Leeds has a plentiful selection of grand outings for all ages to enjoy. Within a few minutes of the city centre are the likes of Harewood House, Roundhay Park, Meanwood Valley Farm and City Museum, to name but four. One particular visit combines the attractions of all of the above, with a country estate, parkland, animal farm and art exhibits, all present at their 1500 acre land.
Temple Newsam is found on the south east of the city, only four miles from central Leeds. Famous for its impressive Tudor-Jacobean house and sprawling grounds, it is a rarity that offers as much as expected and so much more. Now officially a council ward and an experience overseen by Leeds Museums and Galleries, each diverse reason to visit Temple Newsam excels.
The building itself is up to five hundred years old, and a tour of it explores over forty rooms, through family history, royal intrigue, lavish decoration and unique stories. There are ancient artefacts and beautiful objects to see, distant memories and active tales to discover. A wander around this stately home can be enjoyed all week all year, with boring facts for the adults, and fun activities for the kids.
Halloween season just gone displayed the hidden haunts of the creepy cellars, but now that fears have past, more pleasant meanders continue around this stunning house. ‘Through the ages for all ages’ does as it says, delving into Temple Newsam’s history for youngsters and oldsters alike. The ‘house discovery tour’ uncovers further secrets by knowledgeable and entertaining guides. And ‘objects of desire’ focuses on the incredible collection of valuable and beautiful goodies preserved inside the house over time.
The space hosts exhibitions and events throughout, with family friendly ‘Fantastical Beasts’ and thought provoking ‘Blot on the Landscape’ particularly eclectic and impressive this year. Outside too, the gardens and farmland invite visitors in to see, learn and enjoy.
Home Farm is one of the largest rare breed centres in Europe, ensuring old UK native breeds of animals continue to thrive. It’s always open to visit the piglets, geese, guinea pigs and plenty more, plus special days will give insights and demonstrations of life on the farm.
There is ample space beyond the house and animals to get lost in too, with nature trails, parks, lakes and lands to indulge into. The three ponds provide different outlooks each, from wild growth to exquisite beauty; the rhododendron walk offers serene surroundings, and the walled garden provides perfect peace to end at.
As much as Temple Newsam’s natural assets entice, it’s always nice to be able to return to the commercialism we all know and love. Thankfully, there’s plenty of opportunity for that here; you can take home what you’ve loved from Mrs Pawson’s Shop, including vegetables recently reintroduced to the gardens, plus there’s a tea room to sample the home grown and expertly selected food and drink delights.
Besides external events that call on this exceptional site, such as festivals Let’s Rock, Cocoon in the Park and Slam Dunk, plus runs including the TNT and Daffodil Dash, the estate has yet to announce its 2020 happenings. Whatever they are, they’re sure to be grand, and it’ll undoubtedly be worth a visit.