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Why children will love a day out in the gardens

Wide open lawns and the space and freedom to explore makes Forde Abbey a great day out for all the family. Come and say hello to Twiglet, our much-loved Shetland pony, watch the wildlife on the lake and don’t forget to pick up a children’s pack in the shop for activities to do around the house and gardens.

New for 2017, we now have a living willow labyrinth to explore in the arboretum, big enough for little ones and those just young at heart. There’s lots of family friendly dates in the diary for 2017, including wildlife days, an Easter egg trail, forest fun sessions and much more besides. Have a look on our Events page for more information, follow us on Facebook, see what we get up to on Instagram and get monthly news and offers delivered to your inbox when you sign up to our newsletter on the homepage.

Baboo Gelato


Follow the trail (a new one for 2017) around the garden to find the hidden boxes and stamps to mark the trail map. Based on the famous Dartmoor letterboxes, there is a prize draw for completed trails at the end of the season.


On the menu

Family favourites on the menu in the tearooms include lunch boxes, toasted paninis, a delicious assortment of *homemade biscuits and a wide selection of ices made by Baboo gelato – hugely popular with seasonal flavours all year round.

* Gluten free and dairy free choices available.

Twiglet, our Shetland PonyIn the gift shop

On sale in the gift shop, children can find a treasure trove of toys and gifts to buy at pocket-money prices.

And don’t forget to pick up a children’s pack. Play house detective for the day with our children’s guide to the house. Discover fascinating facts about the abbey and the people that have lived her and be on the look out for clues to answer some brain teasing questions. Activity sheets, with pictures to colour and games to play, are also available for those aged between 3-5 years old.

Fruit Picking

In season, the Forde Abbey fruit farm is a lovely way to wile away a couple of hours. We grow strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and tayberries (a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry) over the Summer months, and you can either bring your own baskets or buy them on site.