Normanby Hall Country Park

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Family including children under 16

Reasons for trip

This is a few miles to the north of Scunthorpe and is a popular day out with locals.

Normanby Hall was one of the homes of the Sheffield family, former Dukes of Buckingham and original owners of Buckingham Palace. The house dates from 1820 and is surrounded by a formal gardens, duck pond, parkland and a deer park. In the grounds is a farming museum and a working Victorian garden. There is a small cafe and shop. There is a good childrens’ play area and on Summer Sundays, the local Model Engineers run a miniature railway.

The park is open daily from 9am to dusk. The house and farming museum are only open during the summer months.

The Park is popular with all ages. The children’s play are has swings and adventure climbing frames with tunnels and slides. There is also a wooden train for the would be train drivers.

There are ducks and peacocks in the grounds. The ducks waddle towards you but are very well fed and not usually hungry. Behind the duck pond hidden among the trees is the pets' graveyard where family pets of the Sheffield family are buried. As well as dogs, a horse is also buried here.

The park is planted up with a variety of native and ornamental trees as well as a small area of woodland. There are good walks around the grounds and through the trees. There is access to the deer park with fallow and red deer.

The house is open summer afternoons and several of the rooms are open, including grand entrance hall, study, dining room. There is also information about the Sheffield family history and life in the Hall. The Hall is a popular wedding venue (daughter got married there), so may be shut on these days.

The farming museum is open during the summer months and has a large exhibition of old farm machinery. There is a certain amount of information but this may be a bit esoteric unless you come from a farming background. There is also some information on social history including a farm worker's kitchen, coffin maker's workshop and a saddler's.

The Victorian Walled Garden has been restored as a working garden, growing traditional vegetables and fruits, as well as the central avenue lined with herbaceous perennials which would have provided cut flowers for the house. There are two greenhouses and behind are the potting sheds and bothy. The potting sheds are stacked with clay plant pots and are still used for planting up. The old tools are still hanging on the walls of the tool store, including glass tubes used to make sure cucumbers grew straight. There is a selection of ancient lawn mowers. There is the head gardeners office and the small bothy kitchen where the men working in the garden were fed. Look out for the cat who has his bed in the potting shed.

The cafe in the stable area is poor, expensive and is a let down. Don’t go hoping for a ‘home made’ cake with your tea. You will be out of luck.

The park is popular throughout the year with people of all ages. In spring the lawns are covered with crocuses and snowdrops. In summer the sunken garden and Victorian Garden are in full swing. In autumn the colours are glorious and there are plenty of leaves to shuffle through. On crisp winter days when there is a hard frost and sunshine a walk through the grounds is excellent to get the blood circulating.

The ticket kiosk is open between 10.30-4.30. Outside these times there is a parking charge, unless you display a yearly season ticket. At £19.50 per family this is very good value as adult entry is £5.50 (£5 for over 60s) and £2.80 for children. This does make it quite expensive as a one off visit if you are just wanting to visit the park.

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