Spring is definitely showing its pretty face at Eastnor Castle today and, as we lift our puzzled heads from the depths of reading about new dates and regulations, we’re delighted to let you know about our plans for spring!
First and foremost, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, our customers, for your support throughout the toughest of years. This time last year we were busy planning our 2020 visitor opening season, completely unaware of what lay ahead.
Coronavirus hit in March 2020 and, without warning, we had to adapt to new ways of working, implement new systems, tear up the leaflets and, quite frankly, wing our way through the rest of the year. But you, our customers, were with us every step of the way with smiling faces, understanding and resolve. For this, we are truly grateful.
We’re confident this year will be calmer, more ‘normal’ and a lot happier for everyone. Here’s what we’ve got planned…
Easter at Eastnor Castle
After seeking clarification that the grounds of heritage sites can open, we’re happy to confirm we’ll be opening our grounds for Easter from Friday 2nd April until Thursday 8th April. Sadly, it won’t be on the same scale as our usual Easter Treasure Hunt… tickets will be very limited and our usual treasure hunt will be replaced with a smaller event where visitors can enjoy a good walk, appreciate the arrival of spring and look out for some signs of Easter hidden around the grounds with a simple trail. In keeping with tradition though, we will of course be offering a chocolate treat to all children!
Sadly, the castle will remain closed for Easter but we’re taking the opportunity to carry out some much-needed repairs inside whilst the doors have to stay closed.
Tickets will be on sale for Easter soon along with further information; please keep an eye on our social channels for news and be sure to book your tickets as soon as possible as we’re anticipating we’ll sell out due to such a limited capacity.
With a heavy heart, we can confirm that Eastnor ChilliFest will not be taking place this year. Rest assured it will be back next year though, bigger and better than ever! We will be open over the early May Bank Holiday weekend, keep an eye out for details coming soon!
Eastnor Castle Steam & Vintage
We’ll be opening again at the end of May for the Whitsun Bank Holiday and for a few days of half term. We usually hold our Steam & Vintage event this weekend and hope to do the same this year. There may be aspects of the event we’re unable to manage due to Covid regulations but we’ll update you on this soon!
Eastnor Outdoor Theatre
We’re delighted to confirm our 2 outdoor theatre performances which we had to cancel last year can go ahead this year. ‘Mr Stink’ by David Walliams and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ will both be performed on our lower terrace in the summer. Details will follow soon!
Deer Park Campsite in Malvern
As a campsite with no shared facilities, we can thankfully open the Deer Park Campsite on Monday 12th April. It will be open in the first instance until Sunday 6th June and the online booking system for this will open next Friday.
Other updates will follow in the coming weeks as we pull the pieces of this year’s jigsaw together. One other piece of good news we do have though is that we won’t be increasing our prices this year, we also pledge to continue to be a great-value day out for all the family – including the dog!
We look forward to welcoming you soon!
Eastnor Castle is set to receive capital funds towards vital restoration from the Historic Houses Foundation.
Historic Houses Foundation
The Historic Houses Foundation is one of the beneficiaries of the Heritage Stimulus Fund, announced last week by the UK Government and Historic England, which will provide finance for restoration work in historic buildings. This is the first time in its history that the Historic Houses Foundation has received government funding, despite distributing over £10million to nearly 250 vital restoration projects in England over the last 17 years. The Heritage Stimulus Fund grant of £3million is a great accolade for this small, well-respected foundation and testament to its wise decision-making and expertise over the years.
Now, through its collective capability, insider knowledge of beautiful, historic English houses and their particular value to the local community, jobs and visitor economy, the Historic Houses Foundation has carefully chosen 18 nationally important properties throughout England to benefit from these funds – of which Eastnor Castle is one.
Eastnor Castle and the Historic Houses Foundation
In 2010, owner James Hervey-Bathurst discovered that the decorative ceilings in the Long Library and Dining Room were becoming degraded, and work was first done to secure the structure. These rooms were given a makeover in Italian Renaissance style in the 1860s, and specialist restoration of the painted panels that make up the ceilings is now urgent. The grant will also cover repairs to the cast iron bridge that allows visitors to walk around the lake for the best view of the castle, probably the work of British Museum architect Robert Smirke, who built the castle for 1st Earl Somers in 1812.
James Hervey-Bathurst said: “Eastnor attracts over 50,000 visitors a year, and the richly-decorated Long Library and Dining Room are very important parts of the visitor experience, as is the path round the lake which crosses the stilling pool below the lake weir by the original cast-iron bridge. We had deferred all this work, with the risk of further deterioration taking place, until the offer of the grant came through, so I am delighted the work can now go ahead and am very grateful to the Government and Historic England for channelling this support through the Historic Houses Foundation to secure our heritage at this difficult time.
Work will be carried out over the winter months before the start of the new tourist season in spring 2021.”
Norman Hudson OBE, chairman of the Historic Houses Foundation says “Our grants go to historic buildings in all categories of ownership, so range far wider than the National Trust. That we have been selected as a Delivery Partner for this money indicates that the Government likes what we do and recognises the exceptionally cost-efficient way in which we achieve it. It is good news for historic buildings and good news for jobs and the local community.”
Find out more about the Historic Houses Foundation.
Eastnor Castle is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
Culture Recovery Fund
445 organisations will share £103 million, including Eastnor Castle to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.
Eastnor Castle will receive a much-needed sum of money which will help retain experienced, loyal staff who work on the upkeep of the building and the running of the day to day business. In turn, this will ensure the Grade 1 listed castle is maintained and ready to welcome visitors again next Spring.
This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arms length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.
UK Heritage Sites
433 organisations will receive a share of £67 million from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage to help with costs for operating, reopening and recovery. This includes famous heritage sites across the country, from Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Blyth Tall Ship to the Severn Valley Railway, the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire to the Piecehall in Halifax. The funds will save sites that are a source of pride for communities across the country.
12 organisations, including English Heritage, Landmark Trust, Historic Royal Palaces and the Canal and River Trust, will receive £34 million from the Heritage Stimulus Fund to restart construction and maintenance on cherished heritage sites to preserve visitor attractions and protect livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable heritage specialists and contractors in the sector.
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has also been awarded a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund through Historic England. The AHF will use the funding to support charities and social enterprises occupying historic buildings to develop new business plans and strategies for organisations affected by the pandemic.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”
Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator, Historic Royal Palaces, said:
“There’s no truer way to experience the past than to walk in the footsteps of those who have lived it – that’s why preserving our built heritage is so important.
“At Historic Royal Palaces, we care for six nationally significant buildings, opening them to the public and preserving them for future generations. Sadly, the pandemic meant that we had to stop some of our critical conservation work. The grant we have received from the Culture Recovery Fund will enable to this work to resume – so we can give some of Britain’s most historic buildings the care and attention they deserve while supporting the specialist craftspeople who are vital for the future of our national heritage. We are enormously grateful to the Government for this support.”
David Littlewood, General Manager of Eastnor Castle, said:
“We are extremely grateful for this generous funding from the Culture Recovery Fund. We have had a very worrying 6 months with the vast majority of our events and functions cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully we were eventually allowed to open to visitors on a limited basis which bought in some income, but we have suffered a huge loss of earnings.”
“The next 6 months will be very quiet but it’s imperative we keep our standards up and ensure the castle doesn’t deteriorate. This grant money has taken away the very real possibility of more staff redundancies and means we can protect our Grade 1 Listed castle, maintaining it as a viable business for the local community and for future generations.”
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive said:
“It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites. The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.”
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said:
“It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial. Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live. All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.
“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet. But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”
Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said:
“This support for our nation’s heritage is fantastic news. Over the last few months, our teams have been working hard to welcome visitors back safely to the great castles, stone circles, abbeys and historic houses in our care. This funding will help us invest to safeguard the historic fabric of these much-loved places, which everyone can learn from and enjoy.”
