The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday
THE BEST EVENTS IN STATELY SURROUNDS TO BOOK THIS SUMMER
Diary dates at privately-owned estates
Best for... good sports
Festival of Sport at Holkham Hall, Norfolk August 12-15
As well as being a sought after wedding venue, this 18th-century Palladian mansion and 25,000-acre estate offers holiday lodges, an outdoor theatre, a treetop ropes course and kids’ yoga classes in a walled garden. It also hosts the annual Festival of Sport, founded by ex-England rugby stars Will Greenwood and Austin Healey. Families can glamp on the grounds while they hone their skills with expert coaching from Olympians and sporting legends in activities such as hockey, cricket, football, tennis and watersports on the estate’s lake. There’s a 5k run on the Sunday, live music and open air cinema. Weekend ticket for one adult and one child aged 5-17 , £370; festivalofsportuk. com; holkham.co.uk
Best for... vintage glamour Magic of the Movies at Highclere Castle, Berkshire September 10-11
Lord and Lady Carnarvon at Highclere Castle – best known as the main filming location for Downton Abbey – are an enterprising pair. As well as tours and weddings, their side hustles include Highclere Castle Gin and Highclere Castle Horse Feeds, superior nutrition for race horses. “Lady C” (née Fiona Aitken) is a historian and podcaster who lifts the lid on life at Highclere, and the estate’s 1920s-themed Magic of the
Movies weekend in September is the Koh-i-Noor in the crown of its calendar. There’s jazz dancing with the Gatsby Girls, vintage cars, champagne afternoon tea, prizes for the best dressed, croquet on the lawns and Pimms galore – what more could you want?
Adult tickets from £95 pp; highclerecastle.co.uk
Best for... motoring enthusiasts Firle Beacon at Firle Place, East Sussex
Firle Place near Lewes, owned by the Gage family since the 15th century, is launching a rally, sprint and supercar event. Visitors to the inaugural Firle Beacon car festival can expect exhilarating races and displays of retro vehicles and supercars. It’s access all areas for all ticket holders: the house, grounds and tea room are open to the public and there are two pubs on the estate – The Ram Inn and The Cricketers’ Arms. Tickets from £32.40 for adults; firlebeacon.com; firle.com
Best for... sculpture Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man at Chatsworth, Derbyshire April-October
Chatsworth – home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire – has championed contemporary art, juxtaposing the old with the new, for more than 300 years. This year, it has partnered with auction house Sotheby’s and Burning Man – the US festival held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert – to exhibit 12 monumental
sculptures. The works include Christina Sporrong’s The Flybrary, a 20-ft-high head with book-like birds flying out of the top, and Wings of Glory by Adrian Landon: a giant mechanical Pegasus. Chatsworth also hosts supper clubs at the farm shop, a children’s gardening club and weddings.
Free to attend; chatsworth.org
Best for... canines
Dogstival at the Broadlands Estate, Hampshire June 4-5
Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, lives in a 60-room Georgian mansion on the 6,000-acre Broadlands Estate, where Prince Charles and Diana spent part of their honeymoon. A friend of Prince Philip, she was the only non-Royal at his funeral. So it’s apt that she is holding a Royal Jubileethemed edition of the annual Dogstival at Broadlands. Expect swimming pools for dog diving, a “Gundog village”, food and drink stands and live music. Also at Broadlands is The Legends festival, a tribute band extravaganza, from June 24-25, and the Garden Show at Broadlands, from September 30-October 2. Day tickets from £9; dogstival.co.uk; broadlandestates.co.uk; legendsfestival. co.uk; thegardenshows.com
Best for... the great outdoors
Gone Wild at Powderham Castle, Devon August 25-28
Adventurer Bear Grylls’s family festival is all about the outdoors. Back for its second year, it features speakers such as explorers Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ed Stafford. The music line-up features the Script, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, All Saints and Reef; activities include kayaking, camouflage, climbing, shelter building and paddle-board yoga.
Adult weekend camping tickets from £174.90; gonewildfestival.com; powderham.co.uk
Best for... an arty experience Luke Jerram: “Crossings” at Compton Verney, Warwickshire July 19-Sept 4
Compton Verney is home to six permanent art collections and this summer they are joined by a temporary interactive installation by artist Luke Jerram.
Crossings will feature rowing boats on the lake, each playing audio stories from people around the world. Littlewoods millionaire Sir Peter Moores purchased the 18th-century Compton Verney in 1993 when the house and grounds were in disrepair (former owners had removed the stained glass windows from the chapel). Moores has reimagined the house as a public events space and art hub, surrounded by restored Capability Brown-designed parkland. comptonverney.org.uk
Best for... opera Bizet’s Carmen at Walcot Hall, Shropshire June 10-11
Been there and done Glyndebourne? Book to see a touring production of Bizet’s Carmen at Walcot Hall – a family home with a holiday let and glamping business run by owners Robin and Lucinda Parish. There’s an eclectic selection of rooms to stay in, plus gypsy caravans, shepherd’s huts and yurts. Needless to say, it’s also a country house wedding venue. Walcot is also famous for its arboretum (open from 12pm-5pm every day except Saturdays from AprilSeptember, £3 per adult). walcothall.com