Yorkshire's Great Houses

Yorkshire boasts the highest concentration of stately homes, castles and gardens in England and this breadth of offer ensures that there are a whole host of ideas for great days out with something to suit everyone. Taking you back to a glorious era of hospitality, culture and learning, our great houses are a treat to savour and enjoy.

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  • Barley Hall, York

    Barley Hall, York

    Barley Hall is a stunning medieval townhouse, once home to the Priors of Nostell and the Mayor of York. Until the 1980s the house was hidden under the relatively modern façade of a derelict office block. Only when the building was going to be destroyed was the amazing medieval building discovered and its history revealed. The building has now been restored to its original splendour, with stunning high ceilings, exposed timber frames, and possibly the only horn window in England. It has been decorated to replicate the Snawsell home around 1483 and boasts a magnificent Great Hall. Visitors to Barley Hall can make themselves at home, sit on the chairs, handle the objects and experience what it would have been like to live in medieval England.

    Contact - Tel: 01904 610275

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  • Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens, York (National Trust)

    Beningbrough Hall & Gardens, nr. York

    Inside the Italian-inspired house you’ll find works from the National Portrait Gallery as well as hands-on interactive galleries. The working walled garden is the centre piece of 8 acres of formal gardens plus woodland and riverside walks for those looking to stretch their legs. A natural play area, den zone and regular activities make this a popular destination for families. Discover Royals: then and now portrait display during 2015.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Contact - Tel: 01904 472027

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  • Brodsworth Hall & Gardens, Doncaster (English Heritage)

    Brodsworth Hall & Gardens, Brodsworth, nr Doncaster

    Inside this beautiful Victorian country house time really does stand still. Almost everything has been left exactly as it was when it was still a family home.

    Brodsworth’s Gardens are a plant-lover’s paradise. Whatever time of year you visit, there will always be something to catch your eye. Wonderfully restored to their original horticultural splendour explore the magnificent fern dell, stunning displays of roses and immaculate lawns.

    Visitors can share lazy summer Sunday afternoons by enjoying the sounds of local brass bands, while children can let off steam in the adventure playground, with a boat and rocking horses. Don’t miss the scrumptious cakes and treats in the tearoom!

    Contact - Tel: 01302 722598

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  • Burton Agnes Hall & Gardens, Driffield

    Burton Agnes Hall & Gardens, Burton Agnes, Driffield

    Robert Smithson architecture, and a diverse art collection including exquisite Elizabethan carvings and the finest contemporary works, inspired Simon Jenkins, author of ‘England’s Thousand Best Houses’, to describe Burton Agnes Hall as ‘the perfect English house’ , one of England’s twenty finest alongside Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Chatsworth House. Outside, the gardens will leave visitors mesmerised by the flamboyant seasonal displays of colour, shape, texture and scents. Visitors are invited to explore the several thousand plant varieties; potager; herbaceous borders; jungle garden; classical pond and Woodland Walk. Original, handcrafted gifts and souvenirs can be found in the courtyard shops and the café offers delicious home-made meals.

    Contact - Tel: 01262 490324

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  • Burton Constable Hall, Skirlaugh

    Burton Constable Hall, Burton Constable, Skirlaugh

    Burton Constable is one of the best places to visit in East Yorkshire with lots to see and do for the whole family. This truly hidden gem set in 300 acres of natural parkland offers unrivalled access to more than 30 rooms and its interiors of faded grandeur are filled with collections of exquisite furniture, paintings and sculpture, a library of 5,000 books and a remarkable 18th century ‘cabinet of curiosities’. What’s New Following restoration of the 18th century stable block and courtyards the Carriage House, Stable Master’s Sitting Room, Tack Rooms, Clock Room and Stable Lad’s Bedchamber and not forgetting Constable Moby the skeleton of a 58’ sperm whale will be fully open to the public for the first time.