Dog Days Out
Dog owners will understand the importance of taking their four-legged friends out for regular walks and exercise. Dog walking isn’t just about letting them have their toilet breaks, it provides them with mental stimulation, physical exercise, and develops their social skills with people and other animals. Whilst taking them out in the back fields is exciting, there are many benefits to taking your dog to different environments – not only for them but for you as the owner. It can be difficult to find dog-friendly places near you that provide as much entertainment for the owner as they do for the dog.
Eastnor Castle is proud to be one of the few dog-friendly castles in the UK.
Things To Do With Dogs
Simply walking isn’t always enough for some dogs, they require constant stimulation and a variety of environments to explore. You might want to take them for a run, play a game with them (which also provides training opportunity), or bring along toys that they can learn to use. With this, of course, your pet will need to be trained to walk without a lead so that they can develop their obedience and intelligence skills.
Eastnor Castle provides a dedicated dog off leads area so that they can enjoy every aspect of the great outdoors without restriction. We are blessed with a variety of terrains for you and your dog to explore, from rich forestry to our lakeside trail and serene arboretum.
A common issue that dog owners face on days out is the fact that they can’t bring their dogs inside public buildings with them. What if you are tired of walking and want to take a breather indoors? Or what if it starts raining? The benefit of taking dogs indoors is that it allows you to more closely bond and better train them to behave in different territories. Eastnor Castle is one of the few dog-friendly places to allow pets inside as well as outside. Whilst touring the castle, taking in the history and exploring the rooms, your dog can come along for the whole journey.
Any day out isn’t complete without a stop in the local cafe for a bite to eat or a coffee to refresh. The problem that dog owners face once again is where to leave their faithful friend during the lunch break. Eastnor Castle not only provides refreshment for you but for your dog too, with our Old Sock flavoured Waggy Doggy Ice Cream – available from the Ice Cream Parlour.
Dog walking doesn’t have to be mundane – as we have explored, there are a variety of options to get outdoors for the whole family, including pup. If you are looking for dog days out in the west midlands and the surrounding area, look no further than Eastnor Castle. Set amongst stunning countryside, our dog-friendly venue is the perfect setting to enjoy the great outdoors alongside our rich history and culture. Click here to find out our opening times or get in touch for further information and details.
Thing To Do Outdoors
As lockdown restrictions continue to ease, there is even more opportunity for us to get outside and enjoy activities such as walking, hiking, cycling and boating. Whilst we were once only allowed to enjoy one form of exercise per day, there is now no limit to what we can enjoy outdoors, and we should be taking advantage of this. The coronavirus pandemic, whilst painful and sad for many, has been an opportunity for the world and its inhabitants to take a break and simply breathe. We at Eastnor Castle believe that the great outdoors is one of the greatest gifts we have and that its beauty should be enjoyed.
Summer Holiday Fun at Eastnor Castle
We’re delighted to be able to open (almost in full)* throughout the summer and will be open Wednesday to Sunday (+Aug BH Monday) from 22nd July to 31st August. We’ll also be hosting an ‘added extra’ event/activity each day we are open – all included in your entrance price! Here’s what we have coming up:
|Wed 22 to Sun 26 July:||Little Land Rover Circuits||Complete the circuit around the Castle Courtyard in our Little Land Rovers! Who can complete the course in the fastest time?|
|Wed 29 July to Sun 2 August:||Run Away to the Circus||Our resident entertainer, Thomas Trilby, will be greeting you on his stilts and putting on shows throughout the day.|
|Wed 5 to Sun 9 August:||Circus Bikes||Thomas Trilby returns for a week of bicycle-themed entertainment – look out for him on his penny farthing, stilt bicycle, vintage travelling cycle-circus show, tiny micro bike and unicycles throughout the day.|
|Wed 12 to Sun 16 August:||Dinosaur Show||Naughty Rex is back! Travel back in time with a life-like walking, roaring T-Rex! Shows throughout the day – sessions must be pre-booked.|
|Wed 19 to Sun 23 August:||Bushcraft Survival||Have you got what it takes to survive in the wild? Make a shelter, start a fire and camouflage yourself.|
|Wed 26 to Mon 31 August:||Eastnor Nature Trail||Enjoy the sights & sounds of nature and look for bugs & wildlife with the Eastnor Nature Trail.|
*The Castle Maze will sadly remain closed for the summer. Our Little Land Rovers will remain closed for the summer other than for our Little Land Rover Circuits event from 22nd to 26th July.
We’ll be open from 10.30 am until 5.30 pm and tickets are limited so pre-booking online is recommended.
Online Eastnor Castle tickets are discounted and are priced as follows:
|Adult Castle & Grounds:||£12.50|
|Child Castle & Grounds:||£7.50|
|Family Castle & Grounds (2 adults & up to 3 children):||£33.00|
|Adult Grounds Only:||£8.50|
|Child Grounds Only:||£5.50|
|Family Grounds Only (2 adults & up to 3 children):||£23.00|
All of these events/activities are free of charge for Privilege Cardholders but we recommend you book your tickets online wherever possible (please choose Privilege Card Holder tickets when selecting your tickets).
All of these events/activities are free of charge for Historic Houses members but we recommend you book your tickets online wherever possible (please choose Historic House Member tickets when selecting your tickets).
BOOK YOUR TICKETS
Eastnor Castle Grounds
Eastnor Castle is surrounded by miles of beautiful rolling Herefordshire countryside, located at the foot of the wonderful Malvern hills. We are very lucky to have such an amazing space, it is the perfect place for those wanting to walk in Hereford, Malvern or Worcester areas. We are delighted that following updates in government guidance, Eastnor Castle has been allowed to open its visitor attraction to the public to enjoy, with social distancing measures in place.
Kids Adventure Playgrounds
Throughout the summer holidays, many parents will be looking for things to do with kids in Worcestershire and the surrounding area. Eastnor Castle is a perfect solution, with our woodland play area, junior obstacle course, adventure playground and rope swings all now open for children to enjoy. If the kids need to run off a bit more energy, we also have a beautiful castle lake and arboretum walks for them to adventure in and around. If you’re making it a day out, our Tea Room is open offering hot and cold drinks and snacks or you’re welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds. Our Ice Cream Parlour is also open daily offering delicious ice cream flavours sourced locally.
A place to Walk Dogs in Malvern and Herefordshire
If your day out in Hereford, Malvern, Worcester (or wherever you are in the surrounding area) includes a dog friendly too, that is no problem at Eastnor Castle. We are very proud to be a Dogs Welcome tourist attraction and one of the few historic houses where dogs are welcome into its grounds and house. You are free to roam the grounds wherever you like with your four-legged friends. We ask that your dog is kept on a lead and waste bags are provided on arrival. We do also have dedicated dogs off-lead areas, where your pets are free to adventure and run through the trees.
COVID-19 Health and Safety
We strive to stay on track with the government guidelines on COVID-19 health and safety and have carried out extensive risk assessments. Measures are in place around the grounds to help keep our visitors and staff safe such as hand sanitiser stations, signage and floor markings. Please adhere to the signage in place at all times to help keep everyone safe. We will be operating as a cashless venue so please bring a card to make any payments. Find out more about our Covid-19 Health & Safety measures.
Please kindly note that from 8th August it will be compulsory to wear a face covering if you go inside the castle as it is classed as a museum. Please bring a face covering with you when you visit if you intend to go inside the castle. Thank you.
Visit Eastnor Castle
So what are you waiting for? Come and visit Eastnor Castle today for the perfect day out in Herefordshire, or wherever you are travelling from. We would be delighted to welcome you into our grounds again and offer a sanctuary for fun, relaxation and enjoyment. Get in touch with us today for further information and details before your visit.
