Knebworth House thanks its supporters
Knebworth House thank all their Season Ticket Holders and Visitors for their on-going support through this turbulent year. In Knebworth House’s 500-year-history the Coronavirus Pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges it has faced. After closing for two and a half months and cancelling 31 events, morale was low, but thanks to hard work and the support of their Season Ticket Holders and Visitors they were able to open for a total of 134 days, welcome over 62,000 visitors and host a number of new Covid safe events.
On the 27th May Knebworth Park re-opened the Gardens and Dinosaur Trail with a very limited capacity, introducing morning and afternoon time-slots to stagger visitors’ arrival. Management adjusted operations to prioritise the safety of staff and visitors by making hand sanitiser available, following the two-metre distance rules, limiting the capacity within the Dinosaur Trail and moving the Gift Shop and Tea Room outside. As many of Knebworth House’s seasonal staff members were still on furlough it was all hands on deck to keep operations moving. Members of the Lytton family, friends and Estate Office staff all helped the effort to re-open the Gardens and Dinosaur Trail for visitors to enjoy. The decision was then made to remain open daily. As schools were closed the Gardens and Dinosaur Trail provided a location for families to re-connect in a safe open-air space, as well as provide a great source of education for school children.
Following government guidelines on the 4th July Knebworth House was safely able to re-open the Playground and House, which was well received by visitors who had been looking forward to using the Fort. July also saw the first film crew welcomed back to Knebworth House after national lockdown for the Meerkat Music Little Mix show.
At the end of July Knebworth House was honoured to welcome The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for a state visit which gave Managing Director, Martha Lytton Cobbold, an opportunity to discuss how the company, heritage and hospitality industries have been affected by the pandemic.
Knebworth House have also been extremely fortunate to host a number of new Covid-safe events this year, supplying entertainment, tourism and employment to the local area. For the whole month of July Knebworth House welcomed The Luna Cinema, who ran Hertfordshire’s very first Drive-In Cinema which was a tremendous success and enjoyed by many local people looking for an evening of socially-distanced escapism. In August they welcomed two theatre groups to Knebworth House. The Three Inch Fools performed a wonderful rendition of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, and Immersion Theatre performed ‘The Wind in the Willows’, with both audiences sat in socially-distanced squares drawn out on the Sunken Lawn. The fourth Covid safe event of the year was Pub in the Park’s DriveIn Garden Party, which was a huge success. Knebworth House were thrilled to be one of the only venues in the UK to provide live music this Summer. Rick Astley, Kaiser Chiefs, Gabrielle and Soul II Soul provide fantastic performances to the socially-distanced crowd.
Knebworth House look forward to bringing visitors more new Covid safe events and old favourites next year. In the meantime watch out for out-of-season events including The Drive-In Panto, and Lunch with Santa in Knebworth Barns.
During the second National Lockdown management decided to open the Gardens and Dinosaur Trail to visitors and Season Ticket Holders as they understand how important connecting with nature, and seeing the Autumn colours is to maintaining mental and physical wellbeing in these difficult times.
Knebworth House sends a Thank You to Season Ticket Holders and Visitors for their on-going support and making all of this possible. Visitors have allowed them to continue to provide safe access and retain employment and a viable business. They look forward to welcoming visitors back during their 2021 season.
Managing Director, Martha Lytton Cobbold:
We like so many other business and attractions had to close for the early part of our season, but with the new directive and our enhanced health and safety system in place, we were able to welcome back our Season Ticket Holders and Visitors in May. Places like Knebworth House, Park and Gardens are here to be enjoyed by the public, so we were thrilled to be able to share it with visitors again and hold some fantastic Covid-safe events. Thank you to everyone that has visited this year, we look forward to welcoming you back in 2021 or for one of our out-of-season events this Winter.