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First look at Hide and Secrets adventure playground at Burghley Park near Stamford





As the opening date for a new adventure playground at Burghley draws closer, the Mercury was given a first look at the new attraction.

With just a month to go the site is a hive of activity with workers busy completing the finishing touches of the Hide and Secrets playground.

Before even arriving at the entrance to the play area there is much to see.

The admissions office
The admissions office

Visitors will enter through the Queen Elizabeth’s Gate, built around 1800 and hidden behind an avenue of lime trees.

Upon entry visitors will be greeted by a 5ft tall new Burghley character, Cecil the Mole, who is currently making his journey to Stamford ready for the opening on April 29.

A wooden admissions office is stationed at the entrance which sets the vibe for what is to come.

The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House
The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House

An arrival timeslot system will be in place with tickets available to purchase online. Tickets can only be purchased on the door if there is a timeslot available.

A path winds its way through Burghley's grounds surrounded by 'mole hills' and landscaped gardens travelling under arches decorated with different natural materials.

There are spaces for den building using old branches as well as bug hotels and bird feeders.

Nature plays a big part in the playground
Nature plays a big part in the playground

"This is a wonderful outdoor space for children of all ages to enjoy," said head of marketing, and tour guide for the day, Jen Hattam.

"From the moment visitors arrive they’ll be immersed in a playful and imaginative environment that’s packed full of fun, exploration and discovery as well as some exciting and exhilarating challenges too. We can’t wait to open the gates."

The woodland play area will be themed around William Cecil as the country’s first spymaster and allow children to complete their own secret missions – discovering hidden wooden mole carvings, and enjoying cypher code breaking.

The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House
The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House

When walking through it is clear a key focus on reusing materials has been made within the landscaped play zones, which have been designed by the Burghley gardening team.

Quirky pieces of wood have been repurposed to create a throne and add decoration to the play zones.

CAP.Co Adventure Play is behind the design
CAP.Co Adventure Play is behind the design

Within the landscaped play zones and hard at work was head gardener, Joe Whitehead, who is thrilled to see the project come together.

Joe heads up a team of more than 20 volunteers and nine gardeners who have all contributed ideas which collectively make up the final design.

"It definitely has Burghley's stamp on it," he said.

Reporter Maddy Baillie visited Burghley Hide and Secrets for a first look at the play area
Reporter Maddy Baillie visited Burghley Hide and Secrets for a first look at the play area

"It has been a real collaborative effort which allowed our imaginations to go wild."

Unlike the usual landscaped areas at Burghley which are there to admire, the space at the playpark is aimed to capture all senses - including touch.

“We can’t wait to see children enjoying this space. There’s so much to explore and discover,” he said.

The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House
The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House

Through an opening in the woodland a path leads to the multi-level play tower.

Designed by CAP.Co Adventure Play, it features three tall spires with ‘pepper pot’ roof detailing to reflect the architecture of Burghley.

Roped bridges and steps lead up to the main towers which boast a host of activities from posing as Cecil the Mole or speaking to people across the park through a funnel.

One of the ways to get into the structure
One of the ways to get into the structure

Steps lead to the top tower which holds an almost vertical slide - the quickest, yet scariest, way to get down.

There is also a second more shallow slide and a fireman's pole, as well as a rope bridge leading out over the Swallow’s Rill gorge to a treetop hideout.

A separate toddler area following the same style is located next to the play tower and refreshments can be bought from a cabin called The Muddy Mole.

The toddler play area
The toddler play area

“We hope that Hide and Secrets will be a really fun destination for local families to come and enjoy on a regular basis, as well as being an attraction to those who visit the area from further afield,” said Jen.

The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House
The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House
The view from the top of the slide
The view from the top of the slide
The slide
The slide
Work is continuing to complete the playground (63302170)
Work is continuing to complete the playground (63302170)
The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House
The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House
The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House
The new Hide and Secrets play area at Burghley House

For the chance to win an Adventure Play Annual Pass worth £98 click here.

A new car park is also being created.



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