Ten country houses and gardens

Published 20 February 2016

From gorgeous gardens to awesome architecture, we've hand-picked our favourite country houses for the perfect day out


Nostell Priory

Nostell is an 18th-century architectural masterpiece with Adam interiors, an excellent art collection and a landscaped garden. From bedrooms to the butler's pantry, most of the mansion is open for you to explore. Don't miss the extraordinarily detailed 18th-century doll's house and fabulous library.


Compton Verney

Compton Verney, a fine Robert Adam mansion, houses marvellous and diverse art collections, focusing on 16th-century German painting, 17th-century Neapolitan art, British portraiture, Chinese bronzes and folk art.


Ickworth House, Park and Gardens

With over 1,800 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown, the house and its grounds were created as a homage to Italy – and you can tell. There's also a fantastic painting collection including works by Velázquez, Titian and Poussin.


Audley End House and Gardens

More than 30 lavishly decorated rooms are open to the public, with paintings by Holbein and Canaletto and an outstanding series of British portraits spanning three centuries.


Ham House and Garden

We're possibly cheating by including this impressive mansion on the banks of the River Thames in Richmond, but it's too striking to miss out. Delight in the magnificent collection of 17th-century furniture, explore the photogenic Cherry Garden, or simply enjoy freshly baked cakes in the café.


Powis Castle and Garden

The impressive castle started life as a medieval fortress and was transformed into the home of the rich and powerful Herbert family. Don't miss the treasures from India in the Clive Museum including the Tent of Tipu Sahib, Sultan of Mysore.


Osborne House

Thomas Cubitt, who built the façade of Buckingham Palace, created this holiday home for Queen Victoria on the Isle of Wight. The interior is a mixture of the opulent and homely and gives a unique insight into the lives of the royal family at that time.

Lyme Park

Lyme Park

Surrounded by rolling hills and inspired by the soaring architecture of Italy, Lyme Park is a step back in time to the Golden Era of the Edwardian period. Treasures on show include the Sarum Missal, the only surviving copy of a Caxton book printed in 1487, bought with help from the Art Fund in 2008.



If the three things that matter in a property are location, location and location, then John Ruskin's home in the Lake District might be the most desirable house in Britain. Visitors to Brantwood can explore treasures from the life of the art critic sometimes referred to as 'the greatest Victorian'.

Temple Newsam House

Temple Newsam House

The 'Hampton Court Palace of the North', and home to the Ingram family for three centuries, Temple Newsam is one of England's greatest country houses. A fine museum and gallery in its own right, around 350 paintings are on show around the house, while the home farm has over 400 animals, with Europe's largest collection of rare breeds.

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