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.

Conservation team caring for items

Cragside, Northumberland 

Conservation Tour, 26 January & 2 February

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

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

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

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.

Tyntesfield House Aglow

Tyntesfield, near Bristol 

Fire and Wire, 6 January-31 October

Spark your curiosity at Tyntesfield this year as we go behind-the-scenes during a major conservation project to replace our fire alarm system. As the project progresses different aspects will be on show, meaning there'll always be something new to see. You’ll even be able to discover several of the 60,000 objects in Tyntesfield's collection on show for the first time.

Afternoon tea set up

Upton House, Warwickshire 

Afternoon Tea Talk: Below Stairs, 14 February

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.

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

The Vyne, Hampshire 

Rooftop walkway, daily until end March 2018, 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.