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Adventure Play

The grounds at Mirehouse are home to adventure playgrounds which are set amidst the trees and shrubs on either side of the main drive.

Children today relish a change from the computer and television screen and enjoy the natural fun they find here just as much as children in the past have done.

After visiting the four woodland playgrounds, children will get the chance to burn off any excess energy at the heather path maze in the Bee Garden adjacent to the main drive. This maze is suitable for wheelchairs and is based on the design of the famous turf mazes by the Solway.

On following signs for the Poetry Walk, children and adults alike will pass through a rhododendron tunnel at the lower terraces of the garden at Mirehouse known as "Canada". These terraces behind Mirehouse also house a snuff garden and simple wooden structures made by local artists.

The Family Nature trail is free with admission . This trail is a walk of about half a mile and goes through the woods and gardens at Mirehouse helping children to keep a look out for red squirrels, rabbits and a variety of trees and plants.

The Forest Hazard Course

For older youngsters (twelve to sixteen year olds) this course provides more challenge. It is a never tiring series of crossing the beck, including by air! Indeed it is not uncommon for Army Recruiters to use the course for young people thinking of ‘joining up’ – a mini assault course awaits them here. The possibility of the odd slip into the beck adds to the frisson of the challenge.

The Steeplechase

The course may be walked, jogged or run depending on ability: it is quite frequently timed. Solid barriers may be ‘rolled under’ when you are rather short or ‘hurdled’ when you are taller. One or two ‘jumps’ over drainage ditches are included as are some ‘bridges’ where balance is important. Adult participation is encouraged.

The Forest Castle

Set in open woodland and with two routes to choose from youngsters can race each other to see who can ‘take’ the castle first – a site of many a pine cone battle between Cumbrians and Romans! Adults may follow at a more leisurely pace or join in.

Squirrel Island

The island, set in Skill Beck, is a haven for younger children to play house or swing endlessly on the tyre or toddler swing. Adults can help and supervise paddling or relax while long imaginary journeys are “undertaken” on the horse and cart.