Yorkshire's Great Houses

Yorkshire boasts the highest concentration of stately homes, castles and gardens in England and this breadth of offer ensures that there are a whole host of ideas for great days out with something to suit everyone. Taking you back to a glorious era of hospitality, culture and learning, our great houses are a treat to savour and enjoy.

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  • Barley Hall, York

    Barley Hall, York

    Barley Hall is a stunning medieval townhouse, once home to the Priors of Nostell and the Mayor of York. Until the 1980s the house was hidden under the relatively modern façade of a derelict office block. Only when the building was going to be destroyed was the amazing medieval building discovered and its history revealed. The building has now been lovingly restored to its original splendour with stunning high ceilings, beautiful exposed timber frames, and boasts a magnificent Great Hall. It has been decorated to replicate what it would have looked like as the Snawsell home around 1483 and Visitors to Barley Hall can make themselves at home, sit on the chairs, handle the objects and experience what it would have been like to live in medieval England.

    Opening times: Open Daily 10am until 5pm. Holiday opening times vary. Check website for latest opening hours.

    Directions: Barley Hall is located in the heart of York. Walk up Stonegate towards York Minster and Coffee Yard is located on the right hand side.

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  • Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens, York (National Trust)

    Beningbrough Hall & Gardens, nr. York

    Beningbrough Hall celebrates 300 years and the changing fortunes of a grand country house with stories of prosperity, loss and reinvention. Inside the Italian-inspired house you’ll find works from the National Portrait Gallery and hands-on interactive galleries. The working walled garden is the centre piece of 8 acres of formal gardens plus woodland and riverside walks. A natural play area, den zone and regular activities make this a popular destination for families.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Directions: Located between York and Harrogate. Signposted off A19 and A59 (over toll bridge).

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  • Brodsworth Hall & Gardens, Doncaster (English Heritage)

    Brodsworth Hall & Gardens, Brodsworth, nr Doncaster

    Inside this beautiful Victorian country house time really does stand still! Almost everything has been left exactly as it was when it was a family home; a time capsule of original furnishings and personal possessions.

    The gardens surrounding Brodsworth Hall are a plant-lover’s paradise all year round and a tranquil place to stretch your legs. Wonderfully restored to their original horticultural splendour, the gardens feature a number of different areas to explore including the magnificent fern dell, stunning displays of roses and immaculate lawns.

    Visitors can enjoy an annual events programme, from lazy summer Sunday afternoons with performances from local brass bands and classic car displays, to themed half terms for families and a visit from Father Christmas himself. Don’t miss the scrumptious cakes and treats in the tearoom and let off steam in the adventure playground for children.

    Opening times: Open weekends from 2 November 2015 – 24 March 2016 (house closed during the winter). Open daily during school holidays. Open every day from 25 March – 30 October 2016. Christmas closing – 24 Dec – 1 January.

    Directions: Located in Brodsworth, 5 miles north-west of Doncaster off A635 Barnsley Road; from junction 37 of A1(M). Please follow brown tourist signs to Brodsworth, do not rely on Sat Nav directions.

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  • Burton Agnes Hall & Gardens, Driffield

    Burton Agnes Hall & Gardens, Burton Agnes, Driffield

    Robert Smithson architecture, and a diverse art collection including exquisite Elizabethan carvings and the finest contemporary works, inspired Simon Jenkins, author of ‘England’s Thousand Best Houses’, to describe Burton Agnes Hall as ‘the perfect English house’ , one of England’s twenty finest alongside Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Chatsworth House.

    Outside, the gardens will leave visitors mesmerised by the flamboyant seasonal displays of colour, shape, texture and scents. Visitors are invited to explore the several thousand plant varieties; potager; herbaceous borders; jungle garden; classical pond and Woodland Walk.

    Many treats await visitors in the courtyard. Original, handcrafted gifts and souvenirs can be found in the courtyard shops and the café offers home-made meals using the garden’s fruit and vegetables and local ingredients.

    Opening times: Hall, Gardens, Shops & Cafe open daily 11am-5pm 1 April- 31 October & 14 November – 23 December.

    Directions: We are easily found on the A614 York to Bridlington road, midway between Driffield and Bridlington.

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  • Burton Constable Hall, Skirlaugh

    Burton Constable Hall, Burton Constable, Skirlaugh

    Wonders, Whales and Woodland Wildlife: Every day is a great day out at Burton Constable.

