UK Stately Homes and Gardens

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Wherever your destination in the United Kingdom, there are sure to be some stately homes nearby that should you should not miss viewing. Often these historic houses in Britain incorporate magnificent gardens on their estate, thereby making a great day out for visitors. Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of country houses in the United Kingdom, and we've selected some of the finest below.

So when considering your next holiday to the UK, make sure you don't miss seeing some of the best stately homes and gardens in Britain. And see our page on UK Castles, to read more about Britain's historic castles.

Historic Houses in Britain

Penshurst Place, Tonbridge, Kent- This stately home is a good example of a 14th century grand dwelling, and has an impressive display of paintings, tapestries and furniture in the elegant rooms.

Harewood House, Leeds, West Yorkshire- A Palladian -style mansion, built in the 18th century for a wealthy trader. The house has exquisite interiors and much of the furniture is by Thomas Chippendale.

Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire- This magnificent medieval manor house, built over 600 years ago, has survived remarkably unchanged since the reign of Henry VIII. This romantic building has been the location of many great classic films.

Traquair House, Innerleithen, Scottish Borders- A Royal hunting lodge and Scotland's oldest inhabited house. It has strong associations with Mary Queen of Scots and contains a fascinating collection of books, embroideries and a secret stairway used by Catholic priests.

Erddig near Wrexham- A fully restored 17th century house, offers tours that give an insight into the servants downstairs quarters and the high regard the family had for them. Outbuildings include kitchen, laundry, bakehouse, stables, sawmill, smithy and joiner's shop.

UK Gardens

Mount Stewart Gardens, Newtownards, County Down-Landscaped in the 1920's by Lady Londonderry on a lavish scale, these are among the finest gardens in Europe. The many gardens offer an unrivalled collection of plants, vibrant parterres, statues and vistas.

Stourhead, Stourhead near Mere, Wiltshire- Majestic landscape design inspired by the great 17th century painters. Temples, grottoes, bridges and rare trees surround the lake edge with enchanting vistas.

The Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex- These gardens are a recent development with superb garden displays in difficult environments-a gravel garden filled with desert type plants and sunny borders, a bog garden and dry woodland shade.

Crathes Castle, Banchory, Aberdeenshire- The walled garden of this 16th century castle incorporates herbaceous borders including the famous June border, three hundred year old yew trees and many rare plants. The estate also includes many walks and trails.

Levens Hall, Kendal, Cumbria- Elizabethan house with outstanding original topiary garden laid out since 1694. Impeccably clipped yews and box in a diversity of shapes and a new lovely fountain garden are set off by colourful seasonal planting. An orchard, nuttery and herb gardens are also integrated into the gardens.