Burnby Hall Gardens in Pocklington is so close to us, we have an annual pass and visit regularly. They have lots of lovely themed events for the children throughout the year from Easter through to Christmas, with summer and Hallowe’en activities in the middle. In the long six weeks holiday they have an event on for children every Wednesday which is great as we can plan our weekly adventures around those days. I must thank Harriet from Riding Boots for Boo for suggesting we visit all those years ago. For any historians amongst us, I was recently sent this link to a BBC page showing an aerial view of Burnby Hall Gardens in 1986 – thought it was interesting!
The playground is not huge but has been revamped in the last couple of years with some lovely new equipment for the older children. The younger children’s climbing frame is also being replaced so the whole playground will look great. The roundabout is small but fast – it’s angled so that your body weight helps to spin it. Try it at your peril (wait till there are no other adults about as sliding off can be quite embarrassing, take it from me).
The gift shop sells pots of fish food for £1. It is a highlight of the visit for the children feeding the enormous Koi carp in the lake. They come to the surface and jostle for who gets the most food (the fish, not the children).
There is a cafe serving sandwiches, baked potatoes and cakes, and an ice cream hatch around the side of the building. There are lots of tables and chairs around the café as well as throughout the gardens. If you want to take your own picnic, there are picnic benches towards the far side of the gardens to set up on.
The gardens are beautiful and are set around a central lake displaying a National Collection of water lilies as well as the huge hungry fish. There are lots of smaller, themed gardens to explore, including an Aviary Garden, a Rock Garden and the Stumpery where you will find a Hobbit house. You can’t go in the Hobbit house, much to my children’s disgust so make sure you set their expectations beforehand. Perhaps Bilbo could be visiting the elves in Rivendell when you visit.
Keep an eye out for the stump of a huge Californian Redwood while you wander round. Mine love to hear about the giant living tree you can actually drive through in Northern California. Just opposite it is a delightful fairy circle of toadstools. I love anything with a fairytale theme so this really caught my fancy! There are other sculptures throughout the park too from giraffes to totem poles.
I have always loved outdoor theatre. Burnby Hall stage two productions a year, one family oriented and one more for the grown ups. This year they have Peter Pan and Wuthering Heights. Another excuse for a posh picnic I think!
Entrance to Burnby Hall is £5 per adult and £2.80 per child. A family pass is £13.85 and under 5’s are free. Details on annual passes can be found here: http://www.burnbyhallgardens.com/index.php?p=members-passes