Monday, 26 September 2011

A touch of festive magic comes to Holkham Hall for the first time this Christmas

Traditional delights, historic markets and fairytale magic will transform Holkham Hall in North Norfolk into a charming winter wonderland for the very first time.

From late November, Holkham will host its first series of exciting Christmas events, including visits from the Holly King, Queen Victoria and the Snow Queen, which promise to make it the most regal of festive destinations.

Holkham’s Christmas calendar opens with a Victorian Christmas Fayre on November 26 and 27, which sees the Bygones Museum turn back the clocks to the time of Charles Dickens for a wonderful period market, created by the Black Knight Historical team.

Visitors will be able to buy unique gifts from costumed traders and enjoy Christmas carols performed by minstrels, as well as storytelling. There will also be the opportunity to make traditional decorations, relax with mulled wine and walk around the garland-decorated hall, where children will be able to meet the Holly King himself.

Period entertainment continues with a Victorian Christmas Celebration on December 3 and 4. Queen Victoria arrives at the decorated hall to music, dancing, carols, games and stories by the fireside. During the festivities, kitchen staff will prepare a seasonal feast, the Holly King will be giving gifts to children beneath his Christmas tree, and all is captured for posterity using photographic techniques from the era.

Meanwhile, visitors with a passion for quality antiques and fine art will enjoy the Antiques Fair from December 9 to 11. Organised by Galloway Fairs, a collection of nationally-known dealers will be exhibiting a selection of town and country furniture, jewellery, paintings, decorative pieces and antiquarian books amid the festive atmosphere of the Hall’s seasonal decorations.

Holkham Hall’s Christmas experience concludes with an atmospheric performance of The Snow Queen in the magnificent Marble Hall on December 17. This retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale by Quantum Theatre follows a young girl travelling across the North Pole to free her friend from the spell of the wicked Snow Queen.

The Christmas Fayre and Christmas Celebration events take place 10am to 5pm, with last admission at 4pm for the Hall and 4.30pm for Bygones Museum. Tickets for each event are £11 for adults, £7 for children.
The Antiques Fair is held from 10.30am to 5pm. Tickets are £5 for adults, free for under-16s.
Tickets for The Snow Queen are £16 for adults, £12 for children, with performances at 2pm and 6.30pm.

Further details can be found by visiting, or telephoning 01328 713111.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Chatsworth Tastes Sweet Success with Home Grown Grapes

Sweet, juicy grapes grown and hand-picked at Chatsworth are to become the first in England to be launched by a supermarket this week (Sept 22, 2011).

A crop of golden yellow fruit harvested from vines on the Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire go on sale at the John Lewis Foodhall from Waitrose on London's Oxford Street on Thursday, September 22 for a limited period priced at £2.99 per 300g pack. The grapes will also be available at the Chatsworth farmshop in Pilsley for a limited time.

The grapes are the Muscat of Alexandria variety more usually seen in the sunny climes of Spain, France, Chile and South Africa.

They were carefully cultivated on the Duke of Devonshire's estate in a Chatsworth glasshouse where vines were first planted back in 1921.  The plump, seeded dessert grapes have an aromatic, honeyed flavour.

Chatsworth’s Head of Gardens and Park Steve Porter said the sweet fruit had to be tended very carefully throughout the year.

"Growing these grapes is a very labour intensive process so we have up to three gardeners at a time tending to them in the glasshouse," he said.

"Chatsworth produces around 500 bunches annually so the Duke of Devonshire and his family are very pleased that delicious Derbyshire grapes will now reach a wider audience."

The grape vines must be painstakingly hand-pruned and any loose bark removed to help them stay healthy and pest-free.

Waitrose fruit buying manager Jocelyn Clarke said: "The English climate is not really suited to growing table grapes so it's a glorious surprise that these delicious fruit are a little piece of England.

"The Muscat of Alexandria is a beautiful variety of dessert grape and the fact that we have a supply lovingly cultivated in Derbyshire is the icing on the cake."

The arrival of English-grown sweet Muscat grapes in stores follows a British wine boom that last year saw vineyards here celebrate record production equal to four million bottles.

