Deene Park, Northants

A substantial house, with crenellations, and built of honey-coloured stone around a central courtyard. The earlier parts date from the 16th centurey or earlier, with 18th and 19th century additions. The contents include relics of Lord Cardigan of Balaclava fame, and of the scandalous Adeline Horsey de Horsey. The house is open on limited dates during the summer months.
The contents are of considerable interest and rooms downstairs and upstairs are opened for visitors.
The grounds are worth seeing and include a number of feature garden areas as well as woodland walks and an expanse of lawn. Not accessible to visitors are the former walled gardens and an intriguing circular building.
If you want a leisurely visit to the house, the grounds, and the tea-room you are advised to arrive soon after the grounds open as the total opening time is only 4 hours.
If using satnav, look for brown car park signs, as the satnav may direct you to a back entrance by a longer route.
Note that there are other grand houses in the Corby area which could be visited on the same day. Kirby Hall is nearby.

East side
Courtyard, east side
Golden Garden
White Garden
Four Seasons Garden
Rose Garden
Lake near Judea

Dyrham Park, South Gloucestershire

National Trust
The grounds are of substantial size and drop dramatically down towards the William & Mary period house, with its long east front. Behind the house there are gardens. The interior is furnished in a Dutch style. The house is worth a visit and besides the main rooms one can look at rooms in the basement, and an orangery. Outside there is a large park, and behind the house some formal gardens with ponds. The church can be visited but the access route was not obvious.
The main car park is next to the road, some 500 yards from the house. The property is only a few minutes drive from the M4, and is a handy break point on journeys to the far south west and South Wales.
Revisited May 2022.

Dairy in basement
West side
Formal garden

Stourhead, Wiltshire

National Trust.
Noted for its world-famous 18th century landscape garden. There’s a lake, with temples, follies, exotic trees etc, set in a 2650 acre estate with downs, woods and farmland. The house has furniture and paintings. Around two miles away, Alfred’s Tower stands on part of the wider estate. Suggested as half-day to all-day destination.

Library windows
pietra dura Cabinet
Picture Gallery
Garden temple interior

Upton House, Warwickshire

National Trust.
Visited c. 2005
While the house is old in origins, it has been updated a number of times and it’s the contents and gardens which are notable. It contains a major collection of paintings and porcelain, including Old Masters. To the rear are the magnificent gardens, which descend by terracing towards water. There is also a kitchen garden. Allow for a half-day visit.