There is something infinitely magical and wonderful about fairies and the stories associated with them. If you’re looking for fun and interesting places for a family day out where you can experience the mystery of fairies, here are some magical fairy trails in the UK that your kids are sure to love!
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As a parent, one of the things I am proudest of is my child’s imagination. The world of fairies and fairy tales that her imagination exists in is full of magic and wonder, so there is nothing more that we love to do than to go looking for fairies on our own magical adventures across the UK.
Here are some of our favourite fairy trails in the UK, and some more we’re looking forward to try!
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Fantastic Fairy Trails in the UK
Furzey Gardens, Hampshire
Set in the heart of The New Forest at Minstead in Hampshire, Furzey Gardens was established in 1922 and is renowned for its year-round beauty. There are more fairy doors at the bottom of trees than it is possible to find, and kids will enjoy a beautiful day out, with magic around every corner and tree trunk.
The peaceful and informal 10 acre woodland gardens also include a lake, play area, 16th Century Forest cottage, recreated gold-winning RHS Chelsea show garden and a gift and coffee shop.
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Scampston, North Yorkshire
Scampston is an amazing Regency Hall and family home set in beautiful gardens. There are special Fairy Godmother events for kids, in which a Fairy comes to read stories, do activities and take the kids on magical trails.
The award-winning contemporary walled garden is stunning, and the Garden Cafe offers plenty of family-friendly options. Don’t forget to tie your wishes to the wishing tree before you head off for ice-cream!
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Audley End House and Gardens, Essex
Audley End House and Gardens, an English Heritage property, offers fairies and so much more! There is a Jacobean mansion house to explore, stunning views and tranquil gardens to enjoy, horses in the Victorian stable yard to visit, and a children’s play area to have fun in.
If that’s not enough, kids will love wandering round the trails looking for fairy houses behind handmade wooden doors – and they can even go and make their own fairy or elf wand. The adjacent Audley End Railway makes for a great addition to the day!
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Gypsy Wood Park, North Wales
There aren’t many places where you can combine the magic of fairies with the charm of animals and the rugged wilderness of 20 acres of beautiful natural woodland – but that’s exactly what Gypsy Wood Park offers.
This North Wales attraction has loads of things to see and do! Bring your wellies to explore the wetlands, meet all the different animals who live here, find the fairies, make a wish, hop on Woody’s train, and enjoy the adventure play areas.
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Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Co. Armagh
The Giant’s Lair Story Trail at Slieve Gullion Forest Park is an innovative magical living storybook. The trail takes visitors on an unforgettable journey with amazing features, creating a fantastical childhood land of mystery, dragons, giants, witches and fairies.
Follow in the footsteps of Flynn the mischievous fairy, who has one important job – not to allow anyone to wake Slieve Gullion. It might look like a mountain, but it’s really a sleeping giant!
Drop in for a cup of dandelion tea, grab a seat at the Giant’s Table, stroll along to the Ladybird House and sneak a peek at local witchy trickster, The Cailleach Beara.
Situated beside the Slieve Gullion Adventure Playpark, with car parking available, the Giant’s Lair is free to explore. The trail takes you into plenty of nooks and crannies so a backpack carrier or baby sling is recommended for tots.
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New Forest Fairy Festival, Hampshire
If your child really loves all things magic, one of the best places to go is the amazing New Forest Fairy Festival in Hampshire.
This an annual event held in the beautiful village of Burley where Pixies, Elves and Fairy folk wander around in the most amazing costumes, looking at magical stalls and listening to fascinating tales.
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Studfold Farm, North Yorkshire
Studfold Farm in the Yorkshire Dales has beautiful fairy trails through their woods, leading you to find fairy doors at the bottom of trees. Children are welcome to dress up in fairy wings and pixie hats and along the trail they can discover clues, nature, secret boxes and find treasure! Encourage your child to bring an item from home to put in the secret treasure swap box too.
Explore a number of larger than life surprises, including a 20ft hedgehog, a huge fox, a giant story-telling chair, massive footprints, willow sculptures, and lots more! Don’t forget to check out the wild flower meadow maze with ride-on go carts.
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Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire
Trentham Gardens is the perfect magical mile-long trail that takes you around a lake, through woodland and also to the mazes and gardens.
