Spend a day in England’s glorious countryside, taking in the elegance and traditions of a bygone age. Britain has some of the most renowned country houses and gardens, each with its own special heritage.
Your Guidelines driver-guide can suggest the ideal stately home for you to visit as a couple, a family or a larger group. Many have features designed to appeal to children such as mazes, petting zoos or butterfly houses. Combine your visit with lunch in a traditional pub or a leisurely afternoon tea.
Interior visits available
Highclere Castle, you will visit rooms featured in the Downton Abbey series such as the Drawing Room and Dining Room, the illuminating Egyptian Exhibition narrating the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb gland’s most spectacular Victorian stately homes. You can explore pretty Cotswold villages, including Bampton Village– the main setting for many of Downton Abbey’s exterior scenes. The historic Oxfordshire village of Bampton has been used extensively in all the series for Downton Village filming, with Bampton Library used for Downton Cottage Hospital and St Mary’s Church used as Downton Church. You can also pay a visit to Coggs Farm; the historic 10th century farmstead featured as Yew Tree Farm in Series 4 and 5, the home of Mr Drewe, the struggling tenant who agrees to secretly help raise Lady Edith’s daughter.
A huge chateau in French 16th-century style, Waddesdon Manor contains a fantastic collection of furniture, paintings, china and tapestries. It was built for Baron de Rothschild to house his priceless art including Savonnerie carpets, Sevres porcelain – even thousands of bottles of wine! The manor is set in 160 acres of wooded parkland and lawns, and even has its own well-stocked aviary.
Home of Vita Sackville-West, this is the most famous garden in England.
A hugely influential arts and crafts garden, with linked ‘rooms’ of hedges, rare trees, shrubs and herbaceous borders.
The impressive Hever Castle was the home of Anne Boleyn (wife of Henry VIII), and dates back to 1270. Its award winning gardens were created by the Astor family at the turn of the last century. Other attractions at Hever include exhibitions, costumes, a lake and a Yew Maze.
Home of Sir Winston Churchill, our famous wartime Prime Minister, from 1924 until the end of his life, this Victorian house and terraced gardens possess stunning views over the Weald. Inside, the rooms remain much as the great statesman left them, with pictures, papers and mementoes on display. He said “A day away from Chartwell is a day wasted.”
Set amidst 40 acres of park and gardens, this vast fortress, home of the Duke of Norfolk, dates back to the Normans!
The beauty of a private sightseeing tour with Guidelines to Britain is that it can be timed and tailored to your exact needs. Our friendly staff will be happy to draw up a personalised itinerary based on your instructions, and answer any questions you might have.