Things to see & do
Our places are brimming with colour and harvest, stories and entertainment this autumn. Tuck into seasonal produce, discover wartime exhibitions, and capture magical autumn moments at our photography workshops. We’ve even lined up some extra spooky adults-only Hallowe’en events. To celebrate this season of rich colour, we’ve also picked out some of our most colourful houses, stories and landscapes, for you to discover.
Take a look at our highlights:
Something special at Scotney Castle
Arthur’s War opens at Scotney Castle
From 9 October
Discovered in Scotney Castle’s attic, a box of personal memorabilia from an officer in the First World War has uncovered the hidden stories of one of the house’s family members and the local men of Lamberhurst. See Arthur Hussey’s personal diaries, letters, images, medals and much more at this extraordinary exhibition.
Something special at South Foreland
Spooky goings on in the lighthouse
Visit South Foreland Lighthouse this Halloween if you dare. Explore the lighthouse by torch light, listen to some scary ghost stories and be prepared for a fright. Children’s Hallowe’en activities will be provided between 6pm - 8pm, with adult tours from 8pm – midnight.
Something special at Hughenden
1940s war-time weekend at Hughenden
20 and 21 September
The 1940s returns with a bang at Hughenden annual living history weekend, capturing all the nostalgia of war-time Britain. The popular event features exhibitions and demonstrations that bring the 1940s to life with music, song, and dance. Cook wartime rations, meet military and Home Front characters, see wartime vehicles and have a go at ‘make do and mend’.
Something special - autumn food festival...
Tuck into seasonal treats at Stowe’s food festival, where you’ll find over 50 stalls of artisan produce, including traditional apple varieties from Stowe’s own orchards. 4 October to 5 October 2014, 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Or join the Ashridge Estate team for their countryside and food festival on 14 September 2014. It's going to celebrate Chilterns countryside crafts and industries, wildlife and mouth-watering local food.
Something special at Petworth House
Three Witches Ball
1 November, 7pm til late
A delightfully dark and decadent country house ball at Petworth House. Don dramatic costumes for an unforgettable evening of dining and dancing, inspired by the macabre engraving of Macbeth and the Witches which hangs in the Square Dining Room. Enjoy a traditional ball supper, followed by cabaret, and dancing to the sassy sounds of the Brighton-based Swing Ninjas. £85 per person. Booking is essential, call 01798 342207.
Something special at Hinton Ampner
Ghost tour – adults only...
A house so haunted that it had to be demolished, Hinton Ampner has one of the most well documented Victorian ghost stories. A professional medium will lead visitors to the site of the original house, to re-tell the terrifying tale, and introduce various techniques including dowsing rods, crystals and a spirit board. A truly haunting experience. £25 per person. Booking essential, call 01962 771305.
Something special on the River Wey
The River Wey festival attracts boats from around the country, which moor at picturesque Dapdune Wharf. Enjoy stalls, activities and a theatre performance by Mikron Theatre company. At dusk there is an illuminated pageant with brightly coloured boats going up to Millmead Lock and back.
Colourful characters & stories
Discover the colourful stories of the people who lived and worked at our places in the south east this autumn.
- Clandon Park, Surrey – Explore the First World War operating theatre
- Chartwell, Kent – The home of Winston Churchill
- Uppark, West Sussex – Discover the story of Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh who caused a scandal by marrying a milkmaid
- Bateman’s East Sussex, – The home of Rudyard Kipling
- Osterley Park, London – Family portraits loaned by the Earldom of Jersey Trust uncover the story of the Child family
- Mottisfont, Hampshire – Uncover Maud Russell and her artistic passions that shaped Mottisfont
- Claydon House, Bucks – Try out Florence Nightingale's bed at her sister's home
- Sissinghurst Castle, Kent – Learn about the castle's dark past as an 18th-century prison
- Hughenden Manor, Bucks – The home of Benjamin Disraeli
- Monk’s House, East Sussex – The home of Virginia Woolf
Colourful landscapes & gardens
Take in the changing colours of our top autumn gardens and landscapes as the season draws in.
- Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex
- Hinton Ampner, Hampshire
- Ashridge Estate, Bucks
- Polesden Lacey, Surrey
- Stowe, Bucks
- Emmetts Garden, Kent
- Nymans, West Sussex
- Ham House, London
- Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
- Petworth House and Park, West Sussex
- Cliveden, Bucks
- Greys Court, Oxon
Come and explore rooms bursting with colour at our places this autumn. Perfect for escaping on a rainy day
- Ham House, London – The Green Closet holds a wealth of minature paintings
- Polesden Lacey, Surrey – See the dazzling Gold Room
- Knole, Kent, – There are shades of autumn in the Spangled Bedroom and the Cartoon Gallery
- Mottisfont, Hampshire – Look out for the gold tassels in the White Bedroom
- Basildon Park, Bucks – There's vibrant upholstery in the Crimson Bedroom
- The Vyne, Hants – The China Room houses a jewel-encrusted casket
- Osterley Park, London – The Red Tapestry Room was built for a set of Gobelins tapestries
- Smallhythe Place, Kent – See Ellen Terry's green beetle wing dress