Brodsworth Hall is a ‘conserved as found’ country house near Doncaster in Yorkshire, England.
Built in the 1860s, it was in private ownership until 1990 when it was taken on by English Heritage.
The hall has been ‘gently conserved’ so that you get a sense of how the house has changed over the decades. Friendly guides were on hand to explain a bit more about the family’s history and the use of the rooms.
One of the highlights is the Victorian kitchen with its cast iron range and shelves filled with copper pots and jelly moulds. The hall was taken over by the army in the 1940s and you can see the old black-out blinds covering the sky lights.
The gardens were fantastic and a real pleasure to walk around. There is also a friendly tea-shop selling gluten-free cake and other tasty treats!
Admission is £13 for adults (including gift aid) and £7.90 for children.
For more information visit https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/brodsworth-hall-and-gardens/
Polar bears in Yorkshire?
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a 25-minute drive away from Brodsworth Hall so it’s easy to combine a visit.
The park has been open now for 10 years and is home to not just polar bears, but tigers, lions, painted dogs, zebras, meerkats, baboons and brown bears.
The enclosures are extremely spacious and the animals look very well cared for. The lemurs are friendly and roam free so you can interact with them but you’ll be glad of the barrier between you and the quite frankly terrifying polar bears.
The highlight of the visit is the Project Polar reserve which stretches for 10 acres and is home to four polar bears. The reserve is designed to reflect the habitat of the summer Arctic tundra and features several lakes for the bears to cool off.
Lemur Woods is a lot of fun as ring-tailed lemurs scamper around you and another highlight is the Into Africa section which includes giraffes, okapi and rhinos.
We saw from a distance the Ussuri brown bears which have been rescued recently from Japan.
There are plenty of eating and drinking options at the park (including some gluten-free options) although we just stopped for a coffee and took a picnic.
Admission is £19 for adults, £16 for children (aged 3-15) but discounts are available if you buy in advance. Find out more https://www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com/