    Contact - Tel: 01964 562400

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  • Castle Howard, York

    Castle Howard, York

    Magnificent 18th century house built by Sir John Vanbrugh for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle. Today Castle Howard remains home to the Howard family; its dramatic interiors filled with worldrenowned collections, including furniture, porcelain, sculpture and paintings, gathered by succeeding generations. Discover the house, as guides share stories of the house and family and explore the monumental parkland, dotted with statues, temples, lakes and fountains. Attractions include a walled garden, self-guided woodland trails, a free illustrated trail booklet for children, land-train rides, summer boat trips and adventure playground as well as a choice of cafés and shops, including garden centre, farm shop and gift shops. There is also a changing programme of exhibitions and family events throughout the year.

    Contact - Tel: 01653 648333

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  • East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley (National Trust)

    East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley, West Yorkshire

    Imagine stepping back 400 years into the home of a 17th Century cloth merchant. See the changes he made and discover why they were sadly never completed. Today, friendly volunteers bring the house back to life and share the fascinating stories that have made this special place an award winning attraction. The romantic, intimate gardens are the perfect place to relax and unwind, and there’s plenty of outdoor space for families to have fun in the natural play areas.

    Contact - Tel: 01535 607075

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  • Fairfax House, York

    Fairfax House, Castlegate, York

    Fairfax House is one of the finest eighteenth century townhouses in England. With magnificent stucco ceilings, grand staircase and Venetian window this is a classical architectural masterpiece of its age. Originally the winter home of Viscount Fairfax and his daughter, the richly decorated interior was designed by York’s most distinguished architect, John Carr. Today it is home to the superb Noel Terry collection of Georgian furniture, clocks, paintings and decorative arts, described by Christie’s as one of the best collections formed in the 20th century. The collection perfectly complements the house, bringing it to life and creating a special lived-in feeling. Let Fairfax House transport you to the splendour of city-living in Georgian York, the centre of polite society.

    Contact - Tel: 01904 655543

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  • Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Ripon (National Trust)

    Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, nr. Ripon

    This magnificent abbey was established by devout monks seeking a simpler existence. The atmospheric ruins that remain are a window into a way of life which shaped the medieval world. When John Aislabie inherited Studley Royal, he set about creating an elegant water garden of mirror-like ponds, statues and follies, incorporating the romantic ruins into his design. One-of-a-kind, this special place is now recognised as a World Heritage Site.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Contact - Tel: 01765 608888

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  • Goddards, York (National Trust)

    Goddards Garden, York

    Discover the cherished family home of Noel Goddard Terry, of the famous chocolate-making firm, Terry’s of York. Designed by architect Walter Brierley in the Arts and Crafts style, the house is complemented by four acres of gardens, designed by George Dillistone. A hidden gem - only a stone’s throw away from York City Centre.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Contact - Tel: 01904 702021

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  • Harewood House, Leeds

    Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds

    From the moment you arrive, Harewood captures your imagination and feeds your curiosity. One of the Treasure Houses of England, the historic Georgian property sits within “Capability” Brown designed landscape with remarkable views from the award winning Terraces. Come inside and you’ll be blown away by rare Chippendale furniture and exquisite interior designs in the State Rooms. Make sure you leave time to explore the corridors Below Stairs. A place where young kitchen hands can dress up and discover life as a servant. With bags of space to run around, a massive adventure playground, penguins, flamingos and parrots, there’s no shortage of adventure for kids of all ages (even the grown up ones!).

    Contact - Tel: 0113 2181010

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  • Kiplin Hall & Gardens, Richmond

    Kiplin Hall & Gardens, nr Scorton, Richmond

    “A truly wonderful house and garden; perhaps the most pleasant country house I’ve seen!” This Jacobean country seat of the founder of Maryland, George Calvert, is an awardwinning historic house and garden. ‘Gothic’ wing added in the 1820s; redesigned in 1887 by W.E. Nesfield. This intriguing property is furnished as a comfortable Victorian home with an eclectic mix of previous owners’ furniture, and personalia, including many Arts and Crafts items. Numerous original paintings from 16th–19th centuries include works by Carlevarijs, Kauffman and Watts. Gardens, productive Walled Garden, woodland/lakeside walks. Tea Room. Children’s Play Ship, garden games, dipping-pond. Temporary exhibition based on last year’s Heritage Lottery Funded project, – Charting Chipeling – The Archaeology of the Kiplin Estate.

