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Are you looking for a place near Leeds to see birds, wildlife, history and nature? Recently, we decided to have a trip to the Leeds Zoo, Lotherton Hall Bird Garden and Wildlife World.
*This Post has been updated – it was first published in February 2019
- Lotherton Hall Bird Garden And Wildlife World
- Lotherton Hall Things To Do
Lotherton Hall Bird Garden And Wildlife World
Lotherton Hall bird garden and Wildlife World can be found just to the east of Leeds. What is there to do at the attraction? Read on to find out!
The History of Lotherton
Originally, Lotherton Hall, Aberford was the home of the Gascoigne family, who settled here at the end of the 19th Century, and built Victorian and Edwardian extensions onto the existing Regency property. They established lovely Edwardian gardens, and a sunken Italian garden. It has a deer park, orchards and lots of walking trails.
During World War I, Lotherton was used as an infirmary. Just as lots of stately houses around the country were used to treat soldiers from the front. The heirs to Lotherton, however, were sadly killed in World War II. And the last of the family bequeathed the estate to the city of Leeds. And to the Leeds Museums.
Finally, in 1968, it was reopened as a museum and stately home by Leeds City Council. A bird garden was opened in the grounds of the hall, and for many years this was a free attraction. Up to a few years ago you could come here and pay just for parking, and the bird garden and other grounds were free. You only had to pay for visiting the hall and displays.
Renaming Of The Attraction
However, in recent years, the bird garden was looking a little tired. The attraction has been upgraded. And because of this it was rebranded to become Lotherton Hall and Lotherton Wildlife World. For a set cost, you pay at the gates for entrance to the hall, deer park, estate, playgrounds and bird garden.
Unsurprisingly, this has had mixed reactions if you visit Trip Advisor reviews. A lot of people baulk at paying to visit the house and grounds. They hark back to when the parking was cheap and the bird garden was free. However, I feel that the facelift of the new Wildlife World is where the money has needed to be spent.
Lotherton Hall Things To Do
Initially on our visit, we were ushered around the estate to park on a dedicated back field. This did have cellular parking track on it, but I am not sure how muddy this would get in very wet conditions. We were a little further away than the original small car park next to the courtyard (which is now reserved for disabled patrons only) but not too far away, even for our 3 year old to walk. And this does mean that a lot more people can park at the hall.
It actually meant that we had to walk through parts of the estate that I had never seen in all the years that I have visited the hall, so I was actually quite glad for this. We saw a lot of the gardens and natural trails around the back of the house which are really lovely. And these are often forgotten in favour of the wild life and bird garden.
Lotherton Hall is normally closed in January and February, apart from guided tours at 11am and 2am. Though you still pay the same full price all year round. Therefore, this is something that I do not agree with. I feel that there should be an ‘off-peak’ price for these months. However, despite having said that, we did not really want to see the hall.
Lotherton Hall features lovely furniture, decorative art and ceramics, and has some wonderful fashion galleries and costume displays. The upstairs of the hall is also not open all year round. (Again this is a little bone of contention if you see the Lotherton Hall reviews on Trip Advisor!)
The grounds of Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World feature an extensive deer garden with hides, two playgrounds and lots of lovely gardens. There is even a small cemetery where the pets of the Gascoigne family are remembered.
Without a doubt these are worth exploring and visiting, and you can spend a lot of time here without even visiting the wildlife world.
Furthermore, there is a cafe and toilets in the Courtyard and Stables of the house, which also houses some of the old carriages belonging to the family.
Lotherton Hall Bird Garden – Wildlife World
In recent years this has changed considerably. There is a new entrance, with a walkway and gift shop, and a brand new flamingo enclosure.
There is also a large new penguin enclosure, featuring viewing areas that show these gorgeous animals swimming underwater. This is a large area with other birds featured. And feeding times for the Humboldt penguins are great times to visit and see the birds.
In addition to this there is a new nocturnal section to the zoo. With lots of bats, rats and other interesting animals to discover.
It is clear that there are new enclosures being built, whilst old enclosures are having a much needed facelift. Old favourites such as the Condor exhibit and Ostrich enclosure are still popular. Also, there are new enclosures for other animals such as warty pigs, tapirs and capabarra.
Undoubtedly this has all taken a considerable investment, and so can see why the price has been increased. We really enjoyed our day out to Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World, and still think it is worth the price.
Lotherton Hall Tickets – Lotherton Hall Entry Fee
You can pay on the gate, but it is cheaper to book online ahead. Lotherton Hall Parking charges are included in the price. You have to book a timed ticket, but we didn’t find that anyone really kept to a time.
It costs £9 per adult and £4.50 per child (5-15) . Under 5s are free.
Find out more information including a map of Lotherton Hall
Further to this, you can get reductions with a breeze card, Leeds Card or Family LeedsCard. In addition, you could also buy a Lotherton Hall annual pass.
Admission to Lotherton is free to Lotherton members, members of the Leeds Arts Fund, Friends of Leeds City Museums, the Museums Association, The National Arts Collection Fund, Yorkshire’s Great Houses Castles and Gardens card holders and MAX card holders.
Lotherton Hall Address and Opening Times
The hall can be found at Lotherton Lane, Aberford Leeds LS25 3EB.
The estate opens at 8am, the Hall and Wildlife World open 10am to 5pm and the estate closes at 7pm.
Have You Enjoyed This Lotherton Hall Review?
Do you fancy visiting other places in Yorkshire? Then why not read my post on Days Out in Yorkshire With English Heritage
Have you visited Lotherton Hall And Wildlife World? If you have, what were your thoughts? I do love to hear your views. Why not comment below, or find me on social media to tell me what you think.
And please do pin this post for later.