Damian has had some time off this last week and so we decided we would make the most of the beautiful autumn sun and get out in the fresh air. We did a lovely trip to Dunham Massey, which I think might be one of my favourite National Trust places so far, and went to Rufford Old Hall for the first time.
Getting to Rufford Old Hall
Located near Ormskirk, Rufford Old Hall is pretty easy to get to from Greater Manchester and took us around an hour from our base in South East Manchester. It’s a reasonably nice journey too once you get off the motorway and the autumn colours made it even more beautiful.
Like other National Trust places, it is well signposted as you get closer and it’s easy to access from the main road.
The car is on the smaller side, so it would be worthwhile checking the school half term times. We arrived at opening time and the car park was already looking on the fuller side, and certainly, by the time we were leaving there weren’t any spaces left (although you can park on the main road and walk-in).
What is there to see at Rufford Old Hall?
Rufford Old Hall itself isn’t particularly big, but it’s set in a decent grounds and there’s plenty of nice spots to enjoy a picnic and for the children to have a run-around. There is a coffee shop on site too and a well-stocked National Trust Shop. There was a stand with apples on and an honesty box. We picked up some apples and have since made a crumble with (which was delicious!).
The Hall itself is fabulous and was great to look around. It’s been sympathetically restored and I liked the poem about the Lady in Grey in the dining room. I came across this blog site when we were on the way home which explains the history of the building much better than I can. It’s worth a quick read before you head there as it will give you some pointers to look out for.
In the hall itself, there were some items out that visitors could handle, and the children enjoyed taking a look at these. When you enter there is also a teddy bear hunt that the children can do; in each room, a small teddy bear model can be found with a letter or a number. They had great fun finding all of these as they went around.
When we visited there was a scarecrow trail on, and this was a good prompt to walk around the grounds. There is a canal along the perimeter which can stroll along. The woodland area near to the car park (be careful crossing to this as there are cars entering and leaving the ground here) has some dens and the such which the children enjoyed exploring before we headed up along part of the canal, back onto the car park and into the main grounds again.
Opposite the Old Hall, there are some lawns as well as tree-lined walks. We enjoyed our picnic out here and did well to sit in the warm sunshine. It was lovely to sit in the autumn sun and once we’d eaten the children had a run-around.
We continued around to spot the rest of the scarecrows and we did spot another picnic area that had various things set up to play with.
I really enjoyed our walk around Rufford Old Hall and learning a little more about the family who lived there. It’s worth a visit if you’re in the area and have National Trust membership.