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Bletchley Park wins not one but two UK Heritage Awards

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Something for everyone at Bletchley Park this Autumn

Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, the former top-secret home of Britain’s World War two Codebreakers and now a museum and heritage attraction has won two UK Heritage Awards.

The UK Heritage Awards honour the very best historic houses, gardens, museums, and heritage sites in the UK. The 2020 UK Heritage Awards categories included: ‘Best Family Day Out’, ‘Great Place to Eat’, ‘Most Improved Heritage Development’, ‘Best Wedding Venue’, ‘Contribution to Heritage’ and ‘Finest Place to Stay’.

The annual UK Heritage Awards are hosted by Visit Heritage, the UK’s leading heritage, tourism and destination marketing company. Visit Heritage publishes best-selling heritage guide Hudson’s and the UK’s longest-running independent hotel guide, Signpost.

Why is Bletchley Park so revered?

Bletchley Park is a vibrant heritage attraction and museum, which is normally open daily to visitors. It was the home of British World War Two codebreaking; a place where technological innovation and human endeavour came together to make ground-breaking achievements that have helped shape the world we live in today.

This unique site was previously a vast Victorian estate, where parts including the Mansion still survive, expanding during wartime to accommodate Codebreakers Huts and Blocks.

During World War Two, the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), now known as the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), was based at Bletchley Park. It grew from a small team of specialists to a vast intelligence factory of thousands of dedicated women and men. This extraordinary combination of brilliant and determined people and cutting-edge technology contributed significantly to Allied victory. In tough conditions, they provided vital intelligence and developed pioneering technological innovation that had a direct and profound influence on the outcome of the war. The site continues to reveal secrets and tell fascinating stories of our national legacy. 

Bletchley Park at Xmas

About the UK Heritage Awards 2020

The winners of the UK Heritage Awards 2020 were crowned across twelve categories, which were adjudicated by a panel of judges formed of leading figures and experts on UK Heritage including:

Paul Bridle – CEO of Excellence Squared Group Ltd and Director of Visit Heritage, the UK’s leading heritage, tourism and destination marketing company.

Lizzie Glithero-West – Chief Executive at The Heritage Alliance, an NGO representing the biggest coalition of heritage interests in England.

Annie Reilly – Manager at Heritage Open Days for the National Trust, an independent charity and membership organisation for environmental and heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Jeremy Musson –  An Architectural Historian, author and consultant, plus former Country Life Architecture Editor (1998 – 2007) Jeremy also presented the BBC Two series The Curious House Guest.

Norman Hudson OBE – Chairman of the Historic Houses Foundation and consultant to the Heritage Sector.

The winners, and commended venues

Family Day Out

Winner: Birdoswald Roman Fort, Cumbria

 

Great Places to Eat

Winner: Levens Kitchen, Kendal

Highly Commended: Askham Hall, Penrith

 

Wonderful Places to Stay

Winner: Broughton Hall, North Yorkshire

Highly Commended: Larchfield Estate, Belfast

 

Most Improved Heritage Development

Winner: Winchester Cathedral, Winchester

 

Hidden Gem

Winner: Accessing Aiden Project, Northumberland

 

Best Wedding Venue

Joint Winner: Victoria Baths, Manchester

Joint Winner: Goodwood, Chichester

 

Outstanding Customer Experience

Winner: Goodwood, Chichester

 

Best Event, Festival or Exhibition

Winner: Eltham Palace “Our House”, Greenwich

 

Contribution to Heritage

Winner: English Heritage – Speaking with Shadows podcast

 

Best Corporate Experience

Winner: Thirlestane Castle, Scottish Borders

 

Must Visit

Winner: Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes

Judges Discretionary Award – Best of Heritage

Winner: Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes

 

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Christmas at Wimpole has new light experience this year

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Running from 25 November 2022 until 1 January 2023, Christmas at Wimpole provides a special way to celebrate the festive season with an unmissable outdoor experience.

Visitors to Christmas at Wimpole can expect a host of new light installations and a different route to last year when Wimpole Christmas lights turn on.

The popular Wimpole Christmas lights trail, which runs from 25 November 2022 until 1 January 2023, features an array of installations from artists across Europe. The magical trail, featuring spectacular light installations and enchanting visitors with seasonal Christmas classics, will transform the Wimpole estate’s landscaped grounds and garden.

