Inspire – Days out at historic houses and gardens

It’s hard to please all of the family, all of the time. We have the answers to all your problems. We have some amazing days out at historic houses and gardens, so while you can take in the history and amazing sights, the children can run around and explore. Fascinating, memorable and entertaining – come to Yorkshire and be inspired.

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Green fingers at the ready at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate. With plenty of year-round events for all the family – sculpture, outdoor theatre, guided walks, quiz trails, workshops and free demonstrations. Visit the extensive RHS Shop & Plant Centre and linger over delicious goodies in Bettys Café Tea Rooms. In all, a truly surprising and entertaining day out!

Fascinating, memorable and entertaining, Ripley Castle and Gardens, situated 3 miles from Harrogate, is an historic attraction open to the public all year round. For children there are special tours of the Castle designed to be amusing and fun and a children’s play trail in the parkland. Ripley village on the Castle’s doorstep is a model estate village with individual charming shops, an art gallery, delicatessen and farmyard museum.

Harewood House, Leeds is a great Yorkshire family day out with plenty to keep little ones entertained! Whatever day of the week, during term time or school holidays, there is plenty to do for children of all ages and adults too. Visit the bird garden and see penguins, flamingos and owls. Don’t miss the Adventure Playground; climb, clamber, slide, swing! Inside the House, you can learn about history and have fun while you’re doing it. 

One of Britains premier show caves, Stump Cross Caverns, is situated high on the moors above Grassington. It offers a fascinating insight into the unique geology of the area and is areal must for families looking for an underground adventure.

Peasholm Park, Scarborough, is open for everyone to enjoy all year round, 24 hours a  day seven days a week. The oriental themed park has a tranquil lake and in the summer month’s you can hire boats of all sorts to enjoy the water at close quarters.

The self-styled ‘strangest place in the world’ Forbidden Corner, Leyburn is a labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created in a four acre garden. It really is unlike anything else and it keeps everyone wondering what’s around the next corner. It’s for all ages, and very memorable.

East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley. There’s a pond, ducks, swans, trees and seclusion. The house is furnished in 17th century style and is riddled with intriguing artefacts (the booby-trapped treasure-casket is a thrill), but if the kids need exercise, the gardens and landscapes are filled with human scale fun.

Newby Hall, the family home of Mr & Mrs Richard Compton, is one of England’s finest houses, an exceptional example of 18th century interior decoration. Built in the 1690s in the style of Sir Christopher Wren the house was later enlarged and adapted by John Carr and subsequently Robert Adam. The superb contents of the house, collected by Weddell, ancestor of the Compton family, on the Grand Tour include a rare set of Gobelin Tapestries, a gallery of classical statuary and some of Chippendale’s finest furniture.

Wentworth Castle near Barnsley is one of the most important historic gardens in the North of England. Many of the 26 listed buildings and monuments across the only Grade 1 listed parkland and garden are being repaired and opened for visitors. With its atmospheric views, woodland walks and majestic follies – including a new children’s playground, and a dramatic viewing platform at the top of a castle folly 600 feet above sea level – there is something for everyone to enjoy in the garden throughout the year.

Bolton Castle near Leyburn, is one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles, situated in the heart of Wensleydale with stunning views over the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This magnificent medieval fortress is steeped in history and has a real sense of atmosphere and life. Visitors can experience sights and sounds of the past with our wonderful falconry displays, fascinating archery demonstrations and chance to have a go, wild boar feeding, bee keeping display and hands on crafts and games throughout the castle.

Mother Shipton’s Cave – Our Petrifying Well is the largest in the country, hanging famous items turning them into stone, due to it’s waters having the highest mineral content of any Petrifying Well in Europe. See the birthplace of Ursula Shipton and explore the history of her difficult life as she learnt how to deal with an extraordinary gift. Her predictions have become true and can be seen in the world today, such as the development of cars and boats. After visiting the Cave and Well discover our beautiful woodland walk down Beech Avenue. It’s listed by English Heritage, as one of the largest collections of oldest and tallest Beech trees in the country.

York Minster is more than just a cathedral it’s a place of discovery. Explore the grand spaces and discover great craftsmanship, treasures and masterpieces around every corner and even some hidden surprises! Explore the Minster using a free discovery trial or a Monty the Monkey trail. For young detectives there’s free Explorer Backpacks containing all the tools you need to uncover mysteries and after all that exploring why not relax with a book from the story chest in the children’s chapel, what will you discover in York Minster?

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