March at East Riddlesden Hall

Avenue of apple and pear trees without leaves on

With the days getting a little warmer and birdsong in the air, we can be sure that spring is on its way. Spring is the season of new beginnings, and new signs of life can be spotted throughout the gardens as splashes of colour start to appear.

Keep young ones entertained

Every weekend until 25 March you can make a willow bird feeder to take home and hang in your garden, and for those in search of adventure, a new seasonal trail will have you searching for interesting objects in the house. Trail sheets can be collected from the shop or downloaded here.

Outside you can become an explorer – make a mud pie, build a den, go bird watching or hunt for bugs, there are over 20 ‘50 Things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ things to have a go at here and volunteer led sessions will run later in the year. Activity books are available to buy in the shop when you visit or you can download the full activity list here.

On Sunday 11 March you can join the head gardener Jill between 11am – 1pm to plant some snowdrop bulbs and young primroses. Flowers are the perfect way to say 'I love you', and planting flowers together is a great way of celebrating Mother's Day this March. You can come back later in the year to see how they’ve grown and flourished. This drop-in activity is suitable for the whole family and is a great introduction to gardening for children. Expect dirty hands and happy faces.

Take a stroll

It’s the perfect time of year to wrap up warm and take a walk through the gardens, and there are lots of opportunities to take photos of trees and plants slowly coming back to life. The snowdrops are still carpeting the ground and the narcissi bulbs are beginning to awaken. The wild garden is the best place to be at this time of year. In March, this garden is awash with pale yellows and whites. Primroses, snowdrops, wood tulips, cowslips, and yellow leucojum  (snwflakes) amongst many others start to appear. The formal garden will still be resting, but you’ll see the bright red flowering quince that contrasts nicely with the foliage of the golden phyladefus. Birdsong can be heard throughout the gardens and there are lots of opportunities to take a seat and pause for a few minutes to listen to the sounds of their gentle melodies.

Get up close and personal

We’ll be taking a closer look at a carefully selected object from the collection every Sunday at 3 – 3.15pm. The object for February is the large grain ark that dominates a corner of the kitchen, and in March we’ll be looking at an assortment of items that were found under the floorboards during conservation work. These items give us an insight into how people lived and played in the past.

Shop and eat

The shop and tea-room are open at weekends too. The tea-room's a great place to stop and re-fuel, and as well as deluxe hot chocolates that are guaranteed to warm the smallest of hands, there’ll be a great choice of seasonal family lunches available too.

There are lots of items available to buy in the shop, including homewares, rugs, gifts and books.

Every purchase made in the shop and tea-room helps us to look after East Riddlesden Hall. This year we are raising money to repair the ceiling in His Own Parlour. The ornate plasterwork ceiling is over 400 years; today we need to make some urgent repairs to it to make sure that it can continue to be admired by visitors for years to come.

When to visit

Open Saturdays and Sundays, 10.30am – 4.30pm, last entry 30 minutes before closing.

All activities are free with general admission prices, but a small donation for craft material would be welcomed.  Entry is free for National Trust members and under 5s.