Amazing day at Cliveden
PUBLISHED: 11:22 14 October 2011 | UPDATED: 21:38 20 February 2013
The National Trust property of Cliveden has welcomed Susie Holliman as the 100,000th visitor to its spectacular recreated 19th-century maze.
When mother of three Susie Holliman took her final steps towards the biggest garden sculpture she had ever seen, little did she know that she was just about to make horticultural history!
David Newman was Clivedens Visitor Services Team Member on maze duty at the time, and he radioed ahead to Visitor Experience Manager, Bex Foy, as the countdown began: We calculated that we needed just 796 visitors on the Sunday to get us up to the magic figure, said Bex. It was very busy on the day, and I was called out to the maze in readiness, once wed counted 700 people in.
Visitors were entering the maze quite rapidly, so the process of counting the final 96 was quite exhilarating! When Susie was about to go through, she actually stopped me to ask if weve reached the 100,000th mark and I was able to say, Its you! She thought David and I were pulling her leg, so it couldnt have worked out better.
Susie and her family were presented with a certificate by David Newman, much to the enjoyment of an enthusiastic crowd who gathered around the family to enjoy the spectacle. Susie was also given a special Cliveden gift package, which included free admission to the historic gardens, lunch and cream tea in the Orangery tea room, a boat trip along the River Thames which lies below the grounds, and tickets to Clivedens biggest annual event, the summer Cliveden Rocks! concert.
Susie, from Balham in London, was visiting Cliveden with her husband Rod and their three children, Max aged seven, and twins Charlie and Christina aged five: Cliveden is one of the most amazing gardens Ive ever visited, and when we had this late burst of summer weather it seemed the ideal place to take the family and enjoy the sunshine, said Susie. We first came here 11 years ago for my husbands 40th Birthday and I have to say that its now one of the most family-friendly places we know. The maze and the fantasy play area were great hits with my children, who love messing around outside and exploring. They are really unusual features too, and therefore a bit more of a treat. Were really looking to our return visit next year.
It has taken just six months for the maze, which opened in spring 2011, to reach the 100,000th visitor mark. Clivedens original maze was built for Lord Astor in 1894, but disappeared over 80 years ago. The current maze is based upon the same design and took two years to build. It is one third of an acre in size (the same size as the maze at Hampton Court), it contains 1,000 six foot high yew trees and has 500 metres of path. It was built as close as possible to the original site and is the most important yew maze the National Trust has restored to-date.
Cliveden is open until 30 October 10am - 5.30pm, then 10am - 4pm until 30 DecemberFor further information please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden or call 01628 605069.
Location: Cliveden, Taplow, Maidenhead, Buckinghamshire SL6 0JA.