Reviewed by Rebecca Wong
Arriving at Rufford Old Hall is like escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From the moment you arrive to a greeting with a smile at the gate, to the ample free parking and the relaxed atmosphere that surrounds you instantly. I visited with my mum and small baby, upon entering the building I had to leave my buggy in the entrance which wasn’t a problem as I’d come prepared with my baby sling. The buggy was kept there with a member of staff present, so I needn’t worry.
Rufford Old Hall is the site of a magnificent Tudor building which upon first sight is enough to wow any visitor. However, venture inside and there is much more to please anyone with even the slightest interest in history. The rooms are really well presented with lots of interesting antiques and features that have been lovingly maintained; they keep you looking for more to spur the imagination on. The staff at the hall will take you on a journey from room to room of stories and facts about the Hesketh family that bring it all to life. Their enthusiasm for the history of the building and the family that have inhabited it for so long is contagious and their knowledge is impressive.
The Great Hall itself is a fascinating room that will have you imagining the many scenes that have taken place there over the years, through the many different eras it has witnessed. Venture out into the grounds and you will find beautifully maintained and alluring gardens that have a relaxing and tranquil feel about them. If this isn’t enough for you then follow one of the woodland walks to further stimulate the imagination.
For those that prefer, there were also options to join a garden tour and a house tour, but we enjoy exploring and seeing what we can learn by talking to the various volunteers and staff members who were always on hand.
Following our visit to the Hall we decided that food was in order, so a pit stop to the Victorian Tea Room for a selection of sandwiches and yummy cakes was something we couldn’t resist. Again we were greeted with friendly and enthusiastic staff who gave a personal service and for whom nothing was too much trouble.
We visited during school times and so there was not much on for children. However there were activities advertised for children to take part in and plenty going on during school holidays.
Overall I would really recommend Rufford Old Hall as an engaging insight into how things were. The staff there are so welcoming that they make you feel as if you are a personal guest which adds to the friendly atmosphere. I would not hesitate in visiting again in the future.
Tickets cost (with Gift Aid): Adults £7.50 (£8.40), Children £3.60 (£4.30), Family £18.70 (£21)
For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rufford-old-hall.
Rufford Old Hall, 200 Liverpool Road, Rufford, near Ormskirk, Lancashire, L40 1SG