National Trust Houses & Gardens in and around Wakefield
We love getting out and about in the fresh air and exploring the great outdoors with our family!! We bought a National Trust Family Membership when our little boy was sturdy on his feet and it has been used so many times over the last 5 years! Here’s our favourite places within 1 hour of Wakefield.
Covid Update Please do check the National Trust website before travel. Pre-booking may be required for some sites.
Nostell is right on Wakefield’s doorstep situated between Wakefield and Pontefract. Even if you don’t have NT membership, you can pay for parking and get access to lots of the parkland area! Our favourite walk / cycle is past the house, down towards the lake to feed the ducks and swans and then up the hill to the obelisk. You can either return on the fun cycle path down the hill or walk turning in either direction to make a circular loop back to the lake!
With NT membership, you get access to the house, the gardens at the rear of the house, as well as the outdoor adventure play area!
Christmas is magical at Nostell too and we had a really lovely walk, following their trail at Christmas 2019 … read our review here
We only discovered Wentworth Castle recently and the gardens are a hide & seek playground!! There’s loads of things to do like a walk up to the Castle, exploring the Union Jack gardens, spotting deer in the parkland, or admiring the beautiful flowers!
We went on a super hot day; there were plenty of trees to keep us cool in the shade and we had a great picnic! The kids loved collecting pine cones too!!
Wentworth Castle Gardens, Park Drive, Barnsley, S75 3EN
What a brilliant place for kids to run, climb and explore the natural environment! Make sure you pick up a map (or download from the website) and have fun spotting the different animals in the rock formations!! My favourite is the meerkat and the eagle!!
There’s a takeaway cafe half way up too that do ice creams, refreshments and light snacks!
This place is huge and you can spend hours exploring! At the top by the visitors centre is a huge adventure playground that took us quite a while to encourage our little boy that there was more to see!! We normally have a picnic on the lawn outside the abbey, play hide & seek in the abbey ruins and then take a walk around the formal lakes and down to the dam.
The paths are really buggy friendly too!
There is a huge cafe by the visitors centre but my tip is to queue for yummy ice cream at the little take away shop by the abbey and watermill!
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Ripon, HG4 3DY
It’s a slow walk / push up the road to the mill but you can wind your way back down the valley along the stream where you cross bridges, spot stalactites and can paddle in the stream by the stepping stones! We’ve been here in all seasons (including a precarious winter day when the car park was iced up!) and always found it so beautiful!!
With a combination of moorland and lots of rhododendrons, there’s plenty of paths to take your pick on length of walk! Our little boy loves exploring the rhodedendron dens & paths and climbing the branches!
We always combine a trip to Longshaw, by making our way down to Padley Gorge (it can be rather busy in warm weather) and having a paddle in the stream, followed by a picnic and circular walk around the gorge. It’s a great day out!!