Record-breaking year for hall

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It has been another record-breaking year in terms of visitors to Gunby Halland Gardens .... with special Christmas openings still to come.

The National Trust property near Spilsby welcomed more than 37,000 visitors this year, beating 2014’s record of 35,000.

This is despite the attraction’s opening being delayed by more than a month at the start of the year due to ground conditions in the car park.

“In spite of a difficult start to the season due to our car park being waterlogged, we made up for it during a brilliant summer,” said visitor experience manager Astrid Gatenby. “We couldn’t have done it without the help of our small army of local volunteers, who help with every aspect of operations.”

To finish off the season, Gunby will be open for three weekends to celebrate Christmas.

The theme for this year is Twelve Days of Christmas, with all the elements of the song being represented.

“The house looks wonderful when it’s decorated,” said Astrid. “And the rooms will be filled with music from the grand piano and special performances on harpsichord and cello, too.

“Visitors will be encouraged to join in some carol singing and to spot all the 12 days of Christmas decorations.

“Why not make coming to Gunby part of your family’s Christmas tradition and let us put you in a real festive mood?”

The gardens and grounds will be open for bracing walks. Hot drinks and seasonal sweet treats will be available.

There will be wreaths and small gifts for sale, too.

Gunby’s Twelve Days of Christmas openings will take place this Saturday and Sunday, then December 5, 6, 12, and 13, from 11am to 3pm. Dogs on leads are welcome in the gardens.

Normal admission charges apply, free for National Trust members.