    Meander upstairs and downstairs through 30 rooms filled with fine art and furniture; discover the extraordinary 18th century ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’; meet the fascinating characters from the Constable family over the past 500 years. Explore the historic grounds with their woodland and parkland walks; visit the stable lad’s bedchamber, blacksmith’s shop, tack rooms, clock tower and, of course, see the skeleton of a 60-foot sea monster.

    What’s new – In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown this season’s exhibition will focus on Brown’s contributions in East Yorkshire, country house brewing in Brown’s Brewhouse, parkland trails, tours, talks and other new events.

    Opening times:
    Easter Saturday to Sunday 30th October
    Grounds, Stables, Tearoom and Gift Shop open daily 11am-5pm
    Hall 12pm - 5pm last admission 4pm (Closed Fridays except July and August)

    Christmas Opening
    Saturday 19th November to Sunday 11th December
    Hall open daily from 11am to 4pm last admission 3pm
    Grounds, Stables, Tearoom & Gift Shop open daily from 11am to 4.30pm

    Directions: From Beverley: A1035 Bridlington road then follow A165 towards Hull., from Hull: A1033 towards Hedon, turn left at Saltend roundabout and follow Historic House signs.

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  • Castle Howard, York

    Castle Howard, York

    Castle Howard is one of England’s most magnificent stately homes and sits in parkland dotted with temples and lakes, just outside York.

    Built in the 18th century by Sir John Vanbrugh and taking over 100 years to complete, in the house admire breathtaking interiors and world renowned collections.

    The gardens provide the perfect place to relax amid idyllic landscapes. Enjoy walks through woodlands, formal gardens, along terraces or beside water with a range of special events throughout 2016 to celebrate the Year of The Garden, including a Flower Festival from 23 to 26 June.

    A range of cafés and shops, adventure playground and free children’s trails makes Castle Howard the perfect place to spend the day.

    Opening times: Please check the Castle Howard website for the latest opening information, including Christmas opening.

    Directions: 15 miles north-east of York, just off the A64. Public transport from York. Visit the Castle Howard website for more details.

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  • East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley (National Trust)

    East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley, West Yorkshire

    Take a step away from the hectic every day and experience the tranquillityof East Riddlesden Hall. With an atmospheric exterior, this friendly house is brought to life through stories told by volunteers, and has a wonderful array of seventeenth century needlework and original plasterwork ceilings. The intimate gardens have an ever-changing palette of colour plus, for children, a play area, mud pie kitchen, hobbit house and bird hide. East Riddlesden Hall is the perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon.

    Directions: Located between Bradford and Skipton on Bradford Road in Riddlesden (B6265). Take the A650 from Bradford or the A629 from Skipton. Free parking for visitors.

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  • Fairfax House, York

    Fairfax House, Castlegate, York

    Come and experience one of the finest eighteenth-century townhouses in England, and let Fairfax House transport you to the splendour of city-living in Georgian York. Originally the winter home of Viscount Fairfax and his daughter, Fairfax House’s richly decorated interiors and magnificent stucco ceilings make it an architectural masterpiece. A beautiful collection of furniture and furnishings create a special lived-in feeling and bring the house to life. For 2016 there are two new exciting exhibitions: A Century of Shoes: The Rise and Fall of the Georgian Heel showcasing the extravagant beauty of Georgian footwear, and Entertaining Georgian York exploring the fashionable entertainments of this bustling city. Families can also meet Gregory, The Townhouse Mouse, and enjoy his children’s trail and quest.

    Opening times:
    Open February to December, Tues-Sat: 10am–4.30pm & Sun: 12.30–4pm.
    Monday Guided tours: 11am and 2pm. Bank Holiday Mondays: 10am–4.30pm. Closed 24-26 December.

    Directions: Fairfax House is located in the heart of York, close to Clifford’s Tower, Coppergate and Jorvik Viking Centre. Park & Ride bus stop 2 minutes’ walk.

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  • Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Ripon (National Trust)

    Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, nr. Ripon

    This magnificent abbey was established by devout monks. The atmospheric ruins that remain are a window into a way of life which shaped the medieval world. When John Aislabie inherited Studley Royal – the estate which included the Abbey – he set about creating an elegant water garden of mirror-like ponds, statues and follies, incorporating the romantic ruins into his design. Riverside paths lead to the deer park, home to Red, Fallow and Sika deer and ancient trees. One-of-a-kind, this special place is now recognised as a World Heritage Site.

