HAREWOOD House has reopened its doors to the public - after its annual winter break.

The stately home of the Queen's cousin, The Earl of Harewood, is billed as one of the treasure houses of the country - with a host of attractions from its exquisite Robert Adam interiors and its recently restored Chippendale state bed.

There is also a fabulous collection of watercolours, featuring the very best of British watercolourists, JMW Turner, Thomas Girtin and John Varley.

Art enthusiasts will also be able to see Harewood's popular miniatures exhibition, Heirs and Graces, featuring works on loan from the royal collection, and a Private View - a collection of portraits, paintings, drawings and sculpture from Lord and Lady Harewood's personal collection.

For those interested in social history, a trip to the Victorian Kitchen is a must. With the best collection of noble household copperware in the country, the kitchen will be open throughout the season for the first time. Visitors will be treated to a treasure trove of culinary delights and get a glimpse of an important part of Victorian life below stairs.

The beautiful grounds, landscaped by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, feature lakeside and woodland walks and a stunning collection of Rhododendron - best seen between April and June.

There is also an oriental rock garden, a walled garden and the restored parterre terrace. The ever popular bird garden now features more than 120 rare breeds and for the energetic youngster - there is an extensive adventure playground.

l This weekend Harewood House will be featured in a one hour special on television's popular House Detectives series. The show, which is scheduled for Saturday at 8pm on BBC2, is the first of the new series. Filmed in summer last year, experts delve into Harewood's attics and grounds to unearth some of its hidden history.

And some of the items unearthed during the making of the programme will be on show at the house this season. They include diamond studded jewellery and hairpins, a tiger's eye pendant and a gold covered almanac.

The House Detectives team also travels to Barbados to trace the Lascelles family links with the sugar trade and the role played by English families such as the Lascelles who made fortunes in the Caribbean from trading merchandise and lending money to plantation owners.

David Lascelles, chairman of Harewood House Trust, said: "I abhor the slave trade as any sane person must - but the detail is fascinating, to know what really happened."

l Harewood House is open every day from now until November 3. The house opens at 11am and closes at 4.30pm. The grounds and adventure playground are open from 10am to 6pm, the bird garden is open from 10am to 5pm. Terrace Gallery, 11am to 5pm; Victorian Kitchen, 1pm to 4pm. Tickets for the house and garden cost £9 for adults, £7.50 for senior citizens and £5 for children and students.