Clumber Park near Worksop in Nottinghamshire is more than than a nearly 4000 acre park, it is an activity area for all ages. For a modest cost you can take a car full of grandchildren, or it is free for National Trust members.
The original house built for the Dukes of Newcastle may have been demolished 1938, the National Trust obtaining this old deer park in 1946, but the outbuildings are still impressive and you can get the kids to walk along the brick boundaries of the old house to trace where it used to stand proud.
You get a full park to explore, mainly wooded in nature but criss-crossed by footpaths. There's a large lake and various inside facilities, the most notable being the Discovery Centre where, for example, samples of the lake water are taken daily, the contents of which are displayed in a large tank for youngsters to observe just what lurks there.
Do check out the extensive activities on the National Trust website for this can make all the difference. For example, in the walled garden there is always a trail for the kids to follow during the summer holidays. This has variously ranged from cows, bees and giants. The latter terrified my grandson, Max, when he heard the giant snoring in the potting shed. He ran wailing all the way to Grandma along the full length of the huge glass greenhouse.
For very young children there is the Burrow with its range of soft play equipment beside a coffee shop for weary grandparents. Older kids can enjoy the adventure play area by the restaurant and shops.
The park is alive with cyclists, families of all ages, enjoying the safety of the car free routes that are such a feature of the park. There is even a cycle hire centre where a range of bikes are available including tandems. They sell off their perfectly maintained stock in late October.
The National Trust are running their very successful 50 things to do before you're 11¾ . Get the free booklet and give the kids a challenge. Ours managed to tick off seven during the free woodland walk, the results of which were revealing for all ages.
If this is not to your taste try the apple tasting in the Walled Garden towards the end of September.
A final tip: enjoy a well earned coffee and cake in the protected garden restaurant by the walled garden. While the kids enjoy their food you can note the lovely plants.
You may also find interesting:
• Days out with the grandchildren – Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
• Days out with the grandchildren – Burghley House, Garden of Surprises
• Days out with the grandchildren – Yorkshire Wildlife Park