The Viscount and Viscountess Weymouth shared their experiences of running Longleat House and Safari Park. The Viscount mentioned how his past experience in hospitality industry had been valuable in helping to turn the business around, with the couple working to add new experiences to the existing offering. The Viscount said that branding was “key”, both for Longleat, and for the Viscountess’ lifestyle brand.
The Viscountess answered questions on the various TV shows she, the Viscount and Longleat itself have been a part of. She said that they often get approached by production companies, and it is a “relay race” in progress between the different projects. She recalled how a BBC documentary, All Change at Longleat, had taken two years to make and that six hundred hours of footage had been filmed. She described how she was “very happy” to have their daytime TV show Animal Park back on TV. The Viscountess described how there were potentially more TV shows in the pipeline, with interest from a US network focusing on herself and the challenges she is working through in the development of her brand.
The Viscount talked about how his grandfather had originally come up with the concept of having a safari park and opening it to the public. He recalled how he can remember walking the lion cubs around the grounds as a child, and joked that in hindsight it wasn’t “normal”, but that it felt so at the time.
The Viscount and Viscountess have successfully forged strong ties with China, and have been hosting a festival of lights each year. They said that this has since set a trend for lantern festivals in country house attractions across the UK. The couple even touched on the possibilities of opening a replica Longleat House in China.
Watch the video to find out more about the Viscount and Viscountess’ plans for the future, family dynamics and how sustainability is at the centre of their projects.