    Contact - Tel: 01748 818178

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  • Lotherton Hall, Leeds

    Lotherton Hall, Towton Road, nr Aberford, Leeds

    Enjoy a fantastic day out at Lotherton Hall, a charming Edwardian country estate where you can explore the extensive grounds, bird garden and the house once owned by the Gascoigne family. A single entrance price allows access to the entire estate, with an abundance of activities and regular events to keep the family entertained. From wildlife trails, lawn games, playgrounds with zip-wires, plus a new deer hide to watch the red deer grazing. Don’t miss visiting the debut exhibition ‘Age of Glamour’ in the new Fashion Galleries [opening spring 2015]. Also new for 2015 are 1950s displays throughout the house, new garden games, new interpretation in the bird garden, brand new family trails – plus improved access with a passenger lift to the first floor.

    Contact - Tel: 0113 281 3259

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  • Newby Hall & Gardens, Ripon

    Newby Hall & Gardens, Ripon, North Yorkshire

    Newby Hall is one of England’s renowned Adam houses; an exceptional example of 18th century interior decoration. The superb contents of the house include a rare set of Gobelins Tapestries, a renowned gallery of classical statuary and some of Chippendale’s finest furniture. The 25 acres of award-winning gardens are full of rare and beautiful plants. Newby’s famous double herbaceous border forms the main axis; off this central walk are formal compartmented gardens such as Sylvia’s Garden, a specialist Rose Garden, Water Garden and Autumn Garden. The National Collection of CORNUS (dogwoods) is also held at Newby. Other attractions include the miniature railway, children’s adventure garden, contemporary sculpture exhibition, shop and plant centre, licensed restaurant and picnic area. Special events throughout the season – see website below.

    Contact - Tel: 0845 4504068

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  • Normanby Hall Country Park, Scunthorpe

    Normanby Hall Country Park, Normanby, Scunthorpe

    Managed by North Lincolnshire Council, Normanby Hall Country Park is a beautiful 300 acre estate set in the heart of North Lincolnshire. Open to the public every day of the year, the park offers the perfect backdrop to your day out. The Hall and the Farming Museum are only open throughout the summer months, but with award winning gardens, ample wildlife, exciting events, or just a relaxing environment to enjoy a day out, there is plenty to keep you entertained all year round. New for 2015 is the costume exhibition ‘After the Blitz, Here Comes the Ritz’, an extension to the war gallery to include the Second World War, and a new display exploring the history of the Hall and the Sheffield family.

    Contact - Tel: 01724 720588

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  • Nostell Priory & Parkland, Wakefield (National Trust)

    Nostell Priory & Parkland, Wakefield

    Nostell was home of the Winn family for more than 350 years and the grand interiors designed by Robert Adam contain a renowned collection of Chippendale furniture. Outside, explore the rose, kitchen and fruit gardens or wander through the orchard and towards the lake. In the parkland, discover trails with access to meadows and woodlands where you can see wildflowers and birds. Children can dress up or enjoy the packed programme of family activities.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Contact - Tel: 01924 863892

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  • Nunnington Hall, nr. York (National Trust)

    Nunnington Hall, nr. York

    Visit Nunnington Hall, home of the Fife family in the 1920’s and experience the stories of the families that lived there. In 2015 see major changes in some parts of the Hall, including a new home for the popular Carlisle collection. Don’t miss the changing programme of exhibitions throughout the year such as the British Wildlife Photography Awards, works by artist Serena Partridge and a summer spectacular of children’s illustration.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Contact - Tel: 01439 748283

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  • Rievaulx Terrace, Helmsley (National Trust)

