Mrs Hudson Recommends……..talks and walks

Walpole and I

Walpole and I

I adore Spring, but with unpredictably changeable weather, we must always have a range of indoor and outdoor activities on hand to keep ourselves occupied! This month, I am recommending a whole series of Talks and Walks. So there’s plenty to keep you busy, whether the sun is shining or we’re experiencing more of those April showers! Bluebell Watch has begun. Bluebells are a sure sign of the arrival of spring and there are opportunities to see gorgeous displays from now until mid May. Two of my favourite viewing spots are Basildon Park in Berkshire and Hartland Abbey in Devon.

Bluebell Walk at Hartland Abbey, Devon

Bluebell Walk at Hartland Abbey, Devon

If you’re after something exciting and new, treat yourself to an guided tour of Westonbirt House in Gloucestershire, followed by a leisurely stroll through 28 acres of formal and pleasure gardens. This will be the first season that the house and gardens open for tours, book your tour now! Bookish types looking for a unique experience should head for the Bodleian Library in Oxford to one of their extended ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ guided tours. The tour takes you to parts of the buildings only very recently opened to the public. You will also see the vaulted ceiling of the Divinity School and the famous Radcliffe Camera. A day out at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, is so much more than just a visit to an historic house. The estate encompasses acres of parkland, a beach and a nature reserve. Join the team at Holkham for a guided walk around the nature reserve and spot the many species of wildlife living on the landscape.

Spring at Compton Verney

Spring at Compton Verney

Compton Verney in Warwickshire is famous for its incredible art collection but also features stunning ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped Parkland. Join in with this trail of the grounds and search for birds, insects and animals in the beautiful grounds. Worcester Cathedral are celebrating and commemorating the 800th anniversary of King John sealing the magna carta in June 1215 with a series of events and talks. Book quickly to reserve your place on one of these historic talks. For Mums and Dads looking to enjoy the outdoors with little ones, Nostell Priory in Yorkshire is the place to be! Take the buggy through the Tranquil Gardens on even paths and finish your relaxed day with a cup of tea in the café. Pontefract Castle in West Yorkshire recently secured Heritage Lottery Fund investment to open up never-before-seen parts of the castle to the public. If you’re interested in the fascinating history of the castle, pop along to this evening talk for an introduction to its history and conservation. Abbot Hall Art Gallery is one of Kendal’s most important buildings containing a wonderful permanent collection plus an imaginative temporary exhibition programme. Join a member of the curatorial team for an informal look at the gallery or take a guided walk around the exhibitions.

Abbot Hall Art Gallery in the sunshine

Abbot Hall Art Gallery in the sunshine

Abbotsford in Roxburghshire is the home of Sir Walter Scott and much of the stunning gardens and landscape remain as they were when Sir Walter created them between 1811 and 1825. Explore this landscape on a late spring bird song and binoculars walk. If you have ever fancied a different view of Chirk Castle, join one of their monthly rambles around the castle’s parkland with one of the rangers. Each month the walk will take a different route and all are different lengths and difficulties. Phew! I do hope you find a Talk or Walk here to inspire you! Remember to let me know if you attend any, and tweet me your pictures, I do so love receiving them!


Mrs Hudson recommends……..popping onto our events calendar

Walpole and I

Walpole and I

What wonderful weather we are experiencing! Now surely it’s time to get outdoors and find some beautiful places to visit. In fact, I’m doing so much visiting at the moment I’ve had no time to write a proper blog recently!

However, I imagine you’re all missing my recommendations hugely. So here’s one to keep you going; pop onto our events calendar here and have a gander at all the wonderful bits and pieces going on in the heritage world at the moment!

Have fun dears……and do remember to tweet me your pics @HudsonsHeritage

Mrs Hudson recommends…………………………a bank holiday bonanza

Walpole and I

Walpole and I

I’ve been so very busy lately I’m afraid I’ve neglected my recommendations somewhat. So here’s a lovely long quickfire list of suggestions for this bank holiday weekend. No excuses not to get out and about now my lovelies!!

Fancy a tipple? Clovelly are celebrating their local ales and ciders all bank holiday weekend.

Tips and tricks for the green fingered. Visit Helmingham Hall Garden’s Heritage Spring Plant Fair on Sunday.

Keep the kids entertained on a minibeast hunt at Holkham Hall  on Monday.

Crafts, antiques, food, entertainment and displays; something for everyone at Lamport Hall’s  festival of country life on Sunday and Monday.

Have some vintage family fun at Eastnor Castle  on Sunday and Monday with tea, jazz, garden games and Punch and Judy.

Shop for delicious food and crafty gifts at Weston Park’s Spring Food and Craft Fair on Monday.

Farmers market, vintage cars and tractors, finest Yorkshire farm produce- it’s all happening at Duncombe Park’s  Country Fair on Monday.

