Whether it’s the technicolour canopy of autumn colour, the rustle of leaves underfoot or the sight of toadstools among the fallen leaves, autumn is a feast for the senses.
Track down the best autumn colour you can find on a walk with your family this October. Have a family leaf hunt to find the biggest and brightest leaves, challenge your family to a game of Top Trunks, enjoy conker battles with friends or head off on a scavenger hunt to see what else you can find to create some wild art when you get home.
Discover the simple pleasures of being outdoors with the family this October half-term.
- Hoe Fen Woodland Play Area and Tree House, open daily 9.30am-5.30pm
Embark on an autumnal adventure and become a nature detective in the Hoe Fen Wildlife Discovery Area. Climb a tree, build a secret den or make a home for a wild animal to nestle up in over the winter. Afterwards why not head into the play area and enjoy the new play equipment. Leap across the logs, scramble over the climbing frame, swing high into the sky and climb to the top of the treehouse to see the far-reaching views across the surrounding fenlands.
Venture into the gardens for a sensory delight. Highlights during the autumn include the hornbeams that form Jubilee Avenue and turn into a golden tunnel at this time of year, and the Temple, a sculpture of large columns set against a colourful mixture of beech, alder and sycamore trees, with drifts of pink cyclamen carpeting the ground along the riverside walk. When you’re tired out head inside to the cosy comfort of Redwoods Restaurant and enjoy a hot chocolate as you relax with a book from our selection of second-hand books.
- Big Tree Climbing, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October, pre-booked slots 9am – 4pm
- Wimpole Spooky Trail, Saturday 22 – Monday 31 October, 9.30am – 3.30pm
With acres of parkland to explore, a working farm with rare-breed animals to visit and a spooky trail to enjoy through October half term, you can easily fill a day with family fun. Uncover the spooky side of Wimpole with our free half term trail (normal admission applies). Everywhere you look at Wimpole, there are strange secrets and surprises hiding. Explore the garden’s lost history and folkloric connections with a trail that will lead you between ghostly buildings and trees that bleed in search of riddles and clues.
On Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October, join The Big Tree Climbing Company and explore Wimpole Estate from the treetops. Using ropes and harnesses, you’ll ascend into the canopy of a tree, an exhilarating adventure at new heights. Instructors will teach you how to enter a tree’s canopy using ropes, knots, and karabiners, whilst being securely attached in a harness at all times.
Each session is run for a maximum of 8 people, creating a unique and intimate experience. Pre-booking is essential, £25 per person for a 1-hour tree climbing session (participants must be aged 6 or above).
- Storytelling in Fen Cottage, Monday 24, Wednesday 26 and Friday 28 October. Free sessions throughout the day between 10.30am and 3pm – sign up at the Visitor Centre on the day.
- Family-friendly guided tours of Fen Cottage, Tuesday 25 and Thursday 27 October. Free sessions throughout the day between 10.30am and 2pm – sign up at the Visitor Centre on the day.
- Toast-making over an open-fire in the Fen Cottage, Saturday 29 October. Free sessions between 11am-12pm and 1pm-2.30pm – sign up at the Visitor Centre on the day.
Wicken Fen is the perfect place to visit for half term fun in nature. Join us in the cosy Fen Cottage for spooky Fenland storytelling for all the family. Why not join one of the free family-friendly guided tours of the Cottage where our volunteers will bring the cottage to life, and you’ll learn all about the families who used to live and work on the Fen. Warm up after your fenland adventures with toast-making over an open fire in the Fen Cottage.
Make the most of the season and go on an autumnal walk across the nature reserve and see what wildlife you can spot. Autumn is the ideal time to spot Orb-weaver spiders spinning their delicate webs and bright blue flashes of Kingfishers diving into the waterways. Hire a bike from our cycle hire and venture out into the wider reserve where you’ll find grazing herds of Konik ponies and Highland cattle.
- Watermill open for pre-booked guided tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and Meet the Millers experience on Sundays.
The new interactive Meet the Millers experience is a self-led family-friendly exploration of the flour bagging floor and the milling floor. Every Sunday you can watch experienced millers demonstrating the traditional milling process and see how real stoneground flour is made. The whole family can experience the sights, sounds and smells of an 18th-century water mill by exploring three floors of exhibits and interactive activities. You can even buy a bag of Houghton Mill flour to take home with you and bake some delicious treats.
Autumn is the perfect time for a family adventure in nature. There are several walking routes along the river, through woods and across meadows from the far side of the mill pond. There are also shorter bike trails for little legs or longer routes to the Hemingfords and St Ives for the more adventurous. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way, if you’re lucky you might spot a visiting seal playing in the mill pond. Refuel after your adventures with a tasty homemade snack from the tea-room, some of which are made from freshly milled Houghton Mill flour.
- Apple trail, Saturday 15 – Sunday 30 October
- Apple archery, Tuesday 25 October
- Apple bunting craft, Thursday 27 October
Join us in the orchard at Lyveden this autumn for family-fun with apples. Take part in the Apple trail and see if you can spot all six apple shapes. Play games along the way and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of autumn. Channel your inner William Tell and topple an apple from its perch with Apple Archery and get hands-on as you make your own Apple bunting, using Lyveden apples to print your own autumn decoration.