During our recent weekend break to the wonderful North Star club near York, we were looking for something to do in the area. We chose Burnby hall gardens in Pocklington, near York, as we’d never been before. What a gem of a place. It was a lovely place to visit and we’d certainly return.
This was day 52 of our #80dayschallenge to have at least 80 days out in one year.
Review Burnby Hall Gardens – Things to do
Burnby Hall Gardens does not have a hall to look around but it does have some very impressive and beautiful gardens, plus a museum. The gardens and grounds have benefited from a lot of lottery funding recently and they have spent the funding well. They have had extensive work done on their lakes and large collection of water lilies plus extra facilities such as a cafe, museum and more. The hall itself is now used by the council as offices.
There is a car park especially for Burnby Hall gardens which is down a lane alongside the main road. It’s in the heart of the village next to the now council offices. There is plenty to occupy at least two hours. If you take a picnic or lunch in the cafe you could have a relatively long day out at Burnby.
When we paid our entry price we spotted a sign for fish food. Which was priced at £1.20 a pot. We purchased a couple and it didn’t take long to realise we’d need more. I have never seen so many fish before in one lake. It was teaming with relatively young carp, although Wikipedia mentions goldfish. The biggest we saw was probably about 30-40cms but most were juveniles and they were all waiting at the water’s edge to be fed.
The fish virtually clamber over each other to get to the food. We have never seen anything like it before. If you throw too much food into the water in one go the fish go into a frenzy which makes the lake look like a bubbling mass of fish. We were the first ones at the lake and they were already there at the water’s edge with their mouths wide open. No matter where you stand around the large lake there seem to be fish waiting at the edge. The local doves are also rather partial to the fish food!
The lake the fish live in is beautiful. The whole place has recently benefited from the lottery grant and you can see the love and care that’s gone into restoring these wonderful gardens back to their former glory. The larger lake near the entrance has had the most recent repair work and the lilies they’ve replanted won’t take until next year. But when you visit the smaller lake further on you will see that it is flourishing with all kinds of lilies. I can imagine it will soon all look wonderful.
Near to the main lake is a recently built cafe which sells hot and cold drinks and food. There is also a museum in here which is an exhibition of artefacts from one of the previous owners of Burnby Hall. Major Percy Marlborough Stewart and his wife travelled the world back in the early 20th century. The museum shows off many of the wonderful items they collected. But also the animals he shot and brought back with him which was sad but intriguing to see. Especially a large lioness that had supposedly killed people. It was very interesting though and well worth a wander around. It’s not large but they’ve crammed lots in.
Around the corner from the cafe, you will find the children’s playground. Again this looked relatively new. There’s a big climbing area with two slides and also plenty to swing and spin on.
There is a walk that goes around the lakes. Along the way, there is plenty of wonderful areas to find. First, there is a secret garden, then an aviary that looks very Victorian in design.
Onwards from here, you will find an actual Victorian garden which is really beautiful. Along the way, we would often pop back over to the lake to see if there were more fish to feed. There actually always were fish to feed. The lake must be absolutely brimming with them. Even if we threw the food far out a mouth would soon come and take it.
Next, along the walk we found the very recently restored rockery. This is a lovely area with water running through it. Our son, Jamie, was very excited to be walking over what is named Jamie’s bridge. The view from this bridge is beautiful and it’s a good spot to feed more fish.
If we hadn’t have picked up a map at the entrance we might have missed the next thing on our travels. Through a wooden gate, you will find a Stumpery. This part topped our sons day off as we found a very tame cat that constantly wanted attention. The Stumpery is worth a visit for sure. It’s very mythical in design with the centrepiece looking like a hobbits house and there are lots of little sculptures to be spotted along the loop way path. All the paths here are wheelchair and buggy friendly, aside from the rock garden although you could get a buggy around these paths.
We had now seen everything but there was still the walk back along the other side of the lake. We found plenty more fish to feed and we decided to buy even more fish food to feed them all.
Events at Burnby Hall Gardens
Burnby Hall Gardens has a lot of great events throughout the year. During school holidays they usually have extra activities such as Easter celebrations, Teddy bears picnics, Circus days, special activity days and more. Bands also come to perform at the gardens. To see a list of forthcoming events please follow this link.
Burnby Hall gardens is open from mid March until early November. Current standard price admission for an adult is £5.50 and a child aged 5-15 is just £3.10. Under 5’s are free.
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