There’s an undeniable charm that traditional English country houses exude, with their old-world air, interesting architecture and fascinating stories witnessed throughout the years. The vast idyllic gardens surrounding them add to the picture, making these locations a sight to behold.
Hatfield House in Hertfordshire is one of these architectural gems. Located just 21 miles north of London, in the Great Park, this country house is one of England’s best Jacobean manors. The history of this place is nothing short of fascinating: this is where Elizabeth I received the news that she was going to be crowned as the Queen of England.
Chartwell, situated 25 miles south-east of London, was the home of Sir Winston Churchill for over 40 years. The beautiful views over the Weald of Kent were what made Churchill fall in love with the estate that will later become his refuge. This is where he concentrated most of his work in the 1930’s and where he wrote many of his books. The house gives visitors an insight into the life of one of the most influential figures in Great Britain’s history.
Knole House is one of England’s largest houses (it occupies a total of 4 acres), set in Sevenoaks, Kent. The estate was built in the mid-15th century and features an extensive medieval park where visitors can go for a stroll and spot wild deer. If you’re into art and history, you’re in for a treat. Knole has a renowned collection of fine art, including portraits by Van Dyke and royal Stuart furniture.
Highclere Castle might be a familiar sight to many as it served as the main filming location for the well-known TV series Downton Abbey. In reality, the property is not less fascinating. Set in Hampshire, with easy access from London, the estate is surrounded by beautiful gardens and can be visited during summer months. Highclere Castle was also the home of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, famous for discovering the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen, therefore an Egyptian exhibition was set in the cellars of the mansion.
Blenheim Palace, a little further from London, is not technically a palace, but the home of the Dukes of Marlborough. This enchanting country house, a masterpiece of baroque style, is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The best word to describe it is grand and visitors better be prepared to wander around the vast elegant gardens or explore the lavishly decorated state rooms.
Ightham Mote in Ightham, Kent, is a medieval moated manor house, worth visiting not only for its original architectural elements, but also for its peaceful surroundings. The charming gardens, lakes and ancient woods nearby give visitors the chance to experience the authentic English countryside.
Traditional country houses in England serve as a source of history, culture and civilization gathered between their old walls. Most of them are open for tours, so everyone can enjoy a visit back in time and listen to some amazing stories.