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Super summer hestercombe gardens holiday activities web2

Make this school holiday a super one at Hestercombe, with a heap of fantastically fun and free events*, all aimed at children and families.

Punting on the Pear Pond

For our grand Super Summer finale on Wednesday 1st September, we are delighted to bring our beloved punt, Constance, back out onto the Pear Pond. Please join us throughout the day (from roughly 11am) to have a ride on the punt, which will be captained by the talented makers of the punt, the Beautiful Boat Company. Rides cost £1 per person, please bring cash.

Stay for the final late opening of the summer on Wednesday 1st September to enjoy a delicious hog roast, and entertainment from Lucy Harvey on saxophone and vocals.

Music...and wildlife!

From the melodic tones of travelling ‘Popera House’, The Bluebirds, who will be performing The Empress and the Nightingale, to the spidery fun of Creepy Crawlies with Exmoor Zoo and Wild Bug Hunts with Somerset Wildlife Trust, the summer holidays will be jam packed with things to do at Hestercombe!

Birds of prey

For the first time, we’ll be joined by some feathered friends who will be visiting the gardens with Somerset Birds of Prey Centre - join us to get up close and personal with a range of cute (but deadly!) predators.

Yoga and garden trails

To keep fit and healthy, why not try some child-friendly yoga outside in the beautiful summer gardens? We’ll also be running not one, not two, but three garden trails - choose from the Mushroom Magic Trail, Story Stones, and Charcoal Creations! These are all perfect for burning off some energy, exploring the gardens in a new light and cultivating creative skills.

During the Mushroom Magic Trail there will also be the chance to win your very own specially painted mushroom from amongst the beautifully designed toadstools decorating Rook Wood.


Take aim… shoot! This summer we will be offering a day of Archery on the Orangery Lawn, an activity which can help develop patience, focus and self-motivation, along with being a fun challenge with family and friends to see who wins.

Model boats...and step back in time

Also on show this summer are our beautiful model boats, which will be available to captain down on the Mill Pond on selected dates. You’ll also be able to step back into Hestercombe’s past and Meet Miss Warre, who will be strolling around the gardens in her Regency costume, taking in the Georgian garden design and regaling visitors with stories from her past.

Two play areas to enjoy!

On your visit, stop off at either of our play areas for some extra fun. Our under-7s play area is situated by the Visitor Reception, and children both young and old will enjoy building dens up in our new wild play area by the Charcoal Burner’s Camp.

Food & drink

Treat your little ones (and yourself of course!) with some delicious home-cooked food from the Stables restaurant, which offers a child-friendly menu with full table service. Tasty light bites, cakes, drinks and ice cream are all available from our new cafe, Caffè + Gelato.

*Requires standard garden admission (free for members)

Make the most of Super Summer with a Hestercombe membership

Join as a Hestercombe member from as little as £3.46 a month to get free access to all of our Super Summer activities!

Tickets & Prices

Standard gardens admission applies (Hestercombe members go free).

To visit the gardens and take part in any Super Summer activity, you no longer need to pre-book a timed admission slot online - simply purchase gardens admission on arrival!

If you have any queries about your admission, please email our Visitor Reception or call 01823 413923

Admission typePrice



Child (5-15)


Child (u-5)


Family Saver 1 (1 adult, up to 3 children)


Family Saver 2 (2 adults, up to 3 children)


Super Summer Activity Schedule


24th July - 20th August ~ Story Stones Trail

24th July - 5th September ~ The Mushroom Magic Trail

21st August - 12th September ~ The Charcoal Creations Trail

Summer Late Openings

Throughout the summer, and into September, the gardens will be open until 8pm every Wednesday (except 22nd September). Join us after work or school to explore the grounds when we’d usually be closed, with some tasty food on offer and, on selected dates, live music. Find out more about Summer Late Openings

DateWhat's On

Wednesday 1st September

Large Model Boats Display on the Mill Pond (11am - 4pm) - please note, the boats will be on display only

Wednesday 1st September

Punting on the Pear Pond (from 11am until late) - rides cost £1 each, please bring cash

Membership at Hestercombe

Join today and enjoy unlimited access to Hestercombe for a whole year

Described as “one of the top twenty gardens to visit in the country”, Hestercombe is always beautiful throughout the year. Join today and enjoy unlimited access, with prices from £48 per year.

Your membership includes:

  • Unlimited access to Hestercombe Gardens for a year from date of joining for the Member, guests and children according to membership type
  • Half price entry for visitors accompanied by a Member of Hestercombe (one visitor per member)
  • Free children's trails available throughout the year
  • Special members’ discounts on many of our events throughout the year
  • Our 'members first approach' with members receiving 24 hours priority booking for our most popular events, such as Mother's Day, The Bampfylde Lecture, workshops and most importantly, our winter events such as the Christmas Market, Father Christmas and ILLUMINATE.
  • Full colour newsletters and ‘What’s On’ emails to keep you up to date with news and events
  • Discounts on tickets to selected events at Hestercombe
  • Half price entry to our partner attractions:­ Abbotsbury Sub­tropical Gardens, Forde Abbey Gardens (half price garden entry only), The Bishop’s Palace, Wells (available for full membership only), The Garden House, Dartington Trust Gardens and Exmoor Zoo.

Give a Gift of Membership to friends and family and they too can enjoy all the benefits of membership.

See Membership Options

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Event Location

Hestercombe Gardens
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Super Summer Holiday Activities at Hestercombe Gardens Super summer school holiday activities at Hestercombe Photographer : Chris Lacey Super summer school holiday activities at Hestercombe Photographer : Chris Lacey Super summer school holiday activities at Hestercombe Photographer : Chris Lacey

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