Peacocks strut across manicured lawns, children shriek delightedly as they navigate fiendish mazes and well-kept gardens dazzle all year-round. Kerry Forbes invites us to step back in time and savour the atmosphere in some of Yorkshire’s historic stately homes and castles.
Where: Newby Hall, Ripon
Why: It’s an exceptional example of well-preserved 18th century decoration. The house is full of treasures, including a rare set of Gobelins tapestries, one of the largest private collections of roman statuary in the country and some of Chippendale’s finest furniture. Its grounds are even more spectacular, with stunning herbaceous borders and sweeping lawns running down to the River Ure.
Really good for: Children and teens, who will adore its miniature railway and boating lake, with adventure playground and fountains to run in and out of.
Where: Castle Howard, York
Why: It’s one of Britain’s finest historic houses and the setting for many a Hollywood blockbuster, including Brideshead Revisited. Wander round and you might find many of the rooms and the grand staircase vaguely familiar. Aside from that, the house has breathtaking interiors with world famous works of art. Built over 300 years ago by Sir John Vanbrugh, the Howard family still live here. Discover the house at your own pace or follow a guided tour.
Really good for: Energetic families. The 1,000 acres of parkland with lakeside terraces, woodlands, temples, statues and formal gardens will take all day and a picnic to cover.
Where: Ripley Castle, Ripley
Why: It’s been the homeof the Ingleby family for 26 generations so you get an amazing sense of history, following their lives for nearly 700 years and how they have been affected by events down the ages. The guided tours are witty and interesting and curators make it fun for children too with a treasure hunt. The Old Tower dates from 1555 and houses impressive armour, books, panelling and a priest’s secret hiding place, together with fine paintings, china, furnishings and chandeliers collected by the family over centuries.
Really good for: Anyone interested in family history and what it was like for aristocracy living
Why: It’s uniquely situated in a dramatic clifftop position with spectacular views over Bridlington and set in 50 acres of early 19th century parkland. It has magnificent award winning gardens. The house has been transformed using furniture from the Victoria and Albert Museum so you can see how it would have looked in the 19th century.
Really good for: Combining culture with a visit to the seaside. The house has stunning views of the North Sea. It also has a zoo with penguins, llamas and monkeys and giant games in the gardens, including connect four, noughts and crosses, chess, draughts and table tennis to keep the kids happy.
Where: Harewood House, Leeds
Why: The Harewood Estate is owned and managed by David and Diane Lascelles, also known as the Earl and Countess of Harewood. The Capability Brown landscape stretches across 1,000 acres which you can see from the elegant Victorian terraces. The Georgian building boasts stunning interiors with art collections spanning 300 years and elegant Chippendale furnishings.
Really good for: Royalty fans and fans of ITV’s Victoria. Inspired by the TV series, (Harewood displayed costumes from the series last year), you can see personal objects, ornaments and clothing owned by Queen Victoria and her Lady in Waiting, Charlotte Canning.
Where: Nostell Estate, Wakefield
Why: It’s a grand Palladian mansion set in a large park and features renowned Robert Adam interiors, exquisite plasterwork, handpainted wallpaper and amazing paintings, plus a famous collection of Chippendale furniture. There are over 300 acres of park to explore. It’s been the home of the Winn family for over three centuries and is now cared for by the National Trust.
Really good for: Rare art afficionados. There’s a £2.5 million Brueghel (The Procession to Calvary) hanging in the gallery and Hogarth’s scene from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Why: Designed by Samuel Wyatt and Sir Christopher Sykes this Georgian house, with it’s immaculate walled gardens, has captivated visitors for over 200 years. It was rebuilt and redecorated in the 1790s, but in 1911 it was almost completely destroyed by fire. Fortunately, most of the contents were rescued and preserved.
Really good for: Contemporary art lovers. The Triton Gallery opened in 2008. Its aim is to provide a chance to see and purchase works of art from a range of professional and amateur Yorkshire artists.
Why: You can catch a glimpse of Victorian life at this 'conserved as found' 19th century country house. Wander through its endless rooms, roam the gorgeous gardens, stop for refreshments in the tearoom and discover the children's play area. Take a stroll in the labyrinthine ‘grand gardens in miniature', now restored to their Victorian glory. With snowdrops and winter evergreens, spring tulips and laburnum and summer roses and autumnal leaves, the gardens are open year-round with an everchanging colour palette.
Check out enchanting features like the pleasure grounds with their fountain centrepiece, the classical summerhouse or the fern dell and pet cemetery.
Really good for: Architecture and interior buffs. Have a peek at its stunning Italianate style, furnished in the opulent fashion of the 1860s.
This article was taken from This is Y 2018