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 Things to do and see

Lotherton is a very popular place attracting over 3/4 of a million visitors each year. Help us keep Lotherton beautiful, please use the designated parking areas and abide by the country code. We hope you enjoy your visit and don't forget to...
    • See interesting exhibitions
    • Visit the beautiful country house with stunning decor and objects
    • Explore the Bird Garden
    • Spot the Red Deer in the parkland
    • Enjoy nature trails around the estate
    • Let little ones let off steam in the play park
    • Wander amongst the formal landscaped gardens
    • Visit the gift shop
    • Relax and recharge in the tearooms

The House

Lotherton was the home of the Gascoigne family, who created a charming home in the days before the first World War. Given to Leeds City Council in 1968, the house boasts fine furniture and painting with collections of ceramics and superb displays of costume.

The Costume Gallery regularly hosts exhibitions on fashion related topics.  Exhibitions are displayed on the upper floor of the house, which is currently not accessible for those with mobility needs.

The Bird Garden

See 200 magnificent species in one of the most famous and comprehensive collections of rare and endangered birds in the country. From flamingos and snowy owls to cassowaries and hornbills, many of them are part of endangered breeding programmes. You can help support the conservation of these beautiful creatures by making a donation or becoming a sponsor. An Environmental Centre is available by prior booking. Visits by schools are normally self-guided and again must be booked in advance. For further information and bookings, please ring (0113) 378 2959.

The Gardens

Rebuilt in its present form during Victorian and Edwardian times, Lotherton was owned by the Gascoigne family until Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne gave the Hall and Estate to the City of Leeds in 1968. There are collections of pottery, porcelain, paintings, sculpture, silver, furniture, jewellery and costume on display. Yet despite this magnificence, the house retains the warmth of a friendly family home we would all love to live in.

Formal Gardens

These distinctive Edwardian gardens surround the Hall on three sides. We owe a great deal for their creation to Mrs Laura Gwendolen Gascoigne - Sir Alvary's mother. In true Gertrude Jekyll style she divided the gardens in to several parts, each with its own distinctive character from highly formal to semi wild. There is a terrace, a formal garden with gravel paths and yew hedges, a rock garden, a walled garden and the William and Mary garden laid out in the 17th century Dutch style.

Stable Courtyard

In the courtyard you will find toilets including facilities for disabled people, the Estate gift shop with a wide variety of decorative presents and affordable toys and the Rangers Office. The Ice Cream kiosk adjoins the Stables café and restaurant which offers a menu of delicious, handmade cakes and pastries, daily specials and main meals served in a friendly family atmosphere. For details and party bookings please ring (0113) 378 2959.


There is a very popular adventure playground (for the under 8s) with a zip wire, climbing frames, swings, roundabouts and plenty of seating all in a lovely wooded aspect.

Medieval Lotherton

In the Deer park today you can still see the surviving extent of the Medieval field system called ridge and furrow. This may be the largest continuous coverage of ridge and furrow in West Yorkshire. The only existing Medieval building left on the Estate is the Chapel of Ease, a fine example of 12th century architecture. There may have been many changes and renovations over the centuries, but they do not detract from this small chapel with so much character. A Sunday service is held once a month from March to December.


Planted in 2005 in partnership with the Northern Fruit Group. The Orchard contains 109 varieties of mixed use trees including many from the Yorkshire region - with over 200 trees in total!

Captain Wood Walk

A short easy walk through open mixed broadleaved woodland. See the abundance of flowers and wildlife in the hazel and ash coppice groups. Coppicing is the ancient craft of cutting young trees and shrubs to ground level, in a small area - a coup. This allows more sunlight to reach the woodland floor and encourages the regrowth of wildflowers. The path is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs all the year round.

Boundary Trail

Take a stroll around the cattle and horse paddocks on the south eastern side of the Estate on this circular walk of about two thirds of a mile. The hedgerows and pathways are rich with wildflowers and birds, and there are panoramic views of the open countryside. Partway round the trail is a group of standing stones 'Geometry in the Landscape'. Surrounded by flower filled banks and ditches it appeals to visitors either as an astronomical focal point, a place to sit and ponder, or a great natural play area for children of all ages. A leaflet is available from the Estate shop or Rangers office. Suitable for electric wheelchairs and pushchairs in the summer.

Coburnhill Wood Walk

Put on your walking boots and follow Ranger's Walk, an ancient green track and public right of way, south of the estate towards Micklefield. A leaflet is available from the Estate shop.


New For 2014
Out and About
  •  Twin zip wires added to the woodland play area
  •  More picnic benches
  •  Improved facilities and interpretation at the deer hide
  •  Bird Garden Education Officer
  •  Interpretation in the gardens, stables, carriages and chapel
  •  More trees planted

In the House
  •  Great new family interactive area—The Gascoignes Abroad
  • Upgraded and improved dressing up room
  •  Sound & Smell interpretation in the historic rooms
Improved Members Benefits
  • Introduce a friend scheme
  •  Improved discounts at our own events
  •  Personal cards for each adult
  •  Exclusive members’ events
  •  Monthly e mail newsletter
  •  Free family day guest ticket with renewal