DERBYSHIRE: Half-term holiday opportunities

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WHETHER it rains, shines or snows, there’s plenty of messy fun to be had with the National Trust in Derbyshire this half-term.

If the sun decides to shine, there are natural play areas where you can build dens, balance on logs and scramble around in the mud, and there’s freedom to play as messily as you like in the National Trust’s, parkland and countryside places across Derbyshire.

If the heavens open, you don’t have to stay indoors. It’s perfect puddle weather so why not make the most of it? Grab your waterproof and wellies and make a splash.

Or if the weather just gets too horrible, there’s lots of unclean fun to be had indoors too, from mucky trails to messy activities.

Beccy Speight, Regional Director for the National Trust in the Midlands, says: “Getting messy is fun! And if you wear wellies in the smaller sizes, February is a great time of year to get stuck in. It can be all too easy to hide away at home if it’s cold and rainy outside but whatever the weather, there are muddy puddles to splash in and mucky activities to get involved with, indoors and out, at our places across Derbyshire.”

You can search for half-term events near you at Some of the best messy activities across Derbyshire include:

· At Calke Abbey, experience the messiest house in the Trust and find out who’s been making a mess in the Park. You can’t fail to take a bit of Calke’s dust home with you.

· There’s fun for kids young and old at Hardwick Hall, with the estate-wide Messy Bessy Trail. Follow the story from the house to the gardens, restaurant, shop and out into the parkland. Fun includes puddle jumping, mud pie making, and chocolate mud pie too.

· In the Peak District there are plenty of trails to explore. So pull on your wellies and get ready for sloshing, squelching and splashing about in woods, streams and puddles.

· At Sudbury Hall you can learn all about the pests and dirt which keep the house team busy and how we keep everything in tip top shape for the future

If you prefer to make your own muddy fun, why not check out the National Trust’s list of 50 things to do before you’re 11¾? From building dens to finding frogspawn, there’s plenty to keep mucky pups entertained. You can download the list at

The National Trust would love to hear about all the messy fun you’ve had in the Midlands. Get in touch via Twitter (@NTmidlands) and Facebook (midlandsfreshair) and share your photos and stories.