Despite 2020 being the year museums and heritage sites closed their doors, Waddesdon, the Rothschild House and Gardens in Buckinghamshire, received unprecedented levels of support from virtual visitors.

A huge 20,000 people took a virtual tour of the French-inspired interiors – an increase of 676% from 2019 – while a further 13,800 people explored the gardens online. What’s more, 15% of Waddesdon’s virtual visitors were international, revealing the unique opportunity that digital content offers to reach new audiences. Waddesdon’s virtual tours were enjoyed by more visitors from the US than the UK in 2020, and thousands of visitors from Canada, Australia and France explored the beautiful artworks, intricate furniture and paintings from Waddesdon’s outstanding collection.

Local residents and those from countries such as Portugal and Brazil were also able to ‘wander’ around Waddesdon’s gardens virtually, taking in the 5,000 acres of rolling parkland, formal gardens, the Parterre and the ornate Rococo-style Aviary masterminded by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the late 1800s.

Simon Wales, Chief Operating Officer at Waddesdon, says, “We’re so grateful for the continued support from our visitors, and will continue to find new and exciting ways to welcome people to Waddesdon online during this difficult time. To everyone who has supported us in some way during the past year, from buying from our online shop to reading our latest blog posts, thank you – you’ve helped protect our legacy for future generations.”

Waddesdon is now looking forward to launching a series of interactive virtual tours with gardeners and curators – find out more at www.waddesdon.org.uk

PHOTO: © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor/Chris Lacey