Tuesday, 24 November 2015

'Tis the season at Beningbrough!

Decorating the tree!
Everyone’s been really busy over the last couple of weeks here at Beningbrough, getting ready for Christmas! We’ve been putting up the decorations, planning the events, and making sure we’re ready for a visit from a special guest…

A lovely selection of baubles

The trees are getting there...

Little Robin on the tree

This tree is woodland themed!

Storytime with Father Christmas

Father Christmas reading a story to an elf
Father Christmas is having a holiday at Beningbrough before his big day! Join him in the historic library at weekends in December for a story and an early gift, if you’ve been good this year… Booking is essential, so call his elves on 01904 472014 to secure your place. 

Sunday 20th has sold out, but all other days are still available!

Festive Artrageous

Artrageous will be getting a Christmas makeover during the first 3 weekends in December! Drop in between 1 and 3pm to decorate a bauble for your tree, make a stocking to hang at the end of your bed, or create a reindeer sock puppet. Each weekend will be a different theme, so you could try them all! 

Ozzy the Owl needs your help!

Ozzy the Owl at the start of his trail

Ozzy is really worried about Spike the hedgehog, who is missing! Follow the trail inside and out to help the Beningbrough Buddies see what has happened to Spike…

Christmas Shopping

Christmas cards for sale in the shop

The shop is now feeling really Christmassy! There's a wide variety of products, so you can get your Christmas shopping sorted for the whole family. 

If you’re in the city centre during the week, pop into the York National Trust shop on Goodramgate (just behind the Minster) for more gift inspiration! The money you spend helps us to look after the special places you enjoy visiting.

Follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook for more updates, and visit the website for more information on opening times and prices.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Come down to Beningbrough this half term for Hallowe’en-themed activities… If you dare!

(C) National trust Images / Andreas von Einsiedel
It’s nearly time for half term, and here at Beningbrough we’re getting everything ready for Hallowe’en! There are a wide variety of spooky activities to keep you entertained throughout the week, including spooky sound trails, glass lantern designing and bat walks...


Join the costume parade!
On the 31st, meet professional storyteller Eden, from Stories Alive, and listen to him relay some ghostly tales about the hall and its residents. The sessions are free; just drop in from 12.30 –  4pm. Eden will also be leading the costume parade, so come dressed up and show off your scariest outfit! The parade will begin at 3pm in front of the house, so make sure you don’t miss it.

Half term week
Boris the Bat needs your help...

For the rest of half term, you can join Boris the Bat and the rest of the Beningbrough Buddies, and help them by solving the clues on the Trick or Treat Mystery. Find out who has been tricking them and who has left an eerie invitation! Leave your entries once you've completed the trail for a chance to win one of the special prizes.

Guess the weight of the giant pumpkin on display in the Stable Courtyard in order to win it in time for carving for your trick or treating. Entry slips are in the Bothy, and there will be a box ready for you to pop your entries in. If the weather isn't the best you can make your way through the house, seeing if you can find the creepy creatures in the rooms…

Hallowe’en Artrageous

Drop in to Artrageous in the Garden Room for some special Hallowe’en-themed decorating. Design your own glass jar lantern, complete with a candle, to light your way in the dark! It's also perfect for a party. Come down between 1 and 3pm from Thursday to Saturday to get creative. (There’s a small charge to cover the cost of the materials).

Beningbrough Bat Walk!

(C) National Trust Images / Hugh Clark
On Friday and Saturday, trek round the gardens after dark with our resident wildlife expert, to search for these nocturnal creatures and their hideouts. We’ll be using a sonar, to see if we can locate them flying. Wrap up warm and bring a torch, because it gets very cold after dark here at Beningbrough! The walk costs £4pp (plus normal admission if you enter the property before 5pm), and booking is essential. There aren’t many places left, so call 01904 472014 to secure your spot.

Spooky storytelling
(C) Lucy Wilson

Last week, a few students from York St John University came to Beningbrough to help out with the Hallowe’en preparations. One of the things they created was a self-led story box, based around a new character: Beatrice the Beningbrough witch. There are feely boxes which contain different ingredients for her potion, so you can place your hands in and guess which gruesome item you are touching! Then try creating your own potion, decide what it will do and get creating your own stories. We just want to say thank you to the students for all your hard work.

So get ready for mysterious trails, spooky tales and much more at Beningbrough this half term! Open everyday except Monday.

Visit for more information, or to see a larger version of the half term planner.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Apple Week 2015: celebrating all things apple!

