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  1. We had such a wonderful time yesterday doing the Easter Trail at Studland Beach and it’s very good value for £3 per participating child.

    Head to the National Trust office to collect your trail bag which contains a map, a wooden bird and bird seed.  The trail starts in a hut by the restaurant and this is where you can learn about the birds you might see in April and also colour in the wooden bird from your bag.

    From here you follow the arrows and go along the beach completing a couple of activities before going up on to the dunes and down into a huge sandpit.


    We had great fun in the big birds nest and the kids had a go at doing the egg and spoon race before I attempted to race my daughter in the sack (she won).  From here we went further through the dunes completing more impressive activities and came out to some large birds which had sound buttons on the back.


    We were informed at the start of the trail that the further couple of activities through woodland were muddy and that you can head straight to the last one via the dunes but a bit of mud doesn’t scare us so we carried on and my daughter really enjoyed throwing mud at a wall and looking for the eggs hanging in the tree.

    The last activity had a tray of fat and using our bag of seeds and string we could make a fat ball to hang on the buffet tree.  There was lots there so the birds will have a feast when all the visitors are gone.

    From here we walked back to the office where the children received an activity sheet with games and a big chocolate egg.  I was allowed to try a tiny morsel and can confirm it was yummy.


    Lastly, I know my photos look like we went on 2 separate days and this was because one way along the coast was grey and the other had glorious blue skies haha.  We spent a few hours feeling either cold in the wind or hot in the dunes haha.  If you go during the Easter holidays then I’d recommend wearing both winter and summer clothing and take a water bottle and hand wipes (which I didn’t and regretted).

    The trail is running daily through the Easter holidays and on Wednesday 3th – Friday 5th April 2024 there is an Exercise Smash.  80 years ago, Studland Bay was used as a practice location for the D-Day landings.  Known as Exercise Smash, it involved thousands of men with live ammunition and equipment.  Join in the commemoration with tank displays, guided walks and an exhibition in Studland Village Hall.

    For more information on the area and events, please visit National Trust Studland Bay.

    Good to know:

    If you are a National Trust member then parking is free.  Just go to the machine with your card and follow the instructions to get your ticket for the day.  For non members, the current winter price for cars is £3 for 2 hours, £5 for 4 hours and £7 for all day.

    There’s plenty of toilets and baby change facilities.  The gift shop has wonderful National Trust gifts, cards, treats and souvenirs.

    The Café serves a good variety of homemade cakes plus cream teas, soups, sandwiches, kids menu and main meals like fish and chips.

    And remember, take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.

    If you need more ideas for days out then please see our list of Free & low cost places to go with kids in Dorset.

    National Trust Studland Beach Mar 2024 15


  2. David Walliams has become a very successful children’s author and the Awful Auntie adaptation from the Birmingham Stage Company is a delight to watch from start to finish.

    Lighthouse Awful Auntie 1 Credit Mark Douet

    The show begins with young Stella waking up in bed after being in a 3 month coma and her Aunt Alberta tells her the awful truth about a car accident with her parents and that she was the only survivor.  Of course, Aunt Alberta is pretty awful and what she really wants now is the deeds to the huge mansion they live in.

    When Stella wouldn’t tell her Aunt where the deeds are she’s locked in the cellar and this is where she makes friends with a friendly ghost called Soot.  Stella and Soot believe that Aunt Alberta poisoned the family on that fateful day of the car accident and they do what they can to inform the police and drive Aunt Alberta and her screeching pet owl out.  Every mansion has to have a butler and Gibbon is definitely the most bonkers and he just adds to the humour on stage.

    The set is just incredible and ever changing.  Throughout the show you will see the cast travel though different rooms in the mansion including the roof and there’s even puppets which are cleverly used to portray scenes which happen outside of Saxby Hall.

    I can’t recommend Awful Auntie enough, the cast are hugely talented and the whole audience was completely captivated throughout the performance.

    Lighthouse Awful Auntie 4 Credit Mark Douet

    Awful Auntie is produced by the Birmingham Stage Company and they are visiting the Lighthouse from Thursday 21st – Sunday 24th March 2024. 

    For more information and tickets, please visit Lighthouse Poole or call the Box Office on 01202 280000.

    Age guidance for this show is 5+ and parents should be aware that the show contains smoke, haze, strobe lighting and explosions!

    Lighthouse Awful Auntie. Photo by Mark Douet

    Image credit: Mark Douet