9 Beautiful English Country Houses You Need To Visit - MirrorMePR
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Be the Lady or Lord of the Manor (for the day), with our top nine English Stately Homes that you need to visit this autumn. With impressive designs and safari parks, through to magnificent houses – synonymous with several TV & film period dramas, here are our country PR team’s favourite days out:

1. Lyme Park

Remember that steamy scene with actor, Colin Firth, emerging from the lake as Mr Darcy, for the BBC production of Pride & Prejudice? Then you might want to visit this property and see that exact lake, and more! Offering over six centuries of history, Lyme was originally a hunting lodge, and was later converted into a cosy family home. Remarkably, Lyme has been owned by the same family of just over 600 years.

What To See:

Channel your inner Lord or Lady of the Regency period, by visiting their wardrobe department for a costume make-over that will transport you back in time!


2. Chatsworth

Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, this beautiful property has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family, and offers grandeur on another level. This magnificent property is filled to the brim with beautiful art and design.

What To See:

The Painted Hall, which was designed to impress guests on arrival, is the largest and grandest of the rooms built by the 1st Duke. For more contemporary art, why not take a look at artist Linder Sterling’s work. Invited as their ‘inaugural artist-in-residence’ in 2017, visitors can experience some of Sterling’s work created during her residency.


3. Longleat

This beautiful Elizabethan house is surrounded by stunning landscaped parkland and is seeped in history. As experts in country PR, we suggest visiting the magnificent Longleat landscapes as soon as possible this Autumn! Opened to the public in the late 1940s, this house was the first ever stately home to be opened to the public for commercial gain, and in 1966 it became the first ever drive-through safari park outside of Africa. 

What To See:

Masterpieces of Italian Renaissance, seven libraries and a bloodstained waistcoat worn by King Charles I at his execution. Oh, and the fantastic Safari Park too!


4. Hatfield House

This fantastic Jacobean House was built in 1611, and sits just on the edge of North London. Filled with history, Henry VIII’s children – Mary, Elizabeth and Edward – lived here. It is said that Elizabeth was at this property in 1558, when she received the news that her sister Mary had died, and that she was to be crowned Queen Elizabeth I.

What To See:

The MirrorMePR country PR team love art, and adore The Marble Hall, on show at Hatfield House.  The gold leaf ceiling, which runs the entire length of the South Front, and the stained glass window in the chapel dating back to 1610, are a must-visit!


5. Petworth House

Nestled within the South Downs, this beautiful property is home to the most extensive art collection of any National Trust property, with art by Reynolds, Blake, Turner, and Van Dyke.

What To See:

Visit on a Monday afternoon, and you’ll gain access to Lord and Lady Egremont’s private White and Gold Room, and the White Library (which is not generally on display to the public). Make sure you don’t miss the Molyneux Globe – made in 1592, it is thought to be the earliest English terrestrial globe in the world.


6. Chartwell

Once the home of Winston Churchill, this country house was the home of the Prime Minister for over forty years, and it’s a favourite of our country PR team here at MirrorMePR!

What To See:

Churchill’s art studio is a must-see, with the most extensive collection of his paintings on display at the house. You can also bring your pooch (on a lead!) along to enjoy a stroll around the beautiful gardens and woods which surround the house. 


7. Castle Howard

If you are a fan of Brideshead Revisited (the film and TV series), then you must to pay a visit to Castle Howard – the location used for both! This magnificent property took more than 100 years to build, and encompasses an impressive 10,000-acre estate.

What To See:

Beautifully landscaped gardens and ‘The Chapel’, which was initially intended to be a dining room, but in 1870 it was suddenly changed and redecorated in Pre-Raphaelite style, including the designs of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.


8. Waddesdon Manor

Built by a French billionaire in 1874, this property is styled on a 16th Century French château and is filled with a wealth of French art and design. When it was given to the National Trust in the 1950s, there was plenty of controversy over whether the trust would take it on due to the fact that it was not exactly your typical ‘English House’.

What To See:

Due to shared management by The Rothschild Foundation and the National Trust, the contents, commissions of new artwork, and programmes for special exhibitions and events, are overseen by the Foundation – which breathes continual new life into the house. A recent commission is the Lafite – a pair of giant candlesticks, which are 7 meters tall and made from glass wine magnums – supplied by Château Lafite Rothschild. 


9. Highclere Castle 

Not so much a castle, but more a huge house, and one that will be synonymous with fans of the television series, Downton Abbey. Situated in Berkshire, this beautiful house is the setting for the popular TV series and soon-to-be-film. Experience the decadence of a bygone era when visiting this impressive property!

What To See:

In 1895, Alfred de Rothschild gave his daughter, Almina, bolts of green French silk from which to decorate the south facing Drawing Room, and our Country PR Team love it! Narrow cupboards between the double doors from the Drawing Room to the Smoking Room hid the 5th Earl of Carnarvon’s collection of Egyptian antiquities.

The Arundel bedroom and its dressing room were used as an Operating Theatre and Recovery Room respectively during the First World War. The Castle was also turned into a military hospital with a team of nurses caring for those officers and soldiers who were severely injured on the front line.


If you enjoyed reading this country PR blog, you might also like reading our Guide To Enjoying The Countryside.