DDA/Equality Act 2010
As a result of the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we are sorry advise that neither the Castle Stair-Climber or the Disabled Lift can be used safely for the foreseeable future.
The access stairs to the Castle and it’s Upper Floor are not suitable for Non-Ambulant visitors.
This decision has been based on current UK.Gov. Guidance on the reduction of the transmission risk of COVID-19. This restriction will be reviewed as and when updated UK.Gov Guidance is issued.
BOOK YOUR TICKETS
We know it’s tough at the moment. Like many of you, we’re trying to work, to home-school, to keep upbeat and calm. It’s like nothing we’ve ever known before and it’s hard.
With the news yesterday that the majority of children probably won’t return to school until at least September, we hope we can help in some small way by offering an affordable Outdoor Learning Day.
You might already know that we re-opened our grounds at weekends on a limited basis a few weeks ago, and from next week (15th June), we will also be opening up on Mondays.
An Outdoor Learning Day About Castles
We’ve set this page up as a one-stop resource for an Outdoor Learning Day at Eastnor Castle. A change of home-school scenery and a day in the fresh air might be just the ticket and what better topic to focus on than… Castles!
It’s worth noting that Eastnor Castle, at around 200 years old, is a ‘new’ castle and has never been involved in the battle. It has many traditional castles features however such as turrets, a keep, a portcullis, battlements, a flag and thick stone walls.
Below are some free child-focused educational resources for learning all about castles*. Perhaps you could spend some time learning about Castles with your child(ren) and then visit us to see a real-life Castle!
General Information on Castles:
The School Run
DK Find Out
Primary Homework Help
An Information Video on Castles:
YouTube video on Castles
How to Draw a Castle:
How to Draw a Castle
Eastnor Castle History:
History of Eastnor Castle
*Please note that other than the Eastnor Castle History page, these all link to external resources which have been reviewed but for which we do not hold any responsibility for the content.
- Find out all you can about castles and then visit one in real-life;
- Tickets are limited so social distancing can be observed at all times;
- Toilets are open and cleaned throughout the day;
- Enjoy the ‘Great Outdoors’ with woodland and lakeside walks through 100 acres of land;
- The Ice Cream Parlour is open for an ice cream treat!
- Plenty of picnic areas throughout the ground;
- Ticket prices are currently just £2.50 for children and £5.00 for adults;
- Dogs are welcome too!
We hope to see you soon, find out more about our Limited Grounds Opening and Buy Tickets.
We are delighted to announce that following an update to Government guidance, we are now able to reopen parts of Eastnor Castle grounds to visitors on selected days throughout May, June & July.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our visitors for their patience and support during the last few months and we look forward to welcoming you back again.
We take the safety of our visitors very seriously so changes have been put in place in order for us to reopen our gates; this means a visit to Eastnor Castle will be a little different for now.
Please find below a summary of the information which we hope will help you decide if you’d like to visit.
Covid-19 Safe Space
We have been working extensively with an external Health & Safety Consultant to ensure we have Covid-19 controls in place. A full risk assessment has been carried out and recommendations implemented as necessary.
We respectfully request that all of our visitors adhere to social distance rules whilst they are here (signage is in place to support this) and wash/sanitise their hands regularly. Please stay away if you or any of your household are showing symptoms of Coronavirus.
Dates and Times:
We will be open on the following days:
Saturday 30th May until Sunday 7th June: SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS
Saturday 13th June until Monday 20th July: SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS & MONDAYS
10.30am until 5.30pm. Last admission will be at 3.00pm.
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR SUMMER HOLIDAY OPENING FROM WEDNESDAY 22ND JULY
Facilities and Attractions:
The following facilities and attractions will be OPEN:
- The Grounds (including the arboretum, valley lawn and lakeside walks)
- The Portcullis Toilets
- The Ice Cream Parlour (card payments only)
- The Woodland Play Area
- Junior Obstacle Course (open from Saturday 4th July)
- Adventure Playground (open from Saturday 4th July)
- Rope Swings (open from Saturday 4th July)
- Tuck Shop selling hot & cold drinks and snacks (Saturdays & Sundays only)
- Tea Room (open from Saturday 11th July)
The following facilities and attractions will be CLOSED:
- Castle Maze
- Little Land Rovers
Tickets are LIMITED and are ONLY AVAILABLE ONLINE. No entry will be given to anyone without a pre-purchased ticket. Tickets are £5.00 for adults (aged 16 or over) and £2.50 for children (aged 3-15 years). Children aged 2 and under are free of charge and do not require a ticket. Tickets will be checked on arrival so please have them printed out if possible ready to show. Buy your tickets here.
We are limiting the number of visitors, therefore, there is lots of room in our car parks. Please don’t park too close to others. Car parking is free of charge.
We have provided hand sanitiser stations as you enter the grounds and also near the Ice Cream Parlour. Please also bring your own sanitiser if you wish.
The Portcullis toilets will be open during your visit and cleaned throughout the day. We will be limiting the number of people allowed in at any one time and operating a ‘one in, one out’ policy.
Members of staff may be wearing face coverings in certain areas. They will still be giving a welcome smile, but you just won’t be able to see it!
The picnic benches around the grounds are all 2 metres apart.
All our bins will have their lids removed.
Playgrounds will be closed in line with Government guidance.
Payment will be by card only; WE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTING ANY CASH PAYMENTS. There will be a queuing system in place, please keep 2 metres apart.
The Castle Tea Room will not be open so visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnics. On Saturdays and Sundays there will be a Tuck Shop operating from the Courtyard selling hot & cold drinks and snacks.
Bottled water will be available to buy in the ice cream parlour and tuck shop. Alternatively, there is a drinking water tap on the Valley Lawn for visitors to refill their own containers.
Eastnor Castle Privilege Cards:
Eastnor Castle Privilege Cards are valid for this period. Please ensure you have your card ready to show to the Admission staff on arrival. Please kindly note that all Privilege Cardholders will be contacted in due course to arrange an expiry date extension once our Visitor Opening is back to normal.
Discounted Tickets / Promotions:
Discounted/complimentary tickets or affiliation cards and memberships such as English Heritage, Gardeners World etc. are not valid during this period.
Historic House members are welcome but must pre-book tickets by selecting ‘Historic Houses Member’ ticket(s). Membership numbers must be inputted at checkout.
We will not be giving out any Children’s Fun Booklets or selling Guide Books. A simple Grounds Map will be available to pick up from the admission area. If you would like to print this out at home and bring it with you, you can download it here. We have also provided links to some external resources for an Outdoor Learning Day at Eastnor Castle, based on the home-schooling topic of castles.
Dogs are welcome at Eastnor but must be kept on a lead at all times, other than in the ‘Dogs Off Leads’ area.
A short note to say this has been a particularly challenging period for a lot of people. We are a small family business and have had to close our doors throughout a period which would normally be our busiest time. We are reopening cautiously and doing so in circumstances which are completely new to us. During your visit, should you notice anything we could be doing better, please let us know in person so that we can take measures to fix it.
If you choose to visit then thank you for your support. We have reduced our ticket prices to reflect our scaled-down attractions but any tickets sold now will help us to recover as a business and open again in full as soon as we’re able to.
Buy your tickets here.
We’re all aware of what is happening in the world right now regarding the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. Firstly, we want to extend our thoughts to those who are feeling the effects of this terrible situation, be it through illness, worry, business closures, changed plans (or all of the above!).
The health of our staff and visitors is important to us and, like everyone else, we’re adhering to all guidelines issued by the British Government and Public Health England.
We were due to open our doors to visitors for the season on Friday 10th April and we’re keen to ensure we can still do that in some capacity. As it stands today (and this may change); please see below for our Easter opening plan.
