Once upon a time, country houses and stately homes were an exclusive privilege of landed gentry and royalty. The majority have since been privately purchased, some even demolished or passed down through generations, and many have been transformed into hotels, restaurants and private apartments. The National Trust accounts for many that are now open to the public.
Here are some of the wonderful country houses you can visit around the UK when you rent a caravan on your next holiday.
Chatsworth House – Peak District
Located in the heart of the Peak District in Derbyshire, at Chatsworth you can explore the splendour of the house and gardens or enjoy afternoon tea in the converted stable block. A busy events programme includes an annual country fair, International horse trials and a Christmas market.
Hinton Ampner – Bramdean, Alresford
Best known for its magnificent gardens, in the South East of England, Hinton Ampner country house is renowned as a masterpiece of 20th century design. Set in 12 acres, the highlights are a sunken garden, topiary, a garden with formal layout all planted in pastel shades and a recently restored walled garden. This elegant country house also boasts an outstanding collection of paintings, furniture and objects d’art.
Hatfield House – Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Built in the 1611, Hatfield House is the home of the 7th Marquis of Salisbury. The Marble Hall is a superb example of craftsmanship from the Jacobean era, as is the Grand Staircase with fine carvings. The grounds host many events, such as vintage antique and collectors’ markets, Shakespeare in the Park and The Tudors re-enactment group who bring a Royal Tudor Court to Hatfield House, showing how life would have been in those times.
Castle Howard – 15 miles East of York
This country house is known to be Yorkshire’s finest historic house and gardens. Visit the walled garden with heritage rose collections or stroll around the lakes which are visited by many ornamental duck species and other wildlife. There are playground areas and trails especially for the children. The house is best known as the location of the TV scenes from Brideshead Revisited and has been the home of the Howard family for over 300 years.
Blenheim Palace – Woodstock, Oxfordshire
This splendid Palace was built by the 1st Duke of Marlborough and was also the birthplace of Winston Churchill, who was born in 1874. Designed in the rare English Baroque style, the Palace is currently used as a national monument, family home and mausoleum.
Longleat – next to the village of Horningsham and the town of Warminster in Wiltshire
This stately home is known for its Safari Park, the first outside of Africa. Noted for its magnificent Elizabethan country house, landscaped parklands, safari park and maze, the 950 acres of parkland were landscaped by the notable Capability Brown.
Lyme Park – Disley, Cheshire
A large estate which played Darcy’s home in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, this house is a Grade I listed building, with a deer park and formal gardens.
Alnwick Castle – Alnwick, Northumberland
The first parts of the castle were built in 1096 to defend England’s Northern border against any Scottish invasions. It has many claims to fame, best known as the location for the Harry Potter films and also for the poison garden which has been specially cultivated for its dangerous plants.
Ralph Percy, the 12th Duke of Northumberland currently lives here and it has been his family’s home for over 700 years. The Castle walls are steeped in romance, chivalry and warfare.
If you choose to rent a caravan in any of the above locations, you can visit these magnificent country houses and go on an exciting journey of discovery and activity. Check out the locations on Rent my Caravan where you can rent a caravan on any of the holiday parks located near to the buildings that interest you most.