SCHOOL’S out for half term this Friday afternoon (October 21), and the great outdoors awaits.
With gardens across the South East, the National Trust is leading the charge outdoors, starting with the Fungi Festival at Emmetts Garden, near Sevenoaks.
Running throughout October, the festival encourages children to explore the artworks and giant wicker mushrooms which have popped up in the gardens, or dress up as life-size toadstools, do crafts and enjoy the natural play area.
Meanwhile, there are talks and workshops for grown-ups, including forest bathing, mushroom growing and guided photography sessions.
Another National Trust property, Bateman’s, at Burwash, has laid out a family-friendly scavenger trail through the gardens for half term, while the natural play area remains open.
At Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Cranbrook, until November, young gardeners can get stuck into the world of vegetables with the Harvest Spotter Sheet.
At Bewl Water, near Lamberhurst, half term is the time to experience the ‘Seven Wonders of the Weald’, with bike hire, laser challenge or paddle-boarding. The Adventure Pirate Ship and soft play are open year-round.
You can even stay over at the reservoir, with camping facilities ranging from back-to-basics pitches with washing facilities to glamping in one of the property’s yurts.
If you prefer to chase your half term fun through the pages of a book, Knole in Sevenoaks, is hosting an exhibition of Roald Dahl’s BFG in Pictures, from October 13 to December 23.
An exhibition by the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration, curated by Quentin Blake, contains 40 reproductions including illustrations not used when The BFG was first published, charting the development of this iconic – and gigantic –character.
Have a go at drawing your own BFG, dress up as Sophie or even the Big Friendly Giant himself, and have your photo taken in a giant chair. There is an outdoor winter trail with a BFG prize at the end of it.