Kingston Lacy: an Italian palace in Dorset

Poole, Dorset

Home to a rather fabulous collection that includes pieces by Rubens, Van Duyck, Titian.

There are tons of reasons why you’ll love Kingston Lacy, but for us it’s got to be the art.

This huge country house estate in the heart of Dorset is home to a rather fabulous collection that includes pieces by Rubens, Van Duyck, Titian and other masters – not to mention the largest private collection of Egyptian artefacts in the UK. The house itself dates way back to 1683, when the Ralph family (who’d previously lived at nearby Corfe Castle, also worth a visit) moved in here and stayed for nearly 300 years.

After checking out the antiquities, and the odd bronze cat or two, you’ve got 8,000 acres of parkland to explore – with various walks that are handily signposted with waymarked routes.Oh, and another thing we highly recommend is the ‘Putting the House to Bed’ tour, which takes place every November – giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how the National Trust prepares these enormous houses for their winter hibernation.

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View of Kingston LaceyView of Kingston Lacey © VisitBritain Images

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