Leighton Hall is the lived-in historic home of the Gillow furniture making family and descendants of this incredible dynasty still live there, with all the rooms regularly used by them and their friends.
Owner Suzie Reynolds said: “I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but next week when I stand in the porch to welcome in the first guests of the summer season, the house will have been open for 60 years.
“Back in 1958, when my late parents-in-law had the idea of opening up their home to the public, we never imagined we’d still be doing it now.”
For more than half century visitors have enjoyed lively house tours, beautiful gardens and parkland, breath-taking bird of prey displays and delicious afternoon teas.
The guides are entertaining and child friendly and as there are no roped off areas, visitors are invited to sit on the sofa, climb the stairs, or take their place at the priceless dining table.
Outside, animal lovers can see Leighton’s birds of prey which are flown each day weather permitting.
Later there’s time for a stroll in the enviable gardens or to take a woodland walk, while children can let off steam in the caterpillar maze, follow the tree face trail or tackle the teddy bear treasure hunt.
Leighton Hall has always prided itself on being a family concern.
Surrounded by a loyal team, (some who have been there for more than 30 years), Suzie is still very much an integral part of the hospitality at the hall. Husband Richard is still involved, daughter Lucy is now estate manager and grandson, Sebastian will one day take over the reins.
Suzie said: “I always look forward to this time of year when Leighton comes alive with the hustle and bustle of visitors filling its rooms.
“My husband has lived here all his life and even as a child he can remember guests touring the house and learning about the history of his family.”