Beningbrough Hall NEW play equipment – A Mumbler Review
We recently had to cut our holiday short due to bad weather we’ve had in the last few days (camping in the rain at Filey can be endured for a while but not much fun for more than a couple of days!) so we found ourselves with a ‘bonus’ family day yesterday and decided to spend it wisely by visiting one of our favourites, Beningbrough Hall. We’ve been so excited to check out the play equipment and now that dogs are allowed in most of the areas (as long as on a lead) it meant that the whole family could go along – 4 legged and 2! So off we went.
We met the Mumbler grandparents there who were looking after my 2 mini mumbler nieces so with a 3, 5, 7 & 9 year old plus 30 somethings and grandparents… we had all ages covered and were ready to thoroughly put it all to the test!
We became members of the National Trust again this Spring as we’re lucky enough to have 3 properties in York (Beningbrough, Goddards and Treasurer’s House) and many more not too far away – plus when we’re visiting friends and family in different areas of the UK there is always a National Trust place nearby so it ends up being great value.
We’ve already been to Beningbrough Hall a few times this year, my girls loved the Owl Adventures that were on at Easter and remember the storytelling very well, but it was lovely to return in the full sunshine (which came out the minute we hit the A64 on the way back from camping by the way!) and ready to test out the new features.
We got the handy information booklet about where you could take the dogs. Basically they’re welcome almost everywhere as long as they are on short leads.
The exceptions are inside the Hall itself, the Victorian Laundry, the Restaurant and also the Walled Garden and Children’s play area.
There are plenty of walks around the grounds that they can come with you though and of course the huge parkland surrounding the Hall is a brilliant dog walk.
We always like to walk along the banks of the river if we have time to make a full day of it. Beningbrough have also provided dog waste bins and water bowls so your 4 legged friends are well catered for!
When we got there, we were keen to check out the play area first so we headed straight down past the Hall (with a quick stop at the Potting shed – always a favourite to play the game of ‘can you find these 10 things’) and I have to say I was hugely impressed! The whole area is within the woodlands so there is LOADS of shade. The new play equipment was an instant hit with the 5 & 7 year old (they all loved it) and they couldn’t wait to get climbing up the rope bridge and down the big tunnel slide. There is also a fab den building area that kept them all occupied for ages Meanwhile we were able to enjoy a peaceful cuppa in the nearby cafe while the 9 year old was given strict instructions to be ‘in charge’ and look after her tiniest mumbler cousin… a job that she loves! And she took the hit of pushing her on the swings for, what feels like, 10 hours, but is more likely about 5 minutes. They loved the wobbly walkway and the pirate ship plus of course they all spent ages on the swings, they have a couple of those big rope / disk swings that are always a hit too. You can see a fab video of the new area here…
After a very restful start for us, and a great fun play for the kids, we explored the walled gardens. A really nice touch, that I haven’t noticed before, was that they had some watering cans out and we were encouraged to help water the vegetables. The mini mumblers got stuck straight in and the Beningbrough Volunteers kindly directed the children to the most ‘parched’ plants!
As always, the Blooms, Flora and Forna on display were really superb. We set the mini mumblers on a game to find out if there were more butterflies or more bees there (it turns out the answer is bees.. over 100 were counted but only around 50 butterflies… most importantly it took the mini mumblers a good 15 minutes to do this important wildlife check!)
We stopped for a gorgeous lunch at the walled restaurant – again a great selection of food for kids and adults. Lovely homemade options and we found there were some really reasonably priced choices… less than £5 for a kids lunch box and only £4.75 for a really substantial and delicious sun blushed tomato sausage roll for me which was plenty to fill me up. The kids loved playing in the enclosed grassed area while we were finishing off our lunch too – plenty of cartwheel and hand stand practice went on!
Last stop for us was the Hall itself. As always it was great to see the beautiful building and nice to see the different things the mini mumblers pick up on each time. Of course the bathroom and toilet is always a hit! It was lovely to see a gorgeous bridal dress on display in one of the bedrooms. The kids loved having a little dance in the hall with the cushioned floor and the big hit was on the top floor as always – they could dress up and post for their portrait as well as get a digital portrait displayed on the wall… this provided a good 20-30 minutes of amusement for them all.
We really did enjoy the day at Beningbrough. The thing we all agreed on was how relaxing it actually is for the parents and grandparents and also how much ‘old fashioned’ fun the kids can have. There was no shortage of tree climbing, rolling down hills and tonnes of imagination used in our 7 hours there.
Nestled between York and Harrogate in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside is Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens and you’ll find something new and exciting in the wilderness play area. A fantastic 7 metre pyramid tower now peaks out between the trees. The new play equipment has a climbing wall, two slides and a rope bridge which will entertain toddlers and teenagers alike. Head over with all the family this summer and whilst you’re here make sure you stop by the new Brew House which serves lots of refreshing treats. We’re open every day in August, 10.30am – 5pm with special led activities scheduled on selected days.