10 stately homes for period drama fans to visit in the UK

If you’ve been binging on the likes of Bridgerton and Downton Abbey this year, then you probably have the desire to put on your best clothes and run through the corridors of an old stately home.

Who wouldn’t want to pretend they’re a high-society socialite for just one day?

Luckily, the UK has plenty of stately homes to visit once we’re out of lockdown.

Here our guest writer Meghan Taylor has listed 10 stately homes that you should be visiting if you want to live out your period drama fantasies…


Antony House

Located in the beautiful county of Cornwall, Antony House is the perfect 18th-century mansion, with gorgeous views and delicate decor. You may have seen this house in the opening scenes of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie.

The home includes a Japanese pond, a knot garden and many Georgian inspired statues and stonework. If you want to escape into the blissful life of an 18th-century aristocrat, this is the place for you.

The house and gardens are open to the public from March and October.


Highclere Castle

Built in 1679, Highclere Castle is probably the most famous stately home in the UK in recent years. This Hampshire estate hosts the setting of Downton Abbey – every period drama fan’s favourite.

It’s also featured in Jeeves and Wooster, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Four Feathers, and Agatha Christie’s Marple.

On-screen, the castle looks elegant and royal. In person, it’s even more astounding!


Chatsworth House

This divine stately home in Derbyshire is mentioned in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and doubles for Pemberley in the 2005 movie adaptation.

You might also have seen it in The Duchess, Death Comes to Pemberley, The Crown, and Peaky Blinders.

The home sits along the River Derwent and is surrounded by beautiful baroque gardens. If you’re looking for your own stately inspiration, Chatsworth house is a great place for writers to go and fill themselves with 18th-century ideas.


Bletchley Park

Based in Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, Bletchley Park house is most famous for being the principal centre of Allied code-breaking during World War II. But, this estate is also a beautiful country home that will meet every period drama lovers’ desires.

It’s appeared on screen in The Imitation Game and The Bletchley Circle.

If you do want a great day out, there are trips available to this historic building.


Claydon House

Claydon House made its screen debut in 2013’s movie adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd.

Part of the National Trust, Claydon House in the Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire welcomes visitors all year round to explore the grounds and picture themselves living in this beautiful stately home.

If you enjoy learning about history, Claydon House has links to Florence Nightingale and World War I that make for an interesting visit. Claydon is set in the tranquil countryside and really is the picture-perfect stately home.


Parham House

If you’ve seen the 1971 film Mary Queen of Scots, you will know Parham House.

It is a beautiful Tudor home – one of the most well-kept of its kind in England. The house offers a rich history and provides guests with the ultimate Tudor experience. The pride of the house is a beautiful four-walled garden that is loved by all guests.


Montacute House

Montacute House in South Somerset is home to one of the longest standing Elizabethan galleries in England. Built in around 1598, you will notice a slightly Gothic interior when you visit this house.

This is prominent of the time in which architects were moving between medieval gothic to the renaissance. This house marks a period in time when art movement was strong so, you can expect stunning decoration and attention to detail in this house.

It’s appeared on screen in Sense and Sensibility (1995), The Hound of the Baskervilles (2000), and the BBC’s Wolf Hall series.


Castle Howard

This castle in North Yorkshire is the definition of stately perfection. When you see this amazing castle, you will feel like you have walked straight into a film set.

Indeed, it’s been used in Bridgerton, Death Comes to Pemberley, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, and both adaptations of Brideshead Revisited.

The castle itself is the private home of the Carlisle side of the Howard family. However, guests are welcome to experience the castle in full by purchasing entry tickets. It is definitely worth a visit if you want to see a real-life fairytale castle.


Stanway House

Located near the village of Stanway in Gloucestershire, this Jacobean house is the perfect location for a gentle stroll in the sun.

Built in the late 16th and early 17th century, Stanway House offers tours to the public which are the perfect opportunity to learn more about the history of this gorgeous place. The house can be seen in 2004’s Vanity Fair movie, starring Reece Witherspoon, as well as Emma (1995), Wolf Hall, and an episode of Father Brown.


Lyme Park

Most famous for its appearance in 1995’s Pride and Prejudice adaptation, Lyme Park near Disley, Cheshire is a glorious stately home surrounded by the Peak District National Park and beautiful gardens.

If you’re lucky, you might spot some deer whilst you’re there! Many locals say that the best time to experience the beauty of this house is to visit in the wintertime.


Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection box set is available on DVD on Amazon.