Last weekend Lucas and I went for a mooch around Samlesbury Hall near Preston. It is somewhere I used to drive past on a regular basis but I don’t think I have ever visited before. I made a list of free places to visit in Lancashire last year and as part of my things to do before I’m 40, I thought I should use this list to visit places in my local area more often.
Samlesbury Hall and grounds are a registered charity known as the Samlesbury Hall Trust (Charity number 526052), whose aim is to preserve the Hall for the people of the area and visitors to Lancashire.
Although it is a charity, the hall, grounds and parking is completely free.
The hall is wonderful to look round from the Victorian kitchen, schoolroom & the 1950s bedroom, there is plenty to see, along with changing exhibitions in the Long Gallery. Unlike a lot of old stately homes you visit, everything isn’t behind a rope that you aren’t allowed to cross. Samlesbury Hall encourage visitors to get up close to the belongings and this went down really well with the children we saw there as they could play with the toys in the bedroom and weren’t constantly being told not to touch which does take the fun away. It’s a great place to learn and play in a relaxed environment. They also do free guided tours on Sundays.
As well as the hall to visit there is a restaurant, wafflery (we had waffles with chocolate dipping sauce which was immense), gift shop, animals, play area and a bee centre.
Lucas absolutely loved the pirate play area. It was incredible to watch him in it too as he started off quite nervous saying ‘I can’t do it’ and by the time we had finished playing he was grinning and proudly saying ‘I can do it Mummy!’. He explored the climbing area and balanced using rope that made us both nervous but seeing his face when he had accomplished going from one side to another was fab.
After we had finished playing we walked past the animals to the bee centre. Lucas now loves honey bee’s and couldn’t wait to tell Daddy and Grandma about the bee’s he had seen. In the centre the is a glass sided observation hive where you can see the bee’s working together. You can also see the outside hives from inside the centre through a window or outside from behind a viewing fence. On Wednesdays and Sundays there are usually bee keepers on site, we went on a Sunday so we did see them and they were all so friendly and eager to impart their wisdom. We had a lovely chat with one and before leaving we purchased some honey fudge produced from the Samlesbury bee’s which was delicious x