Autumn adventures at East Riddlesden Hall

The grounds covered in a carpet of autumnal red leaves

Seize the last of summer and take in the sights of nature and shift in light before the gardens enter into a sleepy winter hibernation.

In the garden

As summer fades into autumn you’ll begin to notice the change in season as shades of bronze and gold slowly start to appear and bursts of purple add a rich contrast. The spindle tree (Euonymus planipes) in the formal garden will turn bright red and have an abundance of scarlet fruits opening up to expose orange seed heads. The cut leaf beech tree (Fagus sylvatica laciniata), next to the gravel driveway, is a favourite with the staff and volunteers and is at its best in October when it turns into a fiery red delight. 

A family day out

The wild play area is a family favourite at this time of year, and the combination of children enjoying natural play surrounded by a multitude of autumn colours is wonderful sight. Here children can have a go at nature weaving, building the best den and a making a mud pie.

Children can follow a revolting trail inside the house and a colourful stick trail in the garden, let off steam in the playground and run through a willow tunnel amongst many other things.

Get mucky and make a mud creation
Make a mud pie
Get mucky and make a mud creation

As the leaves start to fall from mid-October children are invited to choose their favourite ones to peg onto a washing line to create a string of natural bunting in the garden. There are lots of natural materials to collect which are perfect for creating wild art masterpieces throughout the gardens.

During October half-term children can also follow the coloured pumpkin trail to solve the spooky riddle and make paper bats to take away and hang in their windows.

With its blackened walls and tales of tragedy, East Riddlesden Hall is the perfect place to spend a spooky Hallowe’en and listen to scary stories in a dimly lit barn. Stories will be told at 1.30pm between 21 October and 1 November (Saturdays to Wednesdays).

For those brave enough, a special children’s Hallowe’en party will be held on Sunday 29 and Tuesday 31 October. There'll be music, dancing, party games, face painting, crafts and lots of fun. Booking is essential for this event.

A home full of history

Inside the historic house, we’ll be getting up close and personal to some of our favourite items in the collection every Wednesday and Sunday, and if you’d like to take an exclusive walk around the house before we’re open to visitors, then the behind the scenes tour is for you. Booking is essential for this special tour.

During November we'll be preparing for the big winter clean. Access to the house will be by guided tour only. This 45 minute tour will give you a curious look at how we prepare the house and collection for winter. This year we're focusing on ceilings, and after four years of savings we're now able to clean their 400 year-old intricate plasterwork -  a task that's been made possible with the support of our visitors.

Shop and Tea-room

New stock has arrived in the shop and we’re pleased to offer a wonderful selection of Christmas cards on sale as well as the new seasonal range of homeware – Winter Twilight. This range, which includes reed diffusers and candles, is inspired by winter mist and has a fresh winter fragrance reminiscent of fresh evergreen blue spruce and frosted pine with hints of Eucalyptus and Patchouli.

This autumn you can enjoy seasonal recipes in the cosy tea-room and be surrounded by history as you sit under 400 year old beams. Our favourite soup is made with parsnips, apples from the garden and sage from the herb border, and is a sellout everytime.  The brie, cranberry and apple toastie is a favourite amongst staff.

It's hard to resist a warming bowl of soup this time of year.
A lovely bowl of warming soup
It's hard to resist a warming bowl of soup this time of year.