Easter Opening Plan
We are fortunate enough to be situated in a beautiful rural area with lots of outdoor space around us. We will therefore still be opening for Easter but removing any unnecessary episodes of contact and crowds. If you wish to visit to enjoy some fresh air and a runaround in our 100 acres of grounds, please read on for details (please bear in mind that all of these steps are to try and keep everyone safe, please make your own decisions on whether to visit based on your own personal circumstances).
- We will open our grounds only (NOT the castle) from Monday 6th to Sunday 19th April from 10.30 am until 5.30 pm.
- We will not be operating our OlympEgg Easter Treasure Hunt. Instead, we will have our grounds open and operate a simple ‘Spot the Eggs Easter Treasure Hunt’ around the grounds. Children can look for clues, complete a Treasure Hunt form and swap it for a MaltEaster chocolate bunny as they depart.
- Tickets will be available for this event ONLINE ONLY. We wish to minimise the amount of contact between visitors and staff so our visitor entrance will be closed and an outdoor ticket-check station will be operating near the entrance. To re-iterate, visitors WILL NOT be able to buy tickets when they arrive.
- We will not be operating our giant chocolate Easter Egg draw and will instead be donating the eggs to charity.
- Please watch this space for details on our Tea Room and Ice Cream Parlour opening. As always, picnics are welcome and visitors are welcome to enjoy a picnic in their own space within the grounds.
- We will have extra hand-washing stations around the grounds so that our visitors can regularly wash their hands.
- Signs will be placed around the grounds advising guests to take extra caution around areas which may get busier than others (such as the Adventure Playground).
- Dogs are still very welcome but must be kept on a lead other than in the Dogs Off Leads area.
- If you have already purchased a ticket for our Easter OlympEGG Treasure Hunt, you may transfer your ticket and visit on another date throughout the year or you may still visit at Easter and we will happily refund part of your ticket as you’ll no longer be able to go inside the castle. If you have already purchased a ticket we will contact you directly by email.
- Tickets will be available to buy online at the end of this week (20th March) and will be available to buy until 3.30pm on the day of your visit.
- Please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for further updates. Facebook | Twitter
- Tickets will be limited to avoid any overcrowding.
- No promotions such as Historic Houses or English Heritage will be available for this event.
- Privilege Card holders are welcome as usual.
- Tickets will cost £8.50 for adults, £5.50 for children and £23.00 for a family of 2 adults and up to 3 children.
Eastnor ChilliFest news to follow as soon as we have it.
If you have a wedding, party, event or Eastnor holiday cottage booked in the coming weeks and have any concerns at all, we’re here to help!
Thank you for reading; if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
With very best wishes from the Eastnor Team.
With great excitement, we announce that our ‘Charity of the Year 2020’ will be Acorns Children’s Hospice.
Charity of the Year Programme
Running for the 4th year in 2020, our Charity of the Year programme allows us to pledge support to a local charity in a number of ways including the use of the castle for a fundraising dinner, the use of the grounds for a family fun day, complimentary tickets, collection boxes at the Visitor Entrance and an open invitation to be present on any day we are open to visitors.
Acorns Children’s Hospice
We were keen to support Acorns Children’s Hospice after a chance visit to the hospice in Worcester last April when a visitor to Eastnor Castle’s Easter Treasure Hunt asked if she could donate the giant Easter Egg she had won to a local Children’s Hospice. Happy to oblige, the giant chocolate egg was dropped into Acorns for the Three Counties on the Bath Road in Worcester.
Becky Williams, Head of Marketing at Eastnor Castle said: “From the first chance visit to Acorns last April, it was clear that Acorns was a very special place indeed and we were keen to discuss our Charity of the Year programme with them as soon as possible.”
She continued: “Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for life-limited and life-threatened babies, children and young people, and support for their families. They need £27,000 per day to run their services and rely on donations and fundraising by the community and local businesses for 70% of this amount. We hope that we can contribute towards this amount and also raise the profile of Acorns Children’s Hospice amongst our visitors. We’ve already met with the team and are looking forward to working together on a number of events throughout the year.”
Mel Hall, Area Fundraiser for Acorns Children’s Hospice adds: “We are thrilled to be chosen as Eastnor Castle’s Charity of the Year. We rely on the generosity of supporters to continue providing our vital services to children and families – so this partnership is really important”
“We’re excited to see what the year brings, not just in terms of fundraising, but the awareness this will help bring Acorns as we aim to deliver the best possible care and support to all the families across Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire that need us”
Details of the events being arranged at Eastnor Castle by Acorns Children’s Hospice are being finalised and will be announced soon… stay tuned to our social channels!
Photograph Left to right: Becky Williams, Head of Marketing and Sarah Littlewood, Head of Visitor Services from Eastnor Castle meet with Janine Warner, Deputy Head Nurse and Susan Hayward, Head of Care from Acorns Children’s Hospice.
We’ve enjoyed our fair share of location filming here at Eastnor over the years and have featured in many different productions from documentaries to dramas and music films. One of our most memorable filming projects however came in February and March 2018 when we had the pleasure of hosting a 350 strong cast and crew for HBO’s ‘SUCCESSION’ as they filmed all over the Eastnor Estate during one of the coldest winters for years (remember the ‘Beast from the East’ brrrrr?)
Succession Director Chairs set up in the Long Library
Chairs for the stars!
HOW IT CAME ABOUT…
Award-winning Supervising Location Manager and industry veteran, Sue Quinn, whose impressive back catalogue includes family favourite films such as Notting Hill, Love Actually, and the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, has an enviable reputation for knowing her historic houses and flagged Eastnor Castle as a potential location. After multiple recces of the castle interiors, grounds and the wider estate, Eastnor was chosen to be the location for Succession Season 1, episodes 9 and 10, to be directed by British Director, Mark Mylod (Game of Thrones, Cold Feet and The Affair).
SUCCESS FOR SUCCESSION
Little then did we realise just how successful this brand new HBO TV satirical drama, Succession, would become (the clue was probably in the title!). As the Succession team proudly won 2 coveted awards at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards earlier this week (‘Best Television Series – Drama’ and ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series (Brian Cox) – Drama’), we’re looking back at some of our highlights from when Succession filmed at Eastnor Castle.
THE BEAST FROM THE EAST
From the day the location team arrived, temperatures started to plummet, and soon blizzards, strong winds and drifting snow caused widespread disruption throughout Eastnor as the ‘Beast from the East’ combined with storm ‘Emma’, to give us some of the most testing weather conditions ever experienced.
Despite what the weather threw at us though, it did not deter the highly professional cast and crew who battled against the elements both day and night to ensure that filming stayed on schedule.
Ice on the Upper Terrace
Hats and warm coats for all the crew
EPISODE 9 – “PRE-NUPTIAL’ AND EPISODE 10 – ‘NOBODY IS EVER MISSING’
Eastnor has played host to hundreds of weddings over the years and we’ve seen some pretty spectacular sights along the way (décor, entertainment, dresses, flowers), but nothing could prepare us for the stunning glass marquee that was erected on the castle’s Lower Terrace (courtesy of Good Intents Marquees) for the star-studded ‘wedding’ of Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) in episodes 9 and 10.
The huge glass structure, which took a week to build, filled the Lower Terrace, and the night shoots with in-bound helicopters, crowd scenes and glamourous setting, soon became the talking point of Eastnor.
The stunning glass marquee on the Lower Terrace
The glass marquee setting for ‘the wedding’, dressed by an amazing Props Team and food stylists, was spectacular!
The equally stunning marquee interiors (image from Good Intents)
EXTRAS, EXTRAS, EXTRAS
“We need lots of extras and fast” was a cry early on in the project. So we did what we do best at Eastnor Castle, and rallied the local community (friends, waitresses, students, gamekeepers daughters, sons of staff) to help! This created a real buzz in the community as everyone enjoyed their 15 minutes or more of fame, and even kick-started a film career for some!
