Top 5 Historic Houses in the UK
A trip to a historic house is a great way to fill a day. No matter what age you are, there’s something of interest to both the young and old, and no matter what the weather does, you can stay inside if it’s drizzly or explore the grounds if it’s fine. Add in the fact that everyone loves a mooch around a gift shop, and that there’s usually a café serving tea and cakes, and we can’t think of a more versatile day out!
We’ve found some of the best Historic Houses in different areas of the UK, and best of all, they’re all located near some wonderful Best Loved Hotels, so you can even make a night of it if you wish.
Chatsworth is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family. More than just a stately home, there are vast gardens, a farmyard and playground. There are 30 rooms to explore, including many that were featured in the 2008 movie “The Duchess”. Click here to visit their website >>
What we Best Loved… The fact that this is more than just a traditional historic house, as well as the activities on-site, there is an award winning Farm Shop on the Estate, selling estate produce and some lovely gifts.
Hotels Near Chatsworth… including three that are actually located on the estate itself and are also owned by the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire; The Devonshire Arms at Beeley, The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley, and The Cavendish Hotel. Alternatively, The Maynard is just a 15 minute drive, or Losehill House Hotel has the benefit of a Spa and is just 30 minutes drive away.
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Blenheim Palace is home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family, and was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting a long and diverse history. The calendar of events is well stocked with music, theatre and crafts, so be sure to leave time to fit everything in! Click here to visit their website >>
What we Best Loved… The location of this historic house means that you might need to stay for longer than just one day. The pretty town of Woodstock offers quaint shops, tea rooms and eateries to combine with your visit to the house itself.
Hotels near Blenheim Palace… The Feathers is just a moment’s walk from the palace gates and boasts a world record holding Gin Bar. The Horse & Groom is a lovely Cotswolds country Inn just 30 minutes drive away.
Castle Howard, Yorkshire
Castle Howard has been the home of the Carlisle branch of the Howard family for more than 300 years. Its construction, which started in 1699, took over 100 years to complete, spanning the lifetimes of three Earls. Click here to visit their website >>
What we Best Loved… this is a very family friendly attraction, not least for the children’s activities and playground, but they also offer ready prepared lunch boxes, and an excellent children’s menu.
Hotels near Castle Howard… The Talbot Hotel is just 15 minutes drive from Castle Howard, and even sells a special offer to stay with tickets included. The Pheasant Hotel in Harome is roughly 20 minutes drive away, and both the Feversham Arms and Black Swan Hotel are just 25 minutes drive in the pretty town of Helmsley.
Bodrhyddan Hall, North Wales
Bodrhyddan Hall is a Grade I listed building and has been the home of Lord Langford and his family for over 500 years. The Hall is set in several acres of gardens and woodland, the house is one of the few remaining family-owned stately homes in Wales. Click here to visit their website >>
What we Best Loved… the 3,000 year old Egyptian mummy & Sarcophagus certainly aren’t something that you’ll see everyday, and provide a great educational element for little ones.
Hotels near Bodrhyddan Hall… include The Imperial Hotel in Llandudno, just 35 minutes drive from the Hall, or slightly further afield but worth the 45 minute drive for a special night away is the Chester Grosvenor.
Hatfield House, Hertfordshire
Hatfield House is a grand Jacobean mansion and home to the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family. The estate is vast, so it’s worth following their map to see everything, including the Elizabeth Oak, where Elizabeth I learned of her accession to the throne of England in 1558. Click here to visit their website >>
What we Best Loved… The monthly antiques market adds a bit or atmosphere to your day out – you’d have to time your trip well, but it’s well worth it!
Hotels near Hatfield House… including The Wellington at Welwyn, around 20 minutes drive away and bursting with history, or Laura Ashley The Manor Elstree which is roughly 25 minutes drive away and boasts the gorgeous interior design you expect from Laura Ashley.