Take A Fresh New Look At National Trust Places This Spring
|Published: 14th March 2012 18:12|
With spring just around the corner, the National Trust is looking forward to a packed programme of new activities, facilities and exhibitions at its houses, gardens, parkland and countryside across the East Midlands.
Visitors In the gardens at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
(c) NTPL John MillarFrom art exhibitions to attic tours, playgrounds to cafes, there's something for everyone. Here are our top ten new things to see and do:
- The growing number of families enjoying a day out with the National Trust should check out Belton House in Lincolnshire, where the local landmark's famous outdoor adventure playground will have a new indoor equivalent. Opening this spring, the Ride Café and Indoor Play brings the outdoors inside and is aimed specifically at family visitors. It will be open all year round, come rain or shine.
- A host of objects from the collection of the Museum of Childhood at Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire that have previously been unseen by the public have been brought out for a special exhibition. ‘What's in store...and how we care for them' runs until 8 June and includes some rather unusual objects such as a doll with an apple for its head! Visitors also have the chance to take a look behind the scenes in the ‘What's in store?' tour and find about where the collection is stored and how it is cared for.
- Families and art lovers alike are in for a treat with exciting contemporary arts projects taking place at Kedleston Hall in Derby and Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire this summer. Site-specific installations referencing the properties' histories will be going into the surrounding landscape. London-based architects Studio Weave will be creating a series of ‘incidents' throughout Kedleston's Parkland for visitors to interact with whilst at Clumber, among the works that London Fieldworks will be creating will be a Spontaneous City, within a tree in the Pleasure Grounds.
- This spring it is 10 years since The Workhouse first opened its doors to the public, after being saved by the National Trust from the threat of development into residential flats. Look out for a number of special events taking place to celebrate the anniversary, in addition to regular favourites like Graft, Gruel and Good-for-Nothings days.
- Calke Abbey in Derbyshire is launching a new tour for 2012, which will take visitors on a journey from the grandeur of the 18th century to the present day, using servants recorded recollections to give first hand authenticity of life below stairs plus projected contemporary images to highlight the house and its occupants. One of the Trust's most unusual properties.
- New rooms and exhibitions will be opening across the region: Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire will open the China flat and Billiard room for the first time this Easter; while Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood, also in Derbyshire, will be offering visitors guided behind-the-scenes tours of the attics from February, which house the property's extensive collection of artefacts.
- Enjoy the fresh air in the Peak District from the 24 to 29 April and take part in one of the special events to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Kinder Mass Trespass and also 30 years of National Trust ownership of Kinder Scout. Walks and talks everyday, plus family events and a celidh.
- Or, for a warm, friendly place for a cup of tea and slice of cake, or something a bit more substantial Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire will be opening its new visitor facilities in the Stableyard in April. Facilities include a fantastic new 130-seater restaurant with a cosy coffee-shop style area and two new shops, which even have a woodburner to warm yourself by whilst browsing books! The new facilities herald the move to 364-day opening for the Hardwick estate (excluding the Hall), so visitors can enjoy the countryside and beautiful places all year round.
Regional Director Beccy Speight, said:
"2012 is an exciting year for the National Trust here in the Midlands. Not only are we undertaking some major conservation work, being true to our mission of caring for places for ever, we are equally committed that they should be brought to life for everyone. This was the wish of one of our three founders, Octavia Hill, whose life we are particularly celebrating this year - 100 years after her death.
"With Octavia's vision in mind, we're pleased to learn that what we're doing in the Midlands is really resonating with people here: a survey of over 2,000 people (by YouGov for the think tank Demos) found that those living in the Midlands are more proud of the National Trust than in any other region in the UK. We look forward to building on this fantastic start to 2012 and welcoming visitors to all our places in the Midlands throughout this very important year."
To find out about new events and activities at a National Trust property near you please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/midlands, follow us on Twitter @NTMidlands or find us on Facebook at National Trust in the Midlands.