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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 750 entries as of February 2020.  Most entries have links for further information.


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BROCKHOLE on Windermere

Brockhole was built in the late 19th century as a country house and estate for Manchester silk merchant, William Gaddum and his wife, Edith - a cousin of Beatrix Potter, who was a frequent visitor. Since 1969, it has been a Lake District National Park Centre. It offers a range of family activities, including a treetop trek, zip wire, adventure playground, boat hire, mini-golf, woodland walks and gardens. It also includes a cafe, exhibition area and shop.

Location/Address: Windermere
County: Cumbria
Post Code: LA23 1LJ
Main Historic Period: Modern
Useful Website Address: Brockhole's website
Tip/Nearby: Windermere
Primary Management: National Park

Burghley is a grand 16th century house and estate on the edge of the charming East Midlands town of Stamford. The house was built by Elizabeth I's chief advisor and Lord High Treasurer Sir William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, and is still lived in by his descendents. The house contains an extensive collection of artwork and painted murals, including Verrio's 'Hell Staircase' (seen in 'The Da Vinci Code') and the hall has a magnificent hammerbeam roof. There are extensive gardens, statues and a fine park. Burghley is also famous for its annual Burghley Horse Trials, held in the autumn (best avoid visiting then!).

Location/Address: Stamford
County: Lincolnshire
Post Code: PE9 3JY
Main Historic Period: Tudor
Useful Website Address: Burghley's website
Tip/Nearby: Stamford is a peach
Primary Management: Private - open to the public
Burns Monument

Enormous, 70' high, Grecian-style memorial to the poet Robert Burns, erected by subscription in 1823 and surrounded by attractive gardens. Nearby is the Brig o' Doon, Alloway Auld Kirk, Burns' Birthplace Museum and Cottage.

Photo: tormentor4555 via Wikipedia.

Location/Address: Burns Memorial Gardens
County: Ayrshire
Post Code: KA7 4PQ
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Useful Website Address: Burns Museum website (NTS)
Tip/Nearby: Brig o' Doon, Alloway Auld Kirk, Burns' cottage and museum all within walking dostance. Park at museum.
Primary Management: National Trust for Scotland

Calke is a mansion and estate on the site of a 12th century Augustinian abbey. The present Palladian style mansion is a consequence of reconstruction work dating from 1701, built around an Elizabethan house. The estate ultimately came into the hands of the Harpur-Crewe family and was acquired by the National Trust in a state of decay. The Trust has preserved the house pretty much in the condition it was found, packed full of artwork and stuffed animals, with an appearance largely unchanged since the late Victorian period - including the children's' nursery. It is a curious and fascinating time capsule. Outside are gardens, outhouses and extensive grounds, including a nature reserve.

Note: Entry to the house is by timed ticket.

Location/Address: Ticknall
County: Derbyshire
Post Code: DE73 7LE
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Tip/Nearby: Sudbury Hall. Handy for Nottingham.
Primary Management: National Trust

Castle Howard is an 18th century Baroque stately home in North Yorkshire, one of the grandest and most over the top in England, with 145 rooms and set in 1,000 acres of gardens and parkland. It is owned by the Howard family, and has been for over 300 years. The house was started for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle in c1699, designed by John Vanbrugh (his first commission) and Nicholas Hawksmoor, and took about 100 years to complete. It is built on the site of a ruined medieval castle and the original estate covered 13,000 acres - which included several villages. In addition to being able to tour the house and gardens, visitors can enjoy various exhibitions, and activities take place frequently.

Castle Howard was famously used for the 1980s TV series and 2008 film, Brideshead Revisited.

Location/Address: Nr Malton
County: North Yorkshire
Post Code: YO60 7DA
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Link to featured article: A day at Castle Howard
Useful Website Address: Castle Howard's website
Primary Management: Private - open to the public

The Chalice Well is a natural spring, with a red hue to the water, now surrounded by peaceful gardens, at the foot of Glastonbury Tor. The spring has been in use for at least 2,000 years and, inevitably, has mystical and religious associations; it is popular with pilgrims of all sorts (remember, this is Glastonbury). According to one legend, Joseph of Arimathea hid the chalice that had caught the blood of Christ at the crucifixion in the Chalice Well.

There is no parking at the Chalice Well - park nearby and walk. It is on the A361 Chilkwell Street junction with Wellhouse Lane.

Location/Address: Chilkwell Street
County: Somerset
Post Code: BA6 8DD
Main Historic Period: Prehistory
Link to featured article: The Chalice Well
Useful Website Address: Website of the Chalice Well Trust
Tip/Nearby: Glastonbury Abbey (of course) and Glastonbury Tor
Primary Management: Other

The home that Winston Churchill loved - and you can see why. The house gives a real feeling of the man, the gardens are delightful and the views terrific. There is also a huge collection of Churchill's paintings.

NB Entrance to the house is by timed ticket - it gets busy.

Location/Address: Mapleton Road
County: Kent
Post Code: TN16 1PS
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: Churchill's Chartwell
Tip/Nearby: Quebec House, Knole, Toys Hill
Primary Management: National Trust

Chatsworth is one of Britain's great stately homes. It is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, whose family, the Cavendishes, has owned the 35,000 acre estate since the 16th century, when the first house was built. The house is famous for its magnificent Baroque interiors and works of art from ancient Egypt, Rome, the great masters - and more modern artists. Outside, there are acres of parkland and lovely gardens to explore, including a maze to get lost in.  It is famous for its cascade, a large water feature with water tumbling down a long series of steps - which dates from the 17th century. It is also famous for its Emperor Fountain. Events are held throughout the year, including concerts and outdoor theatre.

Location/Address: Nr Bakewell
County: Derbyshire
Post Code: DE45 1PN
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Useful Website Address: Chatsworth's website
Tip/Nearby: Between Bakewell and Chesterfield
Primary Management: Private - open to the public

Chirk is a picture-book medieval fortress as well as a sumptuous home, with wonderful gardens and a spectacular wrought-iron entrance gate. Roger Mortimer, Marcher Lord, began the castle in 1295 as one of King Edward I's chain of castles along the Welsh/English border. Since 1595, it has been owned by the Myddleton family. From 1910-1946, it was leased to Lord Howard de Walden and was scene of lavish entertaining in the 1930s.

Location/Address: Chirk
County: Wrexham
Post Code: LL14 7AF
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Chirk Castle
Tip/Nearby: Llangollen canal, Offa's Dyke.
Primary Management: National Trust

A tranquil city garden on the site of the former 13th century Franciscan church of Greyfriars. It was the burial place of four queens and was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. A replacement church, designed by Christopher Wren, was destroyed by bombing in 1940, though the west tower still stands.

Location/Address: King Edward Street
County: London
Post Code: EC1A 7BA
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: The ghosts of Christ Church Greyfriars
Tip/Nearby: St Pauls
Primary Management: Local Authority
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