    Free parking at visitor centre. Pay and display at Studley Royal deer park.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Directions: Located off the B6265 to Pateley Bridge, signed from A1, 12 miles north of Harrogate (A61).

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  • Goddards, York (National Trust)

    Goddards Garden, York

    Discover the cherished family home of Noel Goddard Terry, of the famous chocolate-making firm, Terry’s of York. Designed by architect Walter Brierley in the Arts and Crafts style, the house is complemented by four acres of gardens, designed by George Dillistone. A hidden gem - only a stone's throw away from York City Centre – where you can have lunch in the Terry’s dining room, take tea in the drawing room or sip a gin and tonic on the terrace.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Directions: Take A1237/A64, then A1036 Tadcaster Road, signed York City Centre, turn right after St Edward's Church, through brick gatehouse arch. Pre-booked disabled parking only on-site. Use City Centre car parks or nearby Knavesmire Road or take the number 4 bus service form York train station to the Marriott Hotel (2 doors away).

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  • Harewood House, Leeds

    Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds

    From the moment you arrive, Harewood captures your imagination and feeds your curiosity. It’s a place filled with art, culture and heritage which continues to thrive today. One of the Treasure Houses of England, the historic Georgian property sits within “Capability” Brown designed landscape with remarkable views from the award winning Terrace. Come inside and you’ll be blown away by Chippendale furniture and exquisite interior designs. Leave time to explore the corridors Below Stairs. A place where young kitchen hands can dress up and discover life a servant.

    With bags of space to run around, a massive adventure playground, penguins, flamingos and parrots there’s no shortage of adventure for kids of all ages.

    Opening times: Open daily between 25 March – 3h October 2016.

    Directions: We are situated between Harrogate, Leeds and Wetherby. Sat Nav users are recommended to try LS17 9LQ

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  • Kiplin Hall & Gardens, Richmond

    Kiplin Hall & Gardens, nr Scorton, Richmond

    ‘A delightful way to while away an afternoon – the grounds, garden, the beautiful house & perfect tea room refreshments’. This Jacobean country seat of the founder of Maryland, George Calvert, is an award-winning historic house and garden. ‘Gothic’ wing added in the 1820s; redesigned in 1887 by W.E. Nesfield. An intriguing property, now furnished as a comfortable Victorian home with an eclectic mix of previous owners’ furniture, paintings, portraits and personalia, including many Arts and Crafts items. Numerous original paintings from 16th–19th centuries include works by Beuckelaer, Carlevarijs, Kauffman and Watts. Gardens, productive Walled Garden, woodland/lakeside walks, Garden Museum. Tea Room. Children’s Play Ship, garden games, dipping-pond. Temporary exhibition ‘My Darling Sally: Sarah Carpenter of Kiplin and Stoke Rochford’.

    Opening times: Gardens & Tea Room: Sunday – Wednesday, 10am-5pm (4pm Feb & March) from 7 February – 26 October. Hall: Good Friday, Easter Saturday, then Sunday – Wednesday, 2-5pm, 27 March – 26 October.

    Directions: Between Richmond and Northallerton on the B6271, about 5 miles east of the A1. Junction approx.3 miles south of Scotch Corner / A66.

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  • Lotherton Hall, Leeds

    Lotherton Hall, Towton Road, nr Aberford, Leeds

    Lotherton Hall is, a charming Edwardian country estate where you can enjoy a fantastic day out exploring beautiful grounds, a bird garden and the house once owned by the Gascoigne family. There are regular events and lots of activities to keep the family entertained: From wildlife trails, lawn games, playgrounds with zip-wires, plus a deer hide to watch the red deer grazing. Don’t miss visiting the recently opened Fashion Galleries in the house and in 2016 we explore the personal side to history’s most famous nurse Florence Nightingale, with the exhibition ‘Our Cousin Florence’. Also new for this year are swings in the woodland play area, new garden games, a Hay Bale Maze, refurbished cinema room and a beautiful new viewpoint on the boundary trail looking over the ancient landscape.

    Opening times:
    1 Mar – 31 Oct, 10am–5pm.
    1 Nov – 29 Feb, 10am–4pm (closed 25, 26 Dec & 1 Jan).
    Grounds open until 6pm 1 October – 31 March, 8pm 1 April- 30 September.
    Last entry 45 mins before closing, House is open for guided tours only in Jan & Feb.

    Directions: 13 miles north east of Leeds, near Aberford on B1217, or 2 miles from M1 junc 47.