General Manager at Wimpole, Polly Ingham-Watts said: “We’re thrilled to have Christmas at Wimpole returning for a second year. The trails give visitors the opportunity to see Wimpole Estate in a different light, with some of the most iconic Wimpole views; the grand façade of the Hall, Walled Gardens and Pleasure Ground, coming alive with twinkling lights and colour.”

Wimpole Christmas lights

Among the new installations is ‘In Bloom’ by London-based art collective, toystudio, a star-like shape casting colourful intricate shadows across the landscape.

Floraison at Wimpole, which features hundreds of poppy-shaped flowers suspended in the branches of trees

Heart Arch by Art AV, My Christmas Trails. Photo by Richard Haughton © Sony Music 2021

Other curated installations include a huge heart-shaped tunnel with over 1000 pea lights, a Snowflake Walk, giant reed-shaped neon plants; and Floraison, which features hundreds of poppy-shaped flowers suspended in the branches of trees. Spend time together and create everlasting memories as you wander between the specially chosen illuminations, all choreographed to a soundtrack of Christmas classics. Pause at the mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden and don’t forget to glimpse Father Christmas along the way.

Independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist with tasty treats on offer. Complete your walk under the stars with a *spiced winter warmer or *hot chocolate shared with friends and family. Everyone loves toasting a marshmallow over an open fire and the artisan *marshmallow stall gives visitors the chance to warm their hands and enjoy this sweet outdoor tradition.

Christmas at Wimpole provides a special way to celebrate the festive season with an unmissable outdoor experience. The trail is designed for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Running from 25 November 2022 until 1 January 2023, Christmas at Wimpole provides a special way to celebrate the festive season with an unmissable outdoor experience.

Heart Arch by Art AV, My Christmas Trails. Photo by Richard Haughton © Sony Music 2021

Christmas at WimpoleThe after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens

Christmas at Wimpole Opening time: From 25 November 2022 to 1 January 2023
Doors 0pen from 4.30pm, last entry 8pm and closes at 10pm.
Doors close on 28, 29 November and 5, 6, 25 December

Why Visit Wimpole Christmas lights: 

Discover a Christmas illuminated trail for all the family set within the beautiful landscape of Wimpole.

Christmas at Wimpole ticket prices: 

Advanced From: Adult £19, Child £14.50, Family £64 (2 adults & 2 children). Free entry for carers and children aged 2 & under.

Parking £8 per car.

For more info on Christmas at Wimpole or to book Wimpole Christmas light tickets, visit christmasatwimpole.co.uk

About Wimpole

Wimpole first opened to visitors in 1979, considered the finest country house in Cambridgeshire bequeathed to the National Trust by Mrs Elsie Bambridge, daughter of Rudyard Kipling.  Wimpole had a succession of owners from Lord Harley (1711-1740) to the Earls of Hardwicke (1740-1894) and Viscount’s Clifden, before being bought by Elsie Bambridge in 1930’s and has a roll-call of celebrated architects and landscape designers who have developed both the mansion and parkland into a place of beauty and graceful living.

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Christmas at Hatfield Park trail opens with amazing fire garden

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Hatfield Park’s Christmas trail opens with amazing fire garden

A beautiful Fire Garden has been revealed as one of the spectacular works in the new Christmas light trail at Hatfield Park, Hertfordshire, between 25 November and 31 December 2022.

The installation will be part of a spectacular collection of illuminations which will transform the 42 acres of gardens and parkland where Queen Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood.

Designed by Culture Creative, the Fire Garden at Hatfield Park is made up of hundreds of flame heads interspersed with Lantern Trees by Mandylights, which echo the timeless beauty of old Victorian-style street lamps. The brass-effect shades shimmer in bright gold, with electric flames inside the lanterns to inspire a feeling of warm firelight.

Hatfield Park’s Christmas trail opens with amazing fire garden | Fire Garden by Culture Creative. My Christmas Trails

Matthew Findlay, Head of UK Trails for Sony Music/Raymond Gubbay Ltd, said: “We are hugely excited by the plans for this fantastic new trail, with artists creating beautiful installations which will cast an entirely different light on a beautiful, historic property.”

Visitors to Hatfield Park can look forward to some precious time with friends and family as they discover sparkling tunnels of light and walk beneath glistening trees drenched in jewel-like colour.

Hatfield Park lights are choreographed to a soundtrack of much-loved seasonal music, transforming Hatfield’s majestic park into an instant winter wonderland.

Independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist with tasty treats on offer. Complete your walk under the stars with a *spiced winter warmer or *hot chocolate shared with friends and family. Everyone loves toasting a marshmallow over an open fire and the artisan *marshmallow stall gives visitors the chance to warm their hands and enjoy this sweet outdoor tradition.

