A Cumbria tourist attraction is placing a ban on umbrellas in a bid to try and get the younger generation to love Shakespeare.

Cumbrian site Levens Hall and Gardens, home to two topiary umbrella trees, has put this prohibition in place to make seeing a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream more accessible.

On July 25, the famous theatre troupe The HandleBards will perform the play.

These actors are known for their funny takes on Shakespeare's work.

Their show will take place in front of the Elizabethan manor house at Levens Hall and Gardens.

A Midsummer Night's Dream was written between 1594 and 1596, during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Levens Hall and Gardens was owned by the Bellingham family during this period, who were loyal to the queen.

Her coat of arms is visible throughout the hall, a reminder of the history.

Known for their eccentric and entertaining performances, The HandleBards aim to get children interested in Shakespeare.

The character Bottom, entertaining crowds in The HandleBards production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which will be performed at Levens Hall and Gardens in July 2024  (Image: Paul Moss)

People might be impacted by umbrellas blocking the view, making the play less engaging, hence the umbrella ban.

The organisers are hoping for nice weather meaning that raincoats will not be needed and instead people will bring picnic blankets.

With umbrellas the only item barred, people can bring a picnic, and a chair if they wish.

HandleBards' method of transporting their sets, props and costumes using bicycles and an electric van, earned them the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award in 2014.

The group was nominated again for this award and for The Stage’s inaugural Sustainability Award in 2015.

Levens Hall and Gardens’ owner, Richard Bagot said: "We have so many glorious Elizabethan features at Levens Hall and Gardens that we really are the perfect setting for one of Shakespeare’s most well-known Elizabethan plays.

"We would encourage families to take the opportunity to introduce their children to Shakespeare’s work, in this fun and engaging way, and to book tickets online."

Tickets are for sale for £19.50 for adults, £12.50 for those aged 21 and under and £5 for children under the age of 12.

Tickets are exclusively for the play on July 25 at 7pm, and do not include entrance to the property or gardens.