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Burghley House near Stamford features in a list by Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) for highest increase in visitors

A stately home has topped a list of tourist attractions with the highest increase in visitors after the opening of an adventure playground.

Burghley House near Stamford was featured in a list by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) alongside the British Museum, Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle.

Despite being up against dozens of the country’s top tourist attractions, it was Burghley House which saw the largest percentage increase in visitors, moving it up 26 places in the league table.

Burghley House
Burghley House

Last year 154,827 visitors ventured to Burghley House, an increase of 86 per cent. The figure does not include those who attended the horse trials.

It is believed the huge uplift in visitors is due to the opening of the adventure playground in May last year.

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A re-discovered woodland at the stately home has been transformed into a play attraction called the Hide and Secrets playground as part of a £1 million investment by Burghley.

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

It combines play, exploration, and discovery with six family play zones and a hidden towers structure.

The playground reflects the architecture of Burghley House and features two big slides, climbing walls, wobbly walkways and crawl tunnels.

Visitors to the stately home, which reopened last weekend, can also venture inside 18 state rooms as well as view historic items which are on display.

The Garden of Surprises at Burghley
The Garden of Surprises at Burghley

Outside the sculpture garden features imaginative planting and art work while the garden of surprises explores classical civilisation, astrology and astronomy.

Burghley is also a popular filming location and in the past few years has been part of the set for Netflix’s The Crown and DC Comics film The Flash.

A spokesperson for Burghley House said they are hoping to maintain the success of 2023 this year.

Elsewhere, walking shoe experts FitFlop have named Rutland Water as one of the top 10 places in the country this half term if wildlife watching is on the agenda, having looked at reviews across the AllTrails adventure app, TripAdvisor and Google, as well as those which have the most search volume on Google.

It comes as research shows that Google searches for 'free days out' have increased by 23% year on year due to the ongoing cost of living crisis, and there have been more than 6,000 searches for 'Easter activities' in the last month.

The recent return of the Ospreys to the reservoir is one of the draws this Easter with the visitor centre having recently reopened so people can see star pair Maya and 33 (11) up close.

Ospreys were only introduced to Rutland Water in 2001 but today around 150 of these birds of prey have taken up residence in the area. For an up close and personal look at these beautiful birds, there is a water-front hide along Manton Bay where you can watch them nesting and catching fish.

Will you be visiting Burghley House or Rutland Water this year? Let us know in the comments.

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