Burnby Hall Gardens, East Yorkshire

It’s been a while since we last visited Burnby Hall Gardens in East Yorkshire. We went there in 2013 and you can read our review here. I remember thoroughly enjoying our visit and thinking what a beautiful place it is and wondered why it had taken me so long to visit in the first place. Going back this week, I still feel exactly the same. There have been some improvements made but it is essentially, reassuringly, the same Burnby Hall Gardens I remember from 8 years ago.

This time round, only the twins came along. The last time, they were two years old and their big sisters were with us too. They don’t remember much from the last visit apart from maybe the fish. They were looking forward to a return visit with just me and this time, we were going on the bus, which added to the fun. Thank you to East Yorkshire Buses for their hospitality on this trip. You can read more about days out in East Yorkshire that are accessible by bus at Days out by bus in East Yorkshire.

We arrived just after noon on the X47 from Beverley. It goes right past the front entrance to Burnby Hall Gardens and you can alight at the stop before on The Balk/B1247 or just after at Pocklington Bus Station. We chose the latter and it’s about 5 mins walk back to the entrance. There is also a free car park which is large but not unlimited. Please check their website for more information about accessible car parking and arrangements for covid.

On arriving, our first activity (as eagerly anticipated) was feeding the fish. We acquired some fish food from the gift shop (£1.20 per pot) and got cracking. It didn’t take long to find some hungry fish. The fish are numerous here and very tame. They come right up the bank and you half expect them to crawl out and join you on the lawn. If you have a fish phobia or something like that, then this is not the activity for you! We love it. We went through six pots of food during our visit and we could easily have done more. There are fish in all parts of the lake, so plenty to go round everyone.

There are some wheelchair friendly jetties on the lake further down. The whole park is accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs, and there were plenty of both around on the day of our visit. They hold a Age UK Award for their facilities for disabled people and all parts of the gardens are fully accessible apart from the rockery, which is only partly accessible.

After the fish, we had a quick stint in the children’s playground. At 10 years old, my twins are coming up to the age limit for this (max aged 12) but they were keen to join in and they said they loved this little playground. There’s a big metal frame with slides and monkey bars, which I’m certain was there previously, and some new equipment including a rope swing and a small roundabout. They may have been there before but I’m not sure and it looked fairly new anyway.

Lunchtime and we got a take-out of jacket potatoes for the twins and a salad for me from the ice-cream kiosk. There is also a seated café with both indoor and outdoor seating, but we wanted to eat by the lake, so we got a take out. You can take your own picnic. If you struggle to find a picnic bench, there are lots further up the lake towards and past the Victorian Garden and it’s much quieter this end. Loos are round the back of the café.

After lunch, we moved on to the Victorian Garden and the aviary garden which I thought the girls might find too dull, but they loved looking at the wide range of flowers and sculptures, and the beautifully kept lawns and shrubs. Quick run through the pergola (it’s the law to do this when you visit) and a trip to look at the birds in the aviary.

Next on the way round was the Rock Garden. Usually the stream here would be in full flow, but the lake is currently at a low level to encourage the newly installed water lilies to grow, but the rockery was lovely anyway. Lots of steps to go up and down and alpine plants to investigate.

We found the giraffe sculptures I remember from our last visit when the twins were much, much shorter! They were in a slightly different position by the looks of it, but the height was the same.

The Stumpery is one of our favourite things. It’s a wilder garden created from the stumps of fallen trees and is very Middle Earth. We saw lots of wildlife here including a robin mum with her fledgling, and a baby rabbit.

After the Stumpery, you follow the lake around and there’s more to look at including the remains of a 100+ year old tree house and more flowers and shrubs. Burnby Hall Gardens are an RHS Partner Garden, which means that at selected times, RHS members can visit for free.

We found the dovecote we had seen on our last visit but this time it was busy! There were loads of doves both in and on the dovecote and around the lake. We had to take a comparison pic here too.

We did some more fish feeding and had another play on the children’s playground but our very last stop (before the requisite gift shop visit) was the ice-cream kiosk. Thumbs up for the ice cream!

A quick loo stop and we made our way back home. We walked back up to Pocklington Bus Station and waited in the sunshine for our carriage home.

I asked the twins to write me a little bit about what they thought about our trip….

Twin one says……

I enjoyed feeding this fish, because they all just suddenly came when we put about a centimetre of food in the pond. I was picking some food up off the grass, so the food doesn’t got to waste.

I also enjoyed going to the park with Lion, he enjoyed the slide, the swings, and playing peek-a-boo around the tunnel. There is this very cool rope attachment, big swing, and it was basically like a moving pirate ship.

I also enjoyed going to the bird cage there, there were lots of birds humming, and the rest tweeting. One of the budgies looks like our old budgie.

Me, mum, Lion, and my twin really enjoyed watching as the airplane gliders searched the sky. It made me feel I was right next to a real army base.

Lion enjoyed the birds walking along the grass, although it did make him very hungry. Lucky for Lion, we got a lovely baked potato, with tuna. Lion, and me really enjoyed our day out today. I recommend all families come to Burnby Hall Gardens.

Twin two said…..My time was great, I would 100% recommend it for any ages. There are lots of things to do there such as: walking, viewing things, feeding the fish, and playing in the playground.

My favourite thing to do has to be feeding the fish. Even if you don’t end up feeding the fish, you can still observe the wonderful view. Another very fun thing to do has to be the big, beautiful flower garden.

Visit time: 4 hours

Recommended for: families of all ages. Younger children will love it here, just take care around the one very obvious water hazard. It’s a nice place for a multi-generational outing.

Prices: See website for up to date prices and all the information you need for a covid safe visit

How to find it: Burnby Hall Gardens is brown signposted off the A1079 between York and Hull. Sat Nav postcode is YO42 2QF


Disclosure – we were guests of Burnby Hall Gardens for the purposes of this review. All opinion (and sunburn) is our own.

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