Things To Do In Stamford for Families

Things To Do In Stamford for Families

Located to the south of rural Lincolnshire, right on the Rutland border, sits Stamford; a fantastic place to visit with plenty of things to do for families. Whether you're after a play area and coffee or a cultural theatre experience, I've compiled a list of the best of Stamford town family-friendly activities. I've also included a couple of places just outside of Stamford simply because they're too good to miss!

Burghley House

A trip to Stamford wouldn't be complete without spending time at Burghley House. Built by William Cecil between 1555 and 1587, this magnificent Elizabethan manor is simply breathtaking. The sprawling estate covers much of rural Stamford and its surrounding villages, offering walks a-plenty and spectacular views alongside.

As stately homes go, this is one of England's finest and gains extra bonus points for being within walking distance of Stamford town centre. On a sunny afternoon, you'll see families on bike rides, having picnics, and pretty soon burning off energy on the soon-to-open adventure play! (Opening 29th April 2023). Called Hide & Secrets, the wooden structure will include climbing zones, slides and hideaways to keep the kids entertained for hours. We're very excited about opening day!

Burghley House, Peterborough, Stamford PE9 3JY

Stamford Arts Centre

Stamford is very lucky to have a thriving arts venue in the centre of town and one which caters well to young families. Stamford Arts Centre hosts travelling theatre shows and workshops annually, with regular offerings for toddlers and young children. The theatre doubles up as a cinema too, with one or two children's films showing each month.

Weekly workshops for children also run here. Creat-tots is a theatre/arts sensory class for babies and toddlers up to 3 years which runs from the gorgeous ballroom within the Arts Centre every Friday morning. I would definitely recommend keeping an eye on the scheduled events at the Art's Centre as the programme is varied and plentiful.

Stamford Arts Centre, 27 St Mary's St, Stamford PE9 2DL

Stamford Meadows

If you're looking for a taste of the great outdoors without venturing too far from home, Stamford Meadows is a great place to let the kids run loose. At the fork where the river splits, the meadows offer a gorgeous view of the town's churches with somewhere to sit and picnic or play ball. Bring some duck food too, as the resident birds are super friendly!

An added bonus is the ice cream van, stationed there every day during the summer months. And if you're feeling extra hungry, the local pizza place Da Mario does incredible takeaway artisan pizzas that you and the kids will love. A trip to Stamford with family would not be complete without a wander down to the meadows.

Vence Walk, Stamford

Sacrewell Farm

Just down the road from Stamford sits Sacrewell - a glorious working farm with a cafe and mill. This place is a little bit of magic! It's been running as a visitor attraction for many years, so long in fact that I remember coming here as a small child myself (Although it has changed a lot in that time!). The main attractions are the brand new, and quite frankly, wonderful play area, the indoor soft play barn and the natural water play stream. Walking around the farmyard to visit the animals is very pleasant, and the small lake at the back of the farm is just as lovely. I would recommend bringing a picnic if possible, as the cafe offerings are pretty limited. However, during the summer, they do have a wood-fired pizza oven running outside, which adds something of a special touch. Sacrewell is super special and definitely one of the best attractions for young families near Stamford.

Sacrewell, Thornhaugh, Peterborough PE8 6HJ

Barnack Hills and Holes

If nature is more up your street, then head out of Stamford past Burghley, and you'll soon reach the village of Barnack. Here you'll find Hills & Holes (Barnack nature reserve). It is precisely as the name suggests- a series of hills and dips left from excavating at a medieval quarry. Sheep roam on the land, and children can run freely and safely here. The local secret is- it's also one of the best places to bring a sledge when it snows! There are no facilities here, so please do come prepared, however a trip to hills and holes would probably only last an hour, so it's a perfectly easy stop-gap during a busy day.

Barnack Hills and Holes National Nature Reserve, Barnack, Stamford PE9 3EU

The Yard Soft Play

As soft plays go, this is one of the best. What usually springs to mind when someone says indoor play centre is uncomfortable chairs, terrible coffee and chaotic crowds. But The Yard couldn't be further from this. Situated in Stamford town and run by Aimee & Jo, this place is something special. The design is beautiful, the play frame simple yet fun, and the coffee excellent.

The maximum age limit is 7 years, which we think is perfect. With a separate area for babies and one for 2-7's- the layout works really well. Definitely designed with both adults and children in mind, this genuinely is a soft play you want to spend time in! Locally baked fresh cakes adorn the counter, and a shelf of thoughtfully chosen learning toys and curiosities to purchase are on display too.

Unit 2, West Street Business Park, West St, Stamford PE9 2PR

Fineshade Woods

Take a five-minute drive out of town and you'll reach this lovely place! Fineshades is a large area of managed woodland on the edge of East Northamptonshire, with a cafe, cycle hire centre, and two play areas. There are mapped routes - one of which has a regular theme trail. The Gruffalo and Highway Rat are two recent examples that had little legs in mind.

The cycle route is separated from the walking paths so it's safe to let little ones run free too. The play area near the car park, cafe and toilets is suitable for smaller ones, with all the usual fun. And hidden within the woods, you'll find a rope & platform-style treehouse for the older kids.

We really like coming here because it's genuinely a no-stress day out. You can walk as far or as little as you like, the cafe serves tasty food and the facilities are well cared for. Parking isn't too expensive either, so if you're on a budget, bring your own lunch, and just grab a coffee.

Forestry England Visitor Centre, Fineshade, Corby NN17 3BB

Belton House

The final offering I'd like to mention is Belton House- a National Trust property just up the A1 from Stamford. It's a bit further out of town, but it is so good for the kids that it simply had to feature on this list!

Where do we start? Belton has everything you need for a family day out. The adventure play is out of this world good- tree houses, giant musical instruments, zip wires, sand, water play, den building, mini train rides, it has just about everything!

There are several eating options- the shack at the park, which serves coffee, snacks, cakes etc., the main restaurant in the walled courtyard and the kid's cafe with indoor play. We recommend bringing a picnic in the summer as these eateries can get busy, but the food available to purchase is good, so no complaints here.

At the far side of the house are the formal gardens with a lake, boat house, orangery and maze. Our kids love to explore here, and we'll continue to visit for many more years, I'm sure.

Belton House, High Rd, Belton, Grantham, NG32 2LW

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