Beautiful
Britain 2019
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Stately Homes

The magnificent stately homes that decorate our country’s landscape represent a world of decadence, luxury and nobility that many of us will never know. Predominantly built between the mid-16th century and the early part of the 20th century, they were the ultimate status symbol for the great families of Britain and provided ideal settings to entertain aristocratic, noble and esteemed guests.
Highclere Castle. Credit: Tony Harris/PA Pics

Life inside the real Downton Abbey

Listen to audio extracts from our exclusive chat with Lady Carnarvon, mistress of Highclere Castle – setting of everyone’s favourite period drama, Downton Abbey

Top 10 August bank holiday days out

Summer bank holidays can go either way – glorious sun or endless showers – but with these wonderful events, you’re sure to have great time whatever the weather.

Duchess of Rutland, Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire

Behind the scenes at Britain’s grand stately homes

We talk to the duchesses who run Belvoir Castle, Inveraray Castle, Alnwick Castle and Woburn Abbey about the realities of running a stately home in the 21st century.

Secrets and mysteries of historic homes inspire tales

Ten writers rose to the challenge of weaving their imaginations around our built heritage creating some enthralling short stories.

Secrets of Scotland’s stately homes and castles

Architectural historian Charles Wemyss, author of Noble Houses of Scotland, sheds light on Scotland’s castles and stately homes, sharing the most fascinating stories of these buildings.

Scotland’s stately homes

Some of Britain’s best houses and castles are in Scotland, with their own distinctive character

Review: Great Fosters hotel

Step back in time with a stay at the magnificent Great Fosters hotel, just 10 miles from Heathrow, and enjoy a country house ambiance in lovely grounds.

Inside Britain’s Jacobean houses

Built as a celebration and demonstration of wealth, with sophisticated symmetry and grand entrance halls, elaborate carvings and complex decoration

Woburn Abbey

A house fit for royalty, a wartime hospital, the home to a remarkable collection of art and a stunning example of Palladian architectural style

History of Syon House

Less than 10 miles from central London lies Syon House – a beacon of tranquillity and one of Britain’s best preserved stately homes.