IT'S hard to believe that we’re already half way through the season, and even though we’ve not had the great summer weather that we’d all hoped for, the weather hasn’t stopped people from visiting.

To date we have welcomed 2,763 more visitors than the previous year which is fantastic. This figure doesn’t include all our local visitors who come down and spend time feeding the ducks or walking their dogs.

We have lots of land outside the pay barrier that is free to use and includes, the duck pond, Great Barn, Riverside Walk, lower playing field, and of course our tearoom, shop and toilets are free to visit as well.

We’ve already seen lots of families using our playing field by taking part in games of family rounders, cricket and football. The car park is free too, so East Riddlesden Hall is a great place for a picnic and low cost afternoon out.

If you wish to visit the house and gardens then entry is free for National Trust members and under fives.

From September we have an exciting outdoor textile exhibition on display around the property. Sue Thorpe, a local artist from Skipton, has spent the last year working as Artist in Residence at the hall, and will be presenting her work throughout September.

Taking in the atmosphere of East Riddlesden Hall and absorbing the colours, light and shade, the bright and dark will merge to reflect Sue's fascination with this beautiful place and allow you to discover the hidden stories within.

Sue’s work will be presented in various locations in the house and gardens. The exhibition will be open on Saturday August 30 and will continue until Sunday September 28.

As part of Sue’s exhibition, she will be offering free (with entry price) art drop in sessions in the garden. These are open to anybody who would like to learn more about working with acrylics and watercolours and are suitable for beginners to advanced abilities, and of course children are encouraged to get involved too.

These sessions will be held between 11am and 2pm on August 26 and September 2, 9, 16 and 23.

Back by popular demand this summer is Jane Ramsden, our medical herbalist. Jane’s love of herbs is portrayed in her 30-minute tours of our herb border.

The costumed tours delve into the interesting facts about the herbs as well as highlighting culinary and medicinal properties of the herbs including how they were used both traditionally and today.

There will be a display of herbal products showing how they are used to make syrups and salves as well as cosmetics.

Tours are free with entry price and will be on offer on August 31 and September 14 at 11am, noon, 2pm and 3pm.

East Riddlesden Hall is open Saturdays to Wednesdays between 10.30am and 4.30pm (last admission at 4pm). General admission prices apply, however entry is free for National Trust members and under fives.

For more information, please visit our website or call 01535 607075 during office hours.