Small quantities of sweet dessert grapes have been grown in England for many decades, but not on a commercial scale. The Muscat of Alexandria grapes can only thrive in England if they're kept in heated glasshouses.

Chatsworth house, garden, farmyard and adventure playground are open every day to 23 December 2011. For more information and ticketing options including a 10 percent discount for online booking, visit

Advance Notice of Christmas Festivities at the Treasure Houses of England

Spend the festive season at some of England’s most magnificent castles, palaces and houses at the Treasure Houses of England. Boasting ten of the most grand, historic and breathtaking buildings in the country, they will all be hosting a variety of Christmas events and entertainment amidst spectacular scenery and stunning surrounds.

Join Beaulieu’s exciting itinerary of Christmas celebrations (17th December-2nd January), including dress up games and carol singing while Blenheim Palace creates ‘A White Christmas’ with snowflakes, silver white birches and icicles for an atmospheric and magical experience (12th November-16th December). Enjoy a performing snow queen statue, Santa’s grotto in the stables and choir concerts.

Stock up on festive fayre at Burghley’s Fine Food Market (3rd-4th December) and at Castle Howard’s Christmas Craft and Produce Market (5th-6th December). Also at Castle Howard, Father Christmas and The Festive Wizard will be entertaining the crowds (26th & 27th November and 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th & 18th December) while adults can indulge in canapés, candlelight and a sumptuous three-course meal at their glamorous Christmas Party Nights (9th and 16th December).

Presenting over 100 stalls, Chatsworth’s Christmas Markets are a must-see (11th-13th and 18th-20th November), as are their ambient Twilight evenings presenting shopping and entertainment with the option of a gourmet three-course meal (24th & 25th November and 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th & 16th December).

Starring real farmyard animals, Chatsworth’s popular Nativity performances will ensure a jovial mood for all the family (3rd, 10th & 17th December).

The grounds at Harewood are beautiful at this time of year, and there will be plenty of seasonal events including a Santa's grotto on winter weekends.  The courtyard shop will be filled with festive foodstuffs, homeware and gift ideas - with perfect presents for children of all ages in the toyshop.

Find some gorgeous gifts at Hatfield House’s Christmas Frost Fair (25th-27th November) and Christmas Market (12th November) or even acquire some rare antiques at Holkham Hall’s Galloway Antiques Fair (9th-11th December).

Spellbinding Chamber Music in Holkham’s Marble Hall includes a champagne reception (12th December) and their Christmas Theatre looks set to entertain and enchant in equal measure (17th & 18th December).

Merry moments will be had by all at Leeds Castle courtesy of their beautifully decorated castle rooms featuring Father Christmas in his grotto (5th-24th December) and captivating Christmas Trail (26th December – 3rd January).

A full schedule of events is available on request.

For more information visit

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Join in the celebration of all things Autumnal at Harewood House in some of the best surroundings Yorkshire has to offer (22nd to 30th Oct)

Photography Simon Dewhurst

Join in the celebration of all things Autumnal in some of the best surroundings Yorkshire has to offer this October half term (22 to 30 October).  One of Harewood’s most popular annual events, Autumn Glory offers a schedule bursting with outdoor and indoor activities to suit all the family.  Wrap up warm and get into the spirit of Autumn with witches and wizards from ‘Make a Wish Entertainment’, twilight tales (Tues and Thurs), corn doll making, scarecrow trails, face painting, sample seasonal food, Bird Garden activities and Diwali celebrations (Wed), and much much more

Visit Below Stairs to see the Autumn displays, including English apples of all varieties from the Northern Fruit Group, biscuit decorating, lantern making, drawing and colouring.  This year the Harewood team are on the look out for the best carved pumpkin in our new pumpkin competition.  To be in with a chance – simply bring along your carved pumpkin.  Entries will be judged by Head Gardener, Trevor Nicholson.

