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Step into spring

Burghley Hide and Secrets

At long last the cold days of winter are finally giving way to springtime. With the arrival of warmer weather, now’s the time to discover some great Easter activities to give the whole family a chance for outdoor exploration.

After a winter spent hibernating on the sofa, many of us can hear the call of spring. We’re ready for a change. We fling open windows, celebrate the sun’s warmth, listen to the symphony of birdsong, and spot the first flowers of the season unfurling their vibrant colours. It’s time to step outside and experience our local countryside.

Why not explore Peterborough and its surrounding areas with some family trips out this Easter? We have wonderful parks and attractions right on our doorstep. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll, a peaceful escape, or an adventure – there’s plenty to see and
do! Perhaps you might even discover the untold stories of some of our most celebrated sites…

Nene ParkNene Park
Ham Lane, Peterborough PE2 5UU

If you live in the local area, then you’ll know that one of Peterborough’s most popular outdoor offerings is Nene Park. This sprawling green expanse, which stretches along the banks of the River Nene, comprises lakes, woodlands, and meadows. Home to a wide variety of wildlife, you might even be lucky enough to glimpse the kingfisher’s flash of blue and orange feathers from the riverside.

There’s so much to discover and do in the parkland. If you head to the Castor and Ailsworth side of Nene Park, you’ll come across Milton Ferry Bridge. Both a Grade II listed structure and a Scheduled Monument, the bridge is over 300 years old. It was historically an important crossing point over the river, with a toll payable of two shillings and six pence right up until 1964.

Nene Park provides the perfect backdrop for a range of outdoor activities. You can take a walk, go for a bike ride, or simply relax by the water’s edge with a picnic. On selected Easter dates there will also be climbing wall taster sessions, archery, a sailing course, and boat trips.

Easter Activities

• Easter Adventure Trail – 29th March-14th April
Follow the woodland adventure trail, complete egg-citing activities and claim your Easter egg prize. Suitable for all ages.
• Charming Worms – 3rd April
Come along to find out more about these wriggly creatures, have a go at charming them to the surface, then make a wormery to take home. 2 years+.
• Meet Magical Mammals – 4th April
Join a ranger for a walk around the park to discover the small mammals that live there. 5 years+.
• Orienteering Challenge – 9th April
Do you think you can find your way around a real orienteering route? Come along and find out. 8-13 years.
• Treasure Hunt – 9th April
Use your sleuthing skills to uncover the clues on a trail. 4-7 years.
• Remarkable Romans – 11th April
A fun session for children to discover all about the Romans. Work together to create your own catapult (onager). 7 years+.

Mill HouseSacrewell Farm
Thornhaugh, Peterborough PE8 6HJ

Located just a short drive from Peterborough, take a trip to Sacrewell Farm to explore food, farming and the beautiful countryside. There’s plenty to keep you entertained; with animals to meet, outdoor spaces to discover, and a large indoor play centre.

Sacrewell has been run as a charity by The William Scott Abbott Trust since 1964, but its history goes back a lot further! Excavations on the site have uncovered two Roman villas, broken pottery, roofing materials, coins and more. Sacrewell is also home to an 18th century watermill.

There are many rare breed animals on the farm, and lots of them are expecting babies this springtime. You might spot goat kids, Jacob lambs, Boreray lambs and a calf too.

Easter Activities

•New Life on the Farm- 29th March-14th April
Head to Sacrewell for plenty of Easter fun. Witness wild birds nesting, watch the livestock team bottle feed the lambs, and enjoy a special visit from the Easter bunny.
• VIP Lambing Experience – Spring 2024
Families and small groups are invited to book an evening experience to get up close with the cade (orphan) lambs.

Lyveden ManorLyveden Manor
Near Oundle, Northamptonshire PE8 5AT

Looking for a more unusual trip out? Lyveden is a unique survivor of the Elizabethan age. Begun by Sir Thomas Tresham to symbolise his Catholic faith, the building remains incomplete since work stopped following his death in 1605. There are moats, viewing terraces and an Elizabethan orchard to explore, as well as a garden lodge covered in religious symbols.

These include examples of late 16th and early 17th century ‘anti witch marks’. Officially known as apotropaic marks, these symbols are carved into the beams and stonework of buildings to ward off evil spirits. See if you can spot them!

Easter Activities

• Easter Trail – from 23rd March
Spring is always a fun and popular time at Lyveden, with the Easter Trail offering a great way to explore the site.

Burghley South GardensBurghley House
Stamford PE9 3JY

One of the most spectacular buildings in our region, Burghley House was designed and built over 500 years ago by William Cecil, who was Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I. His job was to advise and protect the Queen, and for this purpose he formed a global network of spies and double agents. Burghley’s adventure play area, Hide & Secrets, follows this theme and visiting youngsters can complete their own top-secret missions. Elsewhere in Burghley Gardens you can find hidden trails, sculptures and sensational seasonal colour.

