Inside York

Go Back In Time With The National Trust In Yorkshire

Yorkshire is certainly not without its beauty - the Yorkshire Dales are breathtaking in their spectacular drama and the architecture of York itself is impressive indeed. Yet the county is also exceptionally lucky to be home to a number of beautiful historic houses and gardens, all cared for in perpetuity by the National Trust.

Not just intended for an older audience specialising in history or horticulture; the National Trust is moving with the times. Today, the charity encourages all kinds of visitors to spend the day enjoying the houses, gardens and countryside areas in its care - and taking part in fun activities along the way. Regular events range from concerts and lecture lunches to craft days and nature walks.

There are plenty of National Trust places in Yorkshire, many of which are located within easy reach of a bus or train station. Most have safe, plentiful car parking and all welcome visitors coming by bicycle or on foot. So it is not hard at all to grab transport locally and head over to a National Trust beauty spot for some time relaxing and taking in some ofBritain's most fascinating places.

Here are just five historic houses, gardens and countryside areas in Yorkshire that are looked after and opened to the public by the National Trust.

Nunnington Hall

A beautiful Yorkshire manor house located on the banks of the river Rye in Nunnington, around 17 miles from the centre of York. This 16th-century house has many opulent rooms open to the public, as well as a charming set of miniature rooms in the attics. Nunnington Hall also has a walled garden to explore and regular concerts, art and photography exhibitions on offer. Hungry visitors can stop for lunch or tea in the tearoom and there is also an interesting gift shop available for souvenir-hunters.

Brimham Rocks

Acting as a contrast ton the formality of an elegant stately home, Brimham Rocks are a fascinating collection of weird and wonderful rock formations in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Located close to Harrogate, with far-reaching views over Nidderdale, this is a great place for rock climbing, walking across heather-covered moorland, woodland nature explorations and picnics. Especially in the autumn months, when the colours in the trees will be at their vibrant best.

Nostell Priory

Built in 1733 on the site of a medieval priory, Nostell Priory, with its surrounding parklands, has been a family home for more than 300 years. There are 300 acres of parkland to explore, including lakeside walks, a newly-planted orchard, vegetable garden and a children's play area. Inside the house, there are impressive collections of Chippendale furniture and original paintings, plus a delightful dolls' house dating from the eighteenth century. Add in the Courtyard Cafe and gift shop, and you have the perfect destination for a great day out.

Malham Tarn Estate

A very popular part of the Yorkshire Dales, the Malham Tarn Estate consists of limestone pavements, upland hill farms and flower-rich hay meadows. The area is ideal for walking, cycling or simply enjoying the great outdoors during a picturesque time of year. Nearby is the lovely Janet's Foss waterfall, and there are plenty of sheltered picnic spots to enjoy some lunch on the go. Malham Tarn Estate is an official national nature reserve and wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy watching the active animal and insects life and spotting some rare species of flowers and plants - look out for the excellent bird hide too.

Fountains Abbey and Studland Water Garden

There is so much to see at Fountains Abbey and Studland Water Park in Ripon that you might want to schedule a return visit. The Cistercian abbey sits elegantly beside the Georgian water garden, which in turn is set off beautifully by the surrounding medievaldeer park. So many historical periods represented in one place. The romantic abbey ruins are well worth exploring, as are the water gardens with their neo classical statue collection and breathtaking views acrossYorkshire. There is also an exhibition, children's play area and an impressive Victorian church to explore; while quieter visitors might even spot the odd sika or fallow deer as they wander round the park.


The National Trust really comes into its own over the autumn and winter, with beautiful colours in the trees, warm meals in the tearooms and delightful festive events to look forward to as Christmas draws nearer. Defy the colder weather, wrap up warm and go and discover the National Trust's Yorkshire collection today!


Article written by Eve Pearce. ©


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