Harewood Reveals First Part of 2021 Up+Open Programme with a Focus on Wellbeing, Culture Outdoors and Open History

30th March 2021

Yorkshire’s 2020 Large Visitor Attraction of the Year is open throughout the week once more as Harewood House Trust invites everyone to enjoy its 250-year-old House and its Gardens, Bird Garden, Play and parkland. Aiming to inspire and enrich, it today announces a programme to help us all recover from the ongoing effects of Covid-19, opening up new parts of the site for the first time with a brand new circular walk, and continues to push the agenda in being open about its past, calling out racism, and reiterating that Harewood is a place open for all.

UP+OPEN: Get outdoors, find your wellbeing

Harewood’s spring season has begun, welcoming people back to enjoy its beautiful surroundings bursting into spring life, its gardens coming into bud, and to find a moment of respite from the last year. In line with dates to be re-confirmed by government, from Monday 29 March there’s no better place to re-meet friends and family as the rule of six comes back into play; our Courtyard Café, run by the Harewood Food & Drink Project, will be open again (for take away only until 17 May). The Harewood Bird Garden, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, will open on Monday 12 April, along with the Courtyard Shop.

Together We Are, by graphic artist Anthony Burrill, launches a brand new three mile circular walk (see below) taking in Harewood’s North Woods featuring this latest commission. Opening in mid-May and featuring six unique flag artworks, Burrill’s work will encourage moments of mindfulness, giving pause for thought set against a backdrop of stunning views of Harewood and beyond.

The circular Big Harewood Walk unlocks brand new parts of the site for the first time. Split into three sections – the North Woods, the South View and the Lakeside Tour – the circular route will take in All Saints’ Church with its beautifully-crafted alabaster tombs and a secret tunnel in the North Woods, with our Horsebox newly relocated for an energy-boosting treat; it will open up Harewood’s East Terrace and South View for the very first time, and link up with the Lakeside Tour which takes in the Bird Garden, Himalayan Garden, Bothy and Walled Garden.

Pop-up play is back after being such a big hit last summer with children and grown-ups alike. Harewood’s Woodland Wonderland features willow mazes and tunnels by artist Leilah Vyner, nestled next to the Church, opening up yet more of this beautiful site for families to adventure into.


Harewood’s Open History programme is part of our commitment to bring our past to life. Being transparent about colonial history and ensuring the Trust hosts much-needed, and sometimes difficult, conversations is vital to calling out racism, and to forge new connections with visitors and the communities of the cities and countryside around us. Open History is therefore devised to engage our audiences with the urgent issues of our time, and aims to engender empathy and understanding of these issues in order to celebrate diversity.

Harewood have teamed up with Leeds-based DSRG (the Diasporian Stories Research Group) to bring to life the story of Harewood’s first black member of staff, George ‘Bertie’ Robinson, who travelled with the 5th Earl and Countess from St Vincent to Leeds aged 13 to work for the Lascelles family. The display, Bertie Robinson: The Footman from St Vincent, which launches in the Yellow Drawing Room from 17 May, is part of an annual series which will celebrate and share the histories of people of African descent with Yorkshire connections throughout history. Bertie lived at Harewood from 1893–1922. Letters, diaries and photographs chart his life, as well as exploring some of the Lascelles’ links to the West Indies, the history of St Vincent, and attitudes towards people of colour at that time.

Launching in early summer, Heritage Corner bring their unique brand of insightful Black History Walks to Harewood following the success of their regular events in Leeds City Centre. In their walking story – A Storm at Harewood, stretched across the House and Grounds – Joe Williams and Vanessa Mudd explore inspiring black history and hidden connections to the splendours of Harewood in an imaginative, fun and family-friendly way. Walks go on sale from mid-April.

The Trust looks forward to revealing more aspects of its Open History programme later in the year, as part of its continued commitment to combating racism.


In the coming weeks, we will unveil a new series of exclusive opportunities to experience Harewood in UNLIMITED ways. Summer twilights on the Terrace with live music and great food, bird watching tours, behind-the-scenes access to Harewood’s Attic Rooms and Below Stairs, early evening boat trips with fizz joined by expert zoologists and gardeners, curator tours and more will give audiences fascinating ways to explore Harewood like never before.


Harewood will be the first venue to host Mamma Mia! in an outdoor performance of this West End hit from 13 to 30 August. The feel-good musical, now in its 22nd year, gives families and friends a great opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled show with Harewood as its stunning backdrop, whilst enjoying great food and drink under open skies.

Much missed last year, the Great British Food Festival returns for the late spring bank holiday weekend from Saturday 29 to Monday 31 May. The Luna Drive-In Cinema makes a welcome return between 3 and 21 June bringing more box office hits to Harewood, plus more Outdoor Theatre will be announced for the summer months.

Jane Marriott, Trust Director comments:

‘Covid-19 has changed, perhaps permanently, how we live and how we enjoy our time. After such a difficult year, we are delighted to welcome everyone back to Harewood for our UP+OPEN 2021 programme to take advantage of our wonderful site to its fullest – discover new parts of Harewood they’ve never seen before and offer a timely moment for both fun and exploration, or more mindful calm and respite. 

‘Our Open History programme continues our commitment to being open and transparent about Harewood’s past as part of bigger commitment to ensure Harewood is a place for everyone. We cannot change the past, but we can use it as a stark, unequivocal truth to build a fairer, equal future.’

Tickets for Harewood’s 2021 season are now on sale, with tickets for 17 May onwards being released as and when the government moves forwards with its roadmap.

Harewood, Leeds LS17 9LG | 0113 218 1000