Gearing up to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of its founder William Cecil in 2020, Burghley House is planning a bumper season for 2019 – including the world’s largest gathering of Rolls Royces and a summer concert by one of the UK’s top selling R&B singer-songwriters.
One of England’s greatest Elizabethan houses, Burghley will also again host its popular annual events from picturesque outdoor cinema to fine food markets, and new contemporary sculpture in a historic garden setting.
Plans are underway for 2020 to mark the anniversary of the birth of William Cecil – Elizabeth I’s most trusted minister, who designed the house as a grand tribute to his Queen – which will include a high profile lecture series, new exhibitions and celebration events.
But, in the meantime, and hot on the heels of a record-breaking season last year when it attracted more than 120,000 visitors to the House and Gardens, Burghley has a host of events lined up for 2019.
The House and Gardens re-open on March 16, with this year’s year-long exhibition, ‘Treasures of the East’, bringing to life objects used and obtained by Burghley’s two great collecting Earls in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Spring also sees the annual opening of the normally closed South Gardens (March 16 to April 5), with magnificent seasonal displays of narcissi and spring bulbs, while the Burghley Easter Egg Treasure Hunt (April 21) returns.
Other 2019 highlights will be a summer concert by Britain’s always popular recording star, Billy Ocean (June 8) when the parkland will echo to the sounds of Caribbean Queen, while special guest Heather Small of M People is bound to make the crowds feel Proud.
For the spectacular sight of the largest Rolls-Royce and Bentley gathering anywhere in the world, the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts’ Club Annual Rally (June 21 to 23) has stands, an auction of cars and automobilia, as well as class judging and a parade of prizewinning cars.
For more spectacular summer celebrations, the Battle Proms Concert (July 20) brings music, Spitfire displays, cannons, cavalry and fireworks to the parkland. It is still believed to be the only opportunity in the world to see their signature piece – Beethoven’s Battle Symphony –performed as he composed it: accompanied by 193 live Napoleonic cannons!
Cinema takes centre stage for the now well-established Burghley Film Festival (July 24 to 28) with five days and nights of fabulous films alongside the new style film festival food, including American classics served from an Airstream trailer.
Foodies will be treated to three Burghley Fine Food Markets (April 6/7; Aug 24 to 26; and November 28 to December 1) offering a range of produce with handmade cheeses, organic vegetables, luxury sweet treats and rare breed meats.
Autumn treats include Burghley at Twilight (October 2 to 5) when the House will be floodlit and visitors serenaded by musicians as they turn back time and become evening guests to explore a grand historic house at twilight, while the ever popular Spooky Tours return October 16 to 31.
For festive fun, the Burghley Christmas Fair with the Angel Fair (November 28 to December 1) will be the biggest ever, featuring luxury gift fair and seasonal food market, all in a picture postcard setting with the superb Tudor house as a backdrop. Once again, Burghley will be working in association with The Angel Fair to raise money for charity.
For opening times, all events and to book online tickets at discounted prices, visit www.burghley.co.uk or telephone 01780 752451.