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Family-friendly things to do at Rufford Old Hall

Family enjoying a walk in the grounds at Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire
Family enjoying a walk in the grounds at Rufford Old Hall | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Rufford Old Hall offers plenty to see and do for all the family. Borrow a balance bike, explore the beautiful garden and surrounding woodland, discover the dedicated area for nature play and set your imagination free inside the house.

Planning your family visit

  • You'll find toilets and baby-changing facilities in the Courtyard.
  • The Victorian tea-room offers tasty kids' lunchboxes containing sandwiches, fruit, a treat and juice or water. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
  • You're welcome to bring a picnic. There are plenty of picnic tables, benches and spots to lay out a blanket. Please use the bins provided when you're finished.
  • Dogs are only allowed in the North Woods, North Paddock and Courtyard. They aren’t allowed in the formal Garden or Orchard and Orchard Paddock.
  • Buggies may not be taken inside the house. You can leave them in the Coach House but please be aware this at your own risk.
  • You’re welcome to bring balance bikes and small bikes with stabilisers, but large wheeled bikes are not allowed as the paths around the gardens and grounds are too narrow.

What's On? - Scarecrow Festival (20 October - 05 November)

During October half-term, the much loved gardens and woodlands here will be taken over by a host of colourful characters, and we'd like everyone to get involved.

This year's theme is Myths, Legends and Fairy Tales allowing you to delve into your favourite childhood stories and explore local Lancashire myths and legendary stories.

If you would like to get involved and create your own scarecrow for display here at Rufford, please confirm your entry by emailing

Normal admission charges apply.

Play pretend in the Great Hall

The Tudor house is filled with treasures and fascinating stories. Inside the Great Hall, you will find magnificent suits of armour that will really get children's imaginations flowing. They can even pretend to be Tudor ladies and gentlemen for the day.

Children dressed up as knights at Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire
Children play fighting as knights at Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Get set to ride a balance bike

Balance bikes are the perfect way to help your future cyclists learn how to ride in beautiful, traffic-free surroundings. The balance bikes are located at the Coach House, free to use, and can be borrowed on a first come, first served basis – so just turn up and get going.

There are plenty of paths to follow through the garden and the wide-open space of the Orchard Paddock makes it a great place to ride around.

Get creative with nature in the woodland

Venture into the woodland to discover the dedicated area for nature play. There are plenty of natural materials to play with here, all collected by the garden team. Make a wild crown out of twigs and leaves, go on a bug hunt or simply play hide and seek amongst the trees.

Family enjoying a walk in the grounds at Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire
Family enjoying a walk in the grounds at Rufford Old Hall | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

'50 things to do before you're 11¾'

Rufford's garden and woodland are the perfect places to tick some activities off your list of '50 things to do before you're 11¾'. Which of the fun-packed things will you try? Do your favourite activities over and over again, or try all 50 – the choice is yours.

You can pick up a leaflet from the Coach House for more information.

Two visitors are walking past a bright green lawn which has decorative bushes planted on it, towards the house at Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire, on a bright sunny day.

Discover more at Rufford Old Hall

Find out when Rufford Old Hall is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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