A stately welcome back – Wentworth Woodhouse throws open its gardens

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There’s blooming great news for fans of Wentworth Woodhouse.

The Rotherham stately home is throwing open its gardens to welcome visitors from July 4.

The mansion and its grounds has been closed since Covid-19 lockdown began on March 23 and income has ground to a halt.

But now that government advice allows people to enjoy the outdoors together again, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust has worked on ways of welcoming outdoor visitors back safely.

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Families and garden-lovers alike can enjoy a day in the gardens, and discover many hidden delights, from Thursday to Sunday for 11 weeks from July 4.

Admission tickets are available to book online here and allow people to enter the gardens in 30-minute time-slots to avoid queues and maintain safe social distancing.

Visitors can roam freely and picnic and relax on the lawns, or follow a visitor’s route which begins with a mini trip through the Stables and takes in the Ice House and the Mulberry Garden, where a piano awaits.

From there, it’s on through the gardens to the South Terrace to see the Ionic Temple, the Camellia House and the stunning vista stretching from Thorpe Hesley to Keppel’s Column.

Children can enjoy games on the West Lawns, tumble down Roly Poly Hill and explore the Barefoot Garden.

Gardeners can take in the blue and white hues of the Summer Border, the blaze of rhododendrons, a wildflower meadow, ancient trees and picturesque woodland copses.

There is an arty theme too, with sculptures by renowned artists to discover and art workshops where people can take part in The Flock, a spectacular autumn art installation.

The Flock will see 10,000 hand-painted wooden birds take over the East Front lawns in a moving communal artwork recording participants’ feelings on the global pandemic and messages about Wentworth Woodhouse.

Anyone who can make a donation to decorate their bird will be contributing to the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust’s regeneration task.

A pop-up outdoor gift shop, refreshment kiosk and toilets with hand washing facilities will be open in the gardens.

“We are really excited to welcome people back to Wentworth Woodhouse,” said WWPT Sarah McLeod.

“It is going to take longer for us to open the house again, but we are giving supporters endless reasons to head to our gardens with lots of fun, family outdoor events planned right through until the end of summer.”

Gardens will open at 10am and close at 6pm, with last entry at 5pm, Thursday to Sunday.

Visitors are asked to follow signage and to maintain physical distancing.

Ticket prices: Under 5s free; 5-16s £2.50, adults £5. Family tickets (2 adults, 2 children) £10. Summer Sunshine family passes lasting for 11 weeks: £50.

Images: Wentworth Woodhouse

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