Tomorrow, the 4th October, marks the start of Apple Week here at Beningbrough! Apples are in season, and we grow exactly 48 varieties of apple, with 38 of them growing in the Walled Garden, and 10 in the Orchard. We also have a special collection of young Yorkshire apples growing in the Walled Garden, including varieties like the Cox’s Orange Pippin, the Ribston Pippin and the Acklam Russet. Come down to Beningbrough between the 4th–11th October (we’re closed Mondays) to join in with activities such as apple pressing, apple short talks, and sampling the special apple–themed menu in the restaurant.

Apple pressing

Apple pressing demonstrations will be taking place on Sunday the 4th and 11th October, at 1pm and 3pm. You can see how the press is used, which varieties work best, and then try the freshest juice in Beningbrough!

Apple walks, talks and facts

Aside from apple pressing, there are many other activities happening every day throughout Apple Week. Specialist short talks accompanied by a short apple walk (each day at 1pm and 2.30pm) not only give you an insight into the varieties of apples grown at Beningbrough, but also some tips on how to grow them in your own garden. You can also walk around the Walled Garden and see if you stumble across some apple-related facts…

Apple displays, and apple and cider tastings

There will be a display of some of the varieties of apple grown at Beningbrough in the Garden Room, where you can compare and contrast the different types, and their uses. You might be surprised at how different some of the apples appear! There’ll also be apple tasting (the times may vary), and the opportunity to try some of our locally sourced cider, which you can buy in the shop.

Appley delights!

After you’ve sampled all the apple activities, head across to the restaurant to indulge in a variety of apple dishes. From strudels to crumbles, and pork belly and apple casserole to roast pork in apple sauce, there’s something from the apple season for everyone!

So come down to Beningbrough between the 4th and the 11th October (remember that we’re closed Mondays) to join in with some activities to celebrate the British favourite, the apple!

See above for a detailed programme of what’s happening everyday (or you can find a larger version here)

Click here to go to the garden page, where you can download a fruit tree plan!

Like us on Facebook, or follow @NTBeningbrough on Twitter.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Summer school holiday activities!

Look no further for family friendly activities these Summer holidays, come rain or shine… 

50 things Fridays

(C) National Trust Images / John Millar
Every Friday this August, Beningbrough Hall will be holding a different staff led activity. This gives all children, big and small, the opportunity to tick some more activities off the National Trust’s ’50 Things to do before you’re 11¾' list, especially those trickier ones which you might not be able to complete yourself. On the 14th, it’s your chance to discover what lives in a pond, at 12pm or 2pm. On the 21st, you can go on a bug hunt, explore inside a tree, and you might even get to hold a scary beast! Again, this will take place at 12pm and 2pm.

On other days you can tick off around 35 of the list at Beningbrough so grab your free scrap book from the bothy, pick up a spotter sheet and decide where to start - build a den, climb a tree, roll down a hill and undoubtedly run around in the rain!

Explorer backpacks

(C) National Trust Images / John Millar

The learning team here at Beningbrough have put together some special backpacks full of gadgets to turn you into an explorer for the day. The pack includes bird fact sheets complete with pictures and binoculars, so that you can go bird watching and identify the different types of birds that you find. There is also a bug magnifier box, so you can take a closer look at the various creepy crawlies. The map and compass points allow you to go on an adventure, and explore different parts of the grounds and parklands here at Beningbrough.

(c) National Trust Images / Sue Jordan

The explorer packs can be borrowed from the shop, they're free with a £5 returnable deposit.

Summer fun even when it’s raining!


(c) National Trust Images / Cathy Thornton

The popular craft workshop Artrageous is running over the school holidays, with a different royal themed activity each week to celebrate the final 2 years of the Royals: then and now display. This week (beginning the 10th), you can create your very own royal costume. Next week will be making your own stained glass palace, and the third week we’ll be designing our own coat of arms. Artrageous happens every Sunday and Wednesday from 1pm- 3pm. 

Find us set up in the Hayloft above the stable shop (accessible by stairs only).

The great hall

(C) National Trust Images / Chris Lacey

In the house itself, there are a wide variety of activities to keep you entertained, even if the weather is wet. The Clarence the Corgi trail takes you round the royal themed portraits inside, and gives you quirky facts and things to do along the way. On the second floor of the house, look for the interactive computer, where you can create your own virtual family portrait! Other activities include sculpting a nose especially for a sculpture that is missing one, dressing up with gowns and masks, and a pre-school play area filled with toys and games.

