5 National Trust places to visit in Lancashire & Liverpool
24th January 2023
Lancashire is a county in the North West of England which is famed for its contrasting landscapes, diverse heritage, and delicious food and drink. You can explore coastlines and moorlands or enjoy some iconic cities and taste the famed local produce during your visit to the county.
There are also lots of National Trust places in Lancashire that you should try and visit if you live in the county or are on holiday here. These range from castles in the countryside to areas of outstanding natural beauty.
In this guide, you will discover just some of the best National Trust places in Lancashire and Liverpool (which are in the ceremonial county of Merseyside). The guide also shares some top-line accessibility information that users of stair lifts and visitors using a wheelchair will find useful.
Top National Trust places to visit in Lancashire
- Gawthorpe Hall
- Rufford Old Hall
- Speke Hall
- The Beatles' Childhood Homes
- Heysham Coast
Gawthorpe Hall is located just outside of Burnley and this Elizabethan masterpiece is affectionately known as the 'Downton of the North' because it was redesigned in the 1850s by Sir Charles Barry, designer of the Houses of Parliament and the ‘real’ Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle.
The house can be explored by visitors, and it is home to the North West’s largest collection of portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery as well as The Gawthorpe Textiles Collection.
There are picturesque gardens that you can walk through, which offer great views of River Calder, and there are 40 acres of woodland which is a great place to explore as you might catch some glimpses of the local wildlife.
Krista, a Canadian travel writer who runs her own blog called Krista The Explorer, highly recommends visiting Gawthorpe Hall: “Whether you're on a day trip to Burnley or are staying a bit longer in the city, visiting Gawthorpe Hall is an incredible experience and should be at the very top of your list of things to do in Burnley.”
Gawthorpe Hall has an accessible toilet, car parking and there is a wheelchair that is available to hire during your visit. If you or a loved one suffers from a mobility problem, then you should be aware that The Hall is a tower-shaped building on 3 floors and there is no lift to the upper floors with access only being available via a staircase which has a total of 42 steps, in 6 short flights.
Guide dogs are welcome at the property, an induction loop is available at reception and there are braille guides and large print guides available to use for visitors who have hearing trouble or problems with their eyesight.
You can find the full access statement for Gawthorpe Hall here.
Rufford Old Hall
Rufford Old Hall is a fine Tudor building near Ormskirk and with over 500 years of history, there are plenty of amazing displays that you can enjoy in the house. You can see arms, armour, tapestries and a carved oak screen, which has survived from the 1500s.
You can also find out about how Shakespeare is believed to have spent some time at Rufford Old Hall during his teens and learn about notable events the great hall has been a part of.
There are plenty of other attractions you can enjoy during a visit to Rufford Old Hall, and these include North Woods, North Lawn, the Beech Walk Paddock, the Orchard, and the Walled Garden.
Sarah, from The Urban Wanderer travel blog, has previously visited Rufford Old Hall and she has spoken about her experience of this iconic attraction in Lancashire:
“The property is fairly small in comparison to many of the others in the region, but it is steeped in history and the volunteers share some great insights and knowledge.
“The gardens were very well laid out with a short and accessible walk around them. It was simple but nice and we had fun checking it out.
“We enjoyed our ramble about Rufford and will certainly be back. It was really cute to leave and see some birds over the wall. One thing I always advise is looking up, looking around and looking everywhere around you so that you can discover something new!”
Rufford Old Hall is an accessible attraction as there are car parking spaces for Blue Badge holders, an accessible toilet, an accessible entrance into the house and portable ramps for wheelchair users to enter rooms that have a step at the door. The gardens also have accessible gravel routes in them so visitors with mobility issues and wheelchair users can enjoy them.
You can find the full access statement for Rufford Old Hall here.
This timber-framed manor house dates back to Tudor times and one of the things that make Speke Hall unique is its unusual setting on the banks of the River Mersey.
The house was built by the Catholic Norris family, and it highlights a turbulent history. It is home to a secret priest hole that reflects Catholic persecution in the Tudor period and visitors can learn about the brutal reality of the Norris family’s, and later the Watt family’s, longstanding involvement in transatlantic slavery.
The house fell into disrepair and was used as a cow shed for a period of time before getting a Gothic revival-style revamp in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now visitors can reflect on the past and present as well as explore the restored gardens and woodlands.
If you are visiting with children, you can let them loose in the woodland play areas, enjoy the interactive Giant Childe of Hale play trail and try to escape the hedge maze.
Speke Hall is an accessible attraction for visitors with mobility problems. There are 12 designated disabled bays in the car park, an electric buggy service to take visitors to the entrance of the hall, accessible toilets, wheelchairs available to hire, and accessible entrances to the building.
You can find the full access statement for Speke Hall here.
The Beatles' Childhood Homes
The National Trust own the Beatles' Childhood Homes and you can enjoy a unique tour of the homes that John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney used to live in.
If you are a Beatles fan, you can enjoy a tour which will take you to see inside the places where the Beatles met, composed and rehearsed many of their earliest songs. You will explore the spot where Lennon and McCartney composed 'I Saw Her Standing There' and the tours will provide a great insight into the humble beginnings of what are now legends of the music industry.
As part of the tour, you will visit the Mendips, the childhood home of John Lennon, and will find a house that has been kept as it was when he lived there with his house-proud Aunt Mimi. You will also visit 20 Forthlin Road - the childhood home of Paul McCartney.
Lauren, a lifestyle blogger who runs the Laureny Loves blog, has been on the National Trust tour of The Beatles Childhood homes and she has spoken about the experience.
“A private minibus picks everyone up from the Jurys Inn hotel in Liverpool city centre. It’s the only way to see inside the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney and you must take the minibus there. It’s about a 15-minute journey from the hotel to the first house which is John Lennon’s home then from there it’s around 5 minutes to Paul McCartney’s home. You get around an hour at each house where you’re taken around by a guide and you can learn all about the early days of John and Paul. Both houses have either original items or have been restored to look like they would have looked when John and Paul lived there.”
If you have mobility issues and are planning to visit the childhood homes of Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon, it is worth noting that there are accessible toilets and parking available. There are some steps to the entrances and to the first floors of the properties and depending on your level of mobility you might need to be assisted.
You can find the full access statement for The Beatles' Childhood Homes here.
ALSO READ: 5 National Trust locations to visit in Devon
Heysham Coast is south of Morecambe and it is a sandstone headland which offers you some spectacular sea views.
Along the coast, you can see the remains of St Patrick's Chapel, built in the early Medieval period, and there are wide open spaces, coastal grasslands and peaceful woodlands that can be explored.
If you have all-terrain wheelchairs you can explore the area, but for people with mobility issues, it is best to visit Heysham Coast when the weather is good as there are some steep cobbled sections of footpath in places and stone steps which can be slippery following rain.
You can find the full access statement for the Heysham Coast here.
As you can see, there are a number of wonderful National Trust places in Lancashire and Liverpool that you can visit. These attractions will provide plenty of interest for those seeking a day out in the county or who want to visit nearby Liverpool.
For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our news page.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.