Burghley, in Lincolnshire, has welcomed back visitors to its gardens as the historic country estate launches its 2021 season.
While the House itself will not re-open until 19 May, Covid restrictions permitting, the spectacular gardens welcomed visitors for pre-booked visits from 29 March.
As restrictions are eased, Burghley’s three gardens have re-opened with Covid measures in place, including timed tickets to ensure social distancing.
Offering a chance to enjoy the ‘Great Outdoors’ with the magnificent House as a spectacular backdrop, a pre-booked Gardens ticket will give access to the Garden of Surprises and Sculpture Garden, and until 11th April the South Gardens, for its spectacular display of spring bulbs.
For most of the year the South Gardens – with 19th century yew hedges and restored fountains – can only be viewed from the windows of the State Rooms above, but they open up annually for visitors to enjoy spring colours, including magnificent narcissi displays, plus views of both the Lion Bridge and south front of the House.
Burghley’s two other gardens will also be welcoming back visitors – and offering a few fresh sights. The historic Garden of Surprises is a Tudor trick garden based on an original design created by the 1st Lord Burghley back in the 16th century, while the Sculpture Garden offers a different experience, with contemporary sculpture in with a mix of open space, trees and shrubs. Fresh planting has created even more for visitors to see, including a chance to discover secret features like the recently landscaped ‘Swallows’ Rill’, a garden embedded in the natural limestone gully that acts as a waterfall overflow for the lake above.
With alpine planting among the rocks and wild flowers along the banks, it offers a peaceful and tranquil pathway, while newly established woodland borders are full of brightly coloured seasonal floral displays. Burghley’s Remembrance Borders – now in their second year – are also beginning to mature with colourful flowers, which are proving attractive to wildlife and insects.
While the House, shop and Orangery restaurant will remain closed for the time being, The Shed take-away, close to the gardens, will be open from 29 March too, restrictions permitting.
Burghley’s parkland, which is open all year with free access and parking, remains open, subject to current Covid social distancing and travel restrictions.
Garden tickets – £13.50 adults, £9.50 child, and £44 for a family of up to five – must be pre-booked, and visitors need to book a time slot too, either morning or afternoon, to help ensure social distancing.
The South Gardens are always opened for charity and in 2021, a percentage of the Gardens ticket price will also be donated to Evergreen Care, a charity caring for older people in the Stamford area.
For full details see www.burghley.co.uk