More fun in the Sun

(C) National Trust Images / Megan Taylor

Last but not least, there are some things that we have to play with all year round, but are particularly fun in Summer. The bikes and trikes, that you can find around the gardens are perfect for whizzing around in, and discovering hidden nooks and crannies. We also have our wilderness play area, complete with swings, climbing frame and den zone.

So there are plenty of reasons to have a family day out at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens these Summer holidays!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates, and tweet #50Things to get involved online.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Shop to support the National Trust in York

Inside most of the National Trust properties, gift shops of all sizes can be found selling items from gardening tools to children’s books. However, there are also a handful of unique National Trust shops on the high street across the country, and York is lucky enough to have one of them.

These shops are great for tourists and locals alike, because they have some great gift inspiration, and they contain many exclusive items and National Trust labels. Just like visiting our properties, visiting our shops helps support the Trust in looking after the UK’s special places.

If you enjoy sampling wine, then make a note of the 9th July, and keep scrolling to find out more…


One of the highlights of the York shop is the range of items that are exclusive to the National Trust, and can only be found in our shops. 

New ranges have recently been created by designers in the head office, and have been inspired by our properties. These ranges include items such as scarves, cushions and throws.

At the moment, the York shop has a beautiful blue display that has been designed to celebrate 50 years of the Neptune Coastline Campaign. This campaign started right back in 1965 with the aim of protecting special areas of coastline under the threat of development, and to create more opportunities for people to enjoy the coast.

The blue scarves are an example of just some of the items in a new range inspired by the coast campaign.

Exclusive National Trust throws, woven in Britain.

 More homeware is also available in our shops.

Food and drink

The National Trust even has its own food and drink brands, and we sell products like preserves, biscuits and various teas. So if you enjoy eating in our cafes, you can take home some of our food to enjoy in your own kitchen.

Yorkshire Country Wines’ tasting and special evening opening

On the 9th July, there will be a special evening opening, from 5:30pm to 8:00pm, so we can host a wine tasting session with Sarah Ironside from Yorkshire Country Wines. This local business is unique in that all their wines are handmade in small batches using traditional methods. Instead of using grapes however, they use damsons, cherries, plums and many more fruits not normally associated with wine making. There will also be an exclusive discount: get 20% off if you spend more than £20 during the evening.

Outdoor and garden

The outdoor and gardening ranges are popular across the shops, you can use our York properties to inspire you in your own garden.

Gift Cards

Using the shop to buy your gift cards all year round is a great way to make a contribution to the National Trust.  

And for anyone who's feeling really organised this year, we have our own range of Christmas cards in already!

(C)  National Trust Images / Nick Meers

While you’re in the centre, take the opportunity to visit Treasurer’s House, just next to the Minster.

For more outdoors and gardening supplies, visit Beningbrough Hall and check out our on-site shop. 
(C) National Trust Images / John Millar
The address for the York shop is 32 Goodramgate, York, North Yorkshire YO1 7LG.

Tweet us @ntshopyork

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Jam or cream first?

Cream tea at National Trust properties
(C) National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra
This Friday, the 26th June, is the first National Cream Tea Day! This event is all about celebrating the nation’s love of (and maybe sometimes even obsession with) cream teas, with the help from ambassador Frances Quinn, winner of The Great British Bake off. The National Trust properties in York are the perfect places to treat yourself to a proper cream tea this summer, but first, ahead of the occasion, I’m going to share some scone-related facts…

Generally, a cream tea is eaten between 4pm and 6pm, and is a combination of scones, clotted cream, and jam, served with a pot of tea. Traditionally associated with Devon and Cornwall, the idea of the cream tea quickly spread across the whole of Britain and the Commonwealth in the mid-19th century, and is still available today in tea rooms across the country. There is also an ongoing debate in cream tea etiquette that asks whether you should spread the jam on the scone first or the cream.

Here are some ideas of how to celebrate with a cream tea at Treasurer’s House, Goddards and Beningbrough Hall.

For an extravagant cream tea

A proper cream tea at Goddards
(C) National Trust Images / Chris Lacey
The catering team at Goddards have put on a full spread especially for this celebration. ‘Mrs Terry’s Treats’ comes complete with two finger sandwiches, a scone, jam, cream and a pot of tea for one. Like Treasurer’s, Goddards also has seasonal scones on selected days, which have included a chocolate orange scone, celebrating the chocolate-making Terry family. (Think Terry’s Chocolate Orange.) You can sit in the dining room or the drawing room, and feel at home in his house, or make the most of the summer sun and eat on the lavender terrace. If you take afternoon tea in the drawing room between 2 and 3pm as part of your visit to the house, it will be prepared as you explore and you'll be called when it’s ready - with the sound of a gong!