If the outdoors is more your thing, then enjoy walks and trails around the grounds and take in the stunning array of colours that the season brings to Harewood.  And if you want to pick up a new skill, watch, learn and have a go at dry stone-walling … Autumn Glory is a great opportunity to get some fresh air ahead of the nights drawing in, plus there are all the great facilities and cafes that Harewood offers to keep the energy levels high.  In the Terrace Gallery, you can enjoy Antony Gormley’s ‘Two States’ exhibition to top up on your culture – there’s no better way to enjoy half term with all the family.

Open from 10am to 4pm daily, free entry to Harewood Cardholders and under 4s, and included with all day tickets.  Adult £7.50, Seniors £6.50, Children (4-16 years) £4.50, Family (2 adults up to 3 children) £25 - Gift Aid tickets are slightly more. Visitors can upgrade to a Freedom ticket to include access to the House.  Some activities require a small spend or pre-booking and run on a variety of days. Visit or call 0113 218 1000 for details.

The Treasure Houses of England - Special Days Out

Encompassing a total of ten of England’s most spectacular castles, palaces and houses, the magnificent Treasure Houses of England are an absolute must-see this autumn.
Affording visitors the rare opportunity to explore a real life ‘Downton Abbey’, the houses continue to reign as Hollywood hits, having been strewn across the silver screen in a tally of TV and films such as ‘Harry Potter’, ‘The Kings Speech’, ‘Brideshead Revisited’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ to name a few.

Offering a complete living history of English life over the centuries, most of the houses are still home to the families that have resided there for generations, providing a unique insight into the lives both up and downstairs at these incredible sites of historic grandeur.

Housing some of the most revered art collections in the world, visitors are treated to master artworks by the likes of Rubens, Gainsborough and Van Dyck alongside priceless pieces of fine furniture, china and porcelain from Chippendale, Meissen and Wedgewood.

With an array of guided tours and scenes specially recreated for visitors, examples of some of the highlights on offer include a ‘Staff and Servants Exhibition’ at Woburn Abbey, the recent restoration of Hatfield House’s original kitchen where Queen Victoria’s banquet was prepared for her 1846 visit, and costumed guides at Beaulieu who assume the characters of the household staff that were integral to the running of the house – and the people who lived there.

Every house provides a distinctive and dramatic setting for a day out amidst achingly beautiful backdrops where guests can sample a nostalgic age imbued with a rich history from the 9th century to today. All the grounds are different, with some offering sweeping panoramas of parkland and others gorgeous landscaped gardens scattered with statues, lakes, fountains, cafes, adventure playgrounds - and even a golf course at Leeds Castle.

From gourmet days and bird displays to art and motorcar exhibitions, a variety of events across all of the houses ensure an eclectic mix of entertainment, cultural insight and outstanding architecture for an unforgettable – and quintessentially English – experience guaranteeing fun for all the family.

For more information visit
Houses include: Beaulieu, Blenheim Palace, Burghley House, Castle Howard, Chatsworth, Harewood House, Hatfield House, Holkham Hall, Leeds Castle and Woburn Abbey.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Four days full of fun and frights during October Half Term will set pulses racing at Holkham Hall in Norfolk

Four days full of fun and frights will set pulses racing at Holkham Hall in Norfolk when a full programme of events and activities from October 27 - 30 is planned to celebrate Halloween.

Every day spooky activities abound with wicked witches and gigantic spiders to be found in the Bygones Museum, where younger visitors are in for a trick or treat as they seek them out amidst the huge cobwebs.

In the evenings it won’t be just the heating pipes making strange noises below stairs in the hall, as a renowned Victorian ghost hunter leads the hunt for all things ghoulish and unlocks the secrets hidden in the labyrinth of cellars beneath the grand Palladian mansion. 

This year it is also the United Nations Year of the Bat and, in keeping with the season, the hall is hosting a ‘Go Batty’ family activity day on Thursday, October 27. This free event is open to everyone and takes place from 11am to 4pm offering an opportunity to explore the habitats and lifecycle of these creatures who have had long been associated with witchcraft, black magic and darkness. 

