HISTORIC parkland dating back to the 1700s and only open to guests staying at the estate's hotel has opened to all walkers and the public.

The private 200-acre parkland which belongs to the The Swinton Estate in Masham, Ripon in North Yorkshire was opened with the launch of four specially-laid walks.

The parkland, which features buildings from the 18th Century, is currently one of the largest privately owned estates in England.

The parkland was only accessible to guests staying at the Swinton Park Hotel who had full access to the grounds.

But now all members of the public are able to visit the grounds and complete various walks for a minimum fee of £5.

They are also offered the chance to pay £1.99 for an app which interactively plots out the route across the land's four walks.

Felicity Cunliffe-Lister proprietor of the Swinton Estate said: "We are passionate about the conservation and accessibility of the Parkland in equal measure.

"And want to make sure that everyone can participate in the continued preservation and enjoyment of this beautiful space for years to come."

Ms Cunliffe-Lister along with her partner, Mark Cunliffe-Lister took ownership of the castle in 2000 after the estate had been left to 'grow wild' for 25 years.

Since then the estate has also joined the AOIB's Wild Watch habitat survey.