It would appear that The Lonely Planet considers Castle Howard to be one of the world’s Top 10 grand homes but did you know that there are many other stately homes that you simply must visit at least once in your lifetime? The best way to see these stunning buildings is to travel on coach holidays
where a guide will take you around these grand estates and provide you with little titbits of history taking you back to the time when they were first occupied. You’ll probably find that a lot of the Stately Homes that we have included in our Top 5 have also appeared in recent films or TV series so their popularity is quite huge at the moment. Take a look at what we’ve cherry-picked below and don’t forget to get in touch should you feel we’ve missed one…
Chartwell House, Kent
When holidaying in England
, take time out to visit the beautiful former home of Sir Winston Churchill set in the
stunning Weald of Kent. Chartwell was Churchill’s home from 1924 until the end of his life and the rooms within the building remain more or less exactly how they were when he lived here. It is here where Churchill drew his inspiration and you can learn more about his life through various pictures, books and other personal mementoes gathered throughout his career including a visit to the Studio where most of his paintings can be found. Explore the beautiful hillside gardens, tranquil lakes, the Kitchen Garden and of course, the impressive Lady Churchill’s Rose Garden is worth a look too.
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
If you’re fans of the BBC dramatisation of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride & Prejudice’, you’ll recognise Chatsworth House
as being the home of Mr Darcy who fondly refers to it as his ‘Pemberley’ in the popular novel/ TV drama. There’s so much to see and do whilst at Chatsworth as it celebrates 200 years since the time of the 6th Duke of Devonshire. Find out more about the House and its history with an Introductory Tour taking you inside to view the Guest Rooms and stunning interior of the rest of the house. Explore the 105 acre garden with its giant water features including the 300 year old Cascade and the enormous gravity–fed Emperor Fountain – not forgetting the huge maze, rockery and the rose, cottage & kitchen gardens. There’s an Adventure Playground and Farmyard to keep the children entertained with regular sessions for animal handling & feeding throughout the day.
Leeds Castle, Kent
If you’re ever on England coach holidays
to Kent, you should definitely make time to visit Leeds Castle and see
whether it matches your expectations of being ‘the loveliest castle in Kent’? Although small, Leeds Castle doesn’t fail to impress with its 900 years of captivating history. It’s open all year round and there’s definitely something for everyone whether you wish to see amazing falconry displays, attempt to navigate the maze, soak up the history of the Castle or to explore the 500 acres of beautiful parkland.
Castle Howard, North Yorkshire
This awe-inspiring stately home in Yorkshire
has been home to the Howard family for around 300 years and is quite simply breath-taking. It was built during the 18th century and is set in 1000 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. You’ll probably recognise that Castle Howard was used in the popular TV adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel ‘Brideshead Revisited’. It houses a number of world-famous art collections from frescos to furniture to paintings and porcelain. Castle Howard is one of the largest country houses in England with 145 rooms and more than 200,000 people visit the property every year. Relax amid idyllic gardens, enjoy woodland and lakeside walks and the children can let off steam in the fantastic adventure playground. There are many perfect photo opportunities to be had at Castle Howard (especially if the weather is good) but don’t forget to have one taken by the mighty Atlas Fountain that sits at the centre of the South Parterre – it is quite simply out of this world!
Highclere Castle, Berkshire
If you’re a die-hard fan of ‘Downton Abbey’
then you’ll soon recognise that Highclere Castle is used as the home for
the aristocratic ‘Crawley Family’ in the popular TV series. This is the perfect opportunity for you to walk in the footsteps of the fictional characters and take a look inside many of the rooms that feature in the TV series. Ladies, why not imagine you’re Lady Mary Crawley as you grace the beautiful Grand Staircase with your long dress flowing behind you? On visits to Highclere Castle, take time to explore the stunning landscape, visit the Secret Garden and check out the fascinating Egyptian Exhibition where you’ll discover its links to Ancient Egypt.
Are there any Stately Homes/Castles that you’ve visited recently you would recommend to others, let us know? We’d love to hear your suggestions so please get in touch!