There is a truly magical feeling here with some bold fairies in plain sight, and others a little trickier to find. Can your little ones spot them all?
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Fairy Wood at National Botanic Gardens of Wales
If you are very quiet when you enter the wood at the start of the Welsh Country Walk at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, you might just spot a little trace of garden magic.
Hidden amongst the trees are remnants of a fairy tea party, a toadstool village and you might even see signs of the pint-sized residents of the wood. You will also find the woodland xylophone and mud kitchen to play with.
The Blue Pool and Tea Rooms, Dorset
The Blue Pool and Tearooms in Dorset is one of my daughter and my favourite fairy trails in the UK! The trail follows the edge of the magical colour-changing water, which only adds to the magic and mystery of the fairies.
Once you have found all the fairies and their doors and completed the trail, there is a certificate from the Teahouse for each fairy adventurer. While in the Tea Rooms, you can enjoy lots of treats, including a traditional cream tea.
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Castell Coch, Cardiff
For something completely different, visitors to Wales’s very own fairy-tale castle, Castell Coch, are now able to ‘see’ the site’s mythical inhabitants through a new digital fairy-spotting trail.
Using augmented reality technology, you can find and collect ten different fairies located around the enchanted site — each with a traditional Welsh name. The fairies are ready and waiting to be found, hiding in the castle rooms but only visible though your (magic) phone or tablet screen. Register all ten fairies in the app’s fairy log and receive a special prize!
If you want to play along, download the Cadw app before visiting Castell Coch and download the fairy content in the Digital Trails section so you can view it at the castle when there’s no connectivity. Then, when you arrive at the castle, just turn on your Bluetooth and use the digital maps to help guide you – the fairy log will sparkle when a fairy is near!
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Balloch Castle Country Park, Loch Lomond
If you’re up in Scotland, then Balloch Castle Country Park on the southeast shores of Loch Lomond is the perfect backdrop for some fairy magic. Families can spend their time discovering the beautifully carved sculptures and fairy houses and listen to the tale behind each one along the trail in the Fairy Glen.
The park itself comprises 200 acres of woodland, open parkland, formal gardens, meadow, play parks and shoreline. In addition to the fairy trails, you can also explore the Chinese garden, a kitchen garden and a secret garden.
The Green Fairy Trail, Staffordshire
If you go into the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise! Hidden amongst the trees is the Green Fairy Trail, home to the Green Fairies who make their doors and homes from recycled materials discarded locally. The Green Fairy Trail is a non-commercial experience and aims to educate visitors about waste and recycling.
The trail takes about 20-30 minutes to complete, so it’s perfect for little feet, and visiting is free of charge.
The Fairy Woods at Fedderate, Aberdeenshire
Also in Scotland are The Fairy Woods at Fedderate, a fantastical place sure to set imaginations on fire.
The trail allows kids to seek out and find little fairies and their houses, then afterwards they can head over to the Toadstool Story Circle for a snack, to explore the play park and even “bake” in the mud kitchens.
Finally, in Norfolk is the award-winning BeWILDerwood which is a wild outdoor adventure that children (and adults) will love!
Start your adventure with a magical boat-ride where you will get to meet lots of amazing fantasy creatures, and then explore their world with a little bit of fairy dust. This huge forest is designed for lots of family fun and outdoor adventure – there are treehouses, zip wires, jungle bridges, Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles, storytelling, marsh walks and lots more!
Fairy Trail at Church Farm Ardeley, Hertfordshire
Church Farm Ardeley is open every day this Summer for you to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy the gorgeous countryside. Summer is a really special time on our farm, join in the fun where you can meet and feed all our animals and their newborns on the Farm Trail, and take part in real farm experiences such as egg collecting, apple picking and bottle feeding the goats (subject to availability).
Explore the Woodland Fairy Trail, hunt for Fairy doors and houses in the woods and around the fields, solve the Fairy riddles, work out the Fairy Code, discover their Fairy name, make a wish on The Wishing Chair and more. Remember to wear your fairy wings! Enjoy walking the lanes around the farm. Dress to blend in, go quietly, and you will be amazed at the wildlife you will see and hear. Bookings can be made online.
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Children are only young once, so why not let their imaginations run wild and enjoy the adventures that it will take you all on!
Have you found any magical fairy trails in the UK that we should know about? We’d love to hear from you!