Meadows, Lakes and Woodlands at Nostell

One of life's simple pleasures is time well spent within meadows and woodland spaces abundant with wildlife and each season's golds, greens and auburns.

Woodland and Trails

Joiner's Wood and Engine Wood

Woodland birds like blue tits and robins call Engine Wood home along with seasonal blooms such as the abundant burst of bluebells each spring. Lucky nature spotters may also glimpse the occasional Roebuck deer darting between the trees.

Further afield, Joiner’s Wood is planted with standard oak trees historically used for timber around the estate and the original site of 18th and 19th-century workshops at the heart of modifications to the house. Today, families enjoy the more leisurely pursuit of den-building in this area as one of many 50 Things activities you can enjoy at Nostell throughout the seasons.

Trails and Woodland play

The ever-popular adventure play area is a haven for young adventurers within an enchanting woodland glade. It's also home to some of Nostell’s resident wildlife, from inquisitive squirrels and chattering birds to rather reclusive insects enjoying quiet retreat in the bug hotel.

The Hardwick Beck and Carriageway paths are wonderful for walking, running, cycling and scooting, while nature lovers can spot butterflies, bees and moths as well as buzzards and hunting kestrels above.

Our woodland play area is fun for small and big kids alike.
Woodland play area at Nostell, near Wakefield, is fun for all the family.
Our woodland play area is fun for small and big kids alike.

Lakes and Waters

The Lower and Middle Lake offer a sparkling oasis of tranquil activity for wildlife. Herons, swans and ducks are just some of the feathered residents, while lucky visitors may even spot a shy kingfisher on its travels. The lakeside is a popular nesting site for daubenton bats, one of nine different bat species that call Nostell home.

On a hazy bright morning there’s no better spot to pause and take a photograph than the Boathouse Bridge, and no better time to admire the boathouse that inspired its name as the sun begins to climb and the birds find their full voice. We love to listen to the water gently lapping the banks and imagine the people from generations past enjoying leisurely pursuits upon the lakes.

The simple beauty of water never fails to enchant visitors to Hardwick Beck, a wonderful place for a picnic, or to Druid's Bridge on a day when the weather stars align to cause a glistening cascade of natural colours as liquid rushes across stone.

A bridge in the grounds of Nostell Priory and Parkland, West Yorkshire
A bridge in the grounds of Nostell Priory and Parkland, West Yorkshire
A bridge in the grounds of Nostell Priory and Parkland, West Yorkshire

Meadows and Vistas

Obelisk Park and Sheep Wash Field

Humans and wildlife alike adore the Obelisk Park, a wildflower meadow slowly returning to a blueprint created in Victorian times. Using an 1849 map, our team have planted trees in places true to 170yr-old plans and followed suit with pathways, one of which follows the route of the original carriageway from the 18th-century entrance, the distinctive stone structure of Obelisk Lodge.

Sheep Wash field stands on the site of an original mill and is nestled close to the Far Vista and quartet of small wooded areas named Chestnut Wood, Peggy Wood, Fox Covert and Longley Wood. Reseeded in 2014, this area of the parkland is under development as it is returned from arable to meadow land.

Take a walk on the new Carriageway path to Obelisk Lodge
Walkers in Obelisk Park at Nostell
Take a walk on the new Carriageway path to Obelisk Lodge

Treasure House Vista

With picture-perfect views of the historic treasure house, rolling hills and majestic woodland, the treasure house vista is a favourite place for generations of families. Picnic blankets pepper the grassland among the daisies and buttercups as visitors enjoy time and games together, the house providing a magnificent backdrop to family fun.

You’ll find many people unwinding with a great read discovered in the second-hand bookshop, and perhaps a drink and one of our famous tearoom scones in their own little piece of Nostell Heaven.