Harewood House | Kidadl

Harewood House

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  • Visit Harewood House, Leeds, West Yorkshire, and be a part of the living history as you immerse yourself in the history of the grounds.
  • Check out the exhibitions at Harewood that visitors can enjoy, brimming with contemporary art, farm experiences, a bird garden and over 100 acres of exquisite gardens to explore.
  • Don't miss out on meeting the animals here, dressing up in period costumes and more.

Harewood House is a great family day out, located in the heart of Yorkshire and known as one of England's Treasure Houses. Built in the 18th century, the House has a diverse and rich collection of art, objects, along with hidden gems and secrets nestled between the walls of this extensive estate, with plenty of stories to keep the family entertained.

Harewood House has been the home of the Lascelles family since it was first built, and thus reflects the changing tastes and styles of the past 250 years through the lens of this family which is fascinating to see. Harewood House has a few significant feats, as it was actually the home to the first contemporary art gallery that opened in a country estate house. So, you know that their exhibitions are specially curated with experience and style. Plus, The Terrace Gallery plays host to an ever-changing schedule of exhibitions, welcoming famous artists such as Sir Antony Gormley, Sidney Nolan, and Henry Moore.

From the moment you and your little ones arrive, they'll be absolutely enthralled by Harewood estate as it captures your imagination and feeds their curiosity, as it is a place that's just brimming with art, culture and heritage, all of which seeped into the walls of this place, creating a delightful atmosphere that continues to thrive and develop even today. Harewood House is famous for its magnificent Robert Adam interiors, which are a treat to experience. Step inside the house where your little ones can dress up in costume, and discover what life as a servant below stairs was like. Alternatively, they can take a peep at the wonderful treasures in the lavish, lush Georgian interiors. It is also home to stunning Thomas Chippendale furniture and a world-class collection of paintings by JMW Turner, Reynolds, Titian, El Greco and many more. You might even find some inspiration yourself for your own home.

Feel the fresh air and step outside to the Italianate Terrace, which was beautifully designed by Sir Charles Barry in the 1840s. This magnificent terrace extends along the southern aspect of the house and gives visitors some pretty views over Yorkshire's most gorgeous landscape and lake; allowing you to connect with nature, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Harewood's landscape was carefully crafted by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, and encompasses over 1000 acres of beauty, signifying one of Brown’s most well-known vistas. Be sure to visit the naturalistic Himalayan Garden away from the formal gardens, where Harewood boasts beauty in this redeveloped landscape by Head Gardener, Trevor Nicholson. This space includes exotic, rare plants from the Himalayan region, making it exquisite to experience, a stark contrast from the formality of the Terrace.

Sitting next to and within this Capability Brown designed landscape is the house interiors, one of the Treasure Houses of England, as this historic Georgian property boasts remarkable views from the award-winning Terraces. Get your kids inside after some playing to experience and be blown away by rare Chippendale furniture and magnificent interior designs in the State Rooms. You'll be surprised how much your little get from these trips, as they let their imaginations run wild in this wondrous estate. There are many hidden gems, so make sure to leave time to experience the well-trodden corridors of Below Stairs and explore what secrets hide there! In the house, there is a place where the young kitchen hands can dress up, immersing themselves in Harewood's history to discover life as a servant there, or they can have a go deciphering the changing programme of contemporary art exhibitions in the Terrace Gallery. For more fun historical days out, check out Abbey House Museum to explore Victorian life in Leeds through child-friendly events and exhibitions, authentic streets, toys and more.

Get active in the adventure playground and gardens as there is plenty of space to run around, let your imaginations run wild and have a great time in the massive play area! Plus, who doesn't want to see penguins, flamingos and parrots? Join these furry friends in the Bird Garden to see the feathered fellas and Head to the Farm where you can meet the glorious family of friendly goats, potbellied pigs, hilarious alpaca, cute rabbits, donkeys and more. Your children won't be short of an adventure. See the penguins being fed lunch, meet the animals in the Farm Experience with our Keepers and feed the hungry goats.

Toddlers will adore the brightly coloured spring plants that burst into life, creating a wonderful multi-sensory experience for your tots in the Himalayan Garden as the older ones jump across the stepping stones or revel in the summer sun by the planting schemes on the Terrace, as the overlooking views of Capability Brown landscape create an idyllic picture-perfect shot. Plus, when you're done, enjoy a delightful trip out on the lake in the boat to get more stunning angles of these Capability Brown landscapes.

Keep up to date with the events and exhibitions held every year, as visitors to Harewood can enjoy a fascinating series of exhibitions that promote and celebrate Harewood’s Victorian history. This took inspiration from ITV’s ‘Victoria’ series which made use of Harewood as a location, so here, for history buffs, you will delight in seeing stunning period costumes from the programme that are displayed in the very rooms where ‘Victoria’ was filmed. Don't miss out on other Harewood House events, like Harewood House Christmas, where the Harewood House estate is transformed into a magical and festive space; you might even meet Santa, too. There are estate "lates" to explore the house, plus artists often come to exhibit work in the house. There are great activities that you can do along with these events or just by themselves, join the House Guides for a Discovery Talk in the historic country house to learn about the interesting facts and uncovered secrets of this house, Harewood is full of surprises. For some fun around the estate, check out the Free family trails that are on offer for your family to explore the house, gardens and wildlife.

For more historical days out, check out Stockeld Park, brimming with the best activities and events, home to different adventure playgrounds, Christmas events, ice-skating and more in this glorious setting.

What to know before you go

  • Sample the delights of the Courtyard Café for homemade hot meals, salads, sandwiches and cake. Or enjoy an Afternoon Tea from the Terrace Tearooms, a Gin & Tonic from the Horsebox Café or even a delicious Yorkshire Dales Ice-Cream. Alternatively, if you want to bring your own food, pre-book a picnic box.
  • There are toilets, baby changing facilities and accessible toilets.
  • The grounds are mostly wheelchair and pushchair accessible.
  • Wheelchair users can access the State Floor via a wheelchair lift. For conservation reasons, only courtesy pushchairs provided can be taken around the House. Slings are available for babies.
  • Some areas are harder to navigate, like the Bird Garden, which is positioned on a natural slope. Assistance dogs are welcome, but not in the Bird Garden.
  • For somewhere to stay, check out Harewood Holidays and Rudding Park for great stays near Harewood House, Yorkshire.
  • Harewood House closes during October and November, except for select weekends to undergo a deep clean.

Getting there

  • Harewood House is located in Harewood, Leeds.
  • If travelling by public transport, you can both bus and train. For the bus, the 36 to Harewood from Leeds and Harrogate runs every 15 minutes during the day Monday to Saturday and every 30 minutes during the day on Sunday. The 923 runs daily (except Sunday) and operates from Otley to Tadcaster via Wetherby. For the train, The nearest train stations are Leeds and Harrogate, where cabs and bus connections are available.
  • If travelling via car, Harewood is centrally located in Yorkshire at the junction of the A61/A659 on the Leeds/Harrogate road. Seven miles from Leeds and Harrogate on the A61, five miles from Wetherby and the A1, 22 miles from York, nine miles from Leeds/Bradford airport, eight miles from the M1.
  • There is lots of free parking available on site and accessible parking spaces for Blue Badge holders.

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