open at 6pm  

Settle down with a picnic on Uppark’s lawn to enjoy this charming new adaptation of the much-loved Beatrix Potter classic. Follow Peter and Benjamin on their hair-raising adventures in Mr McGregor’s garden, as their sense of mischief gets them in all sorts of scrapes. Will they return safe and sound to the burrow?

Booking essential at:, or call or call 020 8317 9000

PICTURED ABOVE: On a garden trail | National Trust Images

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