We arrange private guided art tours around Birdsall House for interested and specialist groups. Our wonderful collection of antique furniture and paintings are unique and include works collected by the Willoughby family over the generations. We have an unbroken line of family portraits from 1570 and a collection of furniture that can rival the best English Country Houses. The art and antiques tell stories of the lives and fashions of successive generations of the Willoughby family over more than 500 years.Enquire
There have been some pioneering members of the Willoughby family; Hugh Willoughby, who died in 1553 trying to find the North East Passage Trade Route over to the Far East, Francis Willoughby (1635 – 1672), a Naturalist and founder member of the Royal Society who identified and catalogued hundreds of species of plants and animals 200 years before Darwin, and Nesbit Willoughby (1777–1849) who is remembered as one of the most reckless characters in British naval history and is supposedly one of the characters on which the Hornblower novels are based. These family members, and many more, have collected items and stories which help create the rich tapestry of the Birdsall House antiques and furniture collections, as well as tales for the family history archives. You can learn a little more about our history here.
We run two options for tours of Birdsall House; For larger groups of 20 or more we are able to hold a private tour for a group. For 2022 are offering the tours during 3 separate weeks in 2022; 21-25 March, 7-15 June and 26-30 September. We offer a welcome and brief history of Birdsall House and the Willoughby family followed by a guided tour of our grand state reception rooms and unique family chattel collections. This is followed by tea and biscuits in The Dining Room. These tours are £20 per head and should be booked directly with Cara Willoughby: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, for smaller parties and individuals, we now are part of the Historic Houses Invitation to View scheme and open the house on set dates (within the same weeks) over the summer to prebooked guests. The tours follow the same format as the larger groups but allow smaller groups and individuals to visit us. Tickets should be booked through Historic Houses.
Above all it was the whole day felt very personal and bespoke to us as a couple. We couldn’t recommend Birdsall House more highly as a destination for future couples looking for a truly magical venue.Alex, June 2018
We had the most wonderful wedding at Birdsall House and it was everything we had hoped for. All of our guests commented on what a unique and simply beautiful venue Birdsall House is and we loved the versatility of allowing our guests to be in a different area of the house and grounds for each key part of the day.Mr & Mrs V, June 2018
Having exclusive use of the entire venue made a definite difference to us. We felt privileged to host our family and friends in a place that holds so much history and our guests could not fail to be impressed by the size and scale of the house.Jason, October 2017
The family feel you bring creates a unique atmosphere and during our wedding, instead of it feeling like a corporate set-up wedding venue, it felt like getting married in a family home. You went above and beyond, making us feel at ease and welcomed.Mr & Mrs Q, June 2019
Thank you for everything, nothing was too much trouble and we are both so grateful to all the team at Birdsall.Mrs B, June 2019
It was such a dream weekend, honestly we still can't stop thinking about it all!Mr & Mrs B, July 2019
Not wanting a manufactured 'package' wedding , Lady Cara listened to what we wanted and she, along with the whole team achieved a perfect balance of style, elegance and relaxed informality that was so important to us and made our guests feel so welcome. So many commented that it was the most perfect wedding that they had ever been to! Thank you so much for the memories!Mr & Mrs S, June 2018
You gave us the happiest of days and allowed us to give our friends in turn the chance to share in the joys of Birdsall.Elizabeth, July 2019
"Cara was indefatigable and without doubt the brightest star in our wedding galaxy (to fumble a metaphor). Birdsall was heavenly and I shall certainly sing its praises to anyone who asks."James, 2019
“Having a Church on the estate made our wedding all the more meaningful for us and brought an added dimension to our day. We had just what we wanted and Birdsall House will hold a special place in our hearts forever more!”Helen, October 2017
The grounds Birdsall is set within were a beautiful backdrop for our photographs and gave us the scope to put up a party tent - allowing our celebrations to continue on into the night.Mr & Mrs T, November 2017
"Having the freedom and flexibility to plan the wedding we wanted, rather than being restricted by a set package, was most appealing to me and my husband. We wanted a day that was utterly unique and Birdsall House gave us that and so much more."H&J, October 2017