The Muncaster Festival  starts on Sunday and runs til Thursday. Daily shows, workshops, crafts and giant outdoor games- what more could you want?!

Well there’s my whistlestop tour of bank holiday recommendations. Don’t forget to let us know where you’ve been @HudsonsHeritage


Mrs Hudson Recommends………….more and more to do in May!

Walpole and I

Walpole and I

Gosh, what a wonderful month for heritage activity! There is so much to do and see in the UK’s beautiful castles, country houses and stately homes that I’ve had to write my recommendations over 2 blogposts! Wonderful!

Knebworth House has a plethora of exciting things happening in May, including a ghost tour and bat walk, Dino Day and a Mini and VW Car Show. Quite literally something for everyone!

Oxburgh Hall are running an architecture exhibition starting this month. You can learn all about the architectural history of the hall during your visit.

If you love Chamber Music then book your tickets for Holkham Hall’s concert on 10th May now! The Gould Piano trio will be performing in the Marble Hall and your ticket price includes a glass of wine served in the Saloon in the interval plus the opportunity to view some rooms in the Hall.

Hylands House have a packed programme this month. From creative jewellery making and creating enamel stencils to wedding preview days and the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a horse logger, this really is the place to be for fun, new and eclectic events!

Compton Verney are opening late on 16th May for you to see Moore Rodin. Join the curators tour of the exhibiton, stroll around the grounds and join the campfire fun in the woods.

Kiplin Hall and Fairfax House are also taking part in Museums At Night and opening their doors til late for you to explore and enjoy special and enjoy special candlelit performances.

Foutains Abbey and Studley Royal are offering the chance to travel back in time and unlock the secrets of a hidden herb garden and discover more about their herbal heritage.

Go pond dipping at Hopetoun House. A fun, family session during which children can learn all about frogs and toads and other beasties that live in Hopetoun Pond.

Phew! I need a sit down! Believe it or not, this is only a selection of what the heritage world has to offer this month, if you need more inspiration, go to and choose a region.

We love hearing from you when you’ve attended an event or visited an historic venue, we also love to see your photos. Tweet us @HudsonsHeritage  or find us on Facebook

10 Terrific Tearooms!

Farmyard Café at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Offers family-friendly food with freshly made sandwiches, cakes and a range of pastries.

Anyone for tea?

Anyone for tea?

Stables Café at Holkham Hall, Norfolk

The Stable Café in the courtyard serves homemade food using only local produce or by local suppliers.

Coffee Shop at Castle Howard, York

New Coffee Shop serving ‘take out’ coffee, patisseries and locally made ice cream.

Tintagel Castle Café at Tintagel Castle, Cornwall

Set above the beach, the café serves a delicious selection of refreshments and light meals made from locally sourced ingredients.

Courtyard Café at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Perfect for light lunches and snacks offering a wide range of freshly made sandwiches, cakes, pastries, drinks etc. All freshly prepared and using quality local ingredients.

Canteen at Croome Court, Worcestershire

Take your pick from the 1940s style Canteen in the RAF Visitor Centre or enjoy an afternoon tea in the grand setting of the old Tapestry Room in Croome Court.

Tea Room at Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire

Fresh seasonal vegetables and delightful menus offer something new every day. Homemade scones, cakes and desserts are a real treat.

Cholmondeley Castle Tea Room at Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire

Take a well-earned break from exploring the castle and gardens at the Cholmondeley Tea Rooms.

The Bellingham Buttery at Levens Hall & Gardens, Cumbria

Offers a wide range of delicious home-cooked food, with a daily blackboard menu of hot and cold dishes, puddings and snacks.

The Laird’s Kitchen at Delgatie Castle, Turriff

This fab tea room won the Hudson’s Heritage Award for the best tea room in 2011. Homemade food and snacks from local sources all served on perfectly pretty china. The perfect tea room experience!

Doddington Hall is a gorgeous backdrop to this Snowdrop Walk

6 of the Best Snowdrop Walks

Here’s our pick of the six snowdrop walks across the country. So, grab your partner, the kids or the dog and take a stroll in the fresh air.

Dunham Massey, Cheshire
Deer Park Gardens open 11am-4pm daily. Guided walks available.

Forde Abbey, Dorset
10am-4pm throughout February

The delicate white flowers at Forde Abbey

The delicate white flowers at Forde Abbey

Rode Hall and Gardens, Cheshire
12pm-4pm daily 2nd February-10th March

Painswick Rococo Gardens, Gloucestershire
Daily from 11am-5pm

Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire
17th February onwards 11am-4pm

Doddington Hall is a gorgeous backdrop to this Snowdrop Walk

Snowdrops at Doddington Hall

Goodnestone Park Gardens, Kent
24th February-24th March

Which Snowdrop walk is your favourite? Don’t forget to send us your pictures!