Both genteel and wild, there’s nothing quite like the English countryside for rural escapes with its patchwork hills, dramatic dales, ancient woodlands and winding country roads. All well and good, but what is there to do in England’s countryside exactly? Quite a lot, actually. Admire the grand interiors of a stately home before catching a play in the surrounding gardens, travel back in time with visits to ancient stone circles and crumbling castles, or step into a chocolate box of quaint villages and market towns and live like a local, trying farmhouse cheeses, cream teas and real ales along the way.
Spread across the grounds of a historic estate in Cheshire, Tatton Park have been carefully expanded and cultivated since Edwardian times.
Location: Knutsford, Cheshire
Spend the day enjoying the gardens, testing your golf skills and entertaining the kids at Walton Hall and Gardens.
Location: Warrington, Cheshire
Walk through history and admire world-class art at this fascinating castle, then stroll through spectacular floral displays at The Alnwick Garden.
Location: Alnwick, Northumberland
West Wycombe Park is 45 acres of landscaped park in the Chilterns countryside and home to the Dashwood family for over 300 years.
Location: West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Earl Grey tea is enjoyed – usually at around 4pm – all over the world, but few know it was invented in Northumberland for Charles, 2nd Earl Grey.
Location: Howick, Northumberland
Belgrave Hall was built in the early 18th century, in what was then a small village three miles from the town of Leicester.
Location: Leicester, Leicestershire
Discover 900 years of English history at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, a vast medieval fortress and spectacular castle ruins.
Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire
Pashley Manor is the very essence of an English garden, and is set in a well-wooded park with superb views over the surrounding countryside.
Location: Wadhurst, East Sussex
Discover the Elizabethan house and world-famous gardens, a place of discovery, a place to drink in its rich history, a place that all ages enjoy.
Location: Kendal, Cumbria
What’s better than a summer’s stroll amid ancient trees and rolling lawns? Enjoy the splendour of one of Hampshire’s greatest country houses –Mottisfont.
Location: Test Valley, Hampshire
Discover why notorious romantic poet Lord Byron was 'mad, bad and dangerous to know', with a sumptuous stay at his former home.
Location: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire