Monday, 30 April 2012

World’s Top Riders Compete for Olympic Places at Chatsworth Horse Trials 11-13 May 2012

Chatsworth Horse Trials promises to be full of drama this year as the world’s top riders compete in one of the last major events before the Olympics with a view to securing their place in London this summer.

The Horse Trials, set in the Chatsworth park, is proving a particularly popular choice for Olympic hopefuls as it provides excellent preparation for the terrain of Greenwich Park. Almost 600 riders are competing including GB contenders Tina Cook, Mary King, Zara Phillips, William Fox Pitt, Piggy French, Ruth Edge and Lucy Wiegersma.
Horse Trials director Tissie Reason said: “I doubt there’s a better opportunity to see so much Olympic class at close quarters. It’s a great opportunity to get caught up in the excitement as we build up to the Olympics, with the chance to see horses and riders that could be picking up medals in a few weeks time.”
Top riders from Sweden, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, Jamaica and Brazil will also take on the 23 jumps of the 4,000m course chasing the dream of Olympic selection for their country.

Olympic medallist and course designer Ian Stark said: “This year’s course is being reversed in direction to give a more gentle introduction. It also means the horses will only have to climb the main hill once. It’s important that the horses have a confidence building run in preparation for London so the tougher combinations have been softened a little, although it is still very much a World Cup Class!”

GB rider William Fox Pitt, who will be bringing his horses Lionheart and Oslo to compete added: “I have always enjoyed riding at Chatsworth and it will be exciting to see how the new course rides. It’s a welcome change in this Olympic year.”

Chatsworth Horse Trials is also the only UK round of the FEI World Cup™. Excitement and suspense are synonymous with the World Cup series which tests the determination and skill of the best riders in the world, a prestigious and much sought after title. Chatsworth is the first competition in this year’s series of five international competitions.

As well as Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country, visitors will be able to see the stars of tomorrow in the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers on Friday. The main weekend days also provide lots of fun for all the family with entertainment including the Pony Club mounted games, ferret racing, John Halsted and the Duchess of Devonshire’s own gundogs, dressage demonstrations, maypole dancing, face painting and children’s rides.

Discounted tickets are still available up until 7 May including an online exclusive offer for full weekend tickets for adult £22 and under 14s £7, under 5s free. Visit for more details.

Normal ticket prices per day are Saturday £13 per adult; £4 per child (under 14); Sunday £15 per adult; £5 per child (under 14) plus £3 car parking. Gates open at 8am on all three days.

Chatsworth house, gardens, farmyard and playground, shops and restaurants are all open as usual. For more information, visit


On Sunday 6th May the third annual Simply Ford rally will be gearing up in the grounds of the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. All Ford vehicle owners are invited to bring their vehicle to Beaulieu on the day and become part of this popular event.

All models are welcome, but this year, the Ford Cortina will be taking centre-stage, as 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of this model. In celebration, all Cortinas that arrive at Simply Ford will be given pride of place in the Beaulieu Arena, creating a fantastic display of one of Ford’s most successful family cars.

The Ford Motor Company will be bringing along a small selection of vehicles to the event, including a Ford Cortina, in recognition of the model’s anniversary, and a stunning Ford GT. Also on display will be the Ford Supervan 3.  Built on a Ford C100 race car chassis and originally powered by a mid-mounted Ford-Cosworth 650bhp ‘HB’ F1 engine, Supervan 3 first saw the light of day in 1995 when it was displayed at the motor show in Birmingham.  Its top speed is estimated at around 150mph, with acceleration that would not disgrace many sports supercars.

On the day, 10 vehicles from the whole Ford gathering will be chosen to join a Simply Ford cavalcade around the attraction, and one of these selected cars will be the lucky winner of the People’s Choice Award and a Beaulieu Trophy.

As well as being a great opportunity to view hundreds of Ford vehicles and meet up with other like-minded enthusiasts, visitors can also browse a number of trade stands selling Ford-related parts and accessories.

New for this year, weekend camping is now available to event participants arriving in Ford vehicles. Camping must be booked in advance by telephoning 01590 612888 and costs £7 per person per night.

