Rescue house is tourist trap

TV's Ruth Watson
TV's Ruth Watson
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An historic country estate has seen hordes of visitors come through its gates since it appeared on a restoration television programme.

Owners of the sprawling Wyresdale Park, in Scorton, claim their appearance on Channel 4 show Country House Rescue has brought thousands of visitors pouring in.

The estate boasts a 50-room country house but many of the farm buildings and outlying areas had fallen into disrepair.

With the guidance of presenter Ruth Watson, owners the Whewell family set about making the estate more appealing to visitors, including the opening of the Apple Store Cafe.

Last weekend the family also hosted an open weekend event with a range of activities, including a local produce market in the barn, live music, real ales and children’s activities.

Sally Whewell, said: “The programme has had an enormous impact.

“We have not advertised yet but we are still getting people coming in because the programme has been repeated. I think if we had not done the show the estate would have stayed along more traditional lines of fishing and shooting and long-term accommodation.

“But now it is much more dynamic. We must have had 2,500 visitors at the weekend and the knock-on effect is it brings more people to Scorton.”

During the weekend tours of the house where the Whewells live were made and they are now planning a series of events later in the year, as well as developing their boating lake.

And with its popularity, growing Sally is looking to arrange a series of further events to keep the crowds coming visiting.

She said: “The traders are interested in us doing a Christmas market, and the vintage cars came to the cafe so that is another thing we will look to do, and we have not really had chance to develop the boating yet.”