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Yorkshire’s Carlton Towers puts bigger focus on corporate business

North Yorkshire’s Carlton Towers
The greatest of all Victorian English country houses that played Windsor Castle in the ITV1 drama Victoria ramps up efforts to drive corporate business with the introduction of a luxury experiential 'hub-and-spoke' programme
North Yorkshire’s Carlton Towers, the 17th-century, Grade I-listed stately home of Lord and Lady Gerald Fitzalan Howard, is ramping up efforts to drive corporate business.

A new programme of experiential activities across the estate includes a number of unique culinary experiences at Cooks – The Carlton School of Food, and outdoor pursuits including 4x4 adventures, beer brewing at an onsite microbrewery, and wine tasting in newly planted vineyards. Experiences can be packaged together with full exclusive overnight use of the house, which boasts 16 luxury bedrooms, as well as staterooms, drawing rooms, a bar and 258 acres of grounds. All can be used to create bespoke corporate packages for meetings, incentives, conferences and events.

Carlton Towers starred as Hetton Abbey in the 1988 film A Handful Of Dust by Evelyn Waugh, and provided a stunning backdrop for the television dramatisation of Charles Dickens’ Micawber, starring David Jason. More recently lavish ITV1 costume drama Victoria was filmed at Carlton Towers. Starring Jenna Coleman as the young queen, Carlton played the part of Windsor Castle in the acclaimed series.

The estate boasts its own microbrewery, vineyard, cookery school, manicured gardens, a partridge breeding programme, and livestock including hens, pigs, cows and sheep, as well as parkland with a fishing lake, and woods complete with a rustic log cabin.

The house features three opulent staterooms – the Venetian Drawing Room, the Card Room and the Picture Gallery which can be used as separate event spaces. Interconnecting doors also allow for one large space, while the Housekeeper's Sitting Room and The Armoury areas offer break-out space, smaller meeting areas and intimate pre- and post-dinner areas with open fires and comfy sofas. The house also has its own bar.

At the heart of the estate is Cooks – The Carlton School of Food, which opened in May 2014 after a costly renovation project that has brought the disused servants’ quarters back to life with a Downton Abbey-style cookery school. Cooks offers beautifully restored kitchens where clients can bake, butcher, forage, preserve, cook and photograph food.

New for 2017, is an on-site 4x4 Experience and Training Centre operated by Ardent Events and expected to be completed by the end of summer.

Carlton Towers is ideal for businesses looking for discreet meeting space, to entertain clients, reward staff, run team-building events, stage awards ceremonies, launches, or fashion shows, or to use as the backdrop for a photo shoot.

Clients can have full exclusivity of the house, staff and grounds based on a commitment to six rooms or more for a minimum overnight stay of one night.

Lord Gerald says: “We feel incredibly privileged to live in this magnificent building. Having devoted nearly 30 years to maintaining and restoring the house and its parkland, one of our greatest pleasures is welcoming guests to enjoy them, too. Each time we see the look of amazement on the faces of first-time visitors to Carlton, it serves as a joyful reminder of how special a place this is.

“Discovering all its historic charms and eccentricities, its grand state rooms and elegant bedrooms, the wide open spaces, lake and woodland, visitors experience a sense of awe and wonder which we delight in sharing. Yet, we like to think Carlton’s most unique quality is its welcome. We want our guests to feel entirely at home from the moment they arrive. For all its beauty and history, there are no airs and graces at Carlton Towers – just a relaxed Yorkshire conviviality.”

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