There will be plenty on offer for families during the school half term holidays at Sewerby Hall and Gardens.
The zoo (with several new arrivals recently, and the world famous Rosie the Humboldt penguin), Welcome Centre, gardens and toilets are all open, and The Clock Tower Café will be open for takeaway only, with outdoor seating, to allow for social distancing.
The house itself will also be open with a brand new exhibition, ‘Our Sewerby’, marking 85 years since Amy Johnson opened Sewerby as a public amenity owned by the council. In the rest of the house, visitors can enjoy its elegant appearance as it would have looked at the height of the Edwardian era, and can scan QR codes in each downstairs room to hear one-minute audio about each room.
Visitors can download the free Love Exploring app from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and enjoy the Dinosaur Safari.
The fox trot trail will be on display in the walled gardens, with visitors challenged to find 20 Foxes that are hidden in the gardens. Visitors to the zoo can scan QR codes to access short talks by head zookeeper John Pickering and assistant head zookeeper Melissa Tate about a wide range of the animals.
In addition, East Riding Archives have created a new, free app that turns smartphones or tablets into virtual ‘time machines’. ‘What Was Here?‘ uses historical photos from the archives, plotted onto a Google Maps base map, to show users literally ‘what was here‘ at their location and elsewhere across the East Yorkshire region.
The app features heritage trails that guide users to various points of interest, where they can use their device’s camera to overlay the featured historic image on top of the modern scene and get a feel for how it looked in the past. One such heritage trail is currently part of the Sewerby Hall and Gardens visitor experience.
As visitors walk around the gardens, they can also look out for QR codes linking to short podcasts covering the history of a particular part of the estate.
During the school half term holidays, Rusticus will be back with a limited events programme.
On Bank Holiday Monday, 31 May, Rusticus Woodland Creatures Theatre will present Fox and Rabbit performing The Three Musketeers; brim-full of French Royals, swashbuckling swordsmen and featuring Rabbit’s legendary carrot collection in an outdoor interactive performance.
On Tuesday, 1 June – Fox and Woodpecker will perform The Odyssey, featuring powerful Gods, fearsome monsters, and distracting singing, in an outdoor interactive performance.
On Thursday, 3 June – Toad and Woodpecker will perform Robin Hood, with campfire silliness, musical interludes and an epic tournament! Help the Sherriff get lost in the forest as you discover the greatest legend of our time – Robin Hood! This will also be an outdoor interactive performance.
Customers will need to book for the performances – they will need to contact the Welcome Centre (by phone or in person) to book their pod for each performance – each pod can accommodate up to four people. Each event will be included with the standard admission fee.
General manager Marie Gascoigne said: “The beauty of Sewerby Hall and Gardens is the sheer size and scale of what we have to offer, with 50 acres of gardens in total. We are a great choice for families this half term, with a wide variety of activities and facilities to choose from, and space to enjoy them!”
Visitors will need to respect social distancing rules and be prepared for queues for the house, zoo, cafe and welcome centre. Visitors to the house will be restricted to one group per room and in the zoo to one group per enclosure. Face coverings will be required in the house, cafe and welcome centre, and track and trace details will be required in the house, cafe and welcome centre.
Full details of the exhibition, performances, the zoo, opening times and facilities available are at www.sewerbyhall.co.uk