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As anyone with an interest in horticulture will know, 2016 marks the 300th birthday of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown – the most eminent landscape architect of the 18th century.

Numerous special events and activities are taking place across Shakespeare’s England to commemorate this landmark anniversary, with Compton Verney serving as the regional hub. The award-winning art gallery was an obvious choice because its 120 acres of Grade II listed parkland landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown are widely recognised among the finest in the country.

The CB300 Festival at Compton Verney runs from 19th March to 11th December 2016. Highlights include: garden tours focusing on the Brownian elements, a series of talks, a discovery trail around the grounds, recreation of Brown’s original Georgian pathways in the Park and a special interpretation centre in the brand new Visitor Welcome Centre. In addition, the weekend of 25th and 26th June will be dedicated to ‘Capability’ Brown with costumed characters and rural craftsmen bringing the Georgian era to life.

Elsewhere in the region, other venues are paying their own homage to the great man as part of the national celebrations.

From 19th March to 21st October, Warwick Castle is hosting a Capability Brown tour to reveal the secrets of his work at the Castle in the 1750s. Led by the Castle’s History Team, this fascinating tour will unveil 64 acres of the first gardens to be independently commissioned from Brown.

Another regional legacy left by Brown is the parkland at the National Trust’s Charlecote Park, which you can roam at leisure all year round. An added bonus is the fallow deer, which have been in resident since Tudor times.

Meanwhile, over at Ragley Hall you can explore 10 hectares of picturesque ‘Capability’ Brown gardens that surround the Hall. There’s something to enjoy here from spring through to autumn, with the tulips and daffodils followed by the delights of the Rose Garden and Prairie Garden.

With all these stunning gardens and more to explore, Shakespeare’s England is THE place to visit in 2016!

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