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.

Visit Chatsworth House: The greatest estate?

Words: Ed Aves The stateliest of stately homes, Chatsworth House has beguiling good looks, an extraordinary art collection and a remarkable history The first glimpse of Chatsworth is unforgettable. Approaching the house, a harmonious ensemble…

Restoring Stowe House

Stowe House is a stately home with a difference, where schoolchildren work alongside conservators to keep its spirit alive Today, visitors to Stowe House travel along the tree-lined Stowe Avenue from Buckingham, northeast of Oxford. En…

Fact or fiction: Famous literary homes in Britain

75 years since the publication of Brideshead Revisited, we tour the ‘real’ Brideshead, and stop off at other locations thought to have inspired the most famous homes in literature Words: Eleanor Doughty The tale of…

Britain’s top 20 stately homes

Whatever your idea of the perfect historic house – imposing architecture, beautiful interiors or glorious gardens – you’ll find it here. We peek through the (gilded) keyhole at 20 of the county’s finest manors, palaces…

Abbey in Bury St Edmunds. Credit: Visit Britain

History of Suffolk county’s architecture

The architecture of the county of Suffolk is a mix of colour and character, with timber-frame and flint, pargetting and thatched roofs, moats and chimney stacks By Jenny Woolf Scattered around the flinty-grey churches of…

Upstairs Downstairs

We explore what relationships were really like between the upstairs and downstairs residents of Britain’s big houses In the new Downton Abbey film, veteran housekeeper Mrs Hughes is unequivocal in briefing staff: “I want every…

View over the historic Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, England. The house sits in parkland laid out by Capability Brown. Credit: VisitEngland/Rich J Jones

Capability Brown: Designing England’s Gardens

CAPABILITY BROWN was the first celebrity garden designer who left an extensive legacy as he swathed his way through more than 150 gardens of the aristocracy in the mid-18th century.

The water maze at Hever Castle in Kent

Get lost in Britain’s best mazes at stately homes

From mystical labyrinths to planted puzzles of twists, turns and dead ends in stately home gardens, Lawrence Alexander gets lost in Britain’s best mazes 

Blenheim Palace

25 of Britain’s best stately homes

We’ve toured the British Isles to bring you 25 of our most magnificent manor houses and stately homes – each with their own story to tell.

Thornbury Castle

Stay at a royal retreat

From castles and estates to hotels and inns, Britain has a wonderful selection of places to stay with a royal flavour