For entrants arriving on the 6th May in their Ford and joining the event on the Beaulieu parkland, entry prices are adult £10 and child £5. To book tickets in advance, please visit or telephone 01590 612888, which you can also call for information on group or club entry. For all Ford-related trade stand enquiries, telephone 01590 614614. All other visitors should enter Beaulieu via the main Reception at normal admission prices.
Entry into the Beaulieu parkland with your Ford is from 9am and catering will be available.
Admission to the event includes entry to the whole Beaulieu attraction; the National Motor Museum and its exciting BOND IN MOTION exhibition showcasing 50 original James Bond vehicles, World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, Beaulieu Abbey, and Palace House and gardens.

Three years ago Simply Ford was the first ever Simply rally to take place at the Beaulieu attraction and proved to be incredibly popular. Now, three years on, it is set to be as successful as ever and is part of the growing calendar of Simply events, which has rapidly expanded to include a wide variety of themes covering many makes and models. The latest additions to the Simply rallies for 2012 are Simply American on 24th June, Simply 4x4 on 12th August and for this year only, a one-off Simply Bond rally on 29th July. For more information please visit

This event is sponsored by specialist motor insurance broker Adrian Flux.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

PLAY! A FESTIVAL OF FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY Harewood Bank Holiday Weekend, Sunday 6 May to Monday 7 May

Play! with a capital ‘P’ takes centre stage at Harewood for the Bank Holiday Weekend with its own Festival of Fun.  The team have put together the best bits of the last 25 years of games and activities, perfect for all the family, to give you the chance to enjoy good, ole’ fashioned fresh air and fun ensuring that all your imaginations are allowed to run riot.  Most activities are included with the entry price* and comprise circus skills, space hoppers, den building, face painting and a ‘Play! funtrail’ which takes you on a journey through the gardens to have a go with some of the more traditional toys and games that we all know and love; bean-bag toss, quoits, hula hoops, croquet, hop-scotch....  It’s the very best of ‘Play’ and a celebration of fun, whatever the weather.  If you come in fancy dress, you'll also be in the running to win a mystery prize!

Legoland will be bringing their Lego Tent which will exclusively show the extraordinary Harewood House Lego model which has just been created by Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester’s Master Designer Alex Bidolak,.  Use your imagination to build your own model, or bring in your best creation to enter our superb competition, or just mess about with one of the world’s favourite toys.  

Fine tune your circus skills with Circus Whiz interactive workshop in our own circus ring, or relax and enjoy Yoga Bugs’ Workshops in our Yurt, great for babies, children and adults, and much much more.

Harewood provides a full day of entertainment with all you’d need for a great day out here in one easy package, including the family friendly Courtyard Cafe, perfect picnic areas and the renowned Adventure Playground.  Plus you can enjoy our fun loving penguins, our graceful flamingos and other rare and exotic birds in our acclaimed Bird Garden or just relax and enjoy the onset of Spring in our glorious gardens and grounds. 

*excludes FunBus, LandTrain, FacePainter and Bungee Fliers for which a small additional charge will be payable.

In association with LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester.

Entry is free to Harewood Members.  Upgrades are available to enter the House which hosts the Royal Harewood exhibition: Celebrating the Life of the Yorkshire Princess, and Royal Photographer Marcus Adams: Photographs from the Royal Collection. 

Adult £10, Senior £9, Child £6 and Family £30 (2 adults and up to 3 children under 16).

10% discount for pre-bookers.
10am to 6pm, last entry 5pm.

Harewood House State Floor opens 12 noon to 3pm Monday to Sunday
Royal Harewood: State Floor, to 17 June

For more information, visit  
Harewood House Trust, Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds LS17 9LG
Tel: 0113 218 1000   

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Hatfeild House

Enjoy a fabulous feast of activities and events this May Bank Holiday at The Treasure Houses of England. From car shows to country fairs, music to markets – spring is being celebrated in spectacular style at some of the most incredible sites in the country.

The May Day Cavalcade at Beaulieu (7 May) will see a superb showcase of vehicles via a cavalcade throughout the gorgeous grounds, while The Friends of the Museum will be exhibiting their own cars on the arena.