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
Never had we seen so much food! We were surrounded by food villages, rolling hot and cold buffets, and 24/7 smoothies, chocolate and artisan coffee in the Tea Room, Courtyard and Visitor Car Park. Some days we were invited by the locations team to enjoy the ‘leftovers’ and as a team of foodies, we were more than happy to oblige!
Location trucks, production trucks, crew trucks, catering trucks, prop trucks… there were hundreds of trucks! Everywhere we looked there were trucks and temporary marquees housing the stars of Succession, the location team, production, costumes, props and make-up. The huddle of Movie Makers trucks in our Woodyard, in full view of passing traffic, was the cause of widespread local curiosity. Despite countless calls to the Castle office asking what was being filmed, our lips remained sealed, even when someone claimed to have spotted Tom Cruise in the vicinity!
Trucks on the Lower Terrace
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
From the warmth of the Castle Office we were able to see plenty of filming action! In fact, we could barely move for cabling, lights, cameras, rigs and props, not to mention people! Even the boss’s office doubled up as Kendall’s (Jeremy Strong) hotel room for 6 weeks, including the erection of a temporary 6ft false wall, forcing our General Manager to climb over his desk every morning to get to his computer!
Ready for a Night Shoot
A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
With over 350 cast and crew onsite for nearly 8 weeks, plenty of overnight accommodation was needed in the local area! As the Castle Bedrooms were being used as sets, our self-catering holiday cottages were in demand. The Director of Photography stayed at Golden Gates Lodge in the Eastnor Deer Park, whilst the location team stayed at Hillend House prior to it being renovated into a 9 bedroom/bathroom rental property. Other members of the cast and crew stayed in hotels in Ledbury, Malvern, Cheltenham and Hereford.
It is fair to say that once the full complement of cast and crew arrived on site, we were initially shell-shocked by the sheer volume of people and the level of activity. But after nearly 8 weeks of working alongside the whole team, we all agreed that they were one of the best film crews we have had the pleasure of hosting at Eastnor Castle.
Everyone working on Succession, without exception, from the carpenters to the sparks, to props and the locations team, to the Director, were all incredibly friendly and professional, respecting the heritage and integrity of the castle for the duration.
By the time we said our fond farewells, lasting friendships had been forged. As the last of the locations team headed out of Eastnor onto the next shoot location, our Filming Co-ordinator Charlotte, admitted to missing the daily frenetic activity that a full-on shoot of this scale brings with it.
Charlotte feeling star-struck!
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE!
As a dog-loving team and a dog-friendly venue, we couldn’t have been happier to dog-sit the dashing Dachshund, Louis, whilst his ‘Mummy’ was busy on set. Louis settled in very quickly, swaddled in his very own cashmere dog blankets and cuddling his red bouncy bone, and become part of the Eastnor Castle office team!
A NOTE OF THANKS
Feedback is very important to us so we were thrilled to receive this feedback from Sue at the end of the filming project:
“120 miles from London and well worth the fight to be out of the 25-mile radius. Eastnor is a magical and wonderful location to film at, it has everything. One of the very few intact and privately-owned castles that is a rare Gothic Revival stately dream. Because it is a working home it is not too precious and is, therefore, more ideal for working with film crews. The owner James is very accommodating and so are all the amazing staff that work for him, it is a “can” do environment in which they work. Anything is possible. Apart from having a very happy time filming in every kind of weather, snow, ice, floods and high winds we were able to able to continue. The castle itself is also a star, it is nestled into the Malvern valley with the beautiful surrounding countryside, but the interiors are a dream with rich colours that are set off with the beautiful interiors by Pugin. I can’t wait to come back and hope I am involved with another project that I can use Eastnor for.”
Congratulations Succession on your tremendous success; we are so proud to have played a small part in your incredible journey!
#succcession #season1 #hbo #skydrama #goldenglobes #filming #filmlocation
As the festive season gets into full swing, we’re delighted to be opening our doors for a very special evening of Christmas magic, just a week before the big day!
On the evening of Wednesday 18th December, James Hervey-Bathurst, the owner of Eastnor Castle, will be welcoming visitors from 6 pm until 8.30 pm to sample the delights of Christmas at Eastnor.
The castle doors will swing open for three scheduled tours, each led by James himself and will take in the beautifully decorated Great Hall including a 20-foot tree featuring decorations handed down through generations. The historic bedrooms and the atmospheric, candle-lit dining room will give people a glimpse into Christmas from a bygone era.
The tour will include a glass of wine and a mince pie as well as Christmas carols by members of the Ledbury Choral Society.
The event is to raise funds for the Eastnor Church Tower Appeal in which James is heavily involved. Up to £120,000 needs to be raised for a project to repair the ancient and beautiful church and to improve its facilities to allow wider use.
The Church is a grade 1-listed Place of Worship and on the Historic England Buildings at Risk Register. The church plays an important role at the centre of the village for regular worship and is used daily by the village school and weekly for bellringing practice. It is situated within the Malvern Hills AONB and enjoyed by visitors to Eastnor Castle and the deer park.
Tickets for the Festive Christmas Evening cost £25 per person and are available online at eastnorcastle.com/christmas-tours
We are delighted to announce that our ‘Charity of the Year 2019’ will be the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
Charity of the Year Programme at Eastnor Castle
Now in its 3rd year, our Charity of the Year programme allows us to pledge support to a local charity in a number of ways including the use of the castle for a fundraising dinner, the use of the grounds for a family fun day, complimentary tickets, collection boxes at the visitor entrance and an open invitation to be present on any day we are open to visitors.
We were keen to support the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity after meeting them at our Eastnor SOS Day in June and hearing of the critical work they do throughout six Midlands counties, including Herefordshire.
David Littlewood, General Manager at Eastnor Castle, went to meet some of the Midlands Air Ambulance Team based at their Strensham airbase to see first-hand how donations from local businesses support the service they offer. He’s pictured here (3rd from left) with Dr David Balthazar, Pilot Tim Hutchins and Critical Care Paramedic Colin Apps.
Meeting the Midlands Air Ambulance Members
He said: “We are thrilled to able to support the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity this year. We are in awe of the work that they do and had no idea that the charity receives no Government or National Lottery funding and relies solely on donations and fundraising. They need to raise in excess of £9 million each year to operate and we hope that we’re not only able to contribute in some way towards this but that we can also help to raise their profile amongst our visitors. We’ve already met with the team and are excited about working together on a number of events throughout the year.”
Mary Seldon, Fundraising Executive for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity in Herefordshire added: “Midlands Air Ambulance Charity relies solely on donations from local businesses and the general public, to undertake around 2,000 air ambulance missions every year. We’re so grateful to Eastnor Castle for choosing to support us this year, as it will help to raise vital funds and awareness in the local area. We’re really excited to partner with such a stunning visitor attraction.”
Details of the events being arranged here by the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity are still being finalised but will be announced soon… Stay tuned to our social channels!
Autumn Events at Eastnor Castle
Elf House Making & Broomstick Building, Giant Leaf Pile Kicking & Conker Collecting… Eastnor Castle Gets Kids Outside with Magical Events. The fact that the castle nestles on the fringes of the Malvern Hills, the landscape that inspired Tolkien’s Middle Earth, ensures a fairy tale visit in its own right. However, we’ve added to the magic for children and adults alike with two magical autumn events this September. What’s more, the dog can come along too as we welcome our furry friends in all areas of the castle and grounds.
Autumn Antics – Sunday 23rd September
There’s no need to travel to New England to see spectacular displays of Autumn foliage. Our Breath-taking arboretum and tree trail is a testament to the Victorian’s passion for creating exotic gardens based on worldly travels.
Children are encouraged to climb the trees, dive into giant piles of leaves and collect conkers and cones to their heart’s content.
Herefordshire Wildlife Trust will also be on hand to teach elf-house making and also hands-on lessons in pressing apples to make your own apple juice.
