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A welcome surprise! Posted On 29 June 2020

A week ago today, the wonderful ‘Garden of Surprises’ at Burghley house reopened with limited access.

 If you live in Stamford or the surrounding villages, you must have already visited the iconic Burghley House, and if you haven’t you should! Dating back to the sixteenth-century, Burghley House is a prime example of an Elizabethan prodigy house.

Built for Sir William Cecil, later to become 1st Baron Burghley, the Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth 1 of England, the house was created between 1555 and 1587 and was the residence of his descendants, the Earls and the Marquesses of Exeter. Still lived in by the Cecil family, this wonderful English country house retains its Elizabethan appearance at its exterior, although most of the interiors date from the 1700s to the 1800s.

It is now owned by a charitable trust established by the family. Usually open to the public, and with an extensive art collection on show, unfortunately, the house had to close during the pandemic and as such the internal tours won’t reopen until March 2021.

However, last Friday, The Garden of Surprises reopened with limited access to certain areas and no contact with the water features. The children’s paddling area, maze and viewing mound will remain closed for a little longer, but the Sculpture Garden is fully open. The Parklands are open too, and with a huge amount of space on offer, they are the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon in the sunshine with the family.

Even better, with no admission fees or parking charges, and open from 7am to 6pm, the Parklands are perfect for a socially-distance picnic, a jog or for walking the dog around the man-made lake which was created in 1775-80 and measures 26 acres, giving the impression of a river or a stream flowing through the grounds.

The avenues in the Parklands and the famous Lion Bridge were designed and built by Capability Brown, fondly remembered as, ‘the last of the great English 18th-century artists’. Both the Parkland and the Gardens are Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

To visit the Gardens you will need to book online for one of the 2 timed sessions: 10.30am – 1pm or 2pm – 4.30pm and have a valid Annual Pass e-ticket. For more information, please follow this link – https://www.burghley.co.uk/plan-your-visit/house-and-gardens

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