An evening ‘dusk bat walk’ will follow in Holkham Park from 5pm – 6.30pm, with bat detectors in operation to help find the creatures before they hibernate for the winter.  There will be a small charge for all those wanting to join the walk of £3 for adults and £1.50 for children

Further details on admission prices and times of events can be found by visiting, or telephoning 01328 713111.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Beaulieu October Half Term - Look out for some strange happenings in the neighbourhood at – it will be quite a spectre-cle! 22nd – 30th October 2011

In the National Motor Museum, you can follow the Halloween Trail and see some of the 250 vehicles on show, from early motor cars to Land Speed Record Breakers. Be ‘shaken but not stirred’ by the James Bond Experience, with genuine cars and boats from the Bond movies.
Become a part of the world’s greatest car show with Beaulieu’s popular ‘World of Top Gear’. Enter the Top Gear Enormodrome to see actual cars from some of the presenter’s most ambitious challenges, hear the stories behind them and enjoy clips of some of the best Top Gear moments. attraction

Have a ride on ‘Wheels’, a pod ride through 100 years of motoring history and take a trip on the high-level Beaulieu Moan-o-rail which passes through the roof of the Motor Museum.

Beaulieu is reputed to be one of Britain’s most haunted places and ghosts have often been seen and heard in its 13th century Abbey and at Palace House, home of the Montagu family since 1538. On selected days, talk to real ‘Ghost Hunters’ in the haunted Abbey Cloister and hear Spooky Stories from the costumed guides in Palace House. Children can take a lucky dip in the Witches Cauldron and be given a Gruesome Face Painting.

Beaulieu is open daily from 10am to 5pm with free parking. Admission prices are adult: £16.75, seniors £15.50 child (5-12) £9 and (13-17) £10, a family ticket for 2 adults and up to 3 children is £45.50.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Join the hunt for ghosts and ghouls at Beaulieu Abbey

On the 22nd and 31st October this year, join the Hampshire Ghost Club as they embark on a paranormal investigation at the historic 13th century Beaulieu Abbey, the site of many spooky spectre sightings.

Beaulieu Abbey was founded in 1204, when King John gave a gift of land to the Cistercian monks to found a monastery. The largest Cistercian Abbey in England, Beaulieu thrived for over 300 years until it was destroyed in the 1530s at the time of the dissolution of the Monasteries.
The strange stories and legends surrounding Beaulieu Abbey have captured the imaginations of people from all walks of life, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who had a great interest in psychic research and made many visits to Beaulieu in search of the unexplainable. To this day, both staff and visitors to Beaulieu report glimpsing ghosts of the Abbey’s former inhabitants, as well as sounds and smells from eras past.

Now, the Hampshire Ghost Club are inviting members of the public to join them on a ghost hunt, investigating some of the most haunted areas of Beaulieu’s ancient Abbey.

The paranormal sessions will be taking place on two nights around Halloween, beginning at 9pm and continuing through to 1pm. Activities will include vigils and investigations, using professional equipment, in the Abbey’s Domus building, which was formerly the Lay Brothers’ Dormitory. Investigations will also take place in the Abbey ruins and Cloisters. Ticket prices are £50 per person, including hot drink refreshments, and are available to people aged 18+. Pre-booking for these sessions is essential, and you can reserve your place by telephoning 01590 612888.*

For more information, please visit or telephone 01590 612345.

*Minimum numbers apply

Thursday, 15 September 2011


We should be used to it by now but a very optimistic attitude was required not to get despondent about the gloomy weather forecasts ahead of this year’s International Autojumble, which included very heavy rain and gale force winds for the Sunday  of the event, held in the grounds of the National Motor Museum on the 10th & 11th September.

The reality was actually much better and the worst of the weather did not materialise.  Beaulieu’s Events Manager, Judith Maddox said: “It is very encouraging that, in its 44th year and 45th show, the event’s popularity, both with exhibitors and visitors, shows no sign of waning. The International Autojumble has become the premier event of its kind and is to jumblers what Glastonbury is to Festival goers.”

Foreign ‘tongues’ were more in evidence than ever this year with many commenting that English voices seemed to be in the minority among the many languages being spoken. Large contingents came from Europe, particularly France, Germany and The Netherlands, as well as regulars from the US and Canada, Japan and South America.