At Blenheim Palace ‘The Knights of Royal England’ (5-7 May) will be treating visitors to a show-stopping spectacle courtesy of their jaw-dropping Jousting Tournament. Boasting medieval battleground skills, from riding the quintain and spearing the smallest of targets to hand-to-hand combat and lancing – the entire family will be amazed by the gallant action.

Hosting an exciting variety of country attractions and activities, The Burghley Game & Country Fair returns (6-7 May), with equestrian demonstrations, falconry shows and local food showcase, it’s a mouthwatering menu of entertainment for all the family.

Castle Howard
hosts the Yorkshire Craft and Produce Market (7-8 May), where visitors can shop for delicious local food and beautiful crafts; while Harewood House presents Play! A Festival of Fun (6-7 May), offering two days of popular games and toys for children and adults alike.

A seasonal spectacular awaits at Chatsworth, where Spring Blooms (4-8 May) and the Spring Plant Fair (5-6 May) will allow visitors to see the garden and house transformed by an inspired and designer array of colourful floral displays. The Sunday sees nurseries from near and far offering a wide variety of plants, including unusual and exotic blooms from the likes of Chelsea, Malvern and Hampton Court.
Join the crowds for Hatfield House’s hugely popular event (10-13 May): Living Crafts. The largest show of its kind in Europe, hundreds of designer-makers from across the UK exhibit jewellery, ceramics, glass and fashion, with special lectures and workshops for adults and craft activities and storytelling for children. Jazz bands, a brass band and country dancing complete the lively line up.

Holkham Hall
’s May Day celebrations (6-7 May) take magnificent form by way of music, Morris dancing, games and children’s crafts in the Courtyard and Bygones Museum. Their Historic Cookery Brought To Life session explores Victorian cookery in the Old Kitchen – an absolute must for food fans and aspiring chefs.

Marvel at classic cars  and a classic venue as Woburn Abbey hosts the Bedfordshire Classic Motor Show (6-7 May). Already in its 15th year, the show takes place in the Abbey’s stunning deer park, and will see up to 1500 vehicles as well as children’s activities for a fantastic family day out.

Monday, 16 April 2012


The UK’s biggest outdoor boating event, the Beaulieu Boatjumble takes place on Sunday 29th April.  Held in the grounds of the world-famous Beaulieu attraction, the gates will open at 9am for BoatMall and BoatMart and 10am for the Boatjumble.
Visitors to the show have an opportunity to win the new iPad 4G, complete with Navionics app, simply by completing an entry form, available from various stands throughout the day.

With stand space quickly filling up, this year’s show will be another bumper event with up to 1,000 stands of boating bits, new trailerable boats, dinghies and equipment.  With thousands of new and used boating bargains, this makes for an unmissable event for all sailors.
In the BoatMall see new boats from leading manufacturers displaying trailerable yachts, dinghies, motorboat accessories, clothing and services.

The BoatMart will have a wide range of used boats, from classics to nearly new and those in need of restoration.  Other show highlights include Trunk Traders, for sailors doing a locker clear out to sell from the back of their vehicle.

In the Display Marquee area, The Classic Motor Boat Association will be showing members’ classic boats and antique outboard engines. Members will also be on hand to talk to visitors about the activities of the Association, whose aim is to promote affordable preservation and enjoyment of classic runabouts, racing boats and engines through active rallies around the UK.
Entertainment for all the family includes Bubble of Fun with an opportunity to walk on water in a giant transparent ball, Boats of Fun and a surfboard simulator. Younger visitors can enjoy nautical themed bouncy slides.

Visit show sponsors, Practical Boat Owner magazine, on their stand for special offer subscriptions.  They will also be bringing along their latest challenge, Project Boat, which aims to demonstrate how a boat can be bought, restored and launched on a minimum budget. Hantu Biru, a Snapdragon 23 was bought for just £510 on eBay and came complete with rig, sails and interior fittings, albeit some 30 or more years old and much of it in a poor state. Come and see how they are restoring it back to its former glory.

There will be the usual Boat Jumble ‘shop and drop’ service on offer – deposit your bulky purchases either to pick up later or have them dropped off in the car park.

A free shuttle bus will be running between the Lymington Ferry Terminal, Brockenhurst Station and Beaulieu and one between Buckler’s Hard Marina and Beaulieu, between 8am and 6pm.

