Wentworth Castle Gardens is one of our favourite local days out and has been ever since the kids were tiny. The first time we visited was when Max was two and Evie was only a couple of months old. It closed down a few years later due to funding issues and was later taken over by the National Trust.
Wentworth Castle Gardens is located in the village of Stainborough, Barnsley which is only about 30 minutes from us in the north of Sheffield. It’s great to have somewhere like this so close to home as the next closest National Trust property to us is Clumber Park which is about an hours drive.
Wentworth Castle Gardens reopened just last year and we have visited twice since then, once in the summer and then again during February half term. So the photos that you will see in this post are a mixture of summer and winter. I think it’s nice to see how much a place changes through the different seasons.
One thing I notice when we visit though is that it never seems to be very busy. When you compare it to other close by National Trust spots such as Hardwick Hall, Clumber Park or Nostell Priory, it’s so much quieter. I feel as though it needs a shout out as it’s a fantastic day out that many people don’t seem to be aware of.
Wentworth Castle Gardens has lots to offer, there is the house, the gardens, lots of woodland as well as Stainborough Castle. I didn’t know that much about the estates history but after doing a little research I discovered that it actually came about due to a rift in the Wentworth family. The Wentworth Woodhouse estate, which is just six miles from Wentworth Castle was passed down to Thomas Watson which his cousin Thomas Wentworth was furious about. In revenge Wentworth bought, extended and renamed what we now know as Wentworth Castle.
The house itself is closed to the public most of the time as it houses the Northern College. Surrounding the house are the beautiful gardens and acres of woodland and parkland. Here you might even spot the deer if you’re lucky!
In the gardens you will find the Victorian Conservatory which I think has to be my favorite thing at Wentworth Castle Gardens, it is beautiful. It was built by the Wentworths to grow unusual and exotic plants. The Victorian Conservatory was actually one of the first places in the country to get electric lighting, reportedly even before Buckingham Palace!
And then there’s Stainborough Castle which my kids absolutely love running around and exploring. The castle may look medieval but it was actually built in 1731. Due to the family feud I mentioned earlier, the castle was made to look older than it was to give the impression that the Wentworth family had been there for centuries.
There’s a fantastic children’s playground at Wentworth Castle Gardens, my two could spend hours playing in there if I let them. They especially love the zip wire! As well as a kids playground there’s also a cafe and gift shop on the site.
Overall we think that Wentworth Castle Gardens is a fantastic family day out and would highly recommend it to anyone who is local. There’s something for everyone here, whether you want to let the kids burn off some energy in the playground, take the dog for a walk through the woodland or explore the castle. You’re bound to have a brilliant day out.
Have you ever been to Wentworth Castle Gardens?
Thank you for reading.