We have just returned from this 'attraction' having made a big effort to cram it in before the end of the season. From the word go it looked unpromising as people are unable to enter & exit the parking easily & there's little info to ensure you know what you're doing even on entry. We were asked if it was our first time, by the man in a hut, & when we said yes - a leaflet was shoved through the window, so we moved off.
Having parked with difficulty (stones, squelchy terraine) I scanned the leaflet to find no clear map/instructions etc which is what we'd expected, just 'history' which was of no practical use at that time. There followed an unpleasdant hour trying to find a way 'round the lake' & ending up at lots of dead ends, & slipping & sliding on muddy ways & v steep inclines, sometimes crouching under overhanging rocks to move forward . Not much use saying 'solid shoes should be worn' on the route out of th car park - this needs flagging up in CAPS on the web site, hiking sticks recommended; would be good too. I had my second rate walking boots - definitely needed those with good grip & greater water proofedness!! But we'd still have got lost, frustrated & come away disgruntled. Why are there no small wooden signs? Why are there no map panels with 'you are here'?
We asked several groups of people eventually if they knew of a way round & most said no, but one said she'd been a long time ago & as she recalled the route 'on the other side of the water' (ie without the difficult terraine) went away from the water & ended up outside the estate so that a road walk was necessary. Not what we'd come all the way from York to do.
The language of the internet info is extremely misleading
Visits to Garden Yes
Light Refreshments Yes
There was nothing resembling a 'garden' & as for refreshments!!
"The 30 acre park provides seemingly endless opportunities to explore with tranquil lakeside walks, dramatic millstone grit rocks, and mature native woodland. Plumpton Rocks and natural landscaped gardens are open to the public"
'....endless opportunities to explore with tranquil lakeside walks' Really!! We caught a glimpse of the water a couple of times & even my pretty decent internal sat nav was completely perplexed as to where the parking we'd used was, we'd gone round in so many soggy cirlces!! Tranquil lakeside walks were the figment of someone's imagination, or reserved for a few with local knowledge. And as for the 2 vistas captured by Turner at each end of the lake - forget it!!
We went back to the parking kiosk man & witnessed him at least giving others a little talk, but that was based on the start at the litter bin principle & not much more - he seemed flumoxed by our complaints, & said most people liked the peace. People with local knowledge will know where they've come & what to expect. People like us coming for a one-off visit, led by the text above, will just go away shaking their head. I had more luck navigating through the huge & badly sign-posted W Canada recently than I did here.
This place needs to 'up its game': there are probably still people lost in there who've not made it out to complain!!
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.