How better to delve into the past than with a look around one of Yorkshire’s grand historic houses? Many come with beautiful grounds and gardens, perfect for enjoying a picnic before taking a tour of the grand stately home.
1. Castle Howard
Castle Howard is arguably one of the most-recognised stately homes in Yorkshire and has been featured in several versions of Brideshead Revisited. Built during the 1700s it contains both Baroque and Palladium architecture and the beautiful rooms include the Grand Hall with its painted domed ceiling.
The house is set in magnificent grounds in the Howardian Hills and many of the restored rooms are open to the public and are styled to look as they would have done in Castle Howard’s heyday.
Atlas Fountain at Castle Howard
There is a lot to explore outside too, including walled gardens, fountains, statues, a boating lake and Ray Woods. It’s a lovely day out for the whole family and there is a great farm shop on-site too.
2. Harewood House
Harewood House is a magnificent stately home between Harrogate and Leeds. Built in the 18th century by Edwin Lascelle, Harewood House is known as one of England’s treasure houses. No expense was spared on its creation and you’ll find family portraits by Gainsborough, furniture by Thomas Chippendale and gardens designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
There are lots to do in the grounds of Harewood House too, with boat trips, giant games in the walled garden, an open-air cinema and even penguin feeding. The impressive Yorkshire stately home was also featured extensively in ITV’s Victoria.
3. Nunnington Hall
Nunnington Hall is a Yorkshire manor house that’s located on the banks of a peaceful river near York. Explore beautifully-restored period rooms within this National Trust property. There is also a walled garden, peacocks and flowering meadows to enjoy outside.
We recommend taking a look at the Carlisle Collection of 16 miniature rooms, which contains items such as musical instruments and the entire works of Shakespeare – all in miniature!
4. Newby Hall and Gardens
Newby Hall and Gardens near Ripon is a great family-friendly day out in Yorkshire. Children will absolutely love the miniature railway, doll's house exhibition and adventure playground within the grounds of Newby Hall.
Inside Newby Hall, rooms include the tapestry room, the statue gallery and the billiards room.
5. Duncombe Park
Located on the edge of Helmsley in the North York Moors, Duncombe Park is an historic house that’s set in 450 acres.
The land comprises gardens, parkland and a nature reserve so there’s plenty to see and do on a visit. Events throughout the year include steam, country and antique fairs and the International Centre for Birds of Prey is based on the grounds too.
6. Scampston Hall
The 17th century Scampston Hall is a wonderful example of a Regency country house. It’s first and foremost a family home although you can arrange a tour with Sir Charles Legard and a team of friendly guides.
The Scampston Walled Garden is set within the walls of Scampston Hall’s original kitchen garden and was designed by the renowned Dutch gardener, Piet Oudolf, in 1999. It’s a fabulous space to explore and was created to complement the adjacent 18th-century Capability Brown-designed parkland.
7. Burton Agnes Hall
The Elizabethan Burton Agnes Hall has been described as the perfect English country house and has a beautiful setting in the Yorkshire Wolds. It’s filled with treasured art and furniture and was originally designed by Robert Smithson – Master Mason to Queen Elizabeth I.
Burton Agnes hosts a renowned jazz festival on its grounds each year. The grounds are home to gorgeous gardens, a woodland walk and giant games to keep younger visitors happy.
8. Burton Constable Hall
Another Elizabethan stately home in the Yorkshire Wolds is the magnificent Burton Constable Hall & Grounds.
There are grand rooms filled with art and architecture, a cabinet of curiosities and a restored stable block with exhibitions telling the history of the stables through the years.
Behind the scenes tours lets you delve into the nooks and crannies of Burton Constable and there is lots of historic parkland to discover which was designed by Capability Brown.
9. Hovingham Hall
The Palladian-style Hovingham Hall is located in the Howardian Hills (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and lies between Helmsley and Malton.
The house includes a beautiful domed ceiling, lots of architectural features and an array of artwork and furniture. Cricket is regularly played on a ground at the front of the house so you may well catch a game on a visit to Hovingham Hall.
10. Fairfax House
Fairfax House is located in the centre of York and is the finest example of a Georgian townhouse in England. The house has regular events and exhibitions throughout the year and contains an impressive collection of furniture, clocks and paintings.
Children will love meeting Gregory, the Townhouse Mouse, who along with his friends has left a family-friendly trail to follow through Fairfax House.
It’s centrally located in York so a visit to Fairfax House can be easily combined with a visit to other York attraction.
Gorgeous Cottages are the booking agents for a collection of Yorkshire Holiday Cottages. If you are thinking of booking a short break or holiday to Yorkshire give us a call.
Castle Howard image by Michael Beckwith