Easter Activities

• Easter Egg Treasure Hunt – 31st March
Hunt for hidden clues around the Sculpture Garden to solve a puzzle and earn a yummy egg from the Easter Bunny.
• Easter Craft Workshops – 2nd-5th April and 8th-12th April
Little ones can get creative at one of these pop-up craft sessions. You’ll be provided with everything you need to make your very own Easter creation to take home.
• South Gardens Spring Opening – 16th March-14th April
See Burghley’s South Gardens, designed by ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th century, in all their spring glory. Enjoy views of the lake, Lion Bridge and the park beyond.

Rockingham CastleRockingham Castle
Rockingham, Corby LE16 8TH

This remarkable castle, built on the instruction of William the Conqueror, has been the same family’s home for 450 years. Famous guests over the years have included Charles Dickens, who stayed at Rockingham Castle on several occasions. Visitors today might still come across a seat in the Long Gallery that was supposedly Dickens’ favourite chair!

As well as the castle itself, the formal gardens are spectacular. They were completed in their present form after the English Civil War, and include rising terraces, a famous ‘Elephant’ Yew Hedge with undulating curves, and the ‘Wild Garden’ with a variety of trees and shrubs.

Easter Activities

• Easter Fun at Rockingham Castle – 31 March & 1 April
Join Rockingham Castle for the Easter bank holiday. Collect your leaflet and follow the Easter Trail, meet Billy the Bunny, and collect your tasty egg.

WestravenWestraven Community Garden
Hartwell Way, Westwood, Peterborough PE3 7LX

Looking for some Easter activities in the heart of Peterborough? The Westraven Community Garden was created in 2016 to provide residents of Westwood and Ravensthorpe with a friendly place to connect, learn new skills, support social and environmental issues and protect nature.

Easter Activities

• Little Wanderers drop-in trial session – 28th March
This free taster session is a great way to see what the weekly outdoor play meets for toddlers are all about.
• Create a Butterfly Bank – 2nd & 3rd April
Volunteer to create a new habitat at the wildlife pond with Froglife.
• Games & Picnic – 10th April
Join together with the local community for a day of fun and celebration.

Don’t miss…

Railworld Wildlife Haven
Oundle Road, Peterborough PE2 9NR

This much-loved visitor attraction in the centre of Peterborough is testament to what hard work and passionate volunteers can achieve. The project began when Rev Richard Paten bought the derelict power station coal yard, and companies and individuals worked together to transform the land into an inner-city green space.

Castor Hanglands National Nature Reserve
Langley Bush Road, Peterborough PE6 7EN

Fancy some peace and quiet? Head to Castor Hanglands National Nature Reserve for a wander and some wildlife spotting. Located just a few miles from Peterborough, this reserve boasts ancient woodlands, wildflower meadows, and a network of trails.

Green Wheel
Throughout Peterborough

The Green Wheel network of cycle routes provides over 45 miles of cycling routes around the city, which take in woodland, nature reserves and villages. Information boards provide notes on the history and habitat of each area.

Embankment Road, Peterborough PE1 1EF

Just five minutes walk from the city centre, the Embankment is a suitable spot to sit and unwind. Many events are held here throughout the year.

John Clare Cottage
Woodgate, Helpston, Peterborough PE6 7ED

Head to Helpston to discover the home of the English poet John Clare, who lived in the village for the first 40 years of his life. The John Clare Trust bought Clare Cottage in 2005 to preserve it for future generations.

Flag Fen
The Droveway, Northey Road, Peterborough PE6 7QJ

Flag Fen Archaeology Park sits in the middle of a unique Bronze Age landscape. Enjoy the family-friendly walking trail, let off steam in the play area, find out more about the mysterious timber causeway, and take a look at the reconstructed roundhouses.

Fineshade Wood
Near Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 3BB

Whether you want to have a leisurely wander through the trees, have a go in one of the play areas, take a bike ride, or have a bite to eat in the cafe, Fineshade Wood is bursting with opportunities to explore the great outdoors.

Swaddywell Pit Nature Reserve
Stamford Road, Helpston Heath PE6 7EL

Swaddywell Pit is a former quarry owned and managed by the Langdyke Countryside Trust. This Easter, enjoy a springtime walk around the nature reserve. Referred to in the poetry of the poet John Clare, it takes its name from a nearby spring where reputedly an ancient sword was once found. Over time ‘Swordy Well’ evolved into Swaddywell.

Discover more

• Burghley House –
• Fineshade Wood –
• Flag Fen –
• John Clare Cottage –
• Lyveden Manor –
• Nene Park –
• PECT –
• Peterborough City Council –
• Railworld –
• Rockingham Castle –
• Sacrewell Farm –
• Sustrans –
• Swaddywell Pit Nature Reserve –
• Westraven Community Garden –

For further information on booking details, timings, and activity prices, please visit each venue’s website.

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