Image: A child plays at Walmer Castle and Gardens

Member Recommendations

Which sites have the best play areas?

Image: The play area at Boscobel House and The Royal Oak

We know how important it is to keep the kids are entertained, and a play area is always a helpful place to run off some steam! We asked our Members which sites have the best children's play areas and why.  You can see the top five below, although honourable mentions must also go to Wrest Park in Bedfordshire and Osborne on the Isle of Wight.

Did your favourite make it onto the list?

Image: The play area at Bolsover Castle

1: Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire

Our wooden outdoor play area at Bolsover Castle (right next to the café) has swings, a slide, and wooden battlements and towers – just like a mini Bolsover Castle. While you're visiting, make sure you explore the Little Castle's 'cabinets of curiosity' and walk the circular wall running all the way around the fountain gardens, giving you great views for a game of I-Spy.

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Image: The play area at Boscobel House and The Royal Oak

2: Boscobel House and The Royal Oak, Shropshire

King Charles II famously took refuge here in 1651, and the play area at Boscobel House continues the 'hide and seek' theme. Young visitors will have fun hiding in the replica priest holes and exploring the climbing frame, slide and swing. And there's plenty more for children at Boscobel, from watching the animals being fed in the Victorian farmyard, to exploring the interactive play trail which takes you around the house and grounds.

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Image: The play area at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

3: Brodsworth Hall and Gardens, South Yorkshire

The hall and gardens are welcoming whatever your age. Inside the hall, friendly and knowledgeable volunteers will share stories of Brodsworth's past, and in the gardens families can enjoy a picnic on the lawn, explore the newly restored Target House and Eye-Catcher, and let off some steam in the play area. One Member said, "The play area at Brodsworth Hall looks amazing with the wooden pirate ship and climbing frames, and the kids seem to love it – wouldn't mind a go myself!"

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Image: The play area at Marble Hill House

4: Marble Hill House, London

Discover Marble Hill’s idyllic riverside parkland and take in the sight of the historic Marble Hill House. Whilst the house remains closed for exciting renovations, there's plenty to enjoy in the beautiful grounds and parkland. Spend time together as a family and explore and play in this extensive outdoor space. Let the kids have an adventure in our fun play area, complete with its very own mini trampoline, climbing area and willow tunnel.

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Image: The play area at Walmer Castle and Gardens

5: Walmer Castle and Gardens, Kent

Young explorers will have a wonderful time on our natural play trail along the woodland walk at Walmer Castle. They'll love climbing into hollow tree trunks and giant nests, crossing wobbly bridges, conquering climbing nets and gazing up through the trees on leaf-shaped sky seats. Created by master designers Studio Hardie, the beautifully crafted play pieces complement the woodland landscape and let children take delight in the glorious outdoors.

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