BOWOOD House and Gardens and the Woodland Garden open again on Saturday, April 1.
After the success of last year, where there were 128,000 visitors and appearances on BBC1’s Antiques Roadshow, the attraction between Calne and Chippenham promises several new events to join firm annual favourites in the 2017 Bowood diary.
Revival Productions has recently announced that it will be staging two open-air concerts next August in front of Bowood House.
The distinctive Robert Adam Diocletian facade and Italianate Terraces, surrounded by Capability Brown’s Pleasure Grounds and his picturesque lake in the near distance will add wonderful atmosphere to both evenings when visitors can bring along picnics.
At the ‘Classic Ibiza’ concert on Saturday, August 5, The Urban Soul Orchestra, accompanied live by a group of vocalists, and DJ Goldierocks will bring some of the biggest dance tracks from the last 20 years to life.
The following evening, Sunday, August 6, will see The National Symphony Orchestra perform ‘The Great British Prom’ celebrating iconic music from all corners of the UK. The orchestra will be joined live on stage by Welsh male vocal group Only Men Aloud and a traditional Scottish pipe band. The concert will conclude with a fireworks display choreographed to the music.
‘Priestley & Patronage’ will be the title of the 2017 exhibition in the Robert Adam Orangery and will explore how Bowood, down the generations, attracted and championed luminaries of the day.
Taking centre stage will be scientist, Dr Joseph Priestley (tutor to the sons of the 2nd Earl of Shelburne from 1773 until 1780) and The Laboratory will be a focal point for visitors as this is where he discovered oxygen gas on August 1, 1774.
Leading on from the Orangery towards the Library, the Laboratory is now an ante-room lined with bookcases that originally came from Lansdowne House in London’s Berkeley Square.
The exhibition curated by Bowood’s archivist, Jo Johnston will also explore how other experts in their fields have also been encouraged by Bowood.
Bowood’s 70-acre Woodland Garden’s is expected to feature magnificent displays of rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas burst forth in colour for six weeks from late April when bluebells herald the season’s start.
With Mental Health Awareness Week – Monday, May 8, to Sunday, May 14 – falling within this time frame, The Woodland Garden will be featuring Mindfulness Walks from Sunday, May 7, until Sunday, May 14, encouraging visitors to connect with nature and the calm within their surroundings.
The monthly guided tours of Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s private four-acre Walled Garden behind Bowood House return from Wednesday, April 5, while the specially-themed Capability Brown guided tours of the parkland that were introduced during 2016’s Capability Brown Festival year (celebrating the tercentenary of his birth) will be continued on selected monthly dates from April to October.
Additionally, gardening groups of 20 or more people can arrange a private midweek tour led by one of Bowood’s guides. Tickets for guided tours must be booked in advance.
Tractor Ted’s Little Farm at Bowood goes into full throttle with the Tractor Ted Big Machines Weekend over the May Bank Holiday, Saturday, May 27, to Monday, May 29.
The Tractor Ted Diggers and Dumpers Weekend will be on Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20.
The three-day Great British Food Festival will return for its second year at Bowood, over the bank holiday weekend, from Saturday to Monday, August 26-28.
Top local producers, real ale, wine bars and live music are to feature among the range of foodie delights.
Amy Nutland, marketing and business development manager, said: “Our lively 2017 calendar of events mirrors the various identifying aspects of Bowood’s character, encapsulating a great sense of British heritage, scenic English landscape, iconic gardens and family fun to be pursued across days-out, garden tours, weekend breaks and school holidays.”
For those wanting to turn a visit into an overnight stay, the 43-bedroom Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort and its four-bedroom Queenwood Lodge (for exclusive-use hire) are just a mile away from the House and Gardens and within the western corner of Capability Brown’s Grade 1 listed parkland. All guests have access to the Spa’s facilities -with dedicated times for chlldren to use the indoor swimming pool – and free admission to Bowood House and Gardens.
The Bowood experience can then be more fully enjoyed with English afternoon tea in The Library, dinner in the 64-seater Shelburne Restaurant or more informal meals in The Clubhouse Brasserie.
For golfers of all levels, the three-hole academy course and 18-hole championship golf course are on the doorstep. Hotel bedroom rates start at £155 per room, per night while an overnight stay at Queenwood is priced from £165 per person (based on eight guests) with breakfast included in these prices.
For more details on coming events at Bowood, visit: www.bowood.org/events/
Bowood House & Gardens will open daily between 11am-6pm with last admissions at 5pm.
Individual entrance tickets for 2017 start at £7.50 per child aged 2-4 and go up to £12.50 per adult (13 years +), with family tickets (four people with a maximum of two adults) at £37.50 for the day.
Visit www.bowood.org/bowood-house for details about the house and gardens or call 01249 812102.
For information about Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort visit www.bowood.org/bowood-hotel or call 01249 822228.