Destinations England

Visitors Guide To Nostell Priory

Have you ever found a place that you enjoy visiting that is so close to home you are shocked you hadn’t discovered it sooner?

This is us, we knew of Nostell Priory but we weren’t sure what there was there for us. We decided to take a drive to discover what there was to do and what the big fuss was about.

Nostell Priory Opening Times

The House

The house is open from the 2nd of March until the 3rd of November, only from Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 4pm. This includes bank holidays.

In December the house is open from the 7th until the 22nd Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 3pm.

The Gardens, Cafe & Shop

The gardens, cafe and shop are Open Daily ( except Christmas day). The times for these alter depending on the time of year.

From the 2nd March until the 3rd November you can visit between the times of 10am and 5pm. From the 4th November until the 31st December you can visit between the times of 10am and 4pm.

Nostell Priory Prices

Parking

Parking isn’t free at Nostell Priory unless you are a National Trust Member. Parking is £7 for the day or £1 after 5 pm from the 2nd of March until the 3rd of November.

Parking goes down to £4 for the day between January 1st and March 1st, 4th of November and 31st of December.

Unfortunately, we had no cash on us as it is a large sum to pay in cash. The machine also only accepts coins and doesn’t give change, so make sure you have the correct amount when you arrive.

If you do get there and need to pay by card there is a small hut as you start to walk towards the house and gardens. There we saw a lovely woman handing out maps to anyone needing them and answering general questions.

There was a card machine so we were able to pay for parking there, she did say new machines are due at the car parking but didn’t specify when.

If you are a National Trust Member you select the parking tariff and simply scan the QR code on your membership card.

House & Gardens Peak Ticket

Peak ticket means peak times of visitors at Nostell Priory. The peak ticket applies to the days between the 2nd March to the 3rd November on the days Wednesday to Sunday including bank holidays. And from the 7th December to the 22nd December on the days of Saturday and Sunday.

House & Gardens Off Peak Ticket

The off-peak ticket is mostly kept for the winter months when there aren’t many events and the weather isn’t good. The off-peak ticket applies to every day from 1st January until the 1st March, 4th November to the 6th December and 23rd – 31st December including Mondays.

This excludes bank holidays. It also applies to Tuesdays in the tie between 2nd March to the 3rd November.

Nostell Priory Cafe

We decided as it was such a beautiful day we would stop by the cafe for some lunch. We were led to believe the ‘bite to eat’ was located on the left-hand side of the courtyard due to a sign but the cafe was actually on the right-hand side. The smaller cafe was closed, we are unsure as to why.

The cafe has plenty of seating inside and outside in the courtyard. The cafe has a counter where you go and pick what you would like to eat and drink and take it away.

If you choose one of the hot meals you will be given a number on a spoon. We choose to have a jacket potato and a soft drink each which came to £15.90.

All drinks that are in the fridge are in glass bottles, I believe this is to make recycling easier and less use of plastic. This also means that the prices of the drinks are higher. You can also order an array of hot drinks made fresh.

The fridge also provides snacks and sandwiches. The hot food is displayed on a board above with prices. There is also a range of delicious cakes and buns to choose from.

The cafe is clean up after yourself place so there is a place to leave your tray afterwards. Unfortunately, during our visit, I couldn’t find a tray to leave our dirty plates on but one of the lovely staff took them from me.

The staff were quick and polite, there were a couple of issues with orders as there was a fault at the time with the tills.

In spite of this, they worked fast and quick to amend any mistakes. The food was lovely and filling, the jacket potato came with 1 topping, butter, coleslaw and salad.

Nostell Priory Events

Nostell Priory hosts many events over the year and can be a popular spot for families during Easter and Christmas.

Each season has a seasonal highlight, this can range from bluebells in the gardens in spring to fungi growing in the gardens in Autumn.

Here is a breakdown of the years upcoming events and what is most likely to be on again in the following years.

On Going Events

I chose to break down the ongoing events that are happening daily, weekly and monthly so they aren’t being repeated in the calendar below. I also wanted to make this as clear as possible so you can see exactly what is on and when.

Every School Holiday there are activities for children and families such as Go Wild Outdoors running Monday – Wednesday 11am-3pm. This includes messy play, get active and help look after the gardens.

They also host Dovetail, Biscuit and Splat on Thursday and Friday from 12pm-3pm. Here you can craft a masterpiece in the treasure house inspired by Thomas Chippendale’s designs.

Park Run

The park run is a free event where everyone meets at the stable entrance. It is on weekly on a Saturday morning 9am-10am and it is a 5km run.

Parkland Walk

This is a free walk around the parkland so there is so admission charges. These are on selected dates throughout the year shown below.

Wakefield District Cycle Forum: Easy Cycle Rider

Join the riders from the Wakefield cycle forum for a ride around the beautiful parklands. The ride takes you on traffic free routes and quiet roads for a 10 mile ride.

Chippendale: The Man and The Brand

This is an ongoing exhibition about Thomas Chippendale and how he transformed the furniture and home decor business.

There are recreations and original works on display. You can also take part in the design of your own chair for adults and children.

Obelisk Marbling

This is another part of the Chippendale exhibition in conjunction with the Hepworth Wakefield. It has an artist exploring the uses of marbled sheets used as drawer liners, decorative paper and more. You can experience the action come to life.

One Off/ Seasonal Events

These are events that may not be recurring in the following months or even in the next year. These are Nostell Priory events that are special for that time of year or it may be an exhibition for a limited time.

