Thursday, 27 October 2011

What's on at the Treasure Houses of England this November

Get out and about this November with the Treasure Houses of England’s fabulous feast of events. Visit any of their ten palaces, houses and castles for an atmospheric and seasonal extravaganza for all the family. Experience a rich array of architecture, history and culture – not to mention – exciting entertainment and activities at these spectacularly beautiful sites.

Beaulieu’s annual Fireworks Spectacular (29th October) will see a dynamic display to a Twilight Zone soundtrack guaranteed to inspire and excite the crowds. Featuring a fair, hot food and drinks including candy floss and roasted chestnuts; there will also be live music courtesy of WAVE 105 and a fantastic fancy dress contest.

Stir up Sunday (13th November) at Blenheim Palace affords visitors the opportunity to make and stir a Christmas pudding while meeting the palace’s acclaimed cooks and receiving top baking tips.

Stock up on the best of British with creative gifts courtesy of Blenheim’s Living Crafts for Christmas (18th-20th November). Quality items on offer include clothing, ceramics, jewellery, artwork and a delicious range of food such as homemade chocolates and seasonal pies and chutneys.

Burghley House invites brides and grooms-to-be to their Essential Wedding Show (6th November) while Castle Howard follows spectacular suit with their Wedding Fair (6th November). Both will be exhibiting a variety of premier suppliers from the industry.

Inspired by some of our favourite Christmas carols, enjoy this sparkling and surprising journey for all the family with ‘Deck the Halls: A visual celebration of carols’ at Chatsworth House (5th November to 23rd December).

The White Rose Winter Music Festival (17th-19th November) at Harewood House returns to provide an eclectic mix of music from opera and A Night at the Proms to Musicals from the West End all set amidst a beautiful backdrop.

Hatfield House provides the perfect setting for some unique Christmas shopping on 12th November with its Christmas Market while Holkham Hall offers captivating chamber music from the Carducci String Quartet (5 & 6th November).

Experience Leeds Castle’s renowned Fireworks Spectacular (5th & 6th November) for a memorable evening’s entertainment. With an open air children’s film screening and a wide range of refreshments available, the stunning light and fireworks show will be set to music inspired by ‘Space’.
Visit their Festive Fair to find innovative gifts for a superb shopping spree (19th & 20th November).

Woburn Abbey’s beautiful deer park will feature the RNLI Reindeer Run (27th November) – a festive and fun-packed day in aid of a worthy charitable cause.

A full schedule of events is available on request.

For more information visit

Monday, 17 October 2011

History comes alive at Buckler's Hard, Beaulieu

22nd to 30th October 2011
This October Half Term, 22nd to 30th October, the peaceful village of Buckler’s Hard on the banks of the Beaulieu River comes alive as Living History characters recount what life was like in the 18th century, when the village was a thriving centre for shipbuilding. Meet Balthazar Adams, son of Master Shipbuilder Henry Adams, and his wife, Mary, who lived and worked in the village at the time when ships for Nelson’s Trafalgar fleet were built.

Historic displays in the Labourer’s and Shipwright’s cottages show how the village would have looked in the early 1800s and in the New Inn, you can hear residents from the time gossiping about local matters.

Visit the newly re-desplayed Maritime Museum and discover the ships that were built at Buckler’s Hard, which have been the inspiration for a wealth of art, literature and films. In its more recent history, find out about the important role played by Buckler’s Hard and the Beaulieu River during WWII. Sections of the ‘Mulberry Harbour’ were made here, and hundreds of craft sailed from the Beaulieu River in the D-Day landings.

In the chapel of St. Mary’s, peer through the viewing window in the floor beside the altar which reveals the recently discovered cellar below. The Beaulieu River was believed to be a major landing point for smuggled goods from the late 18th century, and it is possible that the cellar was once used as a store for smuggled contraband.

Plus don’t miss the opportunity to embark on one of the last River Cruises of the season. This tranquil 30 minute journey wends its way along the river, with an accompanying commentary on the history of the river and the abundant wildlife that inhabits its banks.

The Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms serves refreshments, including delicious cream teas, throughout the day.

Visit for more information.

Friday, 14 October 2011

October Half Term & Halloween at the Treasure Houses of England

Celebrate October Half Term and Halloween with The Treasure Houses of England and their feast of festive events and activities. Set amidst beautiful backdrops and showcasing a series of historic and cultural artifacts and exhibitions – the ten castles, houses and palaces make for an exciting and entertaining day or evening out for all.

