As we launch this blog, the season of castles and stately homes is starting. You may have guessed by our pictures on Instagram that we love these kinds of visits. There is a special magic in these buildings that goes far beyond the simple desire to see how nobles of old used to live. Each one of those houses and castles is a unique blend of history, art, and day-to-day life; everyone has something to enjoy in these charming places, with the luxurious gardens, stables, and greenhouses, and the majestic rooms decorated with paintings, sculptures, musical instruments, and any kind of art work. The kids can enjoy activities specially dedicated to them while the adults can take a break in the gift shops and cafes or tea rooms.
In our iCalendar you can find some of the main houses and gardens with their opening times for the season or for special occasions; the Upcoming Events section on the right side shows some of the approaching opening dates, but do not hesitate to contact us to have access to the whole calendar, it is publicly shared. The list is only indicative and based on the information found on each website at the time of writing, but any home reserves the right to close for special occasions and unforeseen events. In some cases, due to the houses being inhabited, some parts may be closed without previous notification. In other cases, especially for buildings belonging to the Royal Family, not all areas are accessible for security reasons. Please always refer to the specific websites for updated information.
Some castles are open all year long and you can find a short list here:
Two more sites deserve a special note. The first one is Coughton Court, in Warwickshire. The gardens are open and the house can be visited by invitation, but it is currently closed until 2018 due to fire protection work taking place. Kimbolton Castle, a stone’s throw away from yours truly, is currently used as a school and is only open to the public a few times a year. We have just visited it and definitely recommend it; the next opening day is 5 November.
More information on places to visit can also be found on the National Trust and English Heritage websites. The visits are not limited to members, but if you are planning to see many of these beauties you may also be interested in a membership. Please stay tuned for the posts dedicated to our visits this spring.
Mr Wander & Ms Lust