A lovely half an hours drive from Darlington lies the stunning Ormesby Hall near Middlesbrough. The home is part of the National Trust collection of stately homes and offers visitors a look round the historical beauty of the house and 250 acres of parkland and farmland to explore. Once home to the Pennyman family, there are lots of interesting stories to discover about the place including those of ‘wicked’ Sir James and Colonel Jim survivor of World War 1. This summer the hall has a varied event programme including treasure Island inspired activities and lots of active sports events.
Families can enjoy sports experiences such as table tennis, football, badminton and archery throughout the holidays (normal admission applies). We decided to come along on this particular date as my boys are mad about cars, bikes and always glued to Top Gear so this event really appealed to them and after having a look round and the boys faces lighting up at every single car that came into view, me and Coco snook off to go and see the house and what it had to offer.
The range of vehicles was brilliant and the boys had soon picked out their favourite cars and bikes to take photos of and Whats app Grandad! There were even some for sale (don’t get any ideas Nick!) although I did fall in love with a VW van that was an aqua colour (I can dream!) It was great chatting to some of the owners and they were very patient answering any random questions the boys threw at them! We had taken a picnic with us which we had before going into the hall (theres a pleasant area just outside of the hall with stream and bridge) we just stopped there and then came into the event.
If you are considering eating at the hall, there is a super quaint tea room serving scones and the usual cakes and sandwiches/soups. It looked lovely but was very busy the day we came so do allow for a delay. Lots of other stalls were running on the day including a beekeepers stand which was fascinating and we got to sample some lovely Yorkshire honey. There was a fab gift shop with some traditional toys for sale and Yorkshire souvenirs and giftware.
Tickets are priced at £5.70 an adult and £3.00 child with family tickets at £14.00. It has made me think about looking at joining the National Trust as a family which enables visits to loads of places of interest to be free. This can be worth it if you are often out and about and looking to fill the diary up this summer. You can in fact, access 500 places across the UK (thats a jam packed schedule this summer then!)
There is even a 10k trail run on the 4th Sunday of each month called the Trust10 run. (Check website for more info) so Ormesby is definitely doing lots to encourage active families, something I haven’t come across so much on days out of a similar thread.
We particularly liked the facilities at the hall and the courtyard was a lovely sun trap and also featured plants and garden accessories for sale. It was great to see so many families around the grounds sitting in the sun and the children were definitely kept entertained for a couple of hours (its a miracle!) For those with four legged friends, Ormesby is very dog friendly and apart from the historic buildings they are welcome to enjoy the grounds (see website for more detailed info) on leads (courtyard/terrace/grounds) and there are lots of open areas/walks they can be involved in and free to explore.
To find out more about all the ways you can come and be involved in Ormesby and the National Trust visit