COME OUT TO PLAY
There’s nothing quite like playing outdoors in summer. Swooshing down slides, splashing through streams, clambering over logs and swinging off rope swings... it’s no wonder that play areas are an essential part of many family days out. Here are some of our favourite National Trust places to play:
■ BEST FOR… hide and seek Lose yourself in the hedge maze at Speke Hall. Navigate your way along winding paths, through 12 gates and over five bridges to find the viewing platform.
■ BEST FOR... natural play Explore nature’s back garden at Quarry Bank’s natural play area. Take a look under the logs – can you see any bugs? Look up into the trees – what birds can you see?
■ BEST FOR… imaginative play Can you hop like a frog across the leaping logs? Scale a fallen tree like a squirrel? Command a castle in the woods? The Log Pile natural play area at Dunham Massey will let your imagination take you wherever you want to go.
■ BEST FOR… scaling new heights Follow the clues on a trail through the trees to find the wild woodland play area at Sizergh, near Kendal, Cumbria. You’ll love scrambling over rocks and swinging from the trees on the rope swing.
■ BEST FOR… testing your balance Explore the wild woodlands in the grounds of Wray Castle, on the western shore of Lake Windermere, and put your balance and strength to the test as you move from one obstacle to another across tree trunks, stumps and tunnels.