TENS of thousands of people flocked to Castle Howard for BBC Countryfile Live last week, with organisers confirming its return in 2020.

Despite traffic problems on the opening day and rain on Friday, the northern debut of the countryside celebration has been declared a success.

Celebrating country life, fans queued for meet and greets with presenters, including Leeds-born John Craven, during the four-day event.

Tim Etchells, founder of Countryfile Live said: “Our debut in Yorkshire was received with an incredible response from local audiences, as well as Countryfile fans who travelled to see us from far and wide.

“The team at Castle Howard helped us to create a spectacular setting by the lake and through the grounds of the estate, and despite the inclement weather on Friday, we had an overwhelming response from exhibitors, visitors and contractors. We’re delighted to announce we’re coming back in August 2020.”

The event highlights included a kitchen theatre hosted by chef Brian Turner, featuring Yorkshire chefs Tommy Banks and Andrew Pern, a daily pub quiz at the Craven Arms, hosted by Countryfile presenter John Craven, and a food market.

Castle Howard’s Big Top also offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the production and creation of BBC’s Countryfile, while talking to presenters favourite guests over the past year.

Some visitors faced long traffic jams trying to get to the venue on Thursday, but Tim Filmer, the event’s operations director, said changes were made to rectify the issues.

He said: “As this was our first day and with unexpectedly high attendance figures, we experienced some teething troubles and two broken down vehicles which in turn caused issues on the road network.

“We made changes to our processes and plans for the reminder of the show, which rectified the issues visitors experienced during the opening day.

“For people travelling across the weekend the A64 is a very busy road with visitors to the coast and regular local traffic. So we advised where possible to arrive early and avoid that route. This message was effectively communicated to our ticket holders and visitors across Friday, Saturday and Sunday and helped us to totally improve traffic both coming to and leaving the event.”