Broomstick Making & Racing – Sunday 30th September
Don’t miss the castle’s last Open Day of 2018 – it’s going to be spellbinding. Budding witches and wizards can attend broomstick-making classes against the enchanted backdrop of Eastnor Castle and then take part in broomstick races and zoom off around the grounds hunting for clues in a magical treasure hunt.
Both of these events are included in the entrance prices alongside the collection of permanent attractions which include a maze, adventure playground, tree-top walkway, woodland play area, rope-swings, tree trails and lakeside walks. Opening times are 10.30 am until 5.30 pm and prices are Adults: £7.00, Children: £5.00, Families: £20.00 (Grounds only admission, castle upgrades are available. Online ticket prices shown, tickets cost more on the gate).
FIND OUT MORE AND BUY TICKETS
MICHAEL BALL AND ALFIE BOE ANNOUNCE ‘TOGETHER AGAIN’ TOUR DATES FOR 2017
Following the stunning success of their Platinum-selling album ‘Together’ and 29 sold-out shows across the UK in 2016, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe have announced today that they will return in 2017 for a selection of exclusive dates throughout the country.
Summer will see them performing outdoors at some of the UK’s most beautiful stately homes and castles, with six dates announced in June. In winter, they’ll come back inside to play ten arena dates in November and December.
Tickets for all dates go on sale on Friday, December 16th at 10 am from www.livenation.co.uk and www.gigsandtours.com. VIP Hospitality and Meet & Greet packages are also available to purchase via VIP Nation.
SUNDAY 18TH: EASTNOR CASTLE, LEDBURY
TUESDAY 20TH: WALCOT HALL, SHREWSBURY
WEDNESDAY 21ST: STANSTEAD PARK, CHICHESTER
SATURDAY 24TH: EUSTON HALL, THETFORD
SUNDAY 25TH: LINCOLN CASTLE, LINCOLN
WEDNESDAY 28TH: OPEN AIR THEATRE, SCARBOROUGH
THURSDAY 30TH: MOTORPOINT ARENA, CARDIFF
SATURDAY 2ND: CENTRE, BRIGHTON
SUNDAY 3RD: INTERNATIONAL CENTRE, BOURNEMOUTH
TUESDAY 5TH: GENTING ARENA, BIRMINGHAM
THURSDAY 7TH: ARENA, MANCHESTER
FRIDAY 8TH: FIRST DIRECT ARENA, LEEDS
SUNDAY 10TH: SSE HYDRO, GLASGOW
MONDAY 11TH: AECC, ABERDEEN
WEDNESDAY 13TH: MOTORPOINT ARENA, NOTTINGHAM
THURSDAY 14TH: O2 ARENA, LONDON
Micheal Ball and Alfie Boe History
Having first met 10 years ago, performing together in ‘Kismet’ at the London Coliseum, Michael and Alfie became lifelong friends. That same year, Michael Ball made history as the first musical theatre star to be given a solo concert at the Royal Albert Hall’s BBC Proms and asked Alfie Boe to join him to perform at the classical music festival.
This instant personal connection and professional mutual admiration make for the perfect pairing and, to the delight of their hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe, has been finally realised with the Decca-released ‘Together’ to spectacular success. The album has gone Platinum in just 6 weeks and is on track to become the biggest selling domestic release of 2016!
Michael and Alfie say, ‘There are simply no words for how incredible this is for us. We have always wanted to work together, it was just a case of getting the timing right. We are so grateful to all our fans who have supported us and everyone involved for believing in us. We are literally having the best time and are so happy with the success of the album and the tour’.
The two critically-acclaimed artists have received a plethora of prestigious awards, record-breaking sales and chart successes. Over his extraordinary 30 year career, Michael’s outstanding performances have made smash-hit box office history. He is a double Olivier Award winner, multi-platinum recording artist, top-selling live concert performer and hugely popular radio and TV presenter. Alfie’s exceptional voice has made him Britain’s most popular and biggest-selling tenor He has conquered the world’s greatest opera stages and arenas, led the cast of Les Misérables, stole the show at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace– as well achieving UK album sales of over a million, and four top ten albums.
Tickets are on sale from 10 am on Friday 16th December and are available from www.livenation.co.uk and www.gigsandtours.com.
SIR CLIFF RICHARD JUST FABULOUS ROCK ‘n’ ROLL UK 2017 TOUR
Legendary Singer To Play A Series Of Fully Seated Outdoor Concerts In Intimate Arenas Built Especially For Sir Cliff And His Fans
Support Act To Be Announced
To celebrate the release of his incredible new album “Just…Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll“, the UK’s most successful hit-maker, Cliff Richard, will be heading out on a summer tour of the UK’s most beautiful castles and historic locations in 2017 for a series of fully seated outdoor concerts in fabulous intimate arenas, built especially for Cliff Richard and his fans. Tickets will go on general sale on Monday 14th November from www.livenation.co.uk
Cliff has returned to his roots to record an album of his favourite songs from the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll. These include Cliff’s renditions of seminal tracks such as Roll Over Beethoven, Great Balls of Fire, Sweet Little Sixteen and his very own debut single, Move It. The album also features a duet with fellow idol Elvis Presley on Blue Suede Shoes. This has been a career-long dream of Cliff’s, which now becomes a reality. The new release follows the huge success of his last studio album, ‘The Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll Songbook’ in 2013, and the celebratory ’75 at 75 – 75 Career Spanning Hits’ in 2015.
Cliff released his debut single Move It in August 1958. It is credited with being the first British rock ‘n’ roll hit, bringing what had previously been an American genre across the Atlantic, for the first time. ‘Just… Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll’ will, astonishingly, be his 102nd album.
The ‘Just Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour’ will stop by the following UK venues through June and July 2017:
SIR CLIFF RICHARD JUST FABULOUS ROCK ‘n’ ROLL UK 2017 TOUR With support to be announced
Saturday 17th Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire
Sunday 18th Stansted Park, Hampshire
Wednesday 21st Walcot Hall, Shropshire
Thursday 22nd Catton Hall, Derbyshire
Saturday 24th Lincoln Castle, Lincolnshire
Sunday 25th Euston Hall, Suffolk
Wednesday 28th Harewood House, Leeds
Thursday 29th Open Air Theatre, Scarborough
Saturday 1st Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich London
Sunday 2nd Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich London
Tickets go on sale at 10 am on Monday 14th November (subject to per-ticket charge plus order processing fee) and are available from www.livenation.co.uk
LIMITED CAMPING IS AVAILABLE IN THE EASTNOR DEER PARK CAMPSITE FOR THE CLIFF RICHARD CONCERT
Eastnor Castle, near Ledbury, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland over the Bank Holiday weekend with a specially designed family treasure hunt in the fairytale castle and grounds. The event will take place on Sunday 30th and Monday 31st August.
Visitors will follow in Alice’s footsteps and use a Wonderland map to navigate around the March Hare’s House, The Queen’s Croquet Ground, The Duchess’s House and the Rabbit Hole to find a number of curiosities, solve the riddles and win a prize. There will also be a Mad Hatter’s tea tent with entertainment throughout the day, including garden games for children of all ages.
All the other usual attractions will be available on the day including the maze, adventure playground, Little Off-Roaders and entry to the castle.
Gates open from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm and admission prices for the Castle & Grounds are Adults: £10.00, Children: £6.50 and a Family Ticket (2+3) is priced at £26.50. Discounted tickets are available online.
Further details are available on the Eastnor Castle website: www.eastnorcastle.com or call 01531 633160.
20th August 2015
Sarah Roberts started with us as Sarah Bullock 10 1/2 years ago and will leave us on Friday 17th July. We are very sorry to see her go as she has been in the Eastnor team over an exciting period of change and positive development and has contributed much to our progress at that time.
