FOR THE last couple of weeks we’ve been busy getting the property ready for reopening.

Floorboards have been lifted and survey work has been carried out on the ornate plaster ceilings.

The floors have been cleaned and waxed in preparation for the 40,000 plus visitors who will tread the floorboards this year, the clocks have been reset, and the dust sheets are now folded away.

Lots of work has been happening in the gardens and grounds too, and the outdoor staff along with a team of dedicated volunteers have been braving the harsh weather to get the jobs done.

They’ve been winter pruning, repairing and oiling the garden benches, repairing pot holes and gravel paths, inspecting the trees for damage, tree planting, coppicing - the list goes on.

Everyone’s hard work will be rewarded when the 400-year-old doors to East Riddlesden Hall re-open to welcome visitors for the first time this year on Saturday February 10 for half-term.

This February there’ll be a great opportunity to connect to nature at East Riddlesden Hall, and we’re encouraging you to wrap up warm, pull on your wellies and take a step outdoors with us.

During half-term we’re focussing on giving nature a helping hand and you can come along, roll up your sleeves, and join us planting willow shoots on the lower field.

The sessions will take place on Monday and Tuesday February, 12 and 13 between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

Later in the year the willow shoots will be woven to create a green igloo to provide a perfect leafy den and shady play area for children to enjoy. Please wear long sleeves and trousers for these drop-in sessions; wellies and gloves are recommended too.

There’s gingerbread making in the house on Tuesday February 13 at 11.30am, and you’re invited to come along to the kitchen for this 30-minute volunteer-led session which uses a traditional recipe and techniques to give you a taste of the past.

If you enjoy getting crafty, you can make a willow bird feeder in the house to take home and hang in your garden. This self-led activity will run daily (except Friday when we’re closed) between 10.30am and 4.30pm.

If you’re in search of more adventure then a new seasonal trail will have you searching high and low, and discovering lots of new things.

The shop and tea-room will be open and the tea-room’s a great place to stop and re-fuel. As well as deluxe hot chocolates that are guaranteed to warm the smallest of hands, there’ll be a great choice of seasonal family lunches available too.

East Riddlesden Hall will be open Saturday to Thursday, February 10 to 15, from 10.30am to 4.30pm for half-term and then will be open every Saturday and Sunday until March 18.

All activities are free with general admission prices, but a small donation for craft material would be welcomed. Entry is free for National Trust members and under-fives.

The properties closed on Friday, February 16. Visit or call 01535 607075 for further information.