Yesterday, we headed an hour and twenty minutes north to Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens. Located not too far from York, it was pretty straightforward getting there for us.
Beningbrough Hall for Young Children – Quick Review
We thought Beningbrough Hall was great for our toddler.
What we loved:
- Amazing outdoor wilderness playground area
- Den building – fab for kids
- A small playroom on the top floor of the house
- Really accessible for prams and pushchairs too
- Bikes, trikes and scooters left around the property for the little ones to use
Beningbrough Hall Prices and Location
- Parking is free for everyone
- Entry to the Hall and Gardens is £11.80 standard (£13 Gift Aid) for adults
- It’s £5.90 (or £6.50 Gift Aid) for children over 5
- Under 5s are free
- National Trust members are free
There’s a bit more about our day out below.
Here’s where you’ll find it:
Our Day at Beningbrough Hall
We parked up and headed straight for the entrance. Helpfully, there is a map just through the entrance area which advised us the play area is on the far side of the property.
It only took a moment for our little one to spot a bike – one of many left around the property for the little ones to use.
Oliver isn’t a fan of pedals, however! He was small enough to use it as a balance bike but soon found that the pedals got in his way if he picked up too much speed. So he popped the bike back against the wall for the next child to use and we made our way around the gardens (play area-wards!) to explore.
The gardens are absolutely beautiful. There were loads of butterflies, gorgeous flowers and the paths were all really pushchair friendly.
Oliver enjoyed watching the butterflies! He also enjoyed exploring a little area to the side of the gardens with a bug house and a little trail for the children.
The walk through the gardens eventually brings you out to the house and some of its little surrounding buildings. There’s a really interesting Victorian Laundry and Potter’s Shed.
We wandered around outside initially before getting the to play area. Oliver is 2 years and 5 months old now and the past few times we have been on days out etc, he has taken an interest in the building themselves too as opposed to just the children’s attractions.
But when we did arrive at the play area, Oliver was over the moon.
The Wilderness Play Area
This is one of the best play areas we’ve been to with Oliver, not just at a National Trust site, but anywhere. It’s a massive area with a wooden fort and slide, plenty of swings, a wooden boat, balance beam and other equipment.
The play equipment all fits into the natural surroundings really well so doesn’t take anything away from this beautiful little part of the world.
The signage told us that a new catering area and some additional toilets will be added to the area some time this year, which will be brilliant!
As well as the usual playground equipment, there’s a little area to build dens! The frames are permanently in place and there are branches and logs around for the children to then use the frames to create a den. Our toddler would have stayed here and built dens all day if we’d let him!
The frames are great. There are two wigwam style ones and one frame designed to make a more typical “tent,” style den. We made all of them. Several times!!
Turns out he can carry branches more than twice his size as well!
From the play area we headed into the house. When we go to places like this, we often skip the house for fear of our two year old running absolutely riot and ruining the ambience somewhat. But actually he wanted to go in.
There’s a side entrance with a lift, which is great.
We didn’t get to look around the entire house because our tot led the way! But the piano in the room immediately off the main hall was a hit with our tot and the staff were incredibly lovely letting him have a little turn, despite the fact he insisted on singing “Wheels on the Bus,” at the top of his lungs at the same time!
There is a dress up room, which we didn’t get to see. But that seems like it would be fun for children! There’s also a small playroom on the top floor with beanbags, some soft play blocks and some books too.
Will we be back?
With it being a little further from us, it won’t be one we visit that regularly. But we’d definitely go back to Beningbrough Hall. The house is stunning, the gardens are beautiful and that play area is just amazing for children.