Go behind the scenes at our places

Have you ever been curious about what happens when all the visitors leave for the day? Or wanted to get a new perspective on a place you love? Well here’s your chance. At places across the country we’re inviting you to explore behind the scenes, see conservation experts at work and view exhibitions of previously unseen objects.

These events were held in 2018. Please check back later in the year for 2019 events.

Conservation team caring for items

Cragside, Northumberland 

Conservation Tour, 26 January & 2 February 2018

Winter is the time when our conservation team really get stuck in, cleaning the house and collection from top to bottom. Come on a guided tour to meet the team to discover how they look after this special place and all the objects inside – you’ll even get the chance to have a go yourself. Afterwards, enjoy a complimentary bowl of warming soup in the tea room.

Horology specialist Jonathan Betts caring for Nostell's John Harrison clock

Nostell, West Yorkshire 

Coffee, cake and conservation, 17 & 31 January 2018

The house doors might be closed for winter, but inside the conservation team are busier than ever. The brass needs polishing, scaffolding needs building to clean the top of each gilt picture frame, not to mention brush vacuuming of all the Chippendale furniture. Take a sneak peek behind the scenes to see the team at work, and have a go yourself before heading to the café for a warming cuppa and a piece of cake.

A guide in the House talking to visitors

Stourhead, Wiltshire 

Behind Closed Doors Tours, Fri–Tues throughout February 2018

Ever fancied a peek behind the scenes at Stourhead? Take the rare chance of a guided tour to explore ongoing conservation work, and areas of the house that are off the beaten track. Tours change each day, but could include anything from the servants' bedrooms in the roof to a barrel run in the cellar.

Tranmer House at Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo, Suffolk 

Tranmer House Unlocked, 3 & 4 February 2018

Step inside the comfortable former home of Mrs Edith Pretty, who masterminded the 1930s archaeological digs that uncovered the secrets of the famous Sutton Hoo burial mounds. Discover parts of Tranmer House that aren’t usually open to the public - the holiday flats. Venture upstairs and see the views our holiday makers enjoy, or take a peek into Mrs Pretty's marble bathroom and the space where she hid the treasure under her bed.

Afternoon tea

Upton House, Warwickshire 

Afternoon Tea Talk: Below Stairs, 14 February 2018

Join our resident tour guide Brenda for a fascinating exploration ‘below stairs’ at Upton during its 1930s heyday. Hear stories of the characters once employed by Lord and Lady Berstead, who kept things running smoothly on the estate. Afterwards, tuck into a delicious cream tea in the old kitchen - now known as Iris' tea room.