Fancy an adventure but don’t want to go too far? These National Trust sites may be just what you’ve been looking for.
Yorkshire has plenty of stories to tell and these National Trust sites near Leeds have more than a few of their own. So if you want to delve into the county’s history, make a beeline for one of these local treasures. You can discover awe-inspiring historic properties and landscaped gardens, medieval monuments and unspoilt wilderness – all less than an hour from Leeds by car. So jump in, put these in your sat nav and off you go, admiring the beautiful rolling countryside of God’s Own County on your way.
East Riddlesden Hall
East Riddlesden Hall sits near Leeds on the outskirts of Keighley. This 17th-century National Trust property is surrounded by intimate gardens that change with the seasons, from vibrant blooms of every colour in spring to the golden amber hues of autumn. The house, which once faced demolition, was saved by two brothers who later donated the house to The National Trust who work to preserve it to this day.
Hundreds of years ago, the manor was a thriving agricultural estate. Today, it tells many tales of the ambition, success, and failure of those who lived and worked here. Outside, The Great Barn is one of the finest remaining examples in the north of England, retaining many of its original features, from the cobbled floor to the riven oak structure – it’s well worth a visit. Got kids? Make your way to the Discovery Garden where you’ll find a mud pie kitchen, hobbit house and more. The tea room offers a selection of drinks, sandwiches and sweet treats for you to enjoy on your visit.
East Riddlesden Hall, Bradford Road, Riddlesden, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD20 5EL.
Nostell Priory is a Georgian treasure house, built on the site of a medieval priory (hence the name). It was bought to impress guests to the Winn family’s Yorkshire residence, and boy is it impressive. Inside its grand rooms present over 100 pieces of Chippendale furniture, paintings by the likes of Breughel, Kauffman and Hamilton, and even a rare Harrison clock. This unparalleled collection is looked after by The National Trust, so you can see it for yourself.
The rooms are a work of art in themselves, masterfully plastered with Rococo and later neo-classical designs that’ll have you looking up to the heavens on your visit. Head outside to explore the 300 acres of parkland, with stunning views over the Yorkshire landscape to take your breath away. You can discover all manner of edible delights in the Kitchen Garden, take a moment in the Rose Garden and escape to another realm in the 18th-century Menagerie Garden before following the Pleasure Grounds paths to ancient woodland. All of this in less than an hour’s drive from Leeds? You might as well pay it a visit.
Nostell Priory, Doncaster Road, Nostell, Wragby, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 1QE.
Marsden Moor Estate
A mind-boggling expanse of Yorkshire moorland in the South Pennines, Marsden Moor Estate is a magnificent National Trust attraction between Leeds and Manchester that focuses on nature rather than architecture. In just an hour in the car, you can find yourself in the middle of these beautifully rugged surroundings. With over 5,000 acres of open land to explore, it’s the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and fill your lungs with some fresh air.
The landscape is steeped in history from pre-historic times through to the Industrial Revolution, and it continues to be a key landmark on the Transpennine Trail route. So if you’ve ever got the train or rambled that way, chances are you’ve already enjoyed a taste of the moor. It’s maintained by The National Trust and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation due to its ground nesting bird population and blanket bogs – only found in a few areas of the world. Hilly, with peat moss and long grass as far as the eye can see, it’s truly something special.
Marsden Moor Estate, Station Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD7 6DH.