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.

A conservator at work brushing items at Chirk Castle, Wrexham

Chirk Castle, Wrexham 

Conservation Tours 11-12, 18-19 & 25-26 Nov, 11am – 4pm

Winter is the time when our team can really get stuck in with all of the intensive conservation work that a 700-year-old castle needs. If you visit on a weekend you can join a special volunteer-guided tour of the castle rooms, and discover more about the work that goes into conserving Chirk.

Detail of verdure tapestry at Cotehele, Cornwall

Cotehele, Cornwall 

Secret Cotehele, 15-16 & 20-21 Nov, 10am – 1.30pm

During the quiet winter months, the team at Cotehele undertake the mammoth task of deep-cleaning the house and carrying out vital conservation work. Join them for an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience to learn about conservation practices, and peek in closets or behind doors. Morning coffee and lunch are included too, so you won’t go hungry.

A very dark storm cloud front over Heigham Holmes grassy fields

Heigham Holmes, Norfolk 

Christmas Deer Ramble, 26 Nov & 10 Dec, 2.30pm – 4.30pm

This secret island is a hidden gem in the Norfolk Broads, and provides homes for a whole host of wildlife. The delicate nature of the site means access is restricted, but on selected days this winter you can join our rangers for a glimpse into the private world of the Red and Chinese Water Deer that live here.

Conservation assistant cleaning an Italian cabinet

Trerice, Cornwall 

Behind the Scenes tour, 7 & 14 Dec, 11.30am – 3pm

Join us at Trerice for a behind the scenes tour as the house is ‘put to bed’ for the winter. The team will show you round some of the house’s hidden spots, and explain some of the techniques they use to care for the historic rooms and collection. Afterwards, enjoy a festive lunch in the Barn restaurant followed by coffee and mince pies.

You can see The Vyne's project unfolding on the rooftop walkway

The Vyne, Hampshire 

Rooftop walkway, daily until 30 Nov, 10am – 4pm

We’re currently carrying out some major conservation work to at The Vyne in order to repair the leaky roof, and as part of the project there’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the house from an entirely new perspective. Head up to our all-access 360° rooftop walkway to discover how we’re using exciting new technology combined with centuries-old practices to carry out the repairs. Protected from the elements, you’ll be able to look down on 71,000 tiles being removed and replaced, or take in sweeping panoramas across the wider estate.

People use torches to look around corridors of Wray Castle, Cumbria

Wray Castle, Cumbria 

Behind closed doors, weekends in November, 12pm – 1.30pm

Have you ever wanted to go behind the scenes at Wray Castle? Take this chance to explore and visit parts of the Victorian mansion which aren’t normally open to visitors, including the double boathouse. Experienced guides will share stories about the work we do to care for this special place, and some of the discoveries we’ve made along the way. We’ll be squeezing through some tight spaces and corridors with low ceilings so a hard hat and a torch will be provided.