    Rievaulx Terrace, nr. Helmsley

    Discover one of Ryedale’s true gems, the 18th century landscape of Rievaulx Terrace and its temples. Stroll through the woodland, with its natural play areas for children, then out onto the terrace to experience the stunning views of Rievaulx Abbey and the surrounding valley. In 2015 see two fantastic outdoor exhibitions, The International Garden Photographer of the Year and Terrace Treasures, an exhibition of local art and sculpture.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Contact - Tel: 01439 748283

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  • Sewerby Hall & Gardens, Sewerby

    Sewerby Hall & Gardens, Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington

    Sewerby Hall and Gardens has 50 acres of stunning gardens to explore, a zoo and an adventure playground and hosts a range of events throughout the year. Reopening last year after an extensive restoration, the house now offers an insight into how it looked in the 1900s using furniture from the Victoria and Albert Museum and other important collections. New interactive areas of the house include a servant’s life, a working kitchen, the My Sewerby interactive memory wall and the Amy Johnson exhibition. For a longer visit why not stay in one of our luxury holiday cottages which are located in the former gatehouses and the lodge.

    Contact - Tel: 01262 673769

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  • Sledmere House & Gardens, Driffield

    Sledmere House & Gardens, Sledmere, Driffield

    Amongst Country Houses, Sledmere House ranks highly in the list of visitors’ most favourite places. Here is a House of unique character and charm designed and now maintained as a family home. Not just an institutional show piece but a Country House performing its original purpose as the magnificent jewel at the centre of a thriving rural estate. Gardeners, antique lovers, military enthusiasts, artists and music buffs all seem instantly at home. A great place for a real country house cream tea, a game of hide and seek, a little indulgent shopping, a brisk walk in the deer park. Children’s play area. Varied programme of events including Nostalgia Weekend, Art Fair, Christmas Fair, Open Farm Sunday, Teddy Bears’ Picnic, Stately Home Car Boot Sale, Gardeners’ Weekend and Dog Fun Day.

    Contact - Tel: 01377 236637

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  • Temple Newsam, Leeds

    Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Estate, Leeds

    Temple Newsam is an impressive country estate and mansion set within a Capability Brown landscape. Forty beautifully restored rooms showcase 500 years of history and one of the most important collections of decorative art in the country. Explore the treasures of silver, ceramics, fine art, Chippendale furniture and uncover the stories of the people who lived there. Set within 1500 acres of parkland, woodland and farmland, Temple Newsam boasts trails for cycling, walking and riding, an 18th century walled garden and national plant collections. Visit Home Farm and encounter rare breed farm animals and restored workshops providing a glimpse into the workings of a historic country estate. Lastly there is also a tea room serving locally sourced food, a gift shop and local produce shop.

    Contact - Tel: 0113 336 7560

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  • The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

    The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham

    The first sight of this French style château in the historic market town of Barnard Castle, never fails to astonish. Purpose built in the 19th Century by businessman John Bowes and his French wife Joséphine, it’s one of the most important museums outside London. This recently transformed treasure house boasts some of the best examples of European fine and decorative arts in the UK, including paintings by Canaletto, Goya and El Greco. Stunning galleries are dedicated to Fashion & Textiles, Silver & Metals, British Decorative Arts and Ceramics. An acclaimed exhibition programme, Guided Tours and Gallery Talks by specialist curators add to the experience. There is first class dining in Café Bowes, plus a quality shop with a wide range of superb gifts.

    Contact - Tel: 01833 690606

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  • Treasurer's House, York (National Trust)

    Treasurer's House, York

    Only a few metres from York Minster, Treasurer’s House spans 2,000 years of history. Owned by Frank Green from 1897, you’ll see his love for antiques in every room, and his collections of furniture, ceramics, paintings and textiles. Tours take you on an exploration of the Roman road in the cellar to Edwardian servants’ quarters in the attics. Infamous ghost stories are another of the many quirky attributes of this House.

    When to visit: Please check website or call for opening information as days and times may vary.

    Contact - Tel: 01904 624247

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