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BRANCHING OUT: To track down that carrot… Photo: © Kate York

The Easter holidays are at hand, and up to April 18 2022 many of the local stately homes are showing off their gardens to best advantage by placing the traditional seasonal chocolate at the end of a treasure trail…

Hop to it with the two giant rabbits of Groombridge Place, who help the children with the clues on their way to win a sweet treat. Punch and Judy are playing at 11am and 2pm over the weekends of 9-10 and 16-17 April. Older children may particularly enjoy the UK Owl and Raptor Centre’s birds of prey demonstrations at 12noon and 3.30pm*.

Groombridge Place Easter

Bateman’s Easter Egg Trail has a list of ten challenges around the gardens, with a chocolate egg prize (or allergen-free alternative) at the end. Open 10am-4pm. Trail £3 per child, in addition to any entrance fee.

Bateman’s Easter

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Hever‘s carrot challenge begins

Hever Castle turns the treasure seekers themselves into the bunnies, laying a trail of colourful carrots on the hunt for the ‘Golden Carrot’. Meanwhile, Easter Egg Hunters must write down all the answers hidden around the eggs to collect a chocolate treat (or dairy-free alternative) at the end. Also on: Free craft workshop (activities included in entrance price). Open daily from 11am-5pm.

Hever Castle Easter

Penshurst Place’s trail is a historical one, marked out by large Victorian eggs, each hiding a secret… Meanwhile, on Easter Monday (April 18), Aardvark Productions presents ‘The Hunt for Easter Island’, featuring the voyage of a valiant ship’s crew to the fateful Pacific island to solve a riddle and collect the eggs. Four performances: 11.15am, 12.15pm, 2.15pm and 3.15pm.

Penshurst Place Easter

If you’re on the hunt for fun at The Hop Farm Family Park over the school holidays from 10am-4.30pm, beware the roaming dinosaurs on April 6, 9 and 13. Phew – at least the venue’s Easter Bank Holiday weekend Easter trail will be dino-free…

The Hop Farm Easter

By Victoria Roberts

*For the story of how the UK Owl and Raptor Centre helped with a wildlife rescue, see: Tunbridge Wells’ Kes issues warning to motoring litterbugs

Hever Castle Photos: © Kate York/The Happy Picture Company