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The last of the snowdrops

Snowdrops at Lytham Hall are a yearly anticipated event, a sign that spring is on its way. This year was the first year where four full weekends were offered for the snowdrop trail, which took you past the best of the showings of the bright little flowers. And what a time they’ve had! Storm Doris, icy temperatures, dogs sniffing and children studying, and still they gave it their best.

The trail was this time highlighted by picture frames throughout, offering photographers different viewpoints around the parkland. Visitors responded very positively to this highly visual augmentation of the trail. Over 2,200 visitors came to enjoy a mostly car-free historic parkland, and were also delighted with the offerings of the Friends of Lytham Hall snowdrop shop. Being car-free, the parkland took on a tranquil feel, only rarely witnessed in this ever-more-popular place, which had been made possible by kind permission of Ribble House, who offered use of their car park.

New for this year were the free outdoor tours on Sunday afternoon, allowing people to learn a bit more about the history of Lytham Hall. As ever, none of this would have been possible without the tireless help of Lytham Hall’s strong volunteer corps, who cheerfully helped in the tea room, welcomed you on the gate or showed you around the parkland or Hall. With their help, this fundraising event brings in much-needed income to the site, which receives no regional or national funding for its operations.

John Miller, Chief Executive of Heritage Trust for the North West, the charity managing Lytham Hall, says: “We are delighted so many people have discovered Lytham Hall on their doorstep, for a free walk around the historic parkland during the week, a beautiful lunch in our refurbished tea room, or one of our events. Income from visitors is essential to meet the large operational costs for keeping a site of this size open to the public and our snowdrop walks are an essential part of this. There seem to be more and more snowdrops every year, and we’d like to thank everyone for visiting and supporting Lytham Hall.”

Meanwhile, there is no time to rest for Lytham Hall, not in the grounds, where the snowdrops are closely followed by the cheerily coloured daffodils throughout the parkland and the bluebells are promising a great showing after that, though they are notoriously difficult to time.

The Hall will remain open for guided tours on Sundays at 12pm and 2pm and from April onwards will open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday too, with guided tours at the same time. The tea room is open 7 days a week, and events are plentiful. We look forward to Jeannette Greenough’s Clairvoyance evening on 9 March, followed by an audience with Peter Anthony on 29 March. For Mother’s Day we are working with Estee Lauder and a stylist from Stella & Dot, who will give advice during a fantastic afternoon tea. New for this year will be a Murder Mystery Evening which is nearly sold out and we are lucky enough to have Merrill Osmond perform at Lytham Hall for a small audience, a unique opportunity in our Upper West Wing. All of these events need pre-booking via the estate office on 01253 736652.

Firm favourites Mega Mini Meet, Flower Power and Classic Car show are of course on the agenda this year, and you’ve already read about the exciting programme of outdoor theatre dates, which starts on 11 June with Great Expectations. Organisation for the Hall’s first Steam Fair in September is underway, so please follow us on Facebook for the latest additions to the events season.

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