Exhibitors reported very good trading with many declaring this year’s event ‘the best ever’, in terms of sales. It was especially noticeable on Saturday that trading continued long after the show’s official closing time and the excellent quality of overseas buyers was particularly commented upon. The free delivery service for bulky purchases was certainly much in demand with vehicles laden with goods being continuously driven to the collection point throughout both days.

The number of Trunk Traders stands was a little down this year, another victim of Sunday’s adverse weather forecast and the early morning rain. However, those amateur jumblers who did arrive to sell their surplus bits from the back of their cars had a queue of eager exhibitors and visitors waiting to rummage through their stands in the hope of unearthing a rare or unusual find that had perhaps been languishing in the back of someone’s garage.
The Automart had the usual range of vehicles for sale, from restoration projects such as a rare pre-war Series 2 Lancia Aprilia and a 1928 Sunbeam 20.9 pick-up with quite a high asking price of £50,000, to a restored 1929 American La Salle for £42,000 and a 1937 BMW 320 Cabriolet, not used since being restored in Prague 20 years ago, which had an asking price of £69,500.

A fully restored 1932 Morris Minor 2 seater Tourer, going for £7,500, had been a laid-up barn find on the Isle of Wight, while a 1966 Austin Mini Moke, completely restored by its present owner, had an asking price of £18,500.

Lord Montagu was on hand to congratulate the winners of this year’s Best Stand, Burlen Fuel Systems Ltd. This Salisbury based family business run by John Burnett and his sons, Mark, Jamie and Andy specialises in S.U & Amal carburettors, fuel pumps, service kits and spares. The stand was commended by the judges for its stylish and excellent display and sense of history as well as for its very knowledgeable staff. They were presented with a trophy donated by Lolly Starnes, in memory of her father, Terry Lee, a keen autojumbler who spent his life looking for rare items of interest. In addition, they will receive a free stand at next year’s International Autojumble.

Bonhams Business Administrator, Motor Cars UK, Tom Harrington, reported the largest audience ever for a Beaulieu sale and a record number of 138 vehicles for sale in this year’s auction, held on Saturday. With 98% of the vehicles selling and a hammer price of 2.4 million, Tom said: “Bonhams is delighted with the results at the 2011 Beaulieu International Autojumble auction.  Another set of barn-storming results continues to illustrate the strength of this wonderful event.”

Highlights of the sale included a barn discovery 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Sports Saloon with an estimate of £40-£50,000 which fetched £166,500, a 1935 Bentley 4¼ Litre Competition Special which exceeded its guide of £55-£65,000 to reach £78,500 and a 1925 Bentley 3- Litre Shooting Brake which went under the hammer at £124,700.

The Meldonfoot collection of 13 classic cars from the Scottish Borders, some more than a century old, raised more than £250,000.  The vehicles were part of a large collection built up over several years and had been shaped by an appreciation of the ‘mechanical genius of Henry Ford.’ Among the highlights were a 1904 Cadillac and a very early 1910 Ford Model T Tourer.

The huge variety and mix of vehicles and stands, plus enthusiastic purchasers, combined to make this year’s event both memorable and enjoyable, maintaining its position as the premier Autojumble in Europe and reinforcing the event’s claim that :”If you can’t find it at Beaulieu, it doesn’t exist!”

Gary Stretton, Editor of Classics Monthly, the event’s sponsor magazine said:”True to its heritage, this year's Beaulieu Autojumble once again easily lived up to expectations. On the Classics Monthly stand we were busy socialising with the Autojumble's diehard worldwide fans and Classics Monthly readers old and new. Sun, wind and the odd Saturday shower provided the backdrop whilst we discussed our Project MGB and dodged questions about the correct prize draw answer from its might-be winners.
“If you're going to stand in gorgeous countryside, talking old cars, then like us, Beaulieu's the place for you. See you next year.”

The next International Autojumble will take place on the 8th and 9th September 2012.

Monday, 12 September 2011

New Damien Hirst Sculpture Takes Flight at Beyond Limits

A new work called ‘Legend’ by Damien Hirst is one of the key pieces at ‘Beyond Limits’ the monumental, contemporary sculpture exhibition at Chatsworth in Derbyshire opening Friday 16 September.

