days out parenting Wiltshire

Old Sarum {exploring Wiltshire}

Old Sarum exploring Wiltshire}

We’ve been National Trust members on and off for years now. Writing that makes me feel really old! I love history and so it made sense to join an organisation looking after historic buildings and landscapes which also offered great days out for the family.

Whilst staying in Wiltshire last week we realised that quite a lot of the local historic properties were managed by English Heritage so joined up. To make use of our membership we decided to stop off on our way to the Isle of Wight and visit Old Sarum. We knew they were hosting some special spooky events for half term so packed a picnic and dressed the kids dressed in some appropriate clothing.

Old Sarum is a pretty cool place. Climb the mighty ramparts for views over the Wiltshire plains and imagine the once thriving town of Old Sarum. Stand in the footprint of Salisbury’s original cathedral, conquer the royal castle which stood high on the motte, and discover the awe-inspiring Iron Age hill fort where it all began.

We entered the fortifications and found ourselves in a really atmospheric collection of ruins. For Halloween they had spooky story-telling, a pumpkin treasure trail and Halloween crafts – all included in the entrance price (free for Members).

The kids loved the spooky takes which involved ghosts, the Castle prison and poo! Then it was time to follow the trail, looking for pumpkins around the ruins. This is a great place to run around and the weather was perfect for this.

Old Sarum treasure hunt

Then it was time to make some spooky Halloween bad dream catchers, using paper plates.

crafting at Old Sarum

Both the children love to craft and this was a fun spin on a dream catcher – even if I ended up doing most of the threading!

crafting at Old Sarum over half term

We had a lovely few hours at Old Sarum and it broke up a long car journey, which is always a bonus for my children.

There are loads of historic properties managed by English Heritage to explore near here. Some of our favourites are Bratton Camp and White HorseWest Kennet Long Barrow, Woodhenge, Bradford on Avon Tithe Barn, Silbury Hill, The Sanctuary Avebury, Farleigh Hungerford Castle, Avebury and Nunney Castle.


  • Reply
    Lubka Henry
    November 3, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    It all sounds and looks like a good day with fun activities.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2017 at 7:58 am

    wow so good that there were craft activities to do, the kiddos look so cute!

  • Reply
    November 5, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    We’re National Trust members too, though most of the properties within an hour or where we live are National Trust rather than English Heritage, so it makes sense for us.

    That said, I’ve been tempted by English Heritage membership too just for when we go away a lot.

    Your day out looks amazing. I’ll be in Wiltshire in April and might have to make that a trip!

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