An adventure on their own doorstep awaited 170 members of Girlguiding Nottinghamshire when they gathered for a special sleepover in Wollaton Hall.
It is understood that this was the first event of its type ever to take place in the magnificent Grade One-listed Elizabethan country house, which is owned by Nottingham City Council.
The girls are all members of Girlguiding Nottinghamshire’s Hemlock Castle Division, which covers units in Bramcote, Bilborough, Lenton, Stapleford, Trowell and Wollaton.
Ten different units took part in the sleepover, including Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, supported by young leaders, Guide leaders and adult volunteers.
First to arrive were the Rainbows, all aged between five and seven, as they undertook an evening of activities ranging from a mini-beast hunt to deer-themed crafts.
The Brownies came next, ready to get to grips with lamp-building, truffle-making and a twilight tour of Wollaton Hall, whilst the Guides were greeted by a welcome quiz, an escape room challenge and competitive outdoor games.
The girls gathered round a campfire before supper and bedtime, with each unit allocated a different part of the hall in which to bed down in their sleeping bags.
The wake-up call came early the next morning. Breakfast was at 7am, followed by time to enjoy some more craft sessions and then pack away before the gates opened to allow the usual public access to the park.
“What an amazing and unique experience for the girls,” said Rachel James, chief operating officer at Wollaton Hall and Deer Park.
“This is one of the largest groups we’ve ever hosted and a first for the hall as it’s never been used in this way before. We’re delighted to make these connections with the local community and to give opportunities like this to the next generation of young people.”
Hemlock Castle Division commissioner, Emily Hogan, said: “It was a joy to see so many girls of different ages having such a brilliant time exploring the hall and its grounds.
“Wollaton Hall and the Deer Park are on our doorstep, yet many of our girls had never been here before. And, of course, we were extra excited to be the first Girlguiding group to have a sleepover in the hall itself.”
Photos: The1st Bramcote Guides enjoying the adventure at Wollaton Hall.