BREATHTAKING gardens at one of the region’s most historic and best-loved stately homes are to open free to the public during the coronavirus outbreak.
Holker Hall and Gardens, near Grange-over-Sands, was due to re-open its gates to a stellar season this Friday, March 20.
With the health and safety of staff and visitors paramount, the 400-year-old Hall will now remain closed until further notice.
However, its award-winning gardens will be open for visitors to wander - to enjoy a breath of fresh air in some of the most picturesque and serene surroundings in the country - from Wednesday to Sunday every week.
The ever-popular Courtyard Café will remain open offering a light service of hot drinks, warming soup and hearty sandwiches.
Visitors are asked to take sensible precautions while visiting:
- by maintaining a good distance from other people
- not touching any surfaces
- by following expert advice to stay at home for 14 days if anyone in their household has a high fever or new, continuous cough.
Allen Gibb, Chief Executive of the Holker Group, said much careful consideration had gone into the decision to delay the opening of the Hall this year.
“We are, of course, taking the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak very seriously and are closely monitoring the latest advice from the government and Public Health England.
“On this basis, we feel it is best that we delay opening the doors until further notice.
“The decision not to open the hall this year is very sad for the whole team who look forward to welcoming visitors back for the season ahead, especially as 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of our initial opening.
“We’ve decided to open the gardens, however, and to make entry free for anyone who would like to get outside and enjoy them.
“We hope this will help boost morale for everyone as we navigate what are undoubtedly challenging times for the whole country.”
As well as the 100+acre Deer Park, Holker Hall has 26 acres of beautifully kept gardens which feature one of the most magnificent collections of magnolia in the country.
They are also famed for their display of spring bulbs and tulips during these earlier months of the year.