See a pictures here from the BBC

Showing in public for the first time, the painted bronze, winged horse was cast earlier this year and stands at more than 10ft high. ‘Legend’ joins 25 other sculptures from 20 British and international artists and includes completely new pieces as well as others not previously seen in the UK.

Chatsworth’s famous gardens and the surrounding Peak District landscape provide a dramatic backdrop for these large-scale works with the biggest, Manolo Valdes ‘Nike’, measuring just under 50ft in width.

The British presence includes Marc Quinn, Yorkshire artist Richard Hudson, Barry Flanagan and Lynn Chadwick. European and American artists include Rene Magritte, Jaume Plensa, and Jedd Novatt while a strong Asian influence includes works from Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama, Ji Yong-Ho and Ju Ming.

Free sculpture tours are available to visitors at 11.30 and 2.30 every day until the Beyond Limits closes on Sunday 30 October. All exhibits will be on display from 11am-6pm every day at no extra charge beyond normal garden admission (standard adult garden ticket is £7.75 – see for advance- purchase, discounted ticketing options).

Thousands of art-lovers, general visitors and serious collectors are expected to visit the Peak District home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire for the exhibition.

All sculptures on display at Beyond Limits are for sale through Sotheby’s.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

October events at Holkham Hall

Gardeners will delight in Holkham Hall’s expert Pruning Day (15th October) and exclusive tour of the private gardens (23rd October). More news soon.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Ten-year repainting project nears completion at Holkham Hall

Nearly 10 years after work began – and around 400 windows later – Holkham Hall is reaching the end of a major project to repaint all of its window frames.

The first stage of application of Holkham Linseed Paint to the Hall’s windows began in 2002, and the window restoration team is headed up by Maurice Bray, who has worked at the estate since 1958.

The project is anticipated to finish in the next 12 months and only the interior courtyard windows of the Grade One listed hall remain unpainted.

Every frame will eventually be painted in linseed, a specialist environmentally-friendly paint, which can last up to 15 years. Used across Europe since the early 18th century, linseed paint has been enjoying a revival in the UK thanks to its environmental credentials and long life span.

Holkham Linseed Paints was established by Lord Coke in 2002 and are endorsed by the Holkham Estate. Derived from natural pure linseed oil, using renewable and sustainable resources, the paint has proved a long-term and cost effective way of maintaining the estate’s properties. 

“There are certainly more windows than days in the year,” said estate surveyor James Bracey, commenting on the scale of the job. “Previously they were painted on the outside and varnished on the inside. Today they are painted externally and waxed internally, and all work is undertaken in full agreement with English Heritage.”

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The largest fireworks display in Britain since New Year

To celebrate their 400th anniversary, Hatfield House will host the largest fireworks display in Britain since New Year with their fabulous Firework Picnic Concert (10th September), due to be broadcast live to a spellbound audience.

For more information on the fireworks display visit

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

More September events from the Treasure Houses of England

Chatsworth will be treating visitors to a mix of events – from their glorious Wedding Fair (15th September) and Moris Minor rally (11th September) to their beautiful Beyond Limits sculpture exhibition (16th September-30th October). Widely regarded as one of the year’s premier arts events, Sotheby’s brings a wealth of contemporary sculptures from over 20 international artists such as René Magritte, Ju Ming and Marc Quinn.

Enjoy some Hollywood nostalgia at Harewood House’s Drive-In Movie Night (10th September) by watching Tony Scott’s cult classic, ‘Top Gun’ under the stars. Continue the high-octane theme with Cars in the Park – a casual gathering of sports/super cars and enthusiasts on 11th September.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Events this September at the Treasure Houses of England

The Treasure Houses of England are presenting a plethora of events this September at their magnificent castles, houses and palaces. Enjoy an inspiring itinerary of exciting events spread across their ten sites all featuring gorgeous grounds and breathtaking buildings steeped in their own fascinating history.