For a traditional cream tea (or for gluten free)

Afternoon tea at Beningbrough
Beningbrough Hall’s simple yet timeless cream tea consists of two homemade scones, strawberry or raspberry jam, some clotted cream and a pot of Yorkshire tea for one. People following a gluten-free diet do not have to miss out on National Cream Tea Day here - Beningbrough also offers a gluten-free scone.

For a different cream tea

Cheese scones are available at Treasurer's House
(C) National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra
In the Below the Stairs CafĂ© at Treasurer’s House, the flavour of the scones changes depending on what’s in season. Some of the variations so far have been: cheddar, ginger and honey, cherry and vanilla, and even lavender. So, Treasurers is the place to go if you want to be surprised, and try a cream tea with a difference. (Please note that these scones are only sold separately- a full cream tea with a plain scone is also available). Treasurer's House is closed on Friday 26 but open Saturday - Thursday.

People enjoying afternoon tea at Beningbrough
(C) National Trust Images / Chris Lacey

We’d love to hear about your cream tea experiences at Treasurer’s, Goddards or Beningbrough, so tweet any feedback or pictures to us using #bestcreamtea, and the Cream Tea Society might put us on their ‘must visit’ list!

Visit the website to find out more information about cream teas on offer round Yorkshire with the National Trust. 

All that remains is to decide - jam or cream first?

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Holiday with the National Trust this Summer

Middlethorpe Hall and Spa
(C) National Trust Images / Chris Lacey
Summer has finally arrived, and we’re all starting to think about the upcoming holidays. Maybe you’ve thought about visiting a National Trust property or a few this Summer, but you might not have considered staying in one.  There are 3 National Trust-owned places you can stay at in York: the Minstergate apartment, The Victorian Laundry, and Middlethorpe Hotel and Spa. These places are unique, so they have different features that suit everyone’s ideals. Finally, in spending your holiday with the National Trust, you are helping us to keep protecting and restoring buildings and landscapes to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy them. 

Stay in the city…

The apartment is next to York Minster
(C) Bernie Waddington
Frank Green, local benefactor of York and owner of Treasurer’s House rescued Minstergate when it came under threat of demolition in the early twentieth century, so it is thanks to him that this medieval building survives today. Built in the 14th century, Minstergate apartment is located in the heart of York, just next to the Minster and right above the National Trust shop. Complete with exposed timbers and sloping floors, you can even eat in the dining room with a view of the Minster. Once a key gateway between the urban and commercial city of York, the apartment in the centre is now just a short walk away from numerous bars and cafes, many tourist attractions, and is only a 20 minute walk from the train station. Living in a building steeped in (sometimes infamous!) history surrounding the Minster and the people who lived and worked there is the perfect way to begin a holiday in the medieval centre of York.

A country retreat…

The Victorian Laundry outside view
(C) Christina Surdhar
The Laundry Room at Beningbrough
(C) National Trust Images /J.Whitaker
If you’ve ever wondered what is would be like to live at Beningbrough Hall, now is your chance to find out. A Georgian mansion built in 1716 by John Bourchier and inspired by his time amongst Europeans palaces, Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens comes complete with walled gardens, parklands and a collection of paintings from its partnership with the National Portrait Gallery. Just 45 metres away from the hall itself lies the Victorian Laundry Room, which holds the holiday apartment on the first floor. Guests can enjoy the unique opportunity of accessing the gardens and grounds of Beningbrough outside of normal opening hours- think of it as your own private estate to explore. York city centre is only 8 miles away, so you can relax in the countryside whilst also being within easy striking distance of a city.  

Live in luxury…

Middlethorpe is an historic hotel
(C) National Trust Images / Chris Lacey
We’ve talked about the town, and the country, but this historic hotel is in a league of its own.

The 4 star Middlethorpe Hotel and Spa is a double-time winner of the Visit York Awards, including Hotel of the Year and Restaurant of the Year. Located only 2 miles from the centre of York and next to York Racecourse, this William and Mary historic hotel also boasts 20 acres of gardens and parkland. It has been decorated in an 18th century style, and the furnishings of paintings and antiques make it feel more like a manor house than a hotel. Treat yourself and relax with the help of a swimming pool, sauna and a range of spa treatments. It might be old, but that does not prevent modern amenities such as Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs being present in every room.

So don’t just visit the National Trust this Summer, stay with us for a holiday. 
Visit Treasurer's House this Summer
(C) National Trust Images / Nick Meers

National Trust places to visit within…