Want to snoop into beautiful houses and learn something new on your next day out? You can look forward to packing in the facts and history while surrounded by charming settings when you visit one of the UK’s best stately homes.
The UK is home to some brilliant stately mansions and buildings waiting to be discovered, many of which you can visit by train! We’ve put together a list of our favourites, from Blenheim Palace to Lyme Park.
Did you know Winston Churchill was born at one of the UK’s most renowned stately homes, Blenheim Palace? Churchill’s family have a long history at this Oxfordshire country house, and the former Prime Minister went on to propose to his wife here, as well as being buried at the St Martin’s Churchyard, just outside of the palace.
Today, the World Heritage Site welcomes visitors to the gardens and palace to explore its long 300 year history. Walk in Churchill’s footsteps and explore the immaculate gardens, stopping by the Walled Gardens and getting lost in the Marlborough Maze.
Inside the palace you’ll find beautiful well-kept rooms, bursting with collections of portraits, tapestries and furniture or lose yourself in the secret corridors and spiral staircases of the Marlborough family’s private apartments in the ‘Upstairs’ tour.
Nearest Train Station: Oxford, Oxford Parkway & Hanborough
Rich in history, Chatsworth House dates back to the 16th century. It was owned by Elizabeth Talbot, the Countess of Shrewsbury and modest young woman who grew to become the second most powerful woman in Elizabethan England after the Queen, and her husband Sir William Caverndish. Fast forward a few centuries and the house is still cared for by the Cavendish family, with thousands of visitors from around the world flocking here every year to discover more about their family.
The estate is truly sublime, home to a magnificent house, 105-acre garden, farmland, playground and acres of parkland waiting to be explored. The house’s exteriors are as striking as the interiors; look forward to delving into the 30 rooms that are packed with significant art collections and elegant interiors or spend the afternoon exploring the gardens, filled with sculptures, waterworks, a Victorian rock garden and a maze.
Nearest Train Station: Chesterfield, Matlock & Sheffield
A large estate in the south of Disley, Cheshire, Lyme Park is surrounded by mesmerising gardens, moorland and deer park, and is now managed by the National Trust. There is plenty to see, do and explore, from a blissful walk around the Rose Garden to posing like Mr Darcy or Miss Bennett in front of the lake where the pair first laid eyes on each other in the BBC’s production of Pride and Prejudice.
Spend the day exploring the 1,400 acre estate, taking in the views and spotting a few red deers in the distance, or step inside the house and be taken back in time to the Regency era.
Located just half a mile from Disley Train Station, this is the perfect stately home to visit by train.
Nearest Train Station: Disley
For those looking to see where Her Majesty The Queen resides in the countryside, Sandringham Estate is the ultimate stately home to add to your list.
A favourite of the Royal’s, this house and estate has been the private home for four generations of British monarchs since 1862, and still to this day sees many royals come here every year to bask in its beauty. Thankfully, us non royals can enjoy its gardens too!
Spread across 243 hectares bursting with cycling trails and footpaths, Sandringham Estate is best explored in the summer months when the gardens and parkland are in full fruitfulness, bursting with pretty blooms and greenery. Sandringham Flower Show is also great for those looking for a flower show to book for next year.
Nearest Train Station: King’s Lynn
Welcoming over 35,000 visitors every year, Wentworth Woodhouse can be found in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
There is plenty to explore, from touring the State Rooms in the 18th Century house to wandering around the gardens, home to 87 acres of wildflower meadows, ancient trees, woodland copses and 18th Century follies. Bring the kids and grandkids, take part in the garden lawn games or pack the picnic and lounge in their on-site deckchairs.
Nearest Train Station: Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster, all with linking bus services
Brimming with over 400 years of history, life and stories to tell, Hatfield House is the perfect day trip for those travelling from London. Simply jump onto the fast train from Kings Cross to Hatfield, walk down from the station and lose yourself in the majestic parkland.
Hatfield House is set within the largest private estate in Hertfordshire, with acre upon acre of parkland and gardens to explore, from the Stone Frieze of Queen Elizabeth to the Old Palace Gardens and its mini maze.
The House, built by Robert Cecil, is where Queen Elizabeth I spent a lot of her childhood, so as you roam the rooms you’ll be treading in her footsteps. Expect flamboyant rooms and grandeur interiors to await.
Nearest Train Station: Hatfield
Ever wanted to be part of the Downton Abbey drama? Now you can as Highclere Castle, the film set of the ITV period drama, is open to the public!
Dating back to 749 when an Anglo-Saxon King granted the estate to the Bishops of Winchester, the estate is rich with history and charm. Today, it’s now open to visitors to explore its history and fall in love with the rooms known famously from Downton Abbey. Explore to explore everything from the grandeur state rooms through to the old staff quarters and cellars.
While outside the gardens await, where you can explore the Wild Flower Meadow, original Monks’ Garden and the Healing Herb Garden.
Nearest Train Station: Newbury
From those travelling by train from London, Hampton Court Palace is a brilliant day trip option, easily accessible to reach from Hampton Court Train Station.
There is plenty of history to indulge in, from reliving the dramas and private lives of Henry WIII and his many wives to the 60 acres of wonderful gardens, perfect for wandering and picnicking in.
Wander through Henry’s renowned Great Hall, complete with a huge timber roof, before taking in the grand State Apartments of William III, from the Privy Chamber to the Eating Room.
Nearest Train Station: Hampton Court
Suffolk’s Somerleyton Hall is set within 12 spellbinding acres of gardens that are perfect for exploring. Dating back to the mid-17th century, the gardens are home to an immaculately kept sundial, sweeping trees and even a yew hedge maze dating back to 1846.
The house, although closed right now, is one of our favourite Victorian stately homes, shaped by John Thomas, sculptor and architect to Prince Albert. You might recognise the interiors from the popular Netflix drama, The Crown.
Nearest Train Station: Lowestoft