Visitors to the event will be able to enjoy all the Beaulieu attractions including the National Motor Museum, with its latest exhibition, BOND IN MOTION, plus World of Top Gear, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey at the one on-the-day inclusive price of £9.50 for adults and £7.30 for children, even less if booked in advance.

For advance tickets tel: 01590 612888 or visit:

For further information visit:


Calling all car enthusiasts and bone fide motor heads - The Treasure Houses of England’s automobile diary has a huge array of special shows, gatherings and unique events, poised to deliver a not-to-be-missed schedule of crowd-pleasing displays.

Beaulieu is staging a series of spectacular shows for Ford lovers (6 May), Italian/French car fans (13 May/8 July) and American aficionados (24 June). Expect an explosive show presenting 200 military vehicles and live combat displays during Trucks and Troops (26-27 May), while the National Mini Cooper Rally (10 June) will feature over 1000 cars.

Hundreds of Hot Rod, Custom and American cars, bikes, trade stands and live music will wow visitors at Beaulieu (16-17 June), which will also host a Motorcycle Ride-In Day (15 July), Simply 4x4 show (12 August) and Simply Classics show (26 August).

In addition, get your Aston Martin, Rolls Royce and Jaguar fix during Simply Bond (29 July); while adrenaline junkies will be delighted by Supercar Start Up’s 50 high performance vehicles (27 August).

Alongside a beautiful backdrop, Blenheim Palace delivers an inspired itinerary of car shows such as their Mini & VW Show (15 July) and The 7th Oxfordshire Classic Vehicle Show (26-27 August), featuring a Supercar Picnic and Bike Display. Their MGB Car 50th Anniversary Rally (23 September) will be a memorable and interactive experience for MG enthusiasts.

Harewood House promises a range of enthralling events, such as their Father’s Day Classic Car Rally with Yorkshire Post Motor Show (17 June) and Rolls Royce Rally (5 August), while Camper-holics will be captivated by their premier VW festival (18-19 August).

Meanwhile, Woburn Abbey proudly hosts the 15th Bedfordshire Classic Motor Show (6-7 May), which will see a bevy of classic cars alongside a stack of children’s activities for a fun family day out.
Boasting up to1500 classic vehicles set within the stunning deer park, visitors will feast their eyes on Saloons, Sports, American, Commercial, Military, Classic Motorcycles plus Kit, Custom, Replica and Club Displays.  The Fathers’ Classic Day Out (17 June) will be an event all the family, bringing together a huge collection of classic cars along with plenty for the kids to do.  For fans of larger machines, The Woburn Rally (12 August) is a Bedfordshire institution, seeing a collection of commercial vehicles from throughout the ages on display.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Top Chefs Show Their Skills at the Chatsworth Food and Drink Fair April 21 & 22

Top chefs, butchers and bakers will be sharing their skills at the Chatsworth Food and Drink Fair for the first time this year with the introduction of the AGA Rangemaster Cookery Theatre alongside the wonderful array of stallholders at the weekend event on April 21 & 22

The starry line-up includes Dan Brazill, Chatsworth’s executive chef; Alan Hill, Chef Patron for both The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley and The Devonshire Arms at Beeley and Michelin Chef Steve Smith from the Burlington Restaurant at the Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel, Bolton Abbey. Butcher Graham Booth will be joined by three bakers – James Brough, James Mettam and Chatsworth apprentice Chloe Empson - from the award winning Farm Shop to complete the expertise on show.

Demonstrations will take place at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm in the new AGA Rangemaster Cookery Theatre on Lodge Hill throughout Saturday and Sunday.

Alan Hill joined Devonshire Hotels in 2006 and became Patron Chef a year later, bringing a whole new approach to the kitchens, revamping menus and ensuring the use of local produce from quality suppliers, including much from the Chatsworth Estate.  He is the recipient of many awards including The Publican Food & Drink Awards 2010 “Chef of the Year” and the Derbyshire Food & Drink Awards 2010 “Gastro Pub of the Year” for The Devonshire Arms at Beeley.
Steve Smith joined the Devonshire Arms in April 2008 and very quickly regained the coveted Michelin Star for the Burlington Restaurant.  He brings a wealth of culinary knowledge having worked in and led some of the top kitchens in the country and at 24, was the youngest chef to gain a Michelin star.