Experience Europe’s biggest autojumble at Beaulieu (10th-11th September) where over 200 vehicles will be for sale including collectors’ cars, motorcycles and numerous automobilia. Following world class riding at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (8th-11th September) - The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival will be staged at Blenheim Palace to kick start the autumn literary season in supreme style (15th-18th September).

More events coming soon!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Harewood feels the need . . . the need for speed

Harewood invites you to unite in a Top Gun moment on Saturday 10 September, when you can join Goose and Maverick for an evening under the stars during this unique drive-in movie experience.

Classic 1986 American action film, Top Gun, is coming to Harewood and you are invited to join in this unique movie experience. The iconic film stars Tom Cruise playing his infamous 80s role - Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a young Naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. A story of rivalry, camaraderie, romance and loss - Top Gun offers the ultimate opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the most legendary films of the 80s.

This film showing coincides with the end of Summer and provides a fitting way to see the Summer out in style, with pre-movie entertainment from Stray FM and refreshments available throughout. Simply drive in, bring a picnic to share with friends or enjoy a romantic evening for two at what is sure to be an unforgettable evening.

Gates will open at 5.30pm. The film will commence at around 8pm depending on weather/light conditions, and will last approximately 110 minutes. Please ensure you have a working FM Radio to be able to pick up movie sound.

Certificate 12A – children’s attendance is at parents’ discretion.

Pre-book to save money and avoid disappointment.

Pre-book: £20 per car for Harewood members, £25 per car (up to 6 seats) and £30 per mini bus.

Prices on the day: £35 per car (up to 6 people) and £40 per mini bus.

Visit for more details.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Red Arrows Aim to Reach for the Sky Above Chatsworth

The Red Arrows are expected to give their first public aerobatic display since the death of Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging. Returning to the sky above the Chatsworth Country Fair at 4.15pm on Friday 2 September, the eight other pilots from the team will perform a twenty-four minute display of aerial prowess.

While the inquest into the accident continues, the Hawk T1 aircraft used by the Red Arrows have been cleared for flight and the team’s pilots are ready to go subject to a final test flight today. The Red Arrows were originally scheduled to fly at Chatsworth on Friday and Sunday but the Sunday display has been cancelled, replaced with other aerobatic displays.

The Duke of Devonshire said: “We are delighted that the Red Arrows have decided to take flight again at Chatsworth but of course it will be a day of mixed emotions. There will be thousands of people enjoying the show but it will be tinged with sadness as people remember Flight Lieutenant Egging. I think it will give everybody a greater appreciation of the expertise needed for a display like this and of the enormous risks taken on our behalf by the armed forces.”

Christopher Lloyd Owen, organiser of the Chatsworth Country Fair, added: “We had dedicated this 30th anniversary year to the armed forces before this terrible accident and the decision of the Red Arrows to return to action here makes it especially poignant. The Country Fair has always had a strong link to the three services and this year is no exception – as well as the Red Arrows we have the REME Band, the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry, the Tigers Freefall Team of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, and - representing the Navy - the Portsmouth Action Field Gun Club.”

Held in the park of Chatsworth, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the Chatsworth Country fair is celebrating its 30th anniversary - the three day event takes place from 2 to 4 September 2011. For more information visit

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Enthusiastic gardeners can take the opportunity to learn how to increase their plant stocks without having to spend a fortune by attending a special Propagation Day at Holkham Hall in Norfolk on Saturday, September 10.

Head gardener Tim Marshall is overseeing a long term restoration project of the Walled Gardens at Holkham and has a wealth of experience in propagating plants. The day will start with an informal talk on the various methods used with the aid of some helpful information sheets followed by a buffet lunch in the Stables Café after which a practical session will take place in the Walled Gardens to demonstrate how to take cuttings and pot them up.

The day includes coffee on arrival and lunch along with a selection of your own propagated plants to take home.

Focus returns to the Walled Gardens on Saturday, October 15, with a dedicated Pruning Day for gardeners keen to learn the correct methods of effective pruning. The course covers the basic biology of trees and shrubs and includes hands-on experience, the opportunity to ask questions and coffee and lunch.

Tickets for both event are £35 each and can be bought by telephoning the Holkham ticket office on 01328 713111 or emailing