One of my favourite memories as a child is visiting Newby Hall, a short drive from where we lived in North Yorkshire. But the excitement certainly didn’t stem from looking around the stately home (not something I could imagine many children being interested in!) but exploring the gardens surrounding it. It had a fantastic variety of playground rides, as well as a miniature train which travelled around the grounds. And there was normally ice cream involved in these visits!
When I was up visiting my mum last week, we decided to ‘re-visit’ Newby Hall as they had a teddy bear exhibition taking place, which we both loved the idea of. Heading down the long driveway, winding around the grounds’ fields filled with sheep, we couldn’t help but feel nostalgic. One of my most memorable visits to Newby Hall as a child is when they hosted their annual craft fair, and we would park up in the fields and head inside to the plethora of food and craft stalls.
The ticket prices had certainly gone up (it had been nearly 20 years, after all!) now at £10 per person to go around the gardens, which included the teddy bear exhibition and the long standing dolls house exhibition, which we’d never seen before.
The teddy bear exhibition was really sweet – hosted in a new wooden lodge and greeted by a man/woman (!) in a bear outfit, we headed inside. As we walked in, there was a huge bear in a glass cabinet – the original Fozzie Bear from The Muppets!
The majority of the rest of the exhibition was separated into themed scenes – a wedding, the Olympics, a teddy bears picnic and the royal wedding, all of which were adorable. Many of the bears came from Newby Hall itself, but others had been donated by high profile people, such as Tony Blair.
After that, we ventured into the doll’s house exhibition. I was never really into dolls as a child, I was all about animals, but I probably enjoyed this exhibition even more than the bears. There were just so many incredible houses, all completely different, with intricate details. I couldn’t take any good photos because they were all behind glass, but here’s a couple from the website:
We then honoured the tradition of getting ice creams (Thorntons Yorkshire Vanilla, with a flake!!) and wandered around the beautiful gardens.
My mum is an amazing gardener but I admit I know very little about it. Which is proving to be rather interesting as Tim and I now have our own garden which we’re trying to get our heads around! Still, it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the beautiful sights, smells and sounds of the gardens. And I love taking photos of nature, it’s probably my favourite thing to photograph.
If you’re visiting Yorkshire, I’d highly recommend stopping by Newby Hall. The nearest town is Ripon, where I went to school! You can find out more on their website here.