Crook Hall is the latest addition to the National Trust in the North East. It is located in Durham city centre, less than a 10-minute walk from the new Riverside area. I was kindly invited down to have a look around to create this post for you.
I would like to take this moment just to be completely transparent with you all. Even though I did not pay for my visit to Crook Hall I am under no obligation to post about my visit. So all my opinions and comments are genuine and I am not being paid to create.
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Now let’s get on with the guide!
Crook Hall was a tourist attraction before the National Trust took it over. However, as a result of the pandemic, it closed in July 2020. The Trust took it over in March of this year and it opened shortly after.
As this is a national trust site, members get to visit it for free. However, non-members need to pay for admission:
Family passes and concession tickets are available. Check their website for more details on those.
The site is open 10am – 5pm 7 days a week and will remain so until October 30th. From then throughout winter it will simply be open on weekends until the spring.
There is a car park on the site which is a pay and display car park. It costs £3 for 3 hours, which is plenty of time to visit Crook Hall itself. However, if you are wanting to spend some time before or after exploring Durham City Centre, and I implore you to do, then I would recommend parking at one of the other car parks in Durham. Such as:
The Riverwalk Carpark 1 or 2. £1.80 for 2 Hours. Postcode: DH1 4SL
Princebishop Cark Park. £2.10 for 2 Hours. Postcode: DH1 3UJ
Sidegate Carpark: £1.60 for 2 Hours. Postcode: DH1 5SY
If you are planning on spending the rest of the day in Durham, check out my other guides which will help you plan the perfect day:
Other National Trust Sites in the Area:
Crook Hall and Gardens
I had the pleasure of visiting the site before it was NT-owned, and after going back I have to say it hasn’t changed very much. It is still the beautiful site we all remember!
The gardens are a great place to wander and explore. They are full of cosy gazebos, stunning floral arrangements, and views of Durham Cathedral on the other side of the river.
There are so many great spots, but I think my favourite parts were the walled gardens at the front of the house. I spent a lot of time walking through as they are crammed full of beautiful flowers.
There is also a great part of the garden which is an apple orchid and full of apple trees. I think this photo below may be one of the best photos I have ever taken?!
As well as the orchard, there is a vegetable plot full of veggies that are growing including some beautiful sunflowers, there is a meadow walk through the field o towards the back of the house and even a maze for you to get lost in!
There is a cafe on site which serves hot and cold drinks for sit-in or you can take away. The prices seemed fair for Durham and an NT site. You don’t have to pay to get into the gardens in order to visit the cafe so it could be a great spot to escape the city.
Alternatively, there are seating areas throughout the garden so if you wanted to take your own picnic that wouldn’t be an issue.
As this site is made up of quite a rustic garden space, much of it is not wheelchair accessible and in some parts, you will struggle with a buggy or pushchair so keep that in mind when visiting.
The site is dog friendly as long as they are kept on short leads, however, only assistance dogs are allowed in the Hall.
The History of Crook Hall
The Great Hall was first built back in 1286 by Peter Del Croke (whom the hall and site are named after. after their ownership, the hall changed hands several times until the Billingham Family bought it in 1372. They loved it so much that they stayed for 300 years the hall was the home of the Billinghams.
The hall changed hands again to the Mickleton family. Under their ownership, some changes were made to the hall including the building of another wing and a new door. More changes came with the owner of the Shincliff family who built the Georgian wing which sits at the other end of the house.
With each new owner, new changes have come to this site. In 1995, the Bell family moved in and loved the place so much that they opened it up to the public in 1998. It remained a privately owned tourist attraction all the way up until 2020 when they closed it due to the pandemic and the National Trust bought it this year.
When walking around the site and looking at the house you can see each level of change going from the hall built in the 14th century, to the Georgian terraced house at the other end. It is an incredible journey through history.
Thank you again to the staff at Cook Hall for being so kind and welcoming to me on the day of my visit. I had a great day and cannot wait to watch this site evolve over the years!
I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you end up visiting in the future I hope you have as good a time as I did. Thank you for your support of my blog and feel free to subscribe to get all my new posts directly into your inbox or follow me on my other socials to see what else I’ve been up too!
Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring!
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