Autumn in Whitworth Hall Country Park

We used to be fairly regular visitors to Whitworth Hall Country Park, near Spennymoor in County Durham, since I went there for a conference with work about eight years ago. Big Sister Foote is a massive fan of deer (thanks to some movie or other, Bambi, maybe?) and she has loved the place since then. However, this was our first visit without her, and our first with James. 

The Country Park was off limits when we visited this week; it’s rutting season, and the deer need their space. I imagine the stags wouldn’t be all that friendly if you went too close right now!

There’s a café here, but it might only be open on weekends or perhaps only in summer, as it was closed when we visited, and we had to park next to the hotel. That wasn’t really a hardship because look at the beautiful car park!  whitworth hall country park  

The café and the hotel reception both sell bags of deer food for £1, so we popped in to buy two. best western whitworth hall country park hotel stag 

We could only stay on the path today, not go in the field, so we couldn’t go and look at the statue of Bobby Shaftoe up on his column.
To be honest I’m not sure James would’ve been thrilled with it all that much anyway! You can just see it in this photo behind the deer. 
 deer at whitworth hall country park with bobby shaftoe statue 
The deer came trotting over the moment we arrived with our bags of pellets. James had no problems keeping his hands flat and giving them their food. He absolutely loved it, and was chatting to the deer, telling them, “That’s my Daddy, deer, and that’s my Noah, and I’m James”.
young male deer at whitworth hall country park  

There was one dominant stag jogging up and down, grunting, and chasing the younger boys away from his girls. James said he sounded very grumpy.
feeding the deer at whitworth hall in spennymoor, county durham   


After we’d used up all our bags of deer pellets, we went for a walk around the grounds next to the hotel. There’s a church, which you can often visit, and a lovely water wheel, though I think, judging by the water level, it’s been a while since it has turned!
Time for a quick selfie!

Foote family #selfie #Autumn

A post shared by Helena (@underfoote) on

And then a wander back to the car and home for lunch! 
It’s such a beautiful setting, and a lovely experience to feed the deer at Whitworth Hall Country Park. We have visited here in all seasons, and I can really recommend going when there’s snow on the ground, but Autumn is fabulous.

Monkey and Mouse
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



  1. October 29, 2015 / 5:22 pm

    Ah it looks wonderful – I love visiting the countryside in the autumn – your photographs are beautiful. Love all the leaves!

  2. November 5, 2015 / 12:19 am

    Looks beautiful! I love all the autumnal colours from the leaves and great that you can feed the deer up close. James is so sweet introducing you all to the deer, love that he said that’s my Noah. I don’t think my O would say that about his brother, lucky if he says his name! The water wheel is a fantastic piece of architecture, a shame the waters too low for it to run just occasionaly!
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

    • November 5, 2015 / 4:33 pm

      It is beautiful at this time of year, and so fun to feed the deer.

  3. chloelifeunexpected
    November 8, 2015 / 4:57 pm

    Oh wow this is so cool. I love deer, they’re such peaceful and majestic looking creatures. In fact as I’m typing this I have my deer print blanket over me!!! Definitely one of my favourite animals, i’m so jealous that you got to feed them. It’s incredible that they come so close to you!!! I definitely gasped at the video.Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

    • November 8, 2015 / 8:38 pm

      You sound like just the very person this place is made for! If you are ever in County Durham, be sure to visit!

  4. November 8, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    It does look fabulous there in autumn, although I’m please to hear they have closed the deer fields for the rutting season. We are deep in the same here, in fact I have a whole post on it tomorrow, and are staying out of our field too. It is the only time of year I hear the stags calling out. they are looking at their most magnificent, I’m really impressed that you had some eat from your hand, ours will come close but not eat from your hand. The park does look beautiful with all the fallen leaves and the deer practically licking the lens in the video is adorable. Thank you so much for sharing with me on Country Kids.

    • November 8, 2015 / 8:37 pm

      I do enjoy that the deer are friendly enough to eat from your hand but they have a massive place to wander in so if they aren’t feeling like more human contact they’ve the option to stay away. I’ll look out for your post tomorrow!

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