Plan your Easter family days out
PUBLISHED: 08:31 17 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:31 17 March 2014
With Easter just around the corner, the National Trust is ready and waiting to welcome visitors to houses, gardens and coasts
After endless rain and high winds, the imminent arrival of Easter seems even more welcome than usual.
In partnership with Cadbury, the National Trust will be giving out plenty of chocolate prizes, but never fear – from spy trails to fun days based on children’s classic tales, there’s plenty to do in the coming weeks to burn off the calories.
Into the woods at Chartwell
Chartwell’s popular Easter egg trail moves for the first time from the formal gardens into the estate’s newly opened woodland area. Young visitors to the family home of Sir Winston Churchill in Westerham between 18 and 21 April can follow clues spread out around the woods.
The trail takes its inspiration from the Churchill children who used the area as their own natural playground. Each participant will win a Cadbury Egghead prize, with trail sheets costing £2 each. Once the trial is complete and the prizes won, visitors can join in games dotted around the garden or enjoy a seasonal bite to eat in the newly refurbished café. Normal admission prices apply.
Alice in Sissinghurst
Lewis Carroll’s plucky heroine, Alice, is celebrated at Sissinghurst Castle near Cranbrook this month (5 to 21 April).
Young visitors can join in giant fun and games, including plus-sized chess on the plain, before following an Alice-inspired Easter egg trail to track down the White Rabbit and win a Cadbury Egghead prize.
The trail runs between 18 and 21 April and costs £2.50 per child. Older visitors might like to come inside to see a first edition Alice in Wonderland book on display signed by Lewis Carroll himself. Sissinghurst Castle is also home to a new coffee shop serving tasty treats. Alice’s ‘Eat Me’ and ‘Drink Me’ dilemma comes to life. Normal admission prices apply.
Secrets at South Foreland
A trail with a difference is running at South Foreland Lighthouse, Dover. Would-be spies are invited to come and hone their skills, discover the clues and brave challenges in a special trail around the lighthouse. Designed to test deduction skills to the max, only the stealthiest of spies will crack the code and take the prize.
The surrounding area will be of interest to spy fans too, as it is close to where Ian Fleming, creator of the ultimate British agent, James Bond, used to live.
The trail runs daily from 12 to 21 April and costs £3 per trail sheet, with Cadbury Egghead prizes available for all correctly completed spy sheets.
During these dates, a minibus will run between the car park at the White Cliffs Visitor Centre and South Foreland Lighthouse (11am to 4pm) and a free family bus ticket is available with every trail sheet purchased. Car park prices apply.
Continued Kentish fun
The National Trust has become synonymous with Easter egg trails in recent years and the fun doesn’t stop at these three places.
Check out the website for more exciting National Trust and Cadbury trails all with an Eggsplorer theme, as well as craft activities and other Easter family fun.
National Trust houses and gardens running trails in Kent include Emmetts Garden, Ightham Mote, Knole, Scotney Castle and Smallhythe Place.
Visit the website www.eastereggtrail.com for dates, times and details.
Have your cake and eat it
The National Trust would not be the same for many without its tea rooms, fresh cakes and steaming hot drinks. Sissinghurst Castle and Chartwell are both now home to newly refurbished cafés.
At Chartwell the new 1930’s-feel café is a light, family friendly space while at Sissinghurst Castle, it’s the coffee shop that has been made over, giving a nod to its function as a dairy during Vita Sackville-West’s time at the property.
Both the cafés will have free Wi-Fi and an increased menu of seasonal, locally sourced items throughout the year. n