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  • Newby Hall & Gardens, Ripon

    Newby Hall & Gardens, Ripon, North Yorkshire

    Newby Hall is one of England’s renowned Adam houses; an exceptional example of 18th century interior decoration. The superb contents of the house include a rare set of Gobelins Tapestries, a renowned gallery of classical statuary and some of Chippendale’s finest furniture. The 25 acres of award winning gardens are full of rare and beautiful plants. Newby’s famous double herbaceous border has undergone an epic replanting scheme showcasing spectacular new plants, colours and form. A true family day out with a large Children’s Adventure Garden, Miniature Railway, NEW Dollshouse Exhibition, Interactive Water Play, NEW Teddy Bear Collection, Garden Restaurant, Design-Led Shop, Contemporary Sculpture Park and Woodland Walk. Family Events throughout the year, see website for details.

    Opening times: 25 March-25 September, Tues-Sun plus bank holidays. Open 7 days a week in July/August. Gardens 11am-5.30pm, House by guided tour-see website for times & restrictions.

    Directions: Just off the A1(M) on the B6265 between Ripon and Boroughbridge. For Sat Nav use HG4 5AJ. Free Parking.

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  • Normanby Hall Country Park, Scunthorpe

    Normanby Hall Country Park, Normanby, Scunthorpe

    Managed by North Lincolnshire Council, Normanby Hall Country Park is a beautiful 300 acre estate set in the heart of North Lincolnshire. Open to the public every day of the year, the park offers the perfect backdrop to your day out. The Hall and the Farming Museum are only open throughout the summer months, but with award winning gardens, exciting wildlife, a full calendar of events, or just a relaxing environment to enjoy a day out, there is plenty to keep you entertained all year round. New for 2016 is the costume exhibition in the Hall entitled ‘Victorian Vogue’ which uses items from our extensive costume collection to look at the changes in fashion from the 1840’s to 1890’s.

    Opening times: The park is open from 9am to dusk daily. The Hall and Farming Museum are open from 1pm to 5pm daily throughout the summer season.

    Directions: Normanby Hall Country Park is situated north of Scunthorpe and is signposted from the M180 and the Humber Bridge.

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  • Nostell Priory & Parkland, Wakefield (National Trust)

    Nostell Priory & Parkland, Wakefield

    Nostell was home to the Winn family for more than 350 years and the grand interiors, designed by Robert Adam, contain a renowned collection of Chippendale furniture. Outside, explore the rose, kitchen and fruit gardens or wander through the orchard and woodland garden. In the parkland, discover trails with access to meadows and woodlands where you can see wildflowers and birds. Children can dress up or enjoy the packed programme of family activities.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Directions: Located on the A638 outside Wakefield towards Doncaster.

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  • Nunnington Hall, nr. York (National Trust)

    Nunnington Hall, nr. York

    Visit Nunnington Hall, home of the Fife family in the 1920s, and experience the stories of the families that lived there. Don’t miss the changing programme of exhibitions throughout the year such as the British Wildlife Photography Awards, and a summer spectacular of children’s illustration, Angelina Balerina. Set in a picturesque location, the gardens are organic and include a glorious borders, a walled garden, fruit trees, spring-flowering meadows and flamboyant peacocks.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Directions: A170 Helmsley to Pickering road; 11½ miles north of Malton to Helmsley road (B1257); 21 miles north of York, via B1363.

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  • Rievaulx Terrace, Helmsley (National Trust)

    Rievaulx Terrace, nr. Helmsley

    Discover one of Ryedale’s true gems, the eighteenth century landscape of Rievaulx Terrace and its temples. Stroll through the woodland, with its natural play areas for children, then out onto the terrace to experience the stunning views of Rievaulx Abbey and the surrounding valley. The Ionic Temple is a surprising jewel to discover and the woods are full of changing flowers, including snowdrops, bluebells and wild garlic.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Directions: Located on the B1257. Free parking.

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  • Sewerby Hall & Gardens, Sewerby

    Sewerby Hall & Gardens, Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington

    Winner of the 2015 REYTA Visitor Attraction of the Year Award, Sewerby Hall and Gardens makes for a great day out. With over 50 acres of stunning gardens to explore, a zoo, adventure playground and a host of events throughout the year, it is definitely worth a visit. After an extensive restoration, the house now offers an insight into how it would have looked in the 1900s using furniture from the Victoria and Albert Museum and other important collections. Interactive areas of the house include a servant’s life, a working kitchen and the Amy Johnson exhibition. For a longer visit why not stay in one of our luxury holiday cottages which are located in the former gatehouses and lodge.