Reputed to be one of Britain’s most haunted places, Beaulieu is a brilliant venue for a stream of festivities from spooky storytelling sessions by real-life Ghost Hunters to gruesome face painting. Follow the Halloween trail to see the 250 vehicles on show – and marvel at land speed record breakers and genuine James Bond movie cars (22nd-30th October).

With a scary ‘Monster Mash’ trail featuring crazy mirrors concealed in the Marlborough Maze at the Pleasure Gardens - Blenheim Palace presents an elaborate mix of festive entertainment (22nd-30th October). Create your own monster or pumpkin ‘Jack-o-Lantern’ and decorate a scary piece of pottery for creative – and gruesome-themed – craftsmanship for kids.

Follow Burghley House’s pumpkin trail (22nd-30th October) for a special prize or dare to follow the clues around Castle Howard’s spooky pumpkin trail through the woods (22th-30th October).

If you're feeling brave, then bring your little monsters along to Chatsworth for a whole week of terrible treats, evil entertainment and devilish delights (22nd -30th October). See areas of the house, garden and farmyard transformed, with pumpkins galore, a spooky secret tunnel, crafts, dancing zombie workshops, creepy crawlies and much more.
Find out what really happens when the doors are closed for the day on a spooky exploration of Chatsworth by torchlight. Those who are brave enough can join our Guides on an eerie exploration of the house and hear creepy stories and tales of spooky goings on (27th-31st October).

Experience a mouthwatering mix of ‘food, folk and fun’ at Harewood House (22nd-30th October), which will be presenting twilight tales and Diwali celebrations amongst a mass of Halloween themed fun.

Holkham Hall will host a spellbinding set of activities and adventures beginning with an afternoon of ‘all things batty’ (27th October), including crafts and a guided evening bat walk. Their selection of Halloween delights (27th-30th October) includes witch dodging, spider hunting and Victorian ghost hunting with belly-filling treats. Round off Holkham’s Halloween with Freaky Face Painting and Scary Snacks in the Stables CafĂ©.

Spooky themed crafts will be on offer at Leeds Castle in Kent between 22nd-28th October. With a range of activities taking place in the marquee (additional charge applies) by the maze as well as a moreish menu of themed food on offer, Halloween will truly tickle the senses for children and adults alike in supreme style.

A full schedule of events is available on request.

For more information visit

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Bats, Spiders and Witches in store for Halloween at Holkham Hall

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.

AUTUMN GLORY … FOOD, FOLK AND FUN! 22 October to 30 October 2011

Photography by 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.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Fireworks set to go off with a bang at Beaulieu Saturday 29th October 2011

Beaulieu’s annual Fireworks Spectacular, one of the largest fireworks displays in the South, will be taking place on Saturday 29 October. The explosive and dynamic display will this year be set to a Twilight Zone theme.
Admission to the event is from 3pm when you can enjoy all the fun of the fair. Have fun on the Beaulieu Rides and Drives and Old-Time Fairground Rides including a Big Wheel, Gallopers and Swing Boats, all at good-value extra charges. Hot food and drinks are available both inside and out, as well as roast chestnuts and candy floss.
Entertainment on the WAVE 105 stage will include live music playing throughout the evening. Everyone is invited to join in with the spirit of the event by wearing fancy dress, with prizes going to the best dressed. Come early, stay late and have a great time.
Ticket prices on the day are Adult £11.50, Child (aged 5 – 17) £7, plus a great value family ticket for 2 adults and up to 3 children, at £31.50. To make special savings on advance tickets call 01590 612888 or buy online at Visitors to the event will also be able to see the National Motor Museum, with its latest exhibition, ‘Feats of Endurance’, and the James Bond Experience.
Normal Beaulieu admission prices apply before 3pm, with visitors welcome to stay and enjoy the fireworks.
For more information visit or telephone 01590 612345.

The event is supported by WAVE 105 and the Daily Echo.

Have a hauntingly good time at Beaulieu this half term.

22nd – 30th October 2011

Look out for some strange happenings in the neighbourhood at Beaulieu this half-term – it will be quite a spectre-cle!

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.

Saturday, 1 October 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