There is no end to the number of stately homes and castles in the United Kingdom, thanks to the country’s vast history of royalty. Because of their historical value, many such homes have been opened up to the public for display. One such home is Harewood House. Once the home of a well-known Earl, Harewood House is now the home to many fascinating exhibits, events, and tours that educate native Brits and foreigners alike about the area’s fascinating history.
The Earl And Early History
Harewood House once belonged to the Earl of Harewood, who was the Queen’s cousin. It was built in the mid-seventeen hundreds, using funds from the West Indian sugar trade. While the main house contains many opportunities for exploration and education, the grounds of Harewood House are an attraction all their own.
Many designers contributed to the design of the gardens over the years; however, the man who perhaps most contributed was Lancelot Brown in 1758. Brown designed the landscape to include the serpentine lake, subtle hills and valleys, and natural tree plantings that make the gardens an integral part of the house’s attraction.
Though many years have passed since the Earl resided in Harewood House, the rich history of the home and of the time period has been preserved for the public to enjoy. This has been done through tours of the house and garden, art and historic exhibitions, and special events.
The tours and talks of both Harewood House and the surrounding gardens are offered free on a daily basis throughout the duration of the house’s open ceremony, which is from March to October. While house tours and talks are offered only as a guided option, the garden tour includes the option of a self-guided tour.
The house tours allow visitors to see the building’s many stunning State Rooms, the popular Below Stairs exhibition, and Harewood House’s permanent art collection. A garden walk might incorporate the Terrace Garden, the Lakeside Garden, the Rock Garden and Wall Garden, or the Adventure Playground.
The tours of the house offer visitors an opportunity to view Harewood House’s many exhibitions. The exhibitions include the permanent art collection, which is quite extensive, as well as other special historical exhibits, such as the Harewood 1807 exhibit.
Harewood House hosts many special events throughout their open season. While these events vary from season to season, they always offer tourists and visitors the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of history while having a great time! One popular event that has remained a standard occurrence throughout the years are the half-term holiday family activities.
Eating And Extras
Public activities and services at Harewood House extends far beyond tours and exhibitions, however. For those who want to make their experience a day trip, Harewood House offers several options when it comes to restaurants. The Courtyard Café serves hot and cold meals and homemade pastries, and offers a menu for children and vegetarians. The Terrace Café serves scrumptious homemade cakes as well as refreshments. For those who just want a quick pick-me-up, small kiosks throughout the house serve ice cream as well as drinks. Picnics are also welcomed on the grounds of the house.
For visitors who want to remember their trip to Harewood House by purchasing a souvenir, the shops make this a reality. The three shops include the Courtyard Shop, which sells mainly gifts, the Kitchen Shop, which sells kitchenware, and the Toy Shop, which is geared toward the younger crowd.
Appreciating The Past In The Present
The stately homes throughout the United Kingdom serve little purpose as empty buildings. To reopen them as public buildings, just as was done at Harewood House, allows visitors to both learn from and gain a better appreciation for the past.