    Opening times: Open daily between 19 March and 25 September. Seasonal opening 26 September – March. Please see the website for further information.

    Directions: Located two miles north of Bridlington in Sewerby village. Follow the brown tourist signs from the outskirts of Bridlington.

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  • Sledmere House & Gardens, Driffield

    Sledmere House & Gardens, Sledmere, Driffield

    Sledmere House is a family home and as you walk around you’ll feel its historic connections. The big house is the heart of this traditional, working estate surrounded by beautiful parkland with roaming deer, rambling and dog walking routes, probably the most spectacular of the historical ‘Sykes Churches’ and our acclaimed Walled Gardens. For a day out with the family, our children’s play area and parkland walk are a must. Explore the historical stable block where you can find out more about the role of horses living and working on a country estate, meet resident horses and get stuck into some hard work by helping groom the ponies. After all of this enjoy a well earned cup of tea and slice of homemade cake in the tearooms.

    Opening times: Due to events throughout the year it’s best to check our opening times either online www.sledmerehouse.com or by giving us a call.

    Directions: Sledmere House & Walled Gardens are 7 miles NW of Driffield, a scenic drive from York (25 miles), Beverley (18 miles), Scarborough (19 miles). Sledmere is a 35 minute drive from the M62 and a 45 minute drive from the M1.

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  • Temple Newsam, Leeds

    Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Estate, Leeds

    One of the most celebrated historic houses in the region with 40 beautifully restored rooms showcasing 500 years of history. Discover the treasures of silver, ceramics, fine art, Chippendale furniture and original wallpaper and uncover the stories of the people who lived there. Don’t miss Visioning the Landscape, Fri 25 Mar – Sun 30 Oct, marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of Sir Lancelot Capability Brown. This display explores 300 years of the changing views at Temple Newsam through art works, Capability Brown designs, events and activities. Outdoors, there’s Home Farm, a great treat for the whole family with hundreds of rare farm animals to see; an adventure playground and miles of paths and trails for cycling, walking and riding. Don’t miss the Stable Courtyard with Tea Rooms serving locally sourced food, the large gift shop and Mrs Pawson’s selling seasonal goodies, many from the 18th century Walled Garden.

    Opening times:
    The House: Tues 3 Nov 2015-Fri 12 Feb 2016: Pre-booked guided visits only. Sat 13 Feb to Sun 30 Oct 2016: Tues to Sun 10:30am-5pm.
    The Farm: 27 Mar-30 Oct 2016: Tues to Sun and Mon in school holidays 10am-5pm.
    1 Nov 2016 to 25 Mar 2017 Tues to Sun 10am-4pm. See website for full details.

    Directions: 4 miles from Leeds City Centre off B6159, 2 miles from M1, junction 46. 2 miles from Crossgates railway station.

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  • The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

    The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham

    The first sight of this French style château, just 13 miles off Scotch Corner, never fails to astonish. Purpose built in the 19th Century by businessman John Bowes and his French wife Joséphine, it’s one of the most important museums outside London. This recently transformed treasure house boasts some of the best examples of European fine and decorative arts in the UK, including paintings by Canaletto, Goya and El Greco. Stunning galleries are dedicated to Fashion & Textiles, Silver & Metals, British Decorative Arts and Ceramics. An acclaimed exhibition programme, Guided Tours and Gallery Talks by specialist curators add to the experience. There is first class dining in Café Bowes, plus a quality shop with a wide range of superb gifts.

    Opening times: Open daily 10am–5pm. Closed only 25 & 26 December & 1 January.

    Directions: Just off the A66, 13 miles west of Scotch Corner/A1 interchange, in the Pennines in the North of England. 17 miles from Darlington Train Station.

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  • Treasurer's House, York (National Trust)

    Treasurer's House, York

    Only a few metres from York Minster, Treasurer's House spans 2,000 years of history. Owned by Edwardian collector Frank Green, the house showcases his collections of furniture, ceramics, paintings and textiles. Tours take you from an exploration of the Roman road in the cellar to servants’ quarters in the attics. The award-winning garden and Below Stairs Café are free to enter and new for 2016, open every day from March to October.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Directions: Located next to York Minster. Nearest parking is in Lord Mayor's Walk. Park and ride service from York city outskirts.

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