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The parkland at Beningbrough

Four black cows grazing on a sunny day with trees in the background at Beningbrough Hall
You looking at me? | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

With 380 acres of parkland in which to explore, the estate at Beningbrough is ideal for visitors who want a longer walk. It is also home to some rare and unusual wildlife, including birds, bats, and the iridescent tansy beetle.

A brief history

The estate as you see it today was created from packaging up a much larger estate to sell in 1919. The package included around 380 acres of parkland, Beningbrough Hall, surrounding gardens and Home Farm. This was how Lord and Lady Chesterfield bought it and upon her death, it passed to the government in lieu of death duties.

The estate today

In time, this estate was given to the National Trust to care for on behalf of the nation. Today, Home Farm is tenanted, and the Jackson family use the land to graze livestock.

Home Farm Café closed

Please note the café at Home Farm, operated by the estate tenant farmers, not the National Trust, is closed. To access the restaurant at Beningbrough, normal admission charges apply or free to National Trust members.

Walking in the parkland

Choose from one of three routes to stretch out in the wider estate or join elements together for a longer walk. An entrance ticket to Beningbrough isn't needed to explore the parkland and car parking is free of charge for parkland users.

Couple walking a dog through woodland
Take your time on this short route, suitable for all ages | © National Trust Image/Trevor Ray Hart

Larch walk

A short route with regular benches along the woodland route, perfect for a pause stop. In spring the area becomes a sea with bluebells and well worth a visit.

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Please avoid the fields

For your safety and to protect cattle and calves, please stay on the footpaths and avoid roaming across the fields. Take care when the cows are in the fields as the bull may be there too.

Wildlife in the wider estate

Home to a rarity

The beautiful iridescent tansy beetle is an endangered species and found in only three places in the UK, with the banks of the River Ouse its most northerly habitat.

These beetles live on the yellow-flowered tansy plant and you may spot them along the river in Beningbrough’s parkland in summer. Several areas are fenced off to protect the plant from grazing and erosion, and consequently support their presence.

Close up of a green and shiny beetle on a green leaf and stem
Spot the 'Jewel of York' in the summer | © National Trust / Joanne Parker

Woodland wildlife

Stepping out a little further afield can often be rewarded with a glimpse of a fox or even a roe deer. Small mammals may also be spotted, such as short-tailed voles and wood mice.

Occasionally, brown hares can be seen in the fields during winter. They have longer legs than rabbits and have black tips on their ears and tail.


In the riverside area of the parkland, swallows and sand martins are often seen feeding over the water. Look out for colonies of sand martin nests on the opposite bank or the occasional flash of colour from a kingfisher.

There are green and great spotted woodpeckers around – you might hear them before you see them. Three different owl species have made the estate home; little owls are the ones to look out for in the parkland, often on a tree or flying silently along at dusk.

Batty about bats

With a wooded parkland full of mature trees and grassland, Beningbrough is a destination for the local bat population, and is home to five different species including the soprano pipistrelles, noctule, Daubenton’s bat and brown long-eared bat. With the UK's bat population sadly in decline, their status as a protected species is vital to help ensure their continued survival.

Overhead shot showing countryside, gardens, hall, walled garden and tree lined avenue

Discover more at Beningbrough

Find out when Beningbrough is open, how to get here, things to see and do and more.

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