Between 12th and 15th September interesting and rarely-viewed buildings all over the country are opening their doors to visitors. The Heritage Open Days event is the perfect opportunity to get to visit all sorts of places that are normally off limits, or that you might not think to go to. Us the opportunity to appreciate what incredible modern, historic and unusual architecture this country has. If you’re thinking of booking a short break away, why not plan it around exploring an ancient estate, or sprawling mansion? Here are some of our favourite British estate homes:
The grand house at Longleat is quite enough to impress anyone, and you could spend hours exploring the stately rooms and grounds, but Longleat isn’t actually most famous for its architecture – it’s better known for its safari park, which claims it was the first of its kind outside Africa. With over 500 animals, including lions, tigers and rhinos, you couldn’t ask for more to keep the kids entertained. Our Warminster hotel is just 5 miles away.
Osborne House, Isle of Wight
If you’re in need of a bit more summer, there’s nowhere in the UK you’re more likely to find it than the Isle of Wight. But what makes this island really special is its history, particularly relating to its role in the life of Queen Victoria and her family. They spent a lot of time in the grand Osborne House which was designed by Prince Albert to resemble an Italian Palazzo and is a short drive from our Newport Isle of Wight hotel.
Highclere Castle, Berkshire
There may not be a more recognisable British estate than the one that was used to film Downton Abbey. The fictional Yorkshire seat of the Crawley family is actually near Newbury, and our Newbury London Road hotel. This grand house is every bit as stunning as it looks on TV. Visitors follow a route through the castle that takes them to some of the grandest rooms, and teaches them about the truth behind the Downton drama.
Downhill Estate and Mussenden Temple, County Londonderry
You don’t get more dramatic than a cliff-top stately home, and that is exactly what you’ll find at Downhill Estate. The ruins of Downhill House are very atmospheric and the Temple, built right out onto the headland, really does feel like it’s on the edge of the world. Book a room in our Derry hotel to experience it for yourself.
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
The stunning Peak District stately home is the dream house of many a Jane Austen fan. It is believed the building inspired Austen’s descriptions of Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice and was used in the film adaptation as a result. The house is as romantic as it is described but it’s also a hive of activity, with an adventure playground, a farmyard, shops and restaurants. Stay in our Alfreton hotel for a few nights to enjoy the opportunity to explore one of the finest homes in the whole country.