Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World – Days Out in Yorkshire

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Here in Leeds we have so many places to visit for days out. This week we decided to have a trip to Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World.

Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World

Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World

The History of Lotherton

Lotherton Hall 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.

Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World - the Hall

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 for parking, and the bird garden and other grounds were free. You only had to pay for visiting the hall and displays.

However, in recent years, the bird garden was looking a little tired, so the attraction has been upgraded. And rebranded to become Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World. For a set cost, you pay at the gates for entrance to the hall, deer park, estate, playgrounds and bird garden.

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.

Our Visit

At the time of writing this, it cost £6 per adult and £4 per child when paying at the gate. We paid £20 for the 3 of us to park.

On our visit this time, 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.

It even 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. The gardens and trails around the back of the house are really lovely, and often forgotten in favour of the bird garden.

Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World - trails

The Hall

The Hall is closed in January and February, apart from guided tours at 11am and 2am. Though you still pay the same full price all year round. This is something that I do not agree with. I feel that there should be an ‘off-peak’ price for these months. 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 reviews on Trip Advisor!)

Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World

The Grounds

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.

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.

The Bird Garden

In recent years this has changed considerably. There is a new entrance, with a walkway and gift shop, and a brand new flamingo enclosure.

Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World - 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 are a great time to visit and see the birds.

Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World - penguins underwater

Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World - penguin enclosure

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.

I am sure that 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 and Wildlife World

However I can understand that people want to be frugal. Temple Newsham is a great alternative in this area. There the parking is free, but you have to pay to visit the farm and playground, and pay separately to visit the hall. Under 5s are free, but the current cost of visiting the hall and farm at Temple Newsham would cost about the same for us as visiting Lotherton. See this and other free places in Leeds.

Fancy visiting other places in Yorkshire? Why not read my post on Days Out in Yorkshire With English Heritage

Or fancy more animals in Yorkshire?Why not visit Cannon Hall Farm near Barnsley? Or Yorkshire Wildlife Park?


Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger


22 Replies to “Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World – Days Out in Yorkshire”

  1. Sue says:

    It looks like a nice day out, I love going to places like that seeing the animals. Bourton on the water is a gorgeous place to visit, it also has Birdland which you can pay to enter and has penguins in an enclosure a bit like that.
    Sue recently posted…Parasites and Allergic Reactions In DogsMy Profile

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Love Bourton. Not been for a long time. That sounds lovely.

  2. Britt K says:

    This looks like such an incredible place to visit with all the birds, and I LOVED learning about the history. I am a little bit of a history nerd that way… We’ll have to check it out if we’re ever in the area
    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      There needed to be a price increase or it would have stayed the same sad bird garden forever.

      1. Jo Boyne says:

        Yes, the house does look really severe compared to other country houses. But yes, the flamingoes are lovely.

      1. Jo Boyne says:

        This a great place for a few hours, as is Temple Newsham, which is also mentioned. Thank you for reading!

  3. Morgan Prince says:

    It sounds like a great day out, even if you do have to pay. I think it’s lovely that rather than close the place they decided to upgrade it and charge for entrance.
    Thanks for sharing with #pocolo

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I can totally understand why they had to put up the prices.

  4. Lucy At Home says:

    We once tried to go to Lotherton Hall but when we arrived, it was closed! And we have never attempted it again. But I think my girls would love this (especially as they have a soft spot for flamingos at the moment!). It sounds like good value for money and I’ll pin this to remind me to look at visiting again! #blogcrush
    Lucy At Home recently posted…BlogCrush Week 106 – 22nd February 2019My Profile

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you Lucy. What a shame it was closed! But yes, the flamingoes are just lovely here. I personally do think that it is good value.

  5. Q x says:

    Dear Jo,
    I did NOT know there were flamingos at Lotherton Hall. This is a revelation and I cannot tell you how happy this has made me. Thankyou for blogging about it.
    Love from Q x


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