Sourcing and nurturing local suppliers and certifying ethical standards of animal husbandry was at the top of the agenda when he first arrived to head up the kitchens at The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel and Spa.  He has developed the use of the hotel’s own extensive kitchen gardens to provide quality seasonal produce. 

Richard Palmer, Head of Catering and Retail, Chatsworth said: “We are delighted to be welcoming these fantastic chefs, butchers and bakers to the food and drink fair. With the emphasis they place on using the best local produce, they will provide the perfect inspiration for visitors looking for ways to use the wonderful produce on offer.”

Hedgerow jellies, handmade cakes, biscuits, truffles, fudge and chocolate; award winning cheeses; curry sauces, oils, garlic, preserves and homemade ice-cream line up with brandy liqueurs, real ales, ciders, speciality teas and ground coffee.

Produce from the Chatsworth Farm Shop suppliers will be on offer as well as gourmet treats from further afield and a tasty selection of sweet and savoury dishes to enjoy on the day. There is no charge for the fair other than the car park fee of £3 per car. 

House, garden, farmyard and adventure playground are now open until December 23 2012. For more information and ticketing options including a 10 percent discount for online booking, visit

Chatsworth is a member of the Treasure Houses of England, 10 of the most magnificent palaces, stately homes and castles in England.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


Hot on the heels of the India Christmas Special cars, the mobility scooters from the 18th series of Top Gear have (just) survived the presenters’ challenge to become the latest addition to Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear exhibition.

These unique machines were created by the three presenters when Top Gear decided that more could be done to help disabled people get out into the great British countryside for a spot of rambling. Whilst there are ramps leading into public buildings, pedestrian crossings that beep, buses that kneel, and so on, Top Gear felt that off-road mobility scooters just aren’t rugged enough and they are expensive too.  And so it was decided......  The presenters’ challenge was to design and build true off-road mobility machines at an affordable price and then race them against some wounded servicemen driving off-the-shelf scooters. It didn’t end well.
Jeremy Clarkson’s machine is constructed from two normal scooters, thereby giving it four-wheel drive (which didn’t work) and four wheel-steering (which wasn’t much use). When viewing the scooter, note the damage to the sides, caused by an oaf letting it fall over, and the damage to the rear, caused by that same oaf deliberately pushing it down a hill so he could make Fenton jokes about it.

The off-road scooter created by Richard Hammond combines the front of a normal mobility trike with the motor and tracks from a powered wheelbarrow used to move heavy objects around building sites. Astonishingly, Hammond managed to make a machine that actually worked well off road and was, uniquely amongst the presenters’ efforts, able to make it to the top of a mountain. Unfortunately, it was also rather noisy, and a bit smelly.

Bringing up the rear, Captain Slow, aka James May, opted to create a wheelchair with thoughtful design touches, such as the adjustable seat angle, built-in grit dispenser, and the mounting for a tablet computer device. However, all of these things were rendered irrelevant once May drove towards a slightly muddy meadow and his machine rather embarrassingly ground to a halt. He was eventually forced to abandon his off-road journey and head directly to the pub - which he couldn’t get into either - useless.

All three of these creations can now be seen at Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear, which features a collection of vehicles, created by the presenters, for some of their most ambitious challenges on the show over the years. Exhibition highlights include the Top Gear ‘Enormodrome’ which recreates the feel of the Top Gear studio, where the TV show is filmed in front of a live audience, and regular features from the programme, including the Cool Wall and the Celebrity ‘Lap Times’ board which is kept up to date in line with the show.  Visitors can also watch behind-the-scenes footage of the Top Gear production zone and clips of some of the best Top Gear moments.

World of Top Gear can be viewed as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction, which includes the National Motor Museum with its collection of over 250 vehicles, the brand new BOND IN MOTION exhibition which showcases 50 original vehicles from the James Bond films, On Screen Cars featuring TV and film favourites, Palace House, home of the Montagu family since 1538 and the 13th century Beaulieu Abbey.

Beaulieu is open every day, except Christmas Day, from 10am – 5pm.

For more information telephone 01590 612345 or visit