Located between Leeds and Harrogate, with easy access via the 36 bus or by car, Harewood House is one of the most impressive family day out options in West Yorkshire. It’s fair to say that when we were offered the chance to spend a day exploring the gorgeous house and grounds, we were pretty excited!
To be honest, we had always assumed that Harewood might be a bit stuffy and perhaps not overly child-friendly (visiting stately homes with a toddler is not normally a winning combination!) but this assumption could not be further from the truth.
Of course, the house is indeed stunning, with state rooms and works of art from the likes of Gainsborough. Despite this, families (especially with toddlers) can be forgiven for visiting Harewood without ever heading into the house! With this in mind, the real attractions are in the surrounding grounds.
The bird garden, farm experience, and grounds (including the excellent play area) are what really excited our little girl. The farm experience offered her the chance to get up close to a range of farm animals including pigs, goats and donkeys, allowing her to meet these animals in a safe environment.
Our little girl is going through what can only be described as a phase of fascination when it comes to birds at the moment, so the bird house was always going to be the highlight for her! There was a wide range of unusual and colourful birds, including a wonderful penguin attraction that kept our little girl amused for quite some time. The bird house was easy to navigate using either a pram or a baby carrier, and is great for little ones to explore on their own two feet (although little ones taking their first steps may find some of the slopes a little challenging).
The grounds themselves are gorgeous. You can explore the lake by boat for a small fee or simply have a leisurely walk around it. Our particular favourite was the Himalayan Garden; our little girl loved the Buddhist prayer flags and some of the more exotic (compared to some of the Yorkshire fauna anyway) plants and trees on display.
With a great little courtyard to enjoy some lunch in (though bring your Totseat if you can as high chairs were slightly limited in supply), loads of kid-friendly activities such as the penguin feed, badge making, and a fantastic play area that includes swings, slides and a range of climbing apparatus, you can easily spend a whole day exploring Harewood and the grounds.
Where it is: Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds, LS17 9LQ
Contact number: 0113 218 1010
Costs: Full prices are here but for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 kids) to explore the grounds (including the bird garden etc) it will cost £38.50 including gift aid.
Categories: Family Days Out