Burghley House near Stamford, in Lincolnshire, is set to be the centre of two activity-filled weeks as a bumper programme of summer events kicks off this week.

Firstly, your little ones will love the Festival of Surprises which will take place from Monday 3rd – Sunday 16th August in the Gardens of Surprise. The events have been created specifically with children in mind, offering a great way to spend a day or two. During the week, a whole host of activities will be going on, including:

Wacky Creatures: Make wire sculpture animals or paint animal masks in the Sculpture Garden Classroom.
Paws & Pellets: Learn to identify animal tracks in the park, cast them in plaster and examine owl pellets.  Led by our Director of Education.
Tudors & Victorians: Make Tudor jewellery or write a Victorian letter complete with seal and a penny black!
Sculpture Workshop: Local sculptor and teacher Rob Fogell will teach basic techniques and they will be able to create their own little master piece. (over eights only).
Circus Skills Workshops:  Learn from the experts how to juggle, plate spin, tight rope walk and many other skills.

The weekends are a time for all the family with The Family Carnival taking place on the 8th and 9th of August including face painting, bouncy castles and a barbecue in the Sculpture Garden. The second weekend (15th and 16th August) will be all about the fun of the fair, with some great, traditional fairground stalls and games.

And, of course, the House and Gardens will be open as usual, offering the chance of a history lesson wandering through the magnificent State Rooms before getting back out to enjoy the outdoor fun.

Burghley has been the home of the Cecil Family for over 400 years and is one of the largest and grandest houses of the first Elizabethan Age. It houses a huge collection of great works of art, including one of the most important private collections of 17th century Italian paintings, the earliest inventoried collection of Japanese ceramics in the West, exceptional 18th century furniture and wood carvings by Grinling Gibbons and his followers.

All activities run from 12-4pm, for dates and more details please visit www.burghley.co.uk. For the Paws & Pellets and the sculpture workshops signing in at the ticket desk on arrival is essential, all of the other workshops will operate on a drop in basis. All activities and workshops are free with a Gardens only or House and Gardens ticket and free to season card holders.

And don’t forget the Burghley Fine Food Market which will be held on Saturday 30 & Sunday 31 August. It will provide another opportunity to check out some of the best local produce. The Stable Courtyard will once again be the backdrop for the wide range of food stalls, creating a relaxing but bustling market atmosphere. Open 10am-4pm; free admission.

The house is open daily (excluding Fridays) from Saturday 28th March to Thursday 29th October (with the exception of the 3rd-6th September during the Horse Trials) from 11am to 5pm. The last admission to the house is at 4.30pm. The house has guides throughout the State Rooms. Please note that the house will be closed on Fridays.