ONE of the country's leading tourist attractions, a 52-bedroom gothic mansion in Radnorshire, is closing to visitors.

The owners of The Hall at Abbey-Cwm-Hir have announced it is ceasing to be open to tourists due to the financial and practical impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

A Grade Two listed gothic mansion, The Hall sits in 12 acre grounds near Llandrindod Wells, where tours have been offered to the public for more than a decade.

It has been one of Wales leading tourist attractions and is famous for its Christmas event when, through November and December, all 52 rooms are decorated to individual themes.

After 13 years of high acclaim from thousands of visitors from the UK and overseas, owners Paul and Victoria Humpherston are closing its doors indefinitely to tours of the house and gardens.

Mr Humpherston said: “The way in which we have presented the combination of gothic architecture, stunning interiors, fascinating collections and beautiful 12 acre gardens has been widely described as unique, remarkable and of the highest quality.

“The tours were typically conducted by a family member or close friend in a family atmosphere, and we succeeded in intriguing and fascinating visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Many returned numbers of times. Our Christmas was unlike any other in the UK in scope, scale and imagination.

"In common with other attractions we have been in lockdown, with no opportunity to recover on-going business related costs. In our case we have been deemed ineligible for any of the business, self employed or resilience grants offered by the Assembly Government. In reaching the decision to terminate tours we have had to factor in not only matters financial, but also the long term need for some of our household members to be shielded from the virus.

"As a listed, 52 room property with all the quirkiness of Victorian architecture, we had further to consider the impossibility of achieving safe, meaningful, and economic social distancing in the house, particularly over the Christmas period.”

Mrs Humpherston added: “We have had a wonderful 13 years of sharing The Hall with visitors."

“We want to thank all those who have visited us, and in so doing have helped sustain the property, not only for ourselves, but effectively for Wales. Our gratitude also goes to the team of ladies from Abbey-Cwm-Hir who have helped us create and run something rather special.”