What is Rufford Old Hall and how did I end up there? Let’s back up a little ..
Over the past few weeks I’ve been making a concerted effort to see more of my favourite rainy island. I’ve been living in Britain for nearly half a decade now and I feel like I’ve seen embarrassingly little of it.
Although my move from London to Manchester brought me much closer to the charms of the English countryside, I focused on adding stamps to my passport rather than exploring my own backyard.
Now that I’m about to move to Glasgow I’m starting to panic. There’s so much to see and time is ticking!
To broaden my horizons I armed myself with a National Trust pass, new sneakers and freed up my weekends… and that’s exactly how I ended up at Rufford Old Hall last weekend.
What is Rufford Old Hall?
Rufford Old Hall is a timber-framed manor house in the English county of Lancashire, an hour’s drive from Manchester.
It was built around 1530 as the home of the Hesketh family, but in 1936 the building – including its impressive armour collection and gorgeous oak furniture – was donated to the National Trust.
In case you haven’t heard of the National Trust this is what it’s about… Founded in 1895, it protects various country houses, historic landscapes and nature reserves around the country.
Many of its properties can be accessed free of charge but an annual membership (from £31.50) gives you unlimited access to more than 500 places. Not a bad deal if you ask me!
I stumbled upon Rufford Old Hall when browsing their website and looking for new places to check out near Manchester. As soon as I saw that fairytale exterior, I was sold.
The manor even has a little claim to fame. It’s likely that young Shakespeare performed there in about 1585 as a member of the Hesketh Company of Players.
But in the end it wasn’t the house or its rich history that impressed me most. The grounds around it may not be huge but they Victorian gardens are absolutely gorgeous.
Not only that – they’re full of friendly squirrels and even squirrel-shaped hedges. Seriously…
Regardless of your level of Tudor architecture or squirrel appreciation, you’re sure to find something you love at Rufford Old Hall. How does walking through a field of purple crocuses and sunny daffodils sound?
That’s what I thought…
What do you think of Rufford Old Hall? Let me know in the comments bellow!