May

They have an event on called ‘Carving and Campfires: family green woodworking’ this is on the Friday 31st May and prices are £15 per Child/ £5 per Adult.

June – August

Bioblitz is on the 9th June, this is a family adventure where you can pick up a sheet and record sightings of animals, bugs and creatures within the gardens. The event is free but normal charges to enter the house and gardens apply. This also means that any recordings you make help go towards the conservation of the wildlife and habitats.

Summer Nights Film Festival is on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th July. This is an outdoor performance of 2 films that have been massive hits within the last 2 years. They are showing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on Friday night and ‘The Greatest Showman’ on Saturday night. Be aware that this is an outdoor performance so blankets, chairs and warm clothing is advised. You can book tickets online here. Tickets are £10.50 – £15.50 per person.

Mark’s Gardening Morning is on Thursday 18th July. The price is £25 but currently, there are no further details available.

September

Carving And Campfires: Family Green Woodworking is on Sunday 15th. Prices for adults are £5 and children are £15. You work with a professional to learn to make a campfire in the forest and really get stuck into nature.

Heritage Open Day is on the Friday 20th and Saturday 21st.

Apple Week is from Monday 23rd until Sunday 29th. There is a range of things to do during this week. From apple ID to pressing apples and crafts for children to enjoy.

October

Family Leaf Clearing Day is on Saturday 19th. This is a day where you can come along and help out the gardeners on site. This is a great way for children to learn about the different trees and Autumn as a season. General admission to the house and gardens apply.

Pumpkin Weeks is from Monday 21st until Sunday 27th.

Pumpkin Carving Workshops for adults on Sunday 27th at £45 per person. Family workshops are on Monday 28th at £10 per person.

Halloween Stories And Crafts is on Thursday 31st. Perfect for families wanting to experience fun and spooky activities together. This is a paid event and more information will be on the website.

November – December

Artist Led Workshops are in the months of November and December with more information on the website.

Visit The House And Gardens Decorated For Christmas is open from Saturday 7th to Sunday 22nd December. The house and gardens will display an impressive Christmas treat of decor and delight. Selected dates, general admission to the house and gardens apply.

Exploring The House & Gardens

There is much more to see than a couple of trees and a lovely view at Nostell Priory. While we don’t often steep yourself in history unless we are in another country we enjoyed looking around the house.

There was an exhibition of the famous furniture maker Chippendale. This is an exhibition that will move along but will be replaced.

We were surprised to see how much interaction there was available for the younger audience, with design your own chair station, dressing up area and more.

Unfortunately, at the time of our visit, there were no more headsets available so we decided to walk around the house and discover it for ourselves. There were more than enough volunteers that were eager to talk about the house and the history of the family which was great for filling in any gaps we missed.

We explored the house and was amazed at the beauty of the property. The rooms were well kept and displayed with everything from grand furniture to small items such as clocks or dishes.

We were really amazed at one of the main rooms which still had the original wallpaper on. There is a lift for disabled access in the house if you require it.

The gardens were just as beautiful with flowers starting to sprout in spring. There are the gated gardens which are great for wandering around and pinching ideas for your own garden.

My favourite part was being able to explore the wooded area as it was filled with wild garlic, bluebells and amazing trees.

There were several pieces of wooden built playground activities for children and teens to enjoy from a zip-wire to tire swings and more.

The best part was that it was quiet, peaceful and well kept. There were plenty of benches dotted around the gardens for you to have a sit-down and take in the view.

Top Tips For Visiting Nostell Priory

No matter what you are heading to do at Nostell Priory there are some things you might want to know before going. These are little things we would of liked to know before we went, especially if you are a first time visitor.

Make Sure You Have Change For Parking

As I have already said the car park machines only accept coins and membership cards. If like us you aren’t a National Trust member you will need to make sure you have £7 in change. It may seem a hefty amount but it does go towards the upkeep of the estate.

Take Drinks And Snacks

This is purposefully for people who want to keep the budget to a minimum. Parking costs enough never mind a meal for a family of four. Unfortunately, the prices of drinks especially are high due to being served in glass bottles.

If you wish to keep the cost of your visit down look at taking a picnic. These are allowed in the main area but not within the house and gardens. The estate does ask that you take all your rubbish home with you. So think about taking a spare bag for your rubbish too.

Wear Sensible Shoes

This may seem a little silly and obvious but I wanted to add it in. I wore a lovely yellow dress for a sunny day with my converse.

I can walk miles in those shoes which is great because we got carried away walking around the estate I would have been dead in flip flops.

It does depend on what you are heading to Nostell Priory to do but you will get carried away by the beauty of the estate and mysterious surroundings of the woods.

You may end up walking much further than you realise. Think about trainers, walking boots, sensible sandals and supportive footwear.

Be Prepared To Spend The Day There Or Go Back!

Whether you are going to relax in the Parklands and have a picnic or you are heading to check out the house and gardens be prepared to spend a fair few hours there.

We headed there just before lunch and left around closing time. This was due to a prior engagement but could have easily spent the day exploring. We didn’t get to the other lake or do any of the walks we wanted to do.

Be prepared to go for the day or go back if you are wanting to experience everything and at a leisurely pace.

That is everything on my visitors guide to Nostell Priory. If you have a National Trust membership and have visited I would love to know what you enjoyed. Also if you have any other information on events, prices or interesting facts leave a comments below.

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