December 20 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Bringing the priceless art collection of Britain’s first prime minister back to its original Norfolk home has proven a huge success and given a great boost to the wider county.
Houghton Revisited runs until Sunday, November 24.
It is open Wednesday to Sunday.
Gates open from 10am and the exhibition is open each day from 10.30am with the last entry time being 3pm.
The house closes at 4.30pm and the grounds close at 5pm.
Tickets cost £18 for adults, £10 for children aged five
to 16, £46 for a family ticket of two adults and two children, and £12.50 for students.
Advance booking is recommended as there is limited availability until November.
Tickets include entrance to the hall, gardens and grounds.
For more information and to book tickets visit
Tickets can also be booked by calling the box office on 01603 598640 or by
buying tickets in person from Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich NR2 1RL.
An incredible 85,000 people have so far seen the Houghton Revisited exhibition since it opened at Houghton Hall in May, and with six weeks left to go of its extended run the historic works of art look set to attract almost 100,000 visitors to the Norfolk estate that is situated between Fakenham and King’s Lynn.
The stunning assortment of paintings and artefacts by the likes of Van Dyck and Rubens was assembled by Sir Robert Walpole to adorn the walls of his beautiful Norfolk home and 10 Downing Street before his family sold them to Catherine the Great for her beloved Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia.
Houghton Hall’s current owner, the Marquess of Cholmondeley, had a long-held dream to bring them home.
And his dream has clearly captured the imagination of many people across the world and closer to home.
Los Angeles, Barcelona, Canberra, Florence and Dublin are just some of the places people have travelled from to see the exhibition.
Robert Miller, land agent for Houghton Estate, said: “The Marquess of Cholmondeley is very pleased at the success of the exhibition.
“The attendance figures are beyond our wildest expectations. Lord Cholmondeley is very gratified and grateful that so many visitors have visited this relatively quiet part of Norfolk to see the exhibition, and continue to do so.”
Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “We have sold over 85,000 tickets and I am extremely confident we will sell over 100,000 by the time the exhibition closes.
“We continue to work with the Houghton Estate to capitalise on the incredible success of Houghton Revisited.”
The vast influx of visitors to Norfolk has given a significant boost to hotels and other local businesses, and tourism bosses have hailed Houghton Revisited as one of the key events of the summer to draw in visitors to the county.
Pete Waters, brand manager at Visit Norfolk, said: “Houghton Revisited has been a huge fillip for tourism in Norfolk, particularly in west Norfolk.
“We know that accommodation has been very hard to come by during the run of the show which just illustrates the fact that big cultural shows, events and exhibitions can play a massive part in boosting tourism.”
Meanwhile Nick Bond, head of tourism at Visit Norwich, said: “Houghton Revisited has been very encouraging for tourism and one of a number of factors that have resulted in growth in visitor arrivals during the summer and up to this period.
“It has been a much better summer for us than previous summers, since 2008, and that is down to a number of good news stories and the weather.
“The national media coverage of the Alan Partridge film has had a big effect, The GoGoGorillas! trail, the Masterpieces exhibition and this particular event [Houghton Revisited] have all contributed to a good summer.”
Among the individual businesses to benefit is Congham Hall, in Grimston, near King’s Lynn.
The hotel reopened following refurbishment around the same time that Houghton Revisited opened.
“Houghton Revisited has definitely without doubt helped us,” said Ruth Gallop, sales and marketing director at Congham Hall.
She said the exhibition had resulted in about a 15-20pc increase in guests and that “the Houghton effect” was especially evident in bookings for the shoulder season from September to November.
“It has been a massive boost to the area.
“It seems to have been a good excuse for people to come to Norfolk – a lot of people have said, ‘we have been meaning to come to Norfolk for some time and thought this would be a good opportunity’.
“The draw of Houghton Revisited has been quite significant and quite a few people that have been once have visited again,” she said.
“We’ve had people stay from overseas. Visit Britain brought journalists from Holland and China because of Houghton Revisited and they also went to Sandringham as well.”
Bed and breakfasts have also reported a boom.
Libby Ellis, of Manor Farm, Wellingham, near Fakenham, has had visitors every single night since Houghton Revisited opened.
“It has been incredible and the weather has helped. It is all to do with Houghton drawing people in, including many who have never visited the county before,” said Mrs Ellis, who has three rooms and who also opens in aid of the National Gardens Scheme.
Her husband, Robin, who runs the family’s farm, also helps with the garden.
“I’ve had people staying every single night since May. It has been solid and there’s been no let up. We’ve sent many people to friends and neighbours.”
She said many people staying with her had never been to the county before.
“And if they’re staying here for two or three days as well as visiting Houghton, I’ve suggested they visit Holkham, or Blickling. They also use the local pubs, cafés and market towns,” she said.