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Exploring the estate at Nostell

A woodland carpeted with bluebells
Carpets of bluebells in Engine Wood | © Paul C Dunn

With 300 acres to explore, you can enjoy the varied landscapes of Nostell, with meadows, lakes and woodlands. The changing seasons bring new life and colour throughout the year, so no visit to Nostell is ever the same. Find out more about these wonderful landscapes before experiencing them yourself.

Woodland walks and play

Woodland birds such as 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 roe deer darting between the trees.

Historic 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 can enjoy den building in this area as one of many ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities you can enjoy at Nostell throughout the year.

Parent and child sit on a bench looking out over the lake in the parkland at Nostell
The perfect spot for a snack break | © Trevor Ray Hart

Lakes and waters

Beyond the formal lawns and beside the pleasure grounds lie the Lower and Middle Lakes, offering a sparkling oasis of tranquility for wildlife. Herons, swans and ducks are just some of the feathered residents, while visitors may even spot a shy kingfisher on its travels. The lakeside is a popular nesting site for Daubenton’s bats, one of nine 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 it's named after as the sun begins to climb and the birds find their full voice.

If you're looking for the perfect picnic spot, Hardwick Beck and Druid’s Bridge are great places to stop and grab a bite.

Parkland highlights

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

Humans and wildlife alike adore the Obelisk Park, a wildflower meadow slowly returning to a blueprint created in Victorian times. Using an 1849 map, the team have planted trees in places true to plans from 170 years ago and followed suit with pathways. One of these 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 currently under development as it’s returned from arable to meadow land.

Visitors outside the 18th-century mansion at Nostell Priory
The 18th-century mansion at Nostell Priory | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

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 often cover the grassland among the daisies and buttercups as it's an ideal spot for time and games together, the house providing a magnificent backdrop to family fun.

Couple sat on a bench in the woodland at Nostell
Taking a moment to pause at reflect on the Wellness Trail | © Trevor Ray Hart

Wellness Trail

Tune into your senses this autumn at Nostell with a new wellness trail.

The trail pinpoints ten new benches, all carefully located in tranquil areas by lakes and under tree canopies in the parkland. At each bench, you’ll find words of advice and mindful activities to help you stop and appreciate the present moment.

The trail has been created in collaboration with Mindful Movers, a Wakefield-based mental health walking group. Members of the group suggested mindfulness activities based on how they felt at each stop, informing what you’ll find on the route.

Pick up a trail sheet from the ticket office in the Stables Courtyard.

The exterior of the mansion at Nostell Priory and Parkland on a damp day in winter

Discover more at Nostell

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

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