Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not visit a site connected to Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown open as part of Heritage Open Days.
Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest voluntary heritage festival. Last year, 3 million visitors took part in more than 4,600 events, staffed by 40,000 volunteers. It operates as part of the National Trust with funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Historic England.
It offers everyone the opportunity to explore places on their doorsteps that they wouldn’t normally be able to access, or to see them in a new light with special tours and activities. It’s all for free, and kicks off this weekend with a programme that is bigger and more diverse than ever. Among the Capability Brown highlights, visitors can:
• Discover the recently restored Capability Brown boathouse at Coombe Country Park in the West Midlands
• Check out the special Capability Brown geocache trail at Scampston Conservatory and Parkland, North Yorkshire
• Find out more about the place where Capability was born with a guided walk at Kirkharle, Northumberland.
Among the other Brown sites taking part are:
• Luton Hoo Walled Garden, Bedfordshire
• Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex
• Prior Park Landscape Garden, Somerset
• Claremont Mansion, Surrey
• Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
• Berrington Hall, Herefordshire
• All Saints’ Church, Oxfordshire
• St Mary’s Church, Croome, Worcestershire
• Compton Verney, Warwickshire
• Petworth House, West Sussex
To search for all places open near you this year see the event directory.
For those of you taking part, thank you and good luck! And for those who aren’t, why not take the opportunity to get to know your Capability comrades, and perhaps be inspired for the Capability Brown Festival 2016? Heritage Open Days can provide a lot of support for sites wishing to open up, including marketing material and insurance. So if you are inspired for next year, do get in touch. To find out more see the get involved pages of the Heritage Open Days website.
About the author: Sarah Holloway is the Coordinator for Heritage Open Days