Yorkshire's Stately Homes and Gardens
The Yorkshire countryside is no stranger to majestic architectural grandeur and beautifully landscaped gardens. Here is our pick of some the finest stately homes and gardens that the county has to offer.
Voted one of the top ten buildings to visit in your lifetime by The Telegraph, Castle Howard near York is one of the great palaces of Europe. Taking over 100 years to complete, this unique architectural design of the 18th century is housed on 1000 acres of rolling parkland and surrounded by breath-taking vistas of the Howardian Hills – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. On your visit you can turn back time and uncover its fascinating history including; a summer visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Pre-Raphaelite connections, an impressive collection of antique treasures and the statues, temples and follies that dot the grounds and gardens.
Just outside the historic city of Ripon is Newby Hall, one of England’s renowned Adam houses and an exceptional example of 18th century interior decoration. Built in the 1690s by Sir Christopher Wren the house was later enlarged and adapted by John Carr and subsequently Robert Adam. The gardens are a colourful delight and the vibrant and varied flora of the double herbaceous border that runs from the house, down to the banks of the River Ure is one of the longest in the country.
Now home to over 100 paintings on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, Beningbrough Hall is one of the most remarkable baroque houses in England. The richly carved and finished interiors provide the perfect backdrop to view this outstanding portrait collection. Whilst here you can also uncover the stories of the characters who have played roles in Beningbrough's interesting history, from owners and employees to builders and craftsmen. The Hall was also requisitioned as a billet for aircrews in World War II – a well curated exhibition describes the role it played and shares the moving stories of those who served there.
Situated just outside of Leeds, Harewood House is the magnificent home of the Earl and Countess of Harewood. Step back in time and wander through the Grade I listed house to discover a treasure trove of Renaissance masterpieces, Chippendale furniture, exquisite family portraits as well as a fine collection of Sèvres china and much more. Outside the extraordinary 100 acres of gardens created by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown are a delight to explore and include plant species from all over the world.
The 18th-century architectural masterpiece of Nostell with landscaped park and gardens are a wonder to behold. With no expense spared, the house was designed and furnished to embody the finest tastes and fashion and ultimately the high social status of its owners. This is all still evident today from the grand Palladium exterior to the treasure trove of priceless artefacts inside. Invigorate your senses in the garden as you smell the sweet roses, take in the resplendent herbaceous border and bathe in the sounds of nature.
One of the largest houses in Europe, Wentworth Woodhouse near Rotherham was once the home of the Fitzwilliam family and is currently undergoing extensive phased renovations to restore the house to its full former glory. Take a guided tour around parts of this great house and hear the fascinating history of this great estate.
Burton Agnes Hall is a charming Elizabethan house filled with treasures amassed over four centuries. Original carvings and plasterwork still decorate many rooms and there is an impressive collection of English, French Impressionist and modern paintings to appreciate. The hall even has its own spine-tingling ghost story! Step outside and you’ll find a gorgeous walled garden, woodland walks, a maze and much more.
Head to the coast and you will find Sewerby Hall and Gardens near Bridlington, a striking Grade I listed Georgian house. Here you can experience life in a genuine Edwardian home, transformed using furniture from the Victoria & Albert Museum. Through interactive displays and costumes learn about the residents and their servant's lives and afterward relax in the award winning gardens, home to magnificent Monkey Puzzle trees and an ever-changing kaleidoscope of box hedgerows, shrubs and flowers.