When Sarah joined us from Challenge Business, the office was still squeezed into one side of the Portcullis, which was not ideal, though in a good position physically to intercept callers and visitors as portcullises traditionally should be. In those days, when we were only just getting our website started, we used to rely heavily on advertising in local newspapers, and so Sarah had a busy time mostly saying ‘no’ to a number of very persistent sales teams, who wanted us to use them every week during the season. Overall this time, she was responsible for producing our print run of annual leaflets for distribution around the area into campsites, hotels, pubs, shops, other attractions and Tourist Information Centres. Sarah gradually formed an excellent working relationship with our designers and printers at Ad-lib Design Partnership in Worcester and our leaflets are clear and appealing, it seems, standing out well against a lot of competition in the outlets we are able to use.
As we have moved firmly into digital era, Sarah has worked closely with our web site designers and managers, extracting all the information needed from her colleagues in the office and getting it uploaded, including my blogs, which she always tactfully reminds me are due, though the subject of this one is not her choice. Using the internet and a website requires great patience as what is done today is likely to be superseded by some new technology tomorrow, making the old look positively steam age. Mostly, those who have visited our website have liked it and some have enquired who produced it-, and we have had every confidence in Sarah’s ability to distil complaints or ‘suggestions’, so that we only hear about the more important ones. But she has to keep all involved on their toes as the website is now the place where visitors have their first impression of Eastnor and so it is vitally important.
Throughout all this time, Sarah has maintained a heavy pace of work, under even greater pressure after she returned to work part-time from maternity leave. She has been a cheerful and valued member of the Castle Office team, and we will miss her. We are very grateful for all her hard work.
12th July 2015
Our annual vintage weekend, which this year included a celebration of the 100th birthday of our Ransomes traction engine, went well, attracting about 4000 visitors over 2 days. It was a different crowd from the Chilli festival, with many local families turning up whose grandparents and even parents could remember seeing some of the exhibits in their earlier working lives. As we had a nice gathering of original Minis, you did not have to be very old to have seen them running about in their original condition.
There were 2 steam wagons and quite a few steam rollers. We had a hand-driven juvenile carousel – the owner and wheel turner were an impressive 70 years old, but the ride was older. I also exhibited my showman’s van, and it attracted a lot of attention as I allowed the visitors to look around inside and the stove was alight. The tug-of-war proved popular, though the engine at the end of the rope seemed more resistant to slipping on the courtyard gravel and so did rather better than the human team in the end.
A more permanent attraction is our Land Rover Little Off Roaders circuit in the old Kitchen Garden near the visitor entrance. The Land Rovers are battery powered and can be turned off remotely in case of need. They are one or two-wheel drive and useful for steering and braking training, if not speed management. The circuit does not have the usual challenges of mud and ruts but is proving popular nevertheless, and we are lucky that Land Rover itself has sponsored the facility and the vehicles. One day, perhaps, they will be vintage too, but in the meantime, they are available to ride most weekends at a small extra cost.
JHB 22nd June 2015
This brand new Land Rover Drive-in Heritage Day event is taking place on Sunday 31st May and is a must for all Land Rover enthusiasts.
Eastnor Castle is known as the ‘Spiritual Home of Land Rover’ who has been testing vehicles here for over 50 years. It was the current owner, James Hervey-Bathurst’s father that established the relationship with Land Rover back in the 1960s and since then the partnership has gone from strength to strength.
To celebrate this, we are holding the Drive-In Day in the castle courtyard which will see an impressive display of unique and classic Land Rovers. There will be a complete line-up of Range Rovers from the very first Velar Badged prototypes through to the latest models plus other vehicles like ‘Monty’ a rare, dark green Tickford station wagon (pictured).
Inside the castle will be a display of images showing Land Rover’s connection with Eastnor Castle over the years and the whole day will be compared by Les Clayton. Les will be interviewing the owners of the display vehicle and sharing the history of the unique models on display.
As a celebration of Land Rover, anyone arriving in a Land Rover, of any age will receive half-price entry on the day.
David Littlewood, General Manager says ‘Having Land Rover at Eastnor for all these years is fantastic, not only for us as a business but also for local people who are employed by them or supply goods to them. Land Rover really is something very positive to shout about, for us at Eastnor but also the whole country as they continue to thrive as a company. The Drive-In day will showcase many unique models which most people will not get to see very often, set in the backdrop of Eastnor Castle, Land Rover’s spiritual home, this should be a very special day.
All the other usual attractions will be available on the day including the maze, adventure playground, Little Off-Roaders and entry to the castle.
Gates open from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm and admission prices for grounds are Adults: £6.50, Children: £4.50 and a Family Ticket (2+3) is priced at £17.50. Upgraded tickets for entrance to the castle are available to purchase and discounted tickets are available online.
Further details are available on the Eastnor Castle website: www.eastnorcastle.com or call 01531 633160.
Eastnor Castle has won one of the prestigious 2015 Hudson’s Heritage Awards which were announced on Tuesday 3rd March. Eastnor Castle scooped the award in the Best Accommodation category. Established in 2011, the awards are an independently judged annual national scheme open to historic houses, gardens, museums and heritage sites and celebrate the very best visitor experience.
Dan Snow, historian and broadcaster, presented the awards at Goldsmiths Hall in London with around 100 guests including owners and managers of the winning entries.
Eastnor has 12 magnificent bedrooms which are available for groups who are hosting private parties, corporate events and weddings in the castle.
The judges were particularly impressed with the attention to detail and the fact that Eastnor has risen to the challenge of refurbishing a listed building by squeezing bathrooms into obsolete linen cupboards and disguised the lift. The addition of such lavish bedrooms has significantly increased the appeal of the house, particularly for weddings.
David Littlewood, General Manager said “We are delighted to have won a 2015 Hudson’s Heritage Award. Winning one of these awards demonstrates the high standards and commitment we offer our visitors to ensure their experience is the very best. Receiving this award is acknowledgement and recognition that Eastnor Castle is amongst the elite of heritage attractions in the UK”.
Accommodation for Cheltenham Festival
10th – 13th March 2015
Eastnor Castle near Ledbury, an exclusive hire castle with 12 beautiful guest bedrooms and dramatically situated in a 5000-acre estate on the border of Gloucestershire, is available for private groups to hire during the Cheltenham Festival Race Week.
Our exclusive package includes:
Dinner, Bed & Breakfast (minimum of 10 guests – 3-night minimum stay)
Exclusive use of Eastnor Castle
3-course dinner in the State Dining Room
Full English breakfast
£320.00 per person per night (excluding VAT)
Private transfers by road (40 minutes) or by helicopter (15 minutes) can also be arranged at an additional cost.
Please see our website for more details of our stunning castle.
Contact Nicky Cullity for details:
Telephone: +44 1531 633160
On Monday 24th March Eastnor Castle played host to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award 4×4 Challenge Event.
Supporters from across the world were given the opportunity to take part in each section of the Award through an exhilarating Land Rover 4×4 Challenge which included a driving experience, extreme physical activities, team building games and inspiring community participation projects.
Hosted by Eastnor Castle and Jaguar Land Rover, the experience began in London, where guests were collected and driven to Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire. With its thirty miles of test track, Eastnor is an important tool in the research and development of new Land Rovers. Guests had the opportunity to test out the vehicles, as well as experiencing other high adrenaline activities and the breath-taking 5,000 acres of the Eastnor Castle estate, gaining an insight into how it feels to be an Award participant.
Guests were joined for the event by HRH the Earl of Wessex, Trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation. To replicate the Service element of the Award, the group carried out projects for Eastnor School and Eastnor Church.
