East Riddlesden Hall National Trust Review

Nestled in the heart of West Yorkshire, East Riddlesden Hall, a National Trust property, offers a delightful escape for families seeking a day filled with history, outdoor adventures, and natural beauty. Managed by the National Trust, this picturesque estate offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s a hidden oasis on the edge of Keighley, promising a blend of rich history, stunning natural beauty, and a range of family-friendly activities that make it a memorable day out for young families.

As we arrived in March, we took a leisurely stroll around the grounds surrounding the hall. Despite the early spring weather, the proximity of the hall to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal provided a picturesque setting. The kids loved taking in the scenic views, and we were struck by the tranquillity of the area.

Where is it located?

East Riddlesden Hall is conveniently situated on the south side of Bradford Road in Riddlesden. Its proximity to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the A629 relief road makes it easily accessible from nearby towns and cities, including Bradford, Leeds, Harrogate, Ilkley, Burnley, and Clitheroe. 

If you’re arriving by train, the Keighley train station is just 1½ miles away, though it may be a short walk to the estate. Bus transportation is also available, with a stop conveniently located right outside the property. For cycling enthusiasts, there are bike racks available for those who prefer a two-wheeled adventure

History Of East Riddlesden Hall

Before we dive into our family adventure at East Riddlesden Hall, let’s take a moment to appreciate its rich history. This 17th-century manor house was once owned by James Murgatroyd, a wealthy Yorkshire industrialist. As we approached the house, we were immediately struck by its Tudor and Jacobean architectural style, with a touch of Gothic elements. The rose window in the Yellow Porch Chamber is a stunning feature you won’t want to miss. Inside, the house boasts wood panelling, lending an old-world charm to the rooms. We were particularly enamoured with the master bedroom, complete with intricately carved bedposts and headboard.

What is There to Do For Families?

East Riddlesden Hall is a haven for families, offering a variety of activities and attractions that will keep everyone entertained. Here are some highlights of what we enjoyed during our visit:

Exploring the Hall:

Upon entering the hall, our family was immediately captivated by its charm and rich history. The volunteer guides provided us with knowledgeable information, making the experience even more immersive. The wood-panelled rooms and elaborately carved furniture offered a glimpse into the past. 

From the grandeur of the great hall to the cosy charm of the master bedroom, each room had its own unique character. While we spent most of our time outdoors, there’s plenty to explore inside the house as well.

Visit the 17th Century Barn:

One of the highlights of our visit was exploring the 17th-century Great Barn, a remarkably well-preserved structure that transported us back in time. Inside the barn, we marvelled at the original timber beams that stretched along the cathedral-like roof. We even found a collection of period wagons and ploughs within the cattle stalls, immersing us in the agricultural history of the estate. The barn’s low-level mood lighting added to the overall atmosphere, making us feel as if we were witnessing history unfold before our eyes.

Children’s Discovery Area:

East Riddlesden Hall has a fantastic children’s discovery area that captivated our kids. From a story-telling chair to a hobbit house, there was no shortage of imaginative play. The duckpond added to the charm, and our little ones thoroughly enjoyed feeding the ducks.

While Barney and Matilda enjoyed climbing on the wooden equipment, we had the opportunity to relax at the nearby picnic tables and take in the stunning views across the valley. This play area provided an ideal place for children to expend their energy and engage in imaginative play.

Picnic on the Banks of the River Aire:

After all the excitement, we decided to enjoy a leisurely picnic by the tranquil banks of the River Aire. The picnic tables provided a perfect spot to unwind and savour our homemade treats while soaking in the picturesque surroundings. It was a moment of pure serenity as we watched the ducks gliding on the water and embracing the beauty of nature.

Facilities At East Riddlesden Hall:

East Riddlesden Hall provides a range of facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit:

Car Park: A dedicated car park is available, and parking is free, located just 100 yards from the site.

Shop: The on-site shop offers a range of gifts and souvenirs, allowing you to take a piece of your visit home with you.

Licensed for Civil Weddings: If you’re planning a special event, East Riddlesden Hall is licensed for civil weddings, making it a unique and historical backdrop for your big day.

Tea Room: After all the exploring, we appreciated the tea room where we could recharge with a cup of tea and some light refreshments.

Plant Shop: The plant shop is a haven for gardening enthusiasts, with a variety of plants and gardening supplies.

Toilet: Clean and well-maintained toilet facilities are available on-site, including an accessible toilet in the main toilet block.

Areas for Improvement

While our experience at East Riddlesden Hall was overwhelmingly positive, there were a few minor areas where we thought improvements could be made:

Cafeteria Prices: Like many National Trust properties, the cafeteria can be a bit pricey. We found ourselves paying £1.45 for a small bag of crisps and £16 for two sandwiches and two drinks. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning to dine on-site.

Limited Gluten-Free Options: If you have dietary restrictions, the park’s gluten-free food options might be limited. However, a baked potato from the tea room is a safe choice.

Would you recommend it?

Without a doubt, we wholeheartedly recommend East Riddlesden Hall as a family-friendly destination. It’s a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Keighley, offering a unique blend of history and outdoor enjoyment. The captivating hall, the well-preserved 17th Century Barn, the enchanting Children’s Discovery Area, and the tranquil riverside picnic spot provide a diverse range of experiences that cater to visitors of all ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about East Riddlesden Hall:

Is there a cafe?:

Yes, East Riddlesden Hall has a cafe where visitors can enjoy a selection of food and drinks. However, keep in mind that the prices may be higher than average.

What is your favourite part?:

As a family, we found it challenging to pick just one favourite aspect of East Riddlesden Hall because there’s so much to love. However, if pressed, we’d have to say that exploring the historic house, with its intriguing rooms and fascinating history, was a highlight for us. The immersive experience of stepping back in time and discovering the house’s treasures was truly captivating.

Are dogs allowed at East Riddlesden Hall?

Yes, well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome at East Riddlesden Hall, making it a pet-friendly destination for families who want to enjoy the day with their furry companions. Just be sure to clean up after your pets and respect the natural surroundings.

Can we bring our own bikes?

While bicycles are allowed on the nearby Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath, they are not permitted within the hall or formal garden areas.

Is there parking available?

East Riddlesden Hall provides ample free parking, making it convenient for visitors arriving by car. There are multiple parking areas on-site, including designated blue badge parking spots for those with mobility challenges. Overflow parking is also available in the bottom field, offering scenic views of the River Aire.

Are there any entrance fees for visiting the park?

East Riddlesden Hall does have admission fees. National Trust members and children under five enjoy free entry. Family tickets are available at reasonable rates, making it an affordable day out. However, it’s a good idea to check the official website or contact the National Trust for the latest information about admission fees, if any, as policies may change over time.

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Riddlesden_Hall

Pros & Cons


  • Beautiful heritage
  • Wonderful gardens and surroundings


  • Smaller than some National Trust sites.
  • Expensive cafe

National Trust enjoyment rating

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Ryan

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