Making the most of your visit

A visitor in a dormitory

This austere building, the most complete workhouse in existence, was pivotal in the development of our national health and welfare system. For decades it was where the poorest in society had to work in return for food, shelter and medical care. Today, we invite you to explore its atmospheric interiors, dank cellars and enclosed work yards while reflecting on its contemporary relevance through a programme of creative activities.

Why not start your visit by joining a volunteer-led welcome tour at 11am (numbers limited, non-bookable) and explore some of the outside areas not usually seen by the public? Then, when the house opens at 12noon, come and learn about those who lived and worked here, listen to the audio guide, chat to a room guide or visit our café for a snack.

In fine weather you can enjoy the recreated Victorian vegetable garden where you are welcome to picnic. The garden which is maintained by volunteers is planted with heritage varieties and seasonal produce is available to purchase.

There are special trails for children and craft activites during the holidays as well as family-friendly events like Graft, Gruel and Good-for-Nothings.

New for 2017

The first visitors are welcomed to the new visitor reception building
Visitors welcomed at desk in new visitor reception building

It’s 20 years since the National Trust acquired The Workhouse and this year visitors will witness some exciting changes:

  • Opening has been extended to 7 days a week from 11 February to 5 November
  • Enter through a new visitor reception in the car park area
  • Enjoy hot soup or tea and scones in the new café
  • Vote for your favourite Workhouse object in the new exhibition ‘The History of The Workhouse in 20 objects’
  • Join us for one of our popular Museums at Night events in May and October
  • Look out for family-friendly activities at half-term and during the school holidays
  • Participate in a range of creative activities 
  • Tell us what you think and help to shape The Workhouse’s future role