James Hervey-Bathurst, owner of Eastnor Castle commented “We were delighted to have The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at Eastnor. The guests were an impressive group and heavily committed to the Award. They were obviously having a good time facing the challenges we were able to lay on for them. We hope they will come back”.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (the Award) is open to all 14-24-year-olds, regardless of their background. The Award is about personal development not a competition with others. It enables young people to learn practical and social skills that are valuable to their life and career development.
We are pleased to reveal our exciting, unique addition to the children’s playground – a brand new Land Rover Defender! The full size Defender was donated to Eastnor Castle by Land Rover to celebrate over 50 years of vehicle testing on the estate. The Land Rover has been fully child proofed and it sits alongside the existing tractor and motorbike, however, it doesn’t have an engine so will not be going for any fun rides!
David Littlewood, General Manager “We are very proud of the Land Rover and are hoping it will prove to be extremely popular. It’s probably the first time a brand new Land Rover has been used in a playground and I am sure it will survive all the inquisitive children playing with it. We are grateful to Land Rover for the enormously generous gift and hope they will be on the estate for the next 50 years”.
A new zip wire also be installed in the playground as part of the upgrade and will be ready to welcome the first visitors of the season on Good Friday for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.
Smallwood Architects and the Historic Houses Association (HHA) have teamed up for a summer photographic competition this year to celebrate the HHA’s 40th anniversary. First prize for adults is £1000, second prize is £500, and the winner of the 17 and under category will receive an iPad.
The competition will run from 1 July – 30 September 2013.
To enter, simply take a photograph (maximum 8MB) of the exterior of an HHA property and email it, with your name, contact details and the name of the house, to email@example.com before 1 October 2013. Photographs can be of a whole building or any external part of a house or outbuilding. The competition is for amateur photographers and entry is limited to one image per person.*
This exciting competition will highlight the beauty of some of Britain’s outstanding country houses and raise awareness of these important buildings. We are truly fortunate to have so many beautiful houses spread the length and breadth of the country and we hope this competition will help to bring many of them into the public eye.
Entries will be displayed online at the Smallwood Architects Flickr site for the duration of the competition. Visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/smallwoodhha.
Some members of the judging panel include Richard Compton, President of the Historic Houses Association, Mira Bar-Hillel, of The Evening Standard, Jonathan Dinnewell, Managing Director, Smallwood Architects and Mark Hedges, the Editor of Country Life.
As we prepare for Easter opening, Easter egg hunts etc, the new Burma Bridge connecting our playground to a nearby redwood tree nears completion. It replaces a rather unslippery slide and a wooden tower with a climbing net for access, and should be as much, if not more fun. The image shows it under light test by two of my daughters, but we are confident it will take as many children as there is room for.
It has been built by Motiva who have an excellent rope walk in the trees of the Forest of Dean. They have used special soft wood, specified for this type of use and grown in the Baltic republics, where the cold weather ensures slower growth and a better quality of timber. All ropes and nets are safety approved, and the destination tree has survived many storms and winds, not to mention the 1976 hurricane. If it ever started to move, I am confident that the Burma Bridge would hold it in place. It will be free of charge to visitors to the castle and grounds, and that includes parents and grandparents.
My older children used to think it was quite cool to live in a house with its own playground. As they grew older, however, they were less keen on shared access. My younger children luckily are still at the thinking it cool stage. We hope lots of visitors will too!
JH-B 2nd April 2012
Box of Delights BBC – Eastnor Castle
About 25 years ago, we had the chance to be the location for a BBC film of John Masefield’s story, The Box of Delights. It was a very appropriate choice as Masefield was a Ledbury poet, and now local people in the Ledbury area will have the chance to see the film again – see the Ledbury Reporter.
It is fun having a film at Eastnor, but hard work. We are with the crews all the time they are on site, and they start early. The BBC crews, in particular, are used to working in historic houses and treat the contents with care. They usually have everything they want in the way of props, but occasionally we can help with more authentic items form the collection.
I will always remember the Box of Delights filming because one night we arrived from London to see the North Wall of the house in flames. As we arrived in the Courtyard, our fears were further increased by seeing a number of fire engines parked there. But all was well. It was a special effects fire, created well away from the wall but not obviously so from a distance. The fire engines were there just in case – fact took over from fiction.
JH-B 20th November 2009
Ice Cream at Eastnor Castle
Q: What makes a visit to a castle a memorable experience?
A: It might be one of several different reasons – the architecture, history, the grounds just to name a few.
Would you be surprised to imagine that one reason might be ice cream? Well, at Eastnor Castle that is indeed well possible. During the spring/summer months we have many visitors to the castle and its grounds, particularly when the Special Events programme is in full swing.
One of the little indulgences our visitors can enjoy is a trip to the Eastnor Castle Ice Cream Parlour. Children and adults alike all swarm to the parlour on a warm, sunny day to enjoy the delicious ice cream on offer, made and supplied by a local company Brooke’s Dairy. The ice cream flavours on offer are wonderfully varied and delicious as the family in the photograph will testify!
Although you can’t see them displayed in the photograph, here are some of the ice creams we usually serve in the Eastnor Castle Ice Cream Parlour:
- Welsh Gold
- Toffee Crunch
- Peppermint Chocolate Chip
- Rum and Raisin
The ice cream served is indeed special – and we are not the only ones to think so. According to the Brooke’s website, HRH The Prince of Wales tried some and after sampling their “Welsh Gold” ice cream, he said
“One taste is never enough” .
Read more about the Brooke’s ice cream flavours or simply make sure you stop by our Castle Ice Cream Parlour some time (please check in advance for opening times as it is seasonal).
How to Kill Virginia Creeper
At the end of the 19th century, Virginia creeper was planted around the walls of the castle. It grew so well that much of the east and south faces of the castle, the Porte Cochère and Portcullis were shrouded in a lattice of branches, with leaves which turned a wonderful red in the autumn. The bad news was that many of the leaves were blown onto the roofs and had to be swept and bagged up ideally before but occasionally after they blocked the drains. The branches also damaged the stonework, although less so than ivy would have, and one architectural historian commented, with obvious disapproval, that it looked as if Eastnor had a beard.
It was not hard to decide to kill the creeper. It was harder to work out how to remove it. First, the late Fred Dibnah, came to the rescue. On one of his visits to Eastnor, he suspended his bosun’s chair from one of the turrets and scraped the growth off as he lowered himself down. He was very effective, and there is a photograph of him at work in the Octagon Saloon. Sadly, he could not stay to finish the job.
We are now using Wallwalkers, a local firm, who specialise in accessing awkward parts of buildings. They are using a similar approach to Fred, as the attached image shows. We are looking forward to putting pour appearance back to the look originally intended by my ancestors for visitors to enjoy at our Easter opening.
The house is now closed to public visitors after a season where we have faced the challenges of so much bad weather. Several of our special events, but fortunately not the Big Chill in the Park, were badly affected. It was not a great year either for ice cream sales, even though we had a new outlet conveniently placed between our gift shop and the tearoom.
But the comments of the brave who risked getting wet and visited the house were encouraging. They enjoyed themselves, found the rooms on display interesting and the guides welcoming. Some of the comments were written in foreign languages, mostly central European, I think, and I hope I am right to assume that they too were happy.
The rain has been good for the recently-planted trees, however. Land Rover, who have been using our tracks for developing and demonstrating their vehicles for nearly 40 years, generously decided to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the company by planting 60 oak trees in the Park. They have had a good start. Meanwhile, in the Grounds where we are replanting the Victorian arboretum under the expert guidance of Tom Stewart-Smith, we saw most of this year’s new planting flourish-some sort of silver lining from all the cloud, but we would like it drier next year!
Welcome to Eastnor Castle’s Blog – our online diary update of what’s happening and what’s new.
We will be covering all manner of subjects from special events at the castle through to restoration work and news on the grounds and arboretum. So whether you have been to Eastnor Castle before or have yet to come and visit us, we hope there will be something of interest for everyone.