Fancy an adventure but don’t want to go too far? Jump in the car and head to one of these National Trust sites.
The very reason for the National Trust is to protect our heritage, so if you want to delve into Yorkshire’s history, seeing the sights as you go, you need to make a beeline to one of these local sites. They’re all less than an hour from Leeds, so with a quick car ride through the beautiful countryside, you can be there.
East Riddlesden Hall
East Riddlesden Hall was almost lost to history books, so don’t take its existence for granted. It was built in 1642, but by 1913 it was in such a state of disrepair that there were fears that it would be torn down. Luckily, the Brigg brothers stepped in to save the building and donated it to the National Trust.
Now the rooms of the 17th-century manor house are filled with stories that you can discover on a tour, as generations of beautifully preserved history are brought to the forefront. Outside, the gardens offer a splash of colour, with snowdrops giving way to blossom and dazzling flower gardens.
East Riddlesden Hall, Bradford Road, Riddlesden, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD20 5EL.
Nostell Priory and Parkland
Nostell Priory is an 18th-century country house. It was built on the site of a medieval priory, hence the name, and is as beautiful inside as it is out. It was commissioned by Sir Rowland Winn in 1729, and brought together some of the finest architects and craftsmen of the time.
The result is a stunning house filled with heritage – look out for their collection of Chippendale’s furniture, made specially for the house, as well as the work of respected artists like Brueghel, Hogarth and Kauffmann. Outside, there’s even more to be discovered, with 300 acres of parkland to explore, alongside orchards, landscaped gardens and pleasure grounds.
Nostell Priory and Parkland, Doncaster Road, Nostell, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 1QE.
Marsden Moor Estate
The Marsden Moor Estate is a very different beast. It focuses on nature, rather than architecture, with 5,000 acres of moorland. You can enjoy stunning views of the countryside from vantage points like Pule Hill and Buckstones, as well as discovering Eastergate, a scheduled ancient monument that dates back to the 17th century.
Marsden Moor is perfect for active explorers, with a packed calendar of walks for you to join in, including family adventures and explorations into the area’s history. You can also go cycling, wildlife spotting or geo-caching. Love poetry as much as the countryside? Check out the Stanza Stone Trail, which will lead you up Pule Hill, in search of the Marsden Stanza Stone – it’s part of a poetry trail developed by Ilkley Literature Festival and Simon Armitage.
Marsden Moor Estate Office and Exhibition Room, Station Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD7 6DH.Cover image copyright Chris Ibbotson licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.