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10 Stately Homes Every Period Drama Obsessive Should Visit

Posted on
January 26, 2021

There’s nothing like losing yourself in the world of a good period drama. From the lavish costumes and good-looking actors to the dramatic and romantic storylines, they’re escapism at its finest. 

The one thing that unites them all? Stunning stately homes with acres of perfectly-landscaped grounds, grand dining halls and cosy libraries. 

The great thing for period drama lovers is that it’s possible to visit most of the UK’s most famous properties, allowing you to recreate your favourite film shot or channel your inner Elizabeth Bennet. Below we’ve rounded up ten must-visit locations from iconic TV series and films. So don that bonnet or top hat and get exploring. 

Highclere Castle 

Image by Roman Grac from Pixabay

Seen in: Downton Abbey (2010-2015, 2018)

Located: Hampshire  

This striking Grade-I listed country house with a 5,000-acre estate is instantly recognisable as the setting of the beloved TV series Downton Abbey, with the interiors, exterior and grounds all used in the show. While you’re there, make sure to check out the permanent Egyptian Exhibition too.  

Chatsworth House

Image by al_si from Pixabay

Seen in: Pride and Prejudice (2005), The Duchess (2008)

Located: Derbyshire  

As well as serving as Mr Darcy’s home in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Chatsworth House is actually mentioned in the novel itself, so it’s a perfect day out for Jane Austen obsessives. Non-fans are sure to be captivated too, thanks to the property’s gorgeous river setting, water features, neoclassical sculptures and Old Master drawings.

Lyme Park 

Photo by JR Harris on Unsplash

Seen in: Pride and Prejudice (1995) 

Located: Cheshire 

Keeping with Pride and Prejudice for a moment, Lyme Park is for fans of the BBC miniseries, in particular *that* Colin Firth lake scene. Again, there’s plenty else to do, including a visit to the deer park, Dutch garden and Orangery. 

Castle Howard 

Photo by Michael D Beckwith on Unsplash

Seen in: Brideshead Revisited (1981, 2008), Bridgerton (2020)

Located: Yorkshire 

Not, in fact, a castle, this stately home 15 miles north of York is a true showstopper, with over 13,000 acres of land on which there are 200 listed buildings and monuments. It’s best known as the Flyte home in two versions of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, but more recently served as the Duke of Hastings’ family seat (and the setting of some steamy scenes) in Netflix hit Bridgerton.  

Hatfield House 

Image Credit: https://www.hatfield-house.co.uk/

Seen in: Orlando (1992), Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Favourite (2018)

Located: Hertfordshire

This impressive ‘prodigy house’, not far from London, was built in 1611. Do some research ahead of your visit, as it has hosted numerous film crews inside as well as serving for exterior shots; you’re most likely to recognise backdrops from critically-acclaimed royal drama The Favourite. 

Alnwick Castle

Image by Pia from Pixabay

Seen in: Elizabeth (1998), Downton Abbey (2014, 2015) Harry Potter (2001, 2002) 

Located: Northumberland 

A good one if you’re bringing kids in tow, Alnwick Castle has not only featured in two Downton Christmas specials (as Brancaster Castle), it’s also a major location in the first two Harry Potter films. Look for the Outer Bailey where Harry learns Quidditch, the route to Hagrid’s hut, and the spot where Ron crashes a flying car. 

Syon House

Credit: https://shutterstock.com

Seen in: Emma (1996), Gosford Park (2001), Vanity Fair (2018), Bridgerton (2020)

Located: London

Described as “one of the last great houses of London”, Syon House offers landscaped gardens, historic artworks and a famed conservatory. Many productions have filmed there, most recently Netflix’s Bridgerton for the Duke’s study and dressing room. 

Stokesay Court

Credit: https://stokesaycourt.com/

Seen in: Atonement (2007)

Located: Shropshire

Get your slinky green dress ready, because Stokesay Court is the Victorian mansion that’s home to Keira Knightley in Joe Wright’s Atonement. Less imposing than the other properties on this list, it’s still a charming, Grade-II listed building surrounded by beautiful woodlands and a lake. 

Montacute House

Photo by Einar H. Reynis on Unsplash

Seen in:  Sense and Sensibility (1995), Wolf Hall (2015)

Located: Somerset

Home to the longest Long Gallery (a high-ceilinged hall full of paintings) in England, this Elizabethan mansion featured in the country scenes of director Ang Lee’s popular take on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. 

Wrotham Park

Credit: https://www.wrothampark.com/

Seen in: Jane Eyre (2011)

Located: Hertfordshire

Just 17 miles from London’s Hyde Park corner but set on a 2,500 acre estate, Wrotham Park stood in for Gateshead Hall in the 2011 film adaptation of Jane Eyre. It’s also featured in 1992’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, 2001’s Gosford Park, 2004’s Vanity Fair, and is even the intimidating home of Mark Darcy’s parents in Bridget Jones’s Diary. 

References

https://www.justgoholidays.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prodigy_house

https://www.highclerecastle.co.uk/lady-catherine-and-real-downton-abbey

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3 Comments
  1. Reply

    Lyndsey OHalloran

    February 5, 2021

    All of these are stunning aren’t they? I would love to visit any of them really.

  2. Reply

    Natasha Mairs

    February 8, 2021

    These look gorgeous. Chatsworth house is only around 8 miles from where I live and I can’t wait for it to re-open again.

  3. Reply

    Steph

    February 8, 2021

    I would love to visit everyone of those! I love a statley home, and finding all the history out about them. Period dramas are my favourite TV programme!

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KARA GUPPY
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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk