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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – over 780 entries as of June 2020.  Most entries have links for further information.

Gardens

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Abbey Park, Leicester

Abbey Park is Leicester’s premier park and opened in 1882.  It includes gardens, lakes, a café, sports pitches and facilities for bowling, tennis and boating.  It is a place for families and lies about a mile north of the city centre.  The River Soar divides it into two distinct parts – a Victorian park with shrubberies, boating lake and miniature railway, and the western part which includes the remains of the 12th century Leicester Abbey, where Cardinal Wolsey died and was buried, and the ruins of the 17th century Cavendish House, a mansion which was Charles I’s HQ before the Battle of Naseby.  It was destroyed and plundered by Royalist troops.

Location/Address: Abbey Park Road
Leicester
County: Leicestershire
Post Code: LE4 5AQ
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Useful Website Address: Leicester City Council website
Primary Management: Local Authority
ACORN BANK

Attractive garden and partially open 17th century red sandstone manor house. The estate at Acorn Bank dates back to the medieval order of the Knights Hospitaller. The main attraction now is the 17th century walled garden, with its fascinating medicinal herbs, pretty formal area, traditional orchard, woodland walks and industrial past complete with restored working watermill dating from the 16th century.

Location/Address: Temple Sowerby
Nr Penrith
County: Cumbria
Post Code: CA10 1SP
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Tip/Nearby: Brougham Castle
Primary Management: National Trust
ALTHORP

Sitting in acres of Northamptonshire countryside, Althorp has been the residence of the Spencer family for 500 years and is one of England's grand stately homes. It is packed full of treasures, including some fascinating portraits. The original Tudor house is still there, beneath the later restorations and refurbishments, but the overall feel of the place is distinctly 18th century. The gardens are lovely and regular events are held, including an annual literary festival. Althorp is, sadly, best known for the association with possibly the most famous Spencer, Lady Diana, whose last resting place is on an island in the Round Oval lake.

Althorp has limited opening - it is essential to check their website before making a special trip.

Location/Address: Northampton
County: Northamptonshire
Post Code: NN7 4HQ
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Link to featured article: Althorp
Useful Website Address: Althorp's website
Tip/Nearby: Althorp is about 8 miles north west of Northampton.
Primary Management: Independent – Historic Houses member
ANNE of CLEVES’ HOUSE

Anne of Cleves' House formed part of Anne’s annulment settlement from Henry VIII in 1540. Anne of Cleves was Henry's 4th wife - divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived. The house is a fine example of a late medieval timber-framed Sussex building, dating from the late 15th century with additions and improvements made over the next 200 years. Some of the rooms have been furnished in contemporary Tudor style. The house also contains the Museum of Lewes History and the Wealden Iron Gallery. There is a small garden, also inspired by the Tudor period, and a cafe. The house and museum is managed by the Sussex Archaeological Society.

Region:
Location/Address: 52 Southover High St
Lewes
County: East Sussex
Post Code: BN7 1NJ
Main Historic Period: Tudor
Tip/Nearby: Lewes Castle, South Downs
Primary Management: Other
AUDLEY END

Audley End is one of the largest Jacobean mansions in England, but is smaller now than when it was first built (1605-14) by Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk. It stands on the foundations of a Benedictine Abbey and is named for Sir Thomas Audley, Howard's grandfather, Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, who was granted the abbey in 1538. It was briefly owned by Charles II. The 1st Baron Braybrooke commissioned Capability Brown to landscape the grounds and Robert Adam to design new reception rooms. It was sumptuously redecorated in Jacobean style in the 1820s. Now owned by English Heritage, highlights include the Staterooms, Nursery, Stables (complete with horses), Service Wing and Gardens.

Location/Address: Off London Road
Saffron Walden
County: Essex
Post Code: CB11 4JF
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Useful Website Address: English Heritage listing
Tip/Nearby: Saffron Walden
Primary Management: English Heritage
BADDESLEY CLINTON

Baddesley Clinton is a picturesque and charming moated manor house and estate dating from the 15th century, set in lovely gardens and surrounded by beautiful Warwickshire countryside. For 500 years it was home to the Ferrers family, staunch Roman Catholics, and it comes complete with a priest hole hidden in the medieval sewer. Its survival is largely due to its eccentric Victorian owners, Marmion and Rebecca Ferrers and their very close friends, Lady Chatterton and Edward Dering, collectively known as 'the Quartet'.

Location/Address: Rising Lane
Baddesley Clinton
County: Warwickshire
Post Code: B93 0DQ
Main Historic Period: Tudor
Link to featured article: Baddesley Clinton - medieval manor, murder, mayhem and mellowness
Tip/Nearby: Packwood House, Warwick Castle
Primary Management: National Trust
BALLIOL COLLEGE

Balliol is one of the colleges of Oxford University. It was founded by John de Balliol in 1263, has occupied the same site ever since and claims to be the oldest college in Oxford, and the world. Its attractive buildings are predominantly Victorian, however. Balliol's widow Dervorguilla of Galloway, established a permanent endowment and their son, John, was King of Scotland. Balliol has an impressive list of alumni, which includes writers, politicians and scientists. A few random examples: Boris Johnson, Robert Peston, Herbert Asquith, Harold Macmillan, Edward Heath, Aldous Huxley, Graham Greene and William Beveridge.

Visitors can tour the grounds and some of the buildings, except when college events take place.

Region:
Location/Address: Broad Street
Oxford
County: Oxfordshire
Post Code: OX1 3BJ
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Link to featured article: Balliol College
Useful Website Address: Balliol College's website
Tip/Nearby: Oxford city centre
Primary Management: Educational establisment
BALMORAL CASTLE

Balmoral is a 50,000 acre estate and the private Scottish home of the British Royal Family. It was purchased by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1852, close to the Highlands they both loved. The current castle is new - Victoria and Albert had it constructed between 1853 and 1856; the old castle was then demolished. There is limited public access to the grounds, gardens and exhibitions (including access to the castle ballroom only) between spring and early summer, when the Royal Family is not in residence. Apart from the ballroom, the castle is not open to the public. Cottages in the grounds can also be hired.

Region:
Location/Address: Crathie
Nr Ballater
County: Aberdeenshire
Post Code: AB35 5TB
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Useful Website Address: Balmoral Castle's website
Primary Management: Independent – Historic Houses member
BARRINGTON COURT

Barrington Court is a 16th century house that became derelict and was carefully restored in the 1920s by Colonel Lyle, as in Tate & Lyle the sugar refining company. The house is currently shown empty of all furnishings, which is curiously wonderful. The gardens are simply stunning.

Region:
Location/Address: Barrington
near Ilminster
County: Somerset
Post Code: TA19 ONQ
Main Historic Period: Tudor
Link to featured article: Barrington Court: bring on the empty mansion
Primary Management: National Trust
BATEMAN’S

Bateman's was the home of author Rudyard Kipling for 34 years.  Set in acres of charming gardens, the house is 17th century but the interior is definitely early 20th century.  There's a real sense of the man there.

Region:
Location/Address: Bateman's Lane,
Burwash
County: East Sussex
Post Code: TN19 7DS
Main Historic Period: Edwardian
Link to featured article: Kipling's House
Useful Website Address: National Trust listing for Bateman's
Tip/Nearby: Bodiam Castle, Sheffield Park
Primary Management: National Trust
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