Ever wanted to get a taste of what it’s like to be in ITV’s hit drama Downton Abbey? We’ve rounded up a selection of the most incredible country estates in the UK for you to check out:
1. Gravetye Manor
This grand West Sussex estate shows off its inner beauty with rich fabrics, fine antiques and hand crafted beds, while outside the gardens are full of different species of tree, providing the perfect setting for some outdoor exploring.
2. Osborne House
Queen Victoria is quoted as saying “it is impossible to imagine a prettier spot” about this superb location on the Isle of Wight, while Prince Albert claimed the stunning views across the Solent reminded him of the Bay of Naples.
3. Castle Howard
Described as Yorkshire’s ‘finest stately home’ Castle Howard has a stunning parkland and incredible architecture. There is over 1,000 acres of gardens to explore and you can take in the amazing 200 listed buildings and monuments based around this 18th century site.
4. Burghley House
This impressive Elizabethian icon in Lincolnshire was modelled on the newly-fashionable classical style of buildings which could have been seen in France. Some of the park at Burghley House is also still inhabited by a herd of fallow deer.
5. Blenheim Palace
This Oxfordshire-based estate was awarded World Heritage Status in 1987! Built to celebrate the victory over the French in the War of Spanish Succession, you can even visit the Bernini Fountain, which is a scaled replica of the one you would find in Rome’s Piazza Navona.
For a slightly more family friendly experience this Northumberland estate will have you and the kids exploring Nelly’s Labyrinth, a network of paths and tunnels cut out of a vast area of rhododendron forest.
7. Highclere Castle
If you want the real Downton Abbey experience you can’t get much closer than to actually stand in the rooms where some of the scenes for the epic ITV show were filmed. Highclere Castle, Hampshire, is home to the Drawing Room where Maggie Smith spent many hours and in the cellar you will find Tutankhamun!
8. Blickling Hall
The peaceful, relaxing surroundings of Blickling Hall in Norfolk have proved to be the perfect quiet retreat for its owners over the years, and now you can take a day out from your hectic life and enjoy the breath-taking red-brick mansion. Explore around the ancient yew hedges, which are at the heart of the gorgeous meadows and gardens.
9. Lyme Park
Home to a deer park and nestled right on the edge of the Peak District in Cheshire, Lyme Park was once a great sporting estate but you can now enjoy its lavish interior, breathtaking views and fantastic walks. It was also used as a location for the BBC production of ‘Pride and Prejudice’.