Lotherton Hall

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Lotherton Hall
Terry Madeley

This sprawling Edwardian estate is home to an extensive collection of rare bird species, while deer and llamas can be spotted on a nature trail walk through the

Thanks to television shows like ‘Downton Abbey’, stately homes have become cool all of a sudden, with would-be Lady Marys flocking to grand estates up and down the country. Lotherton Hall in Aberford to the north of the city is more fairytale than period drama though, with sculpted gardens and sumptuous woodlands teeming with wildflowers and red deer enveloping a breath-taking Edwardian country home. Formerly belonging to the Neville family before the de Hothams and the Gascoignes moved in, the now council-owned Lotherton presents a well-rounded and inexpensive day out for all ages. Adult entry is £5 and children £2.50, with annual admission, membership and group booking deals making visiting even better value still.

The sprawling estate is now home to an extensive collection of rare and endangered bird species, while deer and llamas can be spotted on a nature trail walk through the woods. Special events are held all year round, such as spooky Halloween tours, exhibitions commemorating First World War heritage, and fashion-related activities in the Costume Gallery.

Such country piles can often seem staid and dry to youngsters, but a play park, accessible exhibits – such as the sound and smell interpretation room – and understanding and friendly staff make Lotherton an exciting and educational day out for even the smallest and noisiest of visitors. It’s notable that the café could serve a better variety of food, but visitors are allowed to bring their own picnics to eat in the grounds – idyllic on a warm summer’s day.

The house also makes a beautiful and expansive events venue, whether a romantic setting for a wedding, or playing host to thousands of student revellers having a final blow-out to major pop acts at Leeds University’s annual summer ball.

By: Lauren James


Venue name: Lotherton Hall
Address: Off Collier Lane
LS25 3EB
Opening hours: Oct-Mar: daily 7.30am-6pm; Apr-Sep: daily 7.30am-8pm. Hours vary for facilities within estate.
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