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Historic Cumbrian stately home unveils exciting calendar of events to mark 70th year of public opening

THE team at one of Cumbria’s grandest properties have unveiled a packed calendar of exciting, interactive events to celebrate 70 years since it first opened its doors to the public.

Magnificent Holker Hall and Gardens sits in beautiful grounds near Grange-over-Sands and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Now, the 2020 schedule of events set to be held at the 400-year-old stately home has been revealed ahead of the first open day of the season on Friday, March 20.

It includes magical immersive theatre performances, exclusive behind the scenes tours and the return of its ever-popular Spring Fair on May 2 and 3, Chilli Fest on September 5 and 6 and Winter Markets on November 6, 7 and 8.

Whilst keeping a close watching brief on the latest Coronavirus advisories, the team is busy preparing for opening day.

Heather Creasey, Holker Hall manager, explained the season was shaping up to be the best yet.

She said: “This is a very special year for Holker Hall as we mark the 70th anniversary of public opening.

“We’ve listened carefully to feedback from our visitors and have worked really hard to put together an exciting programme of events for 2020.

“Our Spring Fair, Chilli Fest and Winter Markets will take place as always following record attendances last year.

“But we have also expanded the range of immersive theatre events for families as well as our classic outdoor theatre weekend in the gardens.

“Then there are our brand new events which include a behind the scenes experience with our Hidden Holker Tour, a wedding fair for couples and their families and even a Holker Hounds fun dog show during our Spring Fair.

“We are particularly looking forward to welcoming guests into the cafe. It has had a significant makeover during the winter months and looks fresh, welcoming and vibrant.

“With a revamp of the kitchens and a new menu to explore, I feel sure anybody who calls in for a drink or a bite to eat will be happy with the improvements.

“We’ve certainly got an exciting season ahead of us.”

Holker’s Chief Executive, Allen Gibb said the  senior management team was taking daily advice on the potential impact of Coronavirus on this year’s calendar of events.

“We are, of course, taking the issue of Coronavirus very seriously and are closely monitoring the latest advice from the government and Public Health England.

“At the moment, events of the nature planned for Holker Hall and Gardens this year do not fall into any category subject to Government advisories.

“As much as we hope to be able to go ahead with our full, exciting calendar of planned events, I would like members of the public to be assured that we will take appropriate action if and when it becomes necessary.”

The privately-owned Grade II-listed Holker Hall and its award-winning gardens – home to The Hon. Lucy Cavendish and her husband Tor McLaren – have been closed for the winter.

But the estate has been a hive of activity behind the scenes.

Maintenance tasks designed to keep the elegant buildings in top condition have been completed while the hall, complete with its antiques and artwork, has been carefully cleaned and prepared.

New menus have also been designed for the cafe and Ilex Brasserie, in Holker’s Courtyard, taking into account the availability of fresh and seasonal produce from the kitchen gardens located just yards away.

Heather added: “The winter is actually a busy time for us as we finalise our events calendar and routine maintenance work takes place in the hall and around the grounds.

“Already, Holker looks stunning and everyone here is excited to see people enjoying this magical property once again.”

For a full list of events taking place at Holker Hall throughout 2020, visit www.holker.co.uk

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