© National Trust Images/John Millar


The National Trust is offering a harvest of family fun throughout the season at their places on the Isle of Wight.

Even though the days are getting shorter the National Trust on the island says there’s enough activities to give kids a full day of fun. In addition to new family trails there’s no shortage of welly walks when leaf crunching will bring smiles to little faces whatever the weather.

At many National Trust places there are fun ideas that will get kids exploring outdoors, from nature challenges to tree trails:

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  • Learn about the gunners, crack the smugglers code and discover shipwrecks, or hear tales of secret rockets at The Needles Battery,
  • Discover the natural sounds and scents of autumn and red squirrels at Mottistone Gardens,
  • Find out about the unseen world of mushrooms and fungi at Newtown National Nature Reserve,
  • Join the search for the miller at Bembridge Windmill,
  • Put on your wellies and see the changing colours of the leaves at Borthwood Copse.

The Needles Old Battery
Soldier trail 1st – 30th September

Can you find our eight Victorian Gunners and hidden around the Needles Old Battery, National Trust’s fort high above the famous chalk stacks and lighthouse? Discover what it was like for military Gunners to live or work here and the events they witnessed and took part in.

Free activity (standard admission applies, National Trust Members free).

Shipwreck Trail 1st – 31st October

Become a shipwreck detective, solve the clues around the Old Battery, and piece together the last moments of these historic ships and their lost cargo. The Needles headland and its dangerous shingles are treated with respect by sailors, for good reason: below the waves lie the graves of hundreds of years of lost ships, and they want their stories to be told. All around the Old Battery, clues and puzzles have appeared, leading you to the wrecks, their lost cargo, and the story of their final moments.

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Free self-led trail. An adventure for all ages, but suitable for 7-12 (standard admission applies, National Trust Members free).

Rocket Week 23rd – 30th October 2021, 11:00-16:00

To celebrate the launch of Prospero, the first British satellite launched after rocket testing on Highdown and the New Battery, 50 years ago on 28 October 1971, The Needles Old and New Battery is to have a ‘Rocket Week’. There’s children’s craft and drawing activities all week and on the anniversary, the 28 October, a tour by one of the original engineers who worked on the project of the rocket testing control room at the New Battery and the nearby Highdown Test Site. Have a go at re-creating toy models of the BLACK ARROW rocket which was built on the Isle of Wight and launched Prospero into space.

Free activity (standard admission applies, National Trust Members free).

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Mottistone Gardens & Estate
Red Squirrel Scurry 16th-31st October 2021

Red squirrels scurry around looking for food before hiding it away ready for winter. Find where the squirrel and his friends are stashing their food as you explore the garden at Mottistone. Discover what animals and wildlife visit Mottistone and how the garden provides food and shelter for their survival. Follow the trail the squirrel has left for you around the borders, vegetable patch and wild area.

Free activity (standard admission applies, National Trust Members free).

Newtown National Nature Reserve
Fungi – the unseen world trail 1st – 31st October 2021

The roads, lanes and meadows of Newtown medieval village are old, but in its soil is a living network of fungi even older, connecting all the plants and trees together. Come and meet these remarkable life forms and discover the connections they make possible. The trail of carved mushrooms and fungi reveal the secret network of fungi underground that help the trees ‘communicate’ with each other. Free, 10am – 5pm each day, suitable for all ages.

Free activity.

Bembridge Windmill
Millers Trail, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, 10:30 – 17:00, until the 3rd October 2021

Pick up a trail sheet and find the millers amongst the mill’s machinery. Have a go at milling some grain with a hand quern.

Free activity (standard admission applies, National Trust Members free).

For more information on all the autumn activities and National Trust places on the Isle of Wight head online to https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/isleofwight

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