Review: Speke Hall, Garden and Estate - National Trust
Attraction - Historic house or stately home
The Walk, Speke, Liverpool, L24 1XD, United Kingdom
52 people found this review helpful
In the fall of 2009 I was in England for a family wedding. After all the festivities were over and most of the guests had traveled back to their respective homes I had the opportunity to visit one of the National Trust properties near my home town – Speke Hall, a Tudor half-timbered house. The hall is right next to the runways of John Lennon International Airport. If you take a walk through the grounds and up the hill behind the hall you have a great view of the planes taking off and landing, of the River Mersey and part of Liverpool itself.
It was a lovely sunny autumn day when we were there, which made strolling through the gardens a pleasure. There was restoration work being done on one wing of the hall resulting in the rose garden being cordoned off but the scent from the blooms was still very evident when we walked by. You would never know you were in Liverpool.
We joined a guided tour through the hall then returned after lunch for a more leisurely roam through the different rooms. There were volunteers in each room to answer any questions about the hall, the furnishings and activities of the residents. You will find a mixture of elements at Speke Hall – Tudor (Great Hall and priest hole), Victorian (William Morris wallpapers) and Jacobean (plasterwork and intricately carved furniture). A few of my favourites were the Great Parlour with it’s plaster ceiling and eating nook, the kitchen set to look as if the cooks are in the middle of meal preparation, and the library which is very much a mixture of the centuries.
Our lunch at Home Farm Restaurant, which is only 500yds from the house, was very tasty. The menu includes locally sourced produce and all looked very appetizing. I had the Scouse – essentially a beef stew that had a puff pastry crust.
Throughout the year there are many events happening at Speke Hall, some of which include light refreshments. A few of those listed for the fall and Christmas included: • Roof Tours to discover the secret of the 16th century roof space; • Tudor Tours presented by Tudor costumed guides who will relay stories from the hall’s 16th century beginnings; • Twilight Tours where you will have the opportunity to explore the gardens and estate at twilight with the warden; • Autumn Activity Weekend which includes tastings and talks in the orchard, storytelling and children’s craft activities; • Tudor Christmas Evenings which include a tour of the ground floor decorated for Christmas, Tudor music in the Great Hall and Father Christmas; • Tudor Christmas Weekends which include meeting characters from Speke Hall’s Tudor past, with authentic music, and children’s activities.
More information on Speke Hall and other National Trust properties can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk. Grounds and gardens are open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 to 4:30. Once at the hall there are also tours you can take from there into Liverpool to see various Beatles cites.
Liverpool was the City of Culture in 2008. Although much had already been done to develop Albert Dock along the river, this was added to greatly including a new theatre complex. There are also new apartment buildings and hotels and a massive new shopping centre and movie theatres across the street from Albert Dock. The whole face of the neighbourhood has changed drastically in two short years and is well worth a visit whether you are a Beatles fan or not.
52 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.