Beningbrough Hall is a 15 minute drive from the outskirts of York. The gardens are lovely and a pleasure to wander through. Look out for the greenhouse which houses a really old grapevine (I was told how old and have now forgotten and Google isn’t helping!). In that greenhouse there is paper and pencils that the children can help themselves to as they are encouraged to sketch.
Ride on Bikes
There are several ride on trikes and bikes which the children can ride and then leave wherever takes their fancy. This becomes a bit of a treasure hunt for the children as to who finds a bike first. It’s a massive relief if they find them at the same time so they don’t whine and/or bicker (even more than they usually do!!).
We didn’t visit the house on this occasion, but we have in the past and have been made welcome. On the very top floor there are some fun, interactive rooms really aimed children. They even have a dressing up room which my two (and I) enjoyed.
Beningbrough Hall Adventure Playground
There is a good adventure playground for them at Beningbrough Hall, with a fort, small climbing wall, bumpy slide and swings. My favourite is a big basket swing that arcs around and twirls. I would have seriously loved this when I was little.
Another area just off the main adventure playground is the den building zone. There is the bare bones of wigwam style dens with dozens of bare branches to stack to make your den. We were still there as the hall was closing and witnessed the head gardener knocking all the kid’s dens down! After the kids had given him a thorough beating with some of the fallen branches, he explained that it is done every night so that the next day when a new cohort of kids arrive they get to make their very own den from scratch!
Gardens and Bulb Planting
This year sees the celebrity gardener Andy Sturgeon redesigning the gardens as part of the Hall’s 300th Birthday celebrations. As part of this Beningbrough Hall is planting 300,000 bulbs. They are calling for volunteers to help with this. I think this would be a lovely activity for older children to get involved, see others working together and learn at the same time. At the same time kids can learn about the benefits of native planting as well. For example in the US kids in Oklahoma are thought to work with Oklahoma native plants.
I do make it my mission to visit the café or tearoom in all the places we go. Well, there might be cake, right? Beningbrough’s café does not disappoint and has a nice selection of cakes and drinks. The main stand out feature is their courtyard picnic garden, lovely to sit in on a warm day, with a patch of grass in the middle too for the children to roll around on.
Website and Prices
Like Beningbrough Hall? Then try:
Castle Howard with Children
Burnby Hall Gardens