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Doddington Hall and Gardens exterior and garden sculptures.
Boy standing with many pumpkins at Doddington Hall and Gardens at Halloween.
Doddington Hall lake with trees in the background.
Doddington Hall and Gardens gift shop at Christmas.

Doddington Hall And Garden

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Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines
  • Visit Doddington Hall and Gardens for a great family day out, home to magnificent rooms, glorious gardens, Flemish tapestries and more.
  • A visit to Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire, offers a unique insight into family life through the ages and the challenges of looking after such an estate in the 21st century.
  • Explore 400 years of family history, with stories to uncover, nestled in the nooks and crannies of this grand building, and deep within the gardens, there's much to discover.

Doddington Hall and Gardens are a great family day out throughout the seasons. Privately owned by the Birch family, this exquisite late Elizabethan Mansion has some glorious gardens to gaze at. Located just outside Lincoln, this site is rich in history, with 400 years of unbroken family occupation, a delightful café, restaurant, farm shop, and more, you have everything you need for a smashing day out.

The Doddington Hall project began in 1595 by one of England's reputable architects, Robert Smythson. Doddington Hall was finished in 1600, and remarkably, it has never been sold since its completion. This enriches the site with a fascinating history; the walls have many stories to tell, all from one family line. Doddington is still a much loved, lived-in family home, alive with past and present history and interest, just waiting to be uncovered.

Discover what it takes to care for such an estate, especially in the 21st century, a visit to Doddington offers a unique insight into the family life here as it has been throughout the ages and what challenges they have faced. As a result, there are intriguing collections of furniture, paintings, weaponry, textiles, ceramics, porcelain, household objects, and a whole host of amusing stories that the little ones and grown-ups can find in and around Doddington Hall. For more great historical trips in Lincolnshire, be sure to check out Belton House, a Grade I listed house, country estate, boasting formal Italian and Dutch gardens, the National Trust's biggest adventure playground, and a historic deer park.

Doddington Hall gardens are always a hit with families, and they are just as magnificent as the Hall itself. There are mellow walls, which resemble the original Elizabethan layout, providing the framework for both formal West Gardens and East Front Gardens. Further beyond the pretty West Gardens begins the restored-with-care Wild Gardens which are great fun for the kids. The East Front gardens are spectacular to marvel at. There is a consistent pattern of box hedging and topiary that leads around the outer original Elizabethan walls, so you are left with an uninterrupted central view of the Hall from the Gate House. Plus, there are four topiary unicorns which stand guard in the forecourt, symbolic the Jarvis family crest - they always make a great picture with the little ones, who often find this fascinating.

In the Wild Garden, don't miss out on the meandering, magical, paths that lead you to the impressive Temple of the Winds, a turf maze, built by Antony Jarvis in the 1980s in memory of his parents. Here's a little challenge for the kids: if you look close enough, you might find the ‘dinosaur’s egg’, which is found in the branches of a maple tree, heavy with a large boulder. Enjoy the nature trail which begins just beyond the Temple where the Garden ends, and then this follows a cyclical route right back to the ‘ha ha’, ending at the Yew avenue. This is a pleasant and relaxing walk for about a mile. The interesting route passes right through the ancient woodlands, open parkland area and a wetland meadow, where you'll walk past the very clay that was used to build Doddington! Be sure to check out Doddington estate in the early spring, where you'll be confronted by a riot of scented flowering shrubs and native spring bulbs, creating a spectacular display, boasting drifts of Crocus and Snowdrops, plus some delightful Carmine Cyclamen. In April, there is an array of rare Daffodils that can be spotted throughout the garden, plus in late May and June, Bearded Iris fills the Parterres of the walled West Garden, again making for an absolutely stunning picture.

If you enjoy Doddington Hall Gardens, then you'll fall in love with Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, which is always a hit with the little ones. Home to a Parrot Zoo, rare Bengal Tigers and White Lions, plus some exciting play areas and a nature reserve, it's all just waiting to be explored.

You don't want to miss the Doddington Hall events that are held regularly. From themed events to festivities and more, there's something for everyone to enjoy all year round. There are plenty of half term activities and summer holiday workshops to keep the kids occupied, with interactive audio guides and a Jolly the Jarvis Unicorn Quest! Plus, with an annual Easter Eggsploration, October Spooky Walks, a Garden Trail, and much, much more, you'll be set for the year with activities to do and fun to be had. Doddington Hall also hosts fabulous afternoon tea and the Doddington Hall farm shop, is a real treat when you're finished exploring the grounds and Doddington estate. Why not enjoy some fine dining in Doddington Hall café and pick up some freshly baked goods, farm produce and more. The Kitchen Garden is also a highlight in late summer and also features a cutting garden.

What to know before you go

  • When you're feeling peckish, Enjoy some fabulous afternoon tea at the Doddington Tea Room which is located in the award-winning Coach House, plus it has a secret walled garden for you to explore. Open Wednesday - Sunday & Bank Holidays, 12pm - 4pm. Plus, there's Doddington Café which always satiates your hunger and drink needs, offering simple, homemade meals which are cooked to order, and they serve breakfast and lunch, and drinks and cakes throughout the day. Some family favourites include their famous fish and chips to the Doddington Herd Lincoln Red burger. Finally, there is also the on-site Coffee Shop, found inside the Giant Store Lincoln, and this is a sweet location for a recharge and takeaway treat before or after your visit to the Gardens, Hall and Sculpture Exhibition.
  • There are toilets, accessible facilities and baby changing facilities in the Hall, the Gardens, the Coach House and the Farm Shop.
  • The entrance to the Hall and Gardens can be opened if the doorway is too narrow, and there are double doors across the estate which provide access to the Farm Shop, Café, Restaurant and Coach House.
  • As the house is old, electric scooters and electric wheelchairs cannot be used in the Hall. It is important to note the upper two floors are not accessible to wheelchairs, and pushchairs must be left at the front desk. Ramps are provided to allow manual wheelchair access on the ground floor.
  • Most of the five-acre gardens can be explored and navigated by wheelchair; there is a mixture of grass and gravel paths. Plus, a series of ramps are provided, some graded slopes too, which provide access to the various levels in the gardens. There may be more difficult areas to navigate, like on the gravel, grass and ramps for some users; this also depends on the weather conditions. You can claim a free map, or download one, which indicates the routes that help you avoid steps and narrow bridges, you can get this from the Gatehouse.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome in the Gardens, Halls, Farm Shop, Café and Restaurant.

Getting there

  • Doddington Hall is found on the outskirts of Lincoln, five miles from the centre of the city.
  • If travelling via car, Doddington Hall is five miles west of Lincoln on the B1190. It is signposted from the A46 and A57.
  • Doddington Hall has exclusive, complimentary parking. Plus, there are dedicated parking spaces for blue badge holders which are situated just outside the entrances to the Gatehouse and the Farm Shop.
  • If travelling by Train, Doddington is 20 minutes from Newark Northgate and Lincoln Station, and 40 minutes from Retford Station. Trains from London take an hour and 15 mins to Newark. If you arrive at Lincoln Central Station or Newark Northgate Station you can travel to Doddington Hall by taxi.
  • If travelling by bike, Doddington is near the Sustrans trail from Harby to Lincoln Cycling Route.

Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Government Guidelines

Location

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