The bird garden
The older two girls (aged 6 and 9) loved the main house. We saw the state rooms first, which looked like they’d been parachuted in from Downton Abbey. There are lots of items associated with the house’s past, including links to Royalty. We didn’t get to see things in too much detail as we daren’t stay long with two three-year-olds on the loose. It is beautiful though. The ceilings and artwork are incredible, and the views over the back garden and on to the lake are stunning.
Downstairs are the servants halls. This part is brilliant, and a fascinating insight into the lives of the servants working in the big houses in the early 20th century. There is a dressing up box, and you can talk to the volunteers who will tell you about the objects in the kitchens, scullery, and servants hall.
The Terrace Gardens
Right behind the main house, the terrace gardens are beautiful – well kept, and bright. There are fabulous views over the lake and off into the Yorkshire hills. There is also a fascinating statue in the middle which kept my older children entertained for a long time afterwards.
There is plenty more to do here which we didn’t do, such as lakeside walks, and you can visit the ancient estate church. Harewood would be good for some peaceful time out at any time of the year.
We liked that Harewood House wasn’t a rip-off with food and gifts once you got inside. There are lots of places to eat a picnic and plenty of litter bins so you don’t have to carry your rubbish round with you all day.
We really liked the house and would have loved to have been able to spend more time looking at things in detail but three-year olds and ancient family heirlooms do not make for a peaceful walk around.
We didn’t like the moving traffic on site, or that you had to cross the main exit route to get from the car park and main toilets to the main part of the house and gardens. Take the usual care with young children.
We liked the staff and volunteers who were very friendly and helpful, even when accompanied by boisterous pre-schoolers. There’s a few attractions can learn something from the volunteers at Harewood House.
Some parts of the house are inaccessible to wheelchairs and prams. Please look at their website for more details.
For more information, please visit their website at www.Harewood.org
Disclosure – we were given a family ticket to be able to do this review. We bought our own food, drinks and badges.