Surrounded by parkland, riverside and full of woodland walks on all sides, the beautiful Beningbrough Hall has been a place of wonder for at least 300 years, and is now run by the National Trust. Just to the north west of York on the banks of the River Ouse, and near to the hamlet of Beningbrough, the hall was built in 1716 by John Bourchier, a wealthy landowner and High Sheriff of Yorkshire from 1719 to 1721.
In the garden, award-winning designer Andy Sturgeon’s ‘ha-ha walk’ and pergola provide a perfect contrast to the more traditionally planted herbaceous borders, sweeping lawns and walled gardens. The sumptuous gardens of Beningbrough Hall provide year-round colour and interest. A seasonal menu is also served at the hall’s walled garden restaurant, which serves up produce harvested from the hall’s vegetable gardens.
The estate, now owned by the National Trust after it was bought in 1958 following the death of the Countess of Chesterfield. Nestled in the Vale of York, within easy reach of Harrogate and Leeds, Beningbrough offers sprawling lawns, woodland paths, a whole gallery’s worth of paintings, wild play area and a community orchard.
Beningbrough’s garden has seen something of a revitalization due to RHS Gold Award winner Sturgeon taking an active role in bringing Beningbrough back to its prime. The interlocking gardens provide their own distinct seasonal interest. The gardens properly come alive in early spring when over 300,000 bulbs start to raise their heads, including snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils. Tree blossom then continues the magnificent display as the year progresses, when the herbaceous borders take centre stage, and a whole wave of colour sweeps the grounds of Beningbrough.
Ideal for the whole family, Beningbrough’s sizeable grounds mean children can let off steam in the wilderness play area and den zone. The woodland walks of differing lengths provide a good place to run around too, while exploring the wonder of nature, and kicking the crinkly leaves when it comes to autumn!
If you’re looking for a longer walk, step out around the estate through parkland and beside the river with stunning views back to the hall. The effort is particularly worthwhile in late spring when bluebells carpet the woodland floor.