86) Merlins wander at Oakwell Hall and country park, Nova Ln, Birstall, Batley WF17 9LF
Oakwell Hall & county park, is an Elizabethan manor house in Birstall, West Yorkshire, England. The Grade I listed hall is set in period gardens surrounded by 110 acres of country park. The house was built for John Batt. A recarved stone dated 1583 above the main entrance probably indicates the date of construction. The hall and grounds are steeped in history, from the royalist stronghold and battle at the nearby "battle of Adwalton Moor (1643), to a visit from Charlotte Bronte who featured the hall as "Fieldhead" in her novel "Shirley". The location and hall have been used in numerous tv and film productions too.
Facilities on site:
Ample parking - but there are height barriers to the carparks, you can park on the road outside the grounds.
Cafe's, shop, visitor centre and disabled toilets. Dogs are welcome but only service and guide dogs are allowed inside any of the buildings. Limited access into the hall and some of the gardens if your on wheels.
There are a number of different routes around the hall and grounds, for our visit we covered much of the bridleway that meanders around the grounds, some tricky sections for my Batec (powered front wheel and wheelchair combo), but achievable with a little support and care taken. On the downhill / uphill bridleways are wooden water run off boards, you can pass these or if your mobility equipment can handle go straight over them... The wheelchair accessible section is quite short 1/3 of a mile but we combined it with parts of the bridleway and did approx 3 miles in total. The bridleway includes a section called Warren , its other name is "bloody lane" in reference to the carnage from the battle that took place further up the lane. Some of the paths have gates, these are fitted with Radar keys, so make sure you have one if you want to explore more.
The site from the hall is quite hilly, thankfully, on the steeper slopes the park have provided zigzag paths to make the gradient easier.