Get in touch with your wild side at Ashridge
There is plenty to do for young kids and big kids alike at a countryside estate this summer. Camilla Goodman reports
SUMMER is the time most likely to bring out the inner child that lurks inside us all and the National Trust team at Ashridge believe you are never too old to come out to play. At this countryside estate in the Chilterns, there are numerous opportunities for families to get outdoors and closer to nature this summer.
Find out about wildlife on the Maleficent trail
Disney chose magical Ashridge as the location for scenes in their new computer-enhanced film Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie, the previously untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain, from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty.
The Ashridge woodland with its other-worldly trees and abundance of wildlife provided the real location for the Enchanted Forest, where Maleficent lives.
This summer families can explore Ashridge with Maleficent’s Enchanted Forest Trail. Inspired by the natureloving fairy folk from the film, the Maleficent trail reveals the wildlife that calls Ashridge home, including rare butterflies and songbirds, as well as fungi and mini-beasts.
You can also make your own set of Maleficent horns in the Visitor Centre before you head out on your trail and enter our colouring competition to be in with a chance of winning a prize.
Trails cost £1 per child, with every penny going towards managing this special place.
The Wild about Ashridge Club
Get closer to nature at our Wild about Ashridge Club every Wednesday and Friday during the holidays from 10.30am to 3pm, providing outdoor fun adventures, whatever the weather with the National Trust team. The club will be based near the Bridgewater Monument which is also a perfect spot for picnics and the Wild Wood Den where kids (and adults) can scramble over logs, scale tree trunks and let their imaginations run wild.
50 things to do before you are 11 and three-quarters
To help children get outdoors and closer to nature the National Trust has come up with a list of 50 things to do before you are 11 and three-quarters, things we all did as children such as climbing a tree, building a den and flying a kite.
There are loads of things on the list that you can do at Ashridge so pick up a scrap book when you visit and see how many activities you can tick off.
For more information about any of the activities on offer call the Ashridge Estate Visitor Centre on 01442 851 227 or email ashridge@ nationaltrust.org.uk.
Magnificent Maleficent used Ashridge as the location for its enchanted forest