As you can probably tell from the photographs, we visited Normanby Hall when the weather was beautiful – but we’ve also been in Winter and had just as nice a time.
Managed by North Lincolnshire Council, Normanby Hall Country Park is a beautiful 300-acre estate, open to the public. I’d described it as a good old-fashioned family day out where the Ipads are swapped for the great outdoors.
The hall and the farming museum are only open between April and September, but the award-winning gardens are open every day of the year.
We made a day of it when we visited with five other families on what was a really good “proper-family” day out.
Armed with our picnic, we arrived mid-morning and spent the first part of the day in the large park right near the car park, before claiming a spot in the grounds to sit and enjoy lunch and play games.
Between us, we had 12 children – but keeping them entertained wasn’t a problem. Once the adults were exhausted from a game of football it was time to climb trees, before feeding the ducks at the lake, then going on the woodland walk.
A new path has made it more accessible for people using wheelchairs or prams, so it wasn’t long before we had walked through the woods and found ourselves at the storytelling area. (I even managed a double-buggy through it single handed!)
Next, it was time for an ice cream from the Stableyard Café, which is open daily from 10.30am to 5pm from April to September, with earlier closing times in the winter.
The café has been awarded a healthy options gold award and sources some products from the gardens at Normanby.
TIP: Prices for an annual pass start at £15.50 and £25.50 for a family pass so if you’re going to go more than once it makes sense to invest in one.
No trip to Normanby is complete without a ride on the land train.It runs during school holidays and at weekends throughout the summer season.
The ride lasts about 15 minutes and takes you through the grounds and woods. and give you a chance to spot the deer. At £1 per person with children under the age of five riding for free it’s a bargain.
There is also a Victorian walled garden. Restored in 1997 to its late Victorian splendour, the garden is described as ‘a nostalgic journey to the heyday of kitchen gardening.’ Victorian vegetable, flower and trainer fruit varieties are grown using traditional organic techniques.
There is also a deer park, which has been home to herds of red deer and fallow deer for about 250 years. You can walk through the public area of the deer park from January to the end of September.
If you are a fishing enthusiast, Normanby is the place to be, with a well-stocked lake that is open from January to the end of September. The lake is open from 9am until the park closes. With level banks and a platform, the lake is especially suited to teaching children to fish.
Of course, you can also go inside the grand hall, which was built in 1825.
Other indoor areas include the farming museum, where rural North Lincolnshire comes to life in recreations of a farm worker’s kitchen and backyard, and a saddler’s and blacksmith’s workshop.
Throughout the year, there are several seasonal events, including discovery workshops, talks and tours, teddy bear trails, special events at Easter and Halloween. There’s also plenty going on in the run-up to Christmas, including Christmas dining and festive afternoon tea.
And, if you are as lucky as we were, you might even get to see a wedding.
- Reviewed Summer 2014
NEED TO KNOW….
LOCATION: Normanby, North Lincolnshire, DN15 9HU.
OPEN: The hall and the farming museum are open daily between 21st March to 30th September and the gardens are open every day of the year.
PRICES: From 21 March – 30 September: Adult: £6.50, Child: £3.30. Children under the age of five are free. This includes car parking and entry to the park, the hall, the walled garden, farming museum and the Costume Gallery.
In winter there’s just the £3 car parking fee to pay.
CALL: 01724 720588.