*separate charges apply 

Christmas at Hatfield Park is brought to you by Sony Music.  The trail is created by Culture Creative.

Hatfield Park’s Christmas trail opens with amazing fire garden

What is happen at Hatfield Park?

Christmas at Hatfield Park The after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens. Discover a Christmas illuminated trail for all the family set within the beautiful landscape of Hatfield Park

When is Christmas at Hatfield Park?

From 25 November and 31 December 2022. Open from 4.30pm, last entry 8pm and closes at 10pm. Trail closed on 28, 29, 30 Nov; 5, 6, 24, 25 Dec.

Admission: Limited capacity with timed entry, early booking advised
Advanced From: Adult £24, Child £17, Family £78 (2 adults & 2 children).
Free entry for carers and children aged 2 & under.

Parking £7 per car.

Website:         https://christmasathatfieldpark.seetickets.com/
Hatfield Park Address:         Great North Rd., Hatfield AL9 5HX

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Horwood House Unveils New Manor Suites In Grade-II Manor House

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Horwood House Unveils New Manor Suites In Grade-II Listed Manor House

Once the birthplace of renowned TV gardener Percy Thrower, the historic Grade-II listed Manor House at idyllic countryside hotel Horwood House has unveiled three fully refurbished Manor Suites. The latest milestone in an extensive £6 million, 18-month redevelopment programme, the new look suites draw on the rich horticultural heritage of the 110-year-old property, which is set within 38 acres of stunning gardens and grounds.

Horwood House History

Horwood House Histrory

Originally a farmhouse (some 300 years ago), the Manor House was upgraded in the early 1900s by Frederick Denny, and his original commission design played an integral part in the refurbishment. Lovingly restored to showcase and celebrate the building’s original features, the three master suites are all located on the Manor’s top floor. After ascending the original and fully restored feature staircase – complete with a showstopping three-tier custom made chandelier, inspired by the traditional 19th century heritage lighting found in many stately homes.

Guests will be greeted by features from the original Manor House such as reconditioned vaulted ceilings, original stonework and grand bay windows synonymous with the Jacobethan era, which were originally designed by well-known architect Detmar Blow over 100 years ago!

Changes at Horwood House

The Denny family alongside their Head Gardener, (Percy Thrower’s father) took immense pride in rebuilding the gardens to the glorious scenes present today. When designing the rooms, it was of utmost importance that the breath-taking grounds took centre stage, with views of the glorious tree-lined drive and the picturesque lily pond, (created by Percy Thrower himself) forming integral parts of each scheme. Both vistas are lit up at night to ensure views at every time of day.

Carefully decorated to ensure guests enjoy a luxurious yet comfortable stay, the suites have each been individually designed but all feature a lounge, a bathroom and a spacious bedroom with luxury king-size beds complete with Art Deco inspired headboards. Plush bay window seating – a perfect spot to enjoy an hour or two of reading – and richly textured soft furnishings are in a colour-scheme selected to complement the hotel’s horticultural setting and offer serenity to those staying – expect light greys, deep greens, subtle teals and warm terracotta hues.

The bathrooms feature eye-catching grey scallop tiles and either a walk-in rainfall shower or bath with gold accents.No amenity or detail has been overlooked, with each suite also featuring a dining table, mini fridge, air-conditioning throughout, complimentary Wi-Fi and a Nespresso coffee machine.

Throughout the suites and into the ground floor of the Manor House, guests will see artwork that explores 1911, the year in which the Manor House was built and the landmark events that mark the period, such as the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, along with the publication of “The Secret Garden” and works by the celebrated poet, D.H. Lawrence.

Horwood House Unveils New Manor Suites In Grade-II Listed Manor House

And that’s not all – the ground floor bar, lounge and ceremony spaces have also been refurbished and offer the perfect backdrop for an early evening drink, afternoon tea with friends or a lavish dinner party in the private Manor library room with carefully curated menus, full of the finest seasonal ingredients, from the hotel’s Executive Chef Will Dimartino.

Booking Horwood House

Looking for a historic, horticultural stay full of rural opulence? The Manor Suites are available to book now, with room rates starting from £249.50 per person (£499 per room) with breakfast included. To book, visit: https://reservations.horwoodhouse.co.uk.

Directions to Horwood House Hotel

Horwood House
Mursley Rd
Little Horwood
Milton Keynes
MK17 0PH

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