On Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3, Duff House in Banff launches its new programme for the summer season and will offer free entry to visitors all weekend.
On display will be the permanent collection of paintings and furniture in the house on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland, together with several new works which have recently arrived at the house.
The highlight of the weekend is the first chance to see ‘The Vale of Dedham’, a masterpiece by John Constable painted in 1828, which goes on display for the first time at the weekend.
Other recent arrivals from the National Galleries include Anne Redpath’s ‘The Mantelpiece’ which shows the artist’s home at Beaconsfield Terrace, Hawick and a portrait of ‘Jane Maxwell, Duchess of Gordon (c.1749-1812)’, by Romney.
Rachel Kennedy, general manager at Duff House, said: “We love opening the house up at this time of year for free, especially for the local community. There are so many gems on your doorstep just waiting to be discovered and this is an inexpensive way for families to come and see what Duff House has to offer this year.
“In July, Illyria is returning to the grounds to perform Roald Dahl’s much-loved children’s story, ‘The Fantastic Mr Fox’, followed by a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’ in August.
“We also have Banff and Macduff’s visual arts festival to look forward to in May and we have a new children’s guidebook for families.”
Also on offer over the weekend will be some Easter themed fun-filled activities for all ages, with a chance for both adults and children to hunt for eggs hidden around the house, or to try a quiz to find Easter chicks and win a prize.
Duff House is a five star visitor attraction run by Aberdeenshire Council in partnership with Historic Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland.
In addition to its permanent collection of paintings and furniture on loan from the National Galleries, there is a regular programme of events and exhibitions throughout the year.
Duff House summer opening hours is 11am to 5pm. For more information go to www.duffhouse.org.uk or call 01261 818181.