Autumn is one of the most transformational seasons, when we see the nights drawing in, there’s a morning chill in the air, mushrooms and toadstools abound in the woods and leaves carpet the ground in stunning hues of gold and scarlet.
Whether this time of year makes you want to head outside and enjoy an Autumnal walk, hunker down somewhere cosy with friends and a hot chocolate or cook up a storm with Autumn’s wealth of seasonal produce, it is a wonderful time to visit Symondsbury Estate.
We’re encouraging families to explore the great outdoors this half term by joining our Symondsbury Nature Detectives with a FREE nature-themed scavenger hunt (until Sunday 30th October). If your kids or grandkids are inquisitive and love a challenge, and you’re looking for a fun activity to do with them, then come and join us over half term.
Pop into the Visitor Centre to pick up a trail sheet, follow the clues to find all of the natural treasures out on the Estate and check them off the list. Once your little Nature Detective has completed the challenge, come back to the Centre and we’ll give them a biodegradable pot, some compost and a marker so they can plant their seeds and take them home.
Tasty treats to tempt
After exploring the Estate, head to Symondsbury Kitchen for a warming bowl of soup, a delicious homemade cake or a hearty lunch. After all, you’ve earned it!
There is also an abundance of produce grown on the Estate for sale in our Home and Garden store. Autumn brings some fabulous squash varieties including Crown Prince and Autumn Crown which are both eye-catching and deliciously flavoursome. And, for anyone who wants to try something a bit different we also have spaghetti marrows. Just slice them in half lengthways and remove the seeds with a spoon; drizzle them with olive oil and a little sea salt and then place them, cut-side down, on a baking tray and roast them for 25-30 minutes at 200°C/gas mark 6 -et voilà, a delicious and healthy alternative to pasta.
Be a culture vulture
At the Sou’-Sou’-West Art Gallery in Manor Yard you can enjoy ‘Time and Light’, an exciting exhibition by Dorset Independent Photographers (22nd October – 6th November). The gallery is not-for-profit, supporting local artists and encouraging visitors to get involved – indeed, if Colmers Hill inspires you (as it has so many artists who are struck by its uniqueness), the Gallery Shop has artist materials so you can have a go at capturing it for yourself.
The Visitor Centre also has a compelling range of books on sale to take home, curl up and read. They take inspiration from the great outdoors and include the latest book from Raynor Winn’s, ‘Landlines’, through to ‘Rooted’, written by bestselling author Sarah Langford, who leaves her city life to become a farmer and discovers how land connects us all.