AS SUMMER approaches the sharper corners of the garden are softened by stems, bowing under the weight of scented blooms.

Roses bring an explosion of colour, blazes of pinks and yellows each with their own heady scent encroaching onto the paths and grass lawns.

This makes for a perfect setting to enjoy a picnic of freshly-made sandwiches, tea and cake of your choice, all prepared in our tearoom. Hire a picnic blanket from us, chose the perfect spot in the gardens or meadows, and simply enjoy.

There is a hive of activity inside the house with food of the season laid out on a table which is said to be the length of the infamous Airedale Heifer. Enjoy this traditional kitchen setting, awaken your senses and learn how the generations before us lived off the fat of the land.

Rosemary from our overflowing herb border has been coated in salt; seasonal fruit and vegetables work their way down the table; barley, malt and hops for ale-making is there to touch and smell; and a traditional sugar cone, which would have been imported from the West Indies, gives a flavour of the times.

Younger visitors can explore the upstairs landing, where waiting at the end is a box of dressing-up delights. We invite you to try on the period costumes and take on a new persona to discover every corner of the house.

Step back in time; follow our Revolting Remedies trail, to find out what people used hundreds of years ago to cure diseases.

Clues are hidden in each of the rooms – ignite your imagination and explore what dead toads or hog's lard was used for. Test how strong your stomach is and hope your parents don’t boil snails in milk next time you feel off colour.

Wild Art Weekends continue throughout the summer months: join us every Saturday and Sunday at 11.30am and 1.30pm.

Take a walk down the secret steps which lead to the meadow, gather materials that have already fallen on the ground, then return to the Discovery Room to create your very own wild art to take home.

The fields and meadows this year are presenting a fresh challenge with Himalayan Balsam growing in more places than ever. This nutrient robbing, non-native species grows up to eight feet, sometimes more!

Teams of up to 20 West Yorkshire National Trust volunteers will be joining us on July 17 to help remove the Balsam plants.

Japanese Knott Weed is presenting just as much competition, most of which can be attributed to fragments of root being washed down by the floods this winter. The Hardcastle Crags and Marsden Moor team are on tap to help –you can see them hard at work on July 18 and 25.

The beautiful wild flowers like meadowsweet, water forget-me-nots and meadow cranesbill are a delight to see, fighting for their place in this traditional wild English meadow.

All of the ongoing work will help the fields in readiness for the outdoor theatre production of Much Ado About Nothing which will take place on August 24. Visit for more details or to book tickets.