Castles and stately homes
Explore Tudor seats and rambling palatial mansions
ngland takes some beating when it comes to castles and stately homes, with hundreds to explore across the country.
For sheer size and spectacular gardens, Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is hard to beat. The elegant, treasure-stuffed rooms here make it one of the most gorgeous ‘statelys’ in England (at least in our opinion); or how about a wander round the poignant ruins of Witley Court a rather gorgeous 19th-century mansion in Worcestershire?
In West Sussex you'll find the inspiration behind Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy in Arundel Castle , a towering stately home and fortified castle built in 1067. Across the county in the east sits the delightful Bodiam Castle , a 14th century late medieval moated fortress with courtyard and battlements to explore, and interpreters on hand to fill in the history.
If you like your stately homes with a bit of wildlife, however, then head to Longleat House and Safari Park in Wiltshire for the day. If you see an exotic-looking creature with a brightly coloured coat wandering around, though, that’s probably the impressively eccentric Marquess of Bath – who has been seen roaming the grounds in his patterned robes.
Maybe you’re more of a fan of knights, ladies with flowing hats and a spot of good old jousting, however? In that case we’ve a feeling you’ll love Compton Castle in Devon. This medieval fortress is bristling with towers, turrets, a moat and portcullis, and oozes romance and history.
Talking of love affairs, how about walking in the footsteps of royalty at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, where Henry VIII feasted, fought and wooed his women?
And of course, when you’re footsore and weary, you can always pop into the tearoom for the obligatory cuppa and a slice of cake. Ah, that’s better...
Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill...Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire