Visiting With Young Families

The National Memorial Arboretum has something for all ages, from outdoor trails and holiday activities, to leisurely strolls that can end at one of our children's play areas.

 

We hope the information below helps you plan your visit, however, if you have any further questions please do get in touch by calling 01283 245 100 or submit your question online.  

Autumn Festival - Use


Exploring Our Grounds

 

  • Our grounds are very big, around 150-acres. In them you’ll find over 400 memorials of all shapes and sizes. There are a lots of flat wide paths to use, but don’t be afraid to head onto the grass to look at memorials you spot. Some of our memorials are tucked away in gardens and in woodland glades so you’ll need to explore to find them!
  • Don’t be scared to take a closer look at the memorials you find. Some of the smallest details and textures help to tell the stories of the memorials and who they remember. The Bevin Boys Memorial, for example, is made from stone. It was chosen because it’s dark grey colour is similar to coal and it’s rough texture reflects the toughness of the pit men. If you look very closely at the memorial you’ll spot two mice hidden in the carvings.  
  • You’ll find more information about just some of the memorials on our memorials pages. Our guidebook, which can be purchased from our Welcome Desk, tells more of our stories and includes a map to help you explore. Our team of volunteers, are also happy to help you, and can answer any questions you might have.
  • Please note that children's bikes, scooters and roller blades can not be used in the Arboretum grounds. Ball games are also not permitted.
Young girl plays in sensory play frame at the Arboretum
Please note, dogs are not permitted within our Children's play areas.

Children’s Play Areas

Our Children’s Sensory Play Garden can be found near to the Remembrance Centre. A second children’s play area, with a picnic area, is near to the Children’s Wood.

Picnic Areas

 

You are welcome to bring picnics to enjoy during your visit. You’ll find one of our picnic areas next to our Children’s Play area in the Children’s Wood. Picnic packs and children’s meals can also be purchased from our Remembrance Centre.

 

We ask that only food purchased from the Arboretum is consumed in our Restaurant and Coffee Shop.

Person completing Operation Games at the Cyprus Emergency Memorial

Outdoor Escape Challenge

Now in its third year, this year's version of the popular outdoor escape challenge invites groups of families and friends to solve cryptic puzzles and discover the stories behind some of the memorials dedicated to communities from across the Commonwealth.

Little Saplings Graphic

Little Saplings

Our monthly Little Saplings Sensory Play and Storytelling sessions are designed to help our youngest visitors enjoy the Arboretum and heighten their development and enjoyment of learning. The sessions, suitable for children aged 0 – 5 years, use sound, colour, texture and other hands-on elements to explore a monthly theme. Advance booking is required. £3.50 per child.

Find out more
Stick Man Sculpture
Stick Man (C) 2008 & TM. Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffer. Licenced by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

The Stick Man Trail

Our youngest visitors will enjoy joining Stick Man on his journey back to the family tree. You can pick up a free copy of the self-led trail from our Welcome Desk. We recommend that families wishing to try the trail wear appropriate footwear and clothing. The route may be unsuitable for some pushchairs.

ArmyTraining Assault Course

Family Events and Activities

We hold lots of exciting activities throughout the year which are designed to help our youngest visitors learn more about the Arboretum, why it’s important to remember and the wildlife in our grounds. Some of our most popular events include our Outdoor Escape Challenges, Autumn Festival and Armed Forces Day.

Accessibility

We aim to cater for the needs of all our visitors and try to accommodate all access requirements where possible. A number of wider blue badge and family friendly parking spaces can be found near to our entrance. Baby changing facilities can be found in the Remembrance Centre and Heroes’ Square.
Read Our Accessibility Guide
Children in Sensory Play Garden