From cannons, cavalry and classic sports cars to movies under the stars… summer at England’s greatest Elizabethan house

From cannons, cavalry and classic sports cars to movies under the stars… summer at England’s greatest Elizabethan houseCaption: Burghley, near Stamford in Lincolnshire, has been the home of the Cecil Family for over 400 years and is England’s greatest Elizabethan House.

From soul-stirring classical music with canon fire, cavalry and Spitfire fly-past to chart-topping British reggae pop; Lincolnshire’s Burghley House is wired for sound this summer… not forgetting a feast of family film fun plus a spectacular display of iconic British sports cars.

Already a firm family favourite thanks to its enticing mix of picturesque parkland – open all year without charge – a treasure trove of an Elizabethan house and two gardens, including a Tudor-inspired ‘trick’ garden, some top seasonal events will offer even more reasons to visit this year.

For the sounds of summer, the sweeping parkland at Burghley – regarded as England’s greatest Elizabethan house – hosts everything from reggae to Tchaikovsky, while the full throttle of expensive engines will come courtesy of 120 Aston Martin cars on display in front of the House.

More music – this time from the movies – will join Silver Screen classics and modern blockbusters when the South Gardens of Burghley, on the edge of the Georgian stone town of Stamford, are transformed into one of England’s best outdoor summer cinemas.

Plus for youngsters, from 9th July to 3rd September, special tours offer the opportunity to discover more about ‘Beastly Boring Burghley’, revealing the grizzly, gruesome and horrible history of the house, while a new ‘Gruesomely Grubby Gardens’ guidebook brings the gardens to life in a fun way.

Launching the summer season will be British reggae pop band UB40, featuring three of the founding members Mickey Virtue, Astro and original lead singer Ali Campbell, which is the headline act for this year’s annual summer concert at Burghley House on Saturday 7th June.

For a spectacular musical experience, few events can match that of the UK’s premier picnic proms, which returns in July. Burghley House is the backdrop for the 10th annual Battle Proms featuring a Spitfire fly-past, cavalry charges, cannons and fireworks.

Now established as a firm favourite on the summer scene, the event will offer its usual mix of soul-stirring orchestral classical music – and for 2014, the cavalry will be in First World War regalia to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1.

The Battle Proms is the only regular open-air concert in the world to perform signature piece Beethoven’s ‘Battle Symphony’ in full using live cannon with real black powder explosions, each fired electronically by the orchestra’s percussionist following the original score.

Cars provide the spectacle later in July, when British classic Aston Martin come to Burghley… and in numbers! On Sunday, 27th July Burghley hosts the Aston Martin Car Rally with over 120 vehicles on display from vintage classics to impressive modern models, with visitors welcome to walk amongst the cars to marvel at these iconic motors.

Movies take centre stage at the end of July with the return of the Burghley Film Festival. From 30 July – 3 August 2014, five nights and four days of fabulous films from Audrey Hepburn classic ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ to the critically acclaimed ‘War Horse’ – along with some retro classics and children’s favourites – will transform Burghley’s picturesque South Gardens into a magical outdoor movie venue. Early bird booking offers a chance to save money – book before 29 July and tickets will be £10. On the gate tickets cost £12 and child tickets are £4, whether in advance or on the day.

For full details of all events and to book online tickets, visit www.burghley.co.uk or telephone 01780 752451.

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