Enchanting stately homes in the Cotswolds: 10 you need to visit
PUBLISHED: 10:41 23 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:41 23 May 2017
If captivating grade-listed buildings with landscaped gardens are your thing, you’ve come to the right place. We pick 10 of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring stately homes you simply need to visit this year
‘Let nothing perish’ was founder of Snowshill Manor, Charles Wade’s motto. And this whimsical Cotswold building packed with quirky and extraordinary treasures from the past is a testimony to his existence. From the beautifully eccentric interior to the carefully landscaped gardens; Snowshill Manor has been carefully and painstakingly preserved.
Opening times can be found here and there are also regular events held throughout the year to enjoy. There is also a tea room and shop, with visitors arriving by bicycle and foot receiving a £1 voucher to redeem in the store.
Just a stone’s throw from the banks of the River Severn lies the pretty Cotswold village of Frampton-on-Severn and the spectacular Frampton Court Estate. Its true beauty, well-kept gardens and deep history make it a romantic venue for a wedding or an afternoon picnic.
Tours of the house and gardens are offered on Mondays and Fridays between April 24 and July 31, 2-4pm, with teas and light lunches available in the wool barn upon request. There is also the option for a luxurious stay in the Grade 1 listed, 18th century house or the adjoining orangery. The Frampton Court Estate won ‘Best Accommodation’ at the 2016 Hudson’s Heritage Awards.
This quintessential country house on the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border is adorned with stone floors, panelled walls, sash windows and large fireplaces lit with roaring, cosy fires. It truly is a charming venue and you might even recognise the manor from the romantic comedy film ‘The Holiday’.
The house overlooks delightful landscaped gardens, home to lapwings, grey-lag geese, deer, hares and the occasional otter - so you’ll have plenty of company too.
This Jacobean manor house is located in the rural Tewkesbury borough of Gloucestershire, close to the village of Stanton. The building is made from famous honey-coloured Cotswold stone called Guiting Yellow, and the interior is sympathetically decorated to match the history of the manor.
Externally, Stanway House is surrounded by an 18th century water garden in beautiful rural surroundings and the garden has the highest fountain in Britain (300ft). Stanway House is open to visitors throughout June, July and August on Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-5pm. There is tea and ice cream on offer to guests and dogs are invited too.
Rodmarton Manor was built in a period where every fine detail, from the regionally-sourced stone foundations to the timber structures, was carefully crafted by hand by local craftsmen. The house took twenty years to build but a day trip to the manor will establish that the time taken was truly worth the effort.
But it’s not just the architecture that’s impressive. The eight acres of hidden vistas and impressive topiary in the manor’s gardens are also breathtakingly beautiful. In the summer months the surrounding land is full of wildlife such as birds and butterflies. Visitors are invited to enjoy the house in the warmer months but please check the website for open days beforehand.
Charlecote has been at the heart of the Lucy family for 900 years and it’s still very much a family home filled with international treasures that were sourced by Victorian owners George Hammond Lucy and his wife Mary Elizabeth on their travels. You can view these artefacts in the central portion of the house which is welcome to visitors throughout the year, along with the historic kitchen and outbuildings.
The landscaped gardens and surrounding parkland with views across the River Avon are accessible in the warmer months for picnics and walks. Keep an eye out for the Jacob sheep and fallow deer that freely roam the estate!
Built in 1550, this impressive stone structure originally served as a hunting lodge for one of Henry VII’s courtiers, Nicholas Poyntz. The stone with which it is built was sourced from the ruins of Kingswood Abbey - destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The dining room of the building is decorated with William Morris wallpaper and it’s the only room in the house to still have the wallpaper intact.
Newark Park is one of few venues, hidden away in the countryside and out of sight of any form of modern life. From open theatres to picnics and car meets, Newark Park is a well managed country retreat, used to entertain those who frequent it.
With its beautiful curved orangery, weathered copper dome roof and spring-fed ponds, you might be mistaken for thinking you had reached a temple in the depths of an Indian rainforest. But Sezincote is a slice of Southern Asian luxury found right here in the Cotswolds.
Colonel John Cockerell was the mastermind behind the mansion and he had the overarching aim of creating a home in the Mogul style of Rajasthan. If you’d like to visit one of the only Mogul Indian style buildings left in Europe, Sezincote is open between May and September on Thursdays, Fridays and Bank Holidays (2.30pm – 5.30pm). Expect tea, cake and a tour of the house and garden.
Whether your tastes are historical, architectural or horticultural, this magnificent house constructed between 1607 and 1612 is bound to impress. Not only is it steeped in history with connections to one of the founders of the gunpowder plot, Robert Catesby, but the unspoilt building was used more recently as the set for the BBC drama Wolf Hall, the adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novel.
Chastleton is surrounded by landscaped Jacobean gardens where visitors are welcome to enjoy picnics throughout the summer. But be prepared to wait for entry as only 175 guests are permitted per day and on a first come, first served basis.
Virtually unchanged for over four centuries, this Cotswold manor can be found in Tetbury and it’s believed to have origins dating back to medieval times. Inside there are tapestry-lined bedrooms (where Cromwell once slept) and an Edwardian ballroom. The house has been used for filming movies such as Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Lark Rise to Candleford and most recently, the BBC drama series, Poldark.
Chavenage House is open to visitors between May and September on Thursdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays with the last admissions accepted at 4pm.
Explore more of the Cotswolds…