50 great summer activities for kids to enjoy when camping

Children having fun on the beachThe school holidays are upon us and only a few days in you’re probably already hearing those dreaded words from the kids “I’m bored”.

If you’re already wracking your brain for some inspirational ideas to entertain the kids over the holidays you can thank goodness for the National Trust. It has come up with a list of 50 fun activities for youngsters to enjoy in the great outdoors.

The Trust’s passion for encouraging youngsters to play outside and connect with nature is the inspiration behind its list. And who better to provide the ideas than youngsters themselves. The National Trust enlisted the help of 1,700 children and asked them to vote on their top outdoor activities, their reasons why and tasked them to find the ultimate places where their favourite activities could be enjoyed.

The result is the National Trust’s fab list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’. You may not be surprised to see tree climbing head up the list as the number one favourite outdoor activity with den building and bike riding coming a close second and third.

What’s really great about this list is that many of the National Trust run locations identified as the best places to enjoy these activities are within a stone’s throw of one (or two) of our Club campsites.

For instance No 7 – fly a kite at Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire. High up in the Chiltern Hills, the highest point in Bedfordshire actually, the wind-swept ridges of Dunstable Downs are perfect for kite flying and a great day out from our Hertford Club campsite. No 26 - hunt for fossils and bones at Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters – an undeveloped stretch of coast on the south coast and close to our Norman’s Bay Club campsite. And No 34 - track wild animals at Castle Drogo, set in the wildlife-rich Teign Valley, Devon and within easy reach of our Teign Valley, Barley Meadow Club campsite.

The 50 things to Do before you’re 11¾:

1. Climb a tree – Wallington, Northumberland near Dunstan Hill Club Site
2. Roll down a really big hill – Croome, Midlands near Blackmore Club Site
3. Camp out in the wild – Gibside, North East (no Club Sites near here) 
Den building is popular with children4. Build a den – Lyme Park, Stockport near Hayfield Club Site
5. Skim a stone – Fell Foot Park, Cumbria near Braithwaite Fold Club Site &Windermere Club Site
6. Run around in the rain - Finch Foundry, Dartmoor near Teign Valley Club Site
7. Fly a kite – Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire near Hertford Club Site
8. Catch a fish with a net – Parke, Dartmoor near Teign Valley Club SIte
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree – Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion Coast near Cardigan Bay Club Site
10. Play conkers – Osterley Park and House, London near Walton on Thames Club Site & Chertsey Club Site
11. Go on a really long bike ride – Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire near St Neots Club Site & Cambridge Club Site
12. Make a trail with sticks - Longshaw and Eastern Moors, Peak District near Bakewell Club Site
13. Make a mud pie – Moseley Old Hall, Staffordshire near Cannock Chase Club Site
14. Dam a stream – Prior Park Landscape Garden, Bath near Devizes Club Site
15. Play in the snow – Bodiam Castle, East Sussex near Norman’s Bay Club Site
16. Make a daisy chain – Lacock Abbey, North Wiltshire near Devizes Club Site
17. Set up a snail race – Lyveden New Bield, Midlands near St Neots Club Site
18. Create some wild art – Sheringham Park, Norfolk near West Runton Club Site
19. Play Pooh sticks – Mottisfont, Hampshire (no Club Sites near here)
20. Jump over waves – Compton Bay and Downs, Isle of Wight near Adgestone Club Site
21. Pick blackberries growing in the wild – Castle Ward, County Down near Delamont Country Park Club Site
22. Explore inside a tree – Hatfield Forest, Essex near Hertford Club Site
23. Visit a farm – Cuckmere Valley, South Downs near Norman’s Bay Club Site
24. Go on a walk barefoot – Strumble Head to Cardigan, Pembrokeshire nearSt David’s Club Site
25. Make a grass trumpet – Hare Hill, Cheshire & Wirral Countryside near Leek Club Site & Hayfield Club Site
26. Hunt for fossils and bones – Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, South Downs near Norman’s Bay Club Site
27. Go star gazing – Tyntesfield, Bristol (no Club Sites near here)
28. Climb a huge hill – Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire near Gulliver’s Milton Keynes Club Site
29. Explore a cave – Yorkshire Dales, Yorkshire (no Club Sites near here)
30. Hold a scary beast – Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire (no Club Sites near here)
31. Hunt for bugs – Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire Countryside (no Club Sites near here)
32. Find some frogspawn – Springhill, Mid Ulster (no Club Sites near here)
33. Catch a falling leaf – Rowallane Garden, County Down near Delamont Country Park Club Site
34. Track wild animals – Castle Drogo, Devon near Teign Valley, Barley Meadow Club Site
35. Discover what’s in a pond – Florence Court, County Fermanagh (no Club Sites near here)
36. Make a home for a wild animal – Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Yorkshire near Boroughbridge Club Site
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool – South Milton Sands, Devon near Slapton Sands Club Site & California Cross Club Site
38. Bring up a butterfly – Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridge near Cambridge Club Site
39. Catch a crab – Plas Newydd, Wales (no Club Sites near here)
40. Go on a nature walk at night – Nostell Priory and Parkland, Yorkshire (no Club Sites near here)
41. Plant it, grow it, eat it – Tredegar House, South East Wales (no Club Sites near here)
42. Go swimming in the sea – Llyn peninsula, Llyn Wales near Llanystumdwy Club Site
43. Build a raft – Borrowdale, North Lakes near Keswick Club Site & Derwentwater Oval/Walker Club Site
44. Go bird watching – Kingston Lacy, West Dorset near Verwood New Forest Club Site
45. Find your way with a map and compass – Chartwell, Kent nearOldbury Hill Club Site
46. Try rock climbing – Brimham Rocks, Harrogate near Boroughbridge Club Site
47. Cook on a campfire – Stackpole, Pembrokeshire (no Club Sites near here)
48. Learn to ride a horse – Clandon Park, London near Horsley Club Site
49. Find a geocache – Sizergh, South East Cumbria nearKendal Club Site
50. Canoe down a river – Brancaster Millennium Activity Centre, Norfolk Coast (no Club Sites near here)

Children hunt for creatures in the New Forest

The 50 things website has loads of great information to help you tackle the 50 things adventures.

Now this idea of the National Trust got us at the Club thinking, why not do our own list – albeit a shorter one – of the top five activities we think youngsters enjoy (or will enjoy) doing as part of their camping holiday along with the top three Club campsites where these activities can be enjoyed.

Keep an eye on our Holiday Ideas section of our website, as we’ll soon be launching the list!

And that’s not the only reason to stay tuned… We’ll be launching a fab photo competition for all of you young adventurers out there, with some great family prizes up for grabs!

Sue Taylor avatar Posted by
Sue Taylor
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Sue Taylor

Sue Taylor avatar

Sue Taylor has worked for the Club for more than twenty years, over half that time on the Club magazine, firstly as a journalist then features editor. She is currently doing a stint with the Club's digital team in readiness for the magazine going on line.

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