When we think of Downton Abbey we think of grandeur, luxury, pride, endless grounds, uncountable ornate rooms and the hard but mostly hidden work that goes into maintaining them. We think of antiquity, spaces fitted perfectly and standing the test of time within a stunning Georgian country house.
Now, we won’t dwell on this house’s characters and all the drama that plays itself out between the rich old walls. No, here we’re more concerned about the walls themselves – all the features, small and large, the facilities, dated decorations and more.
Maybe a lot about this famous country house is simply foreign to a lot of people. Maybe that’s the attraction. But one thing we do know… kate & tom’s is rather familiar with jaw-droppingly grand houses – Georgian, Edwardian, or something a little more modern. They’re unique, full of the best comforts and leisurely distractions… and they’re big. Very big.
Goodnestone Park | Kent
This is a property steeped in intriguing history – you can read about historical figures who’ve passed through centuries ago – and its manicured grounds provide the perfect setting for a house boasting utter seclusion, imaginative gardens and iconic interiors. This is as stately as a home gets, beloved of Jane Austen and ripe for croquet on the lawn and drinks in the drawing room. The staircase sweeps, the landing’s galleried, the gardens are landscaped and afternoon tea is served on the terrace.
KEY FEATURES: Piano, library, open fires, 15 acres of grounds, walled garden. Sleeps 24.
North Cadbury Court | Somerset
North Cadbury Court has a 700-year history that takes in King Arthur, Oliver Cromwell and Arthur Conan Doyle. But you don’t have to be mythical royalty or Lord Protector of the Commonwealth to enjoy one of the finest houses in South West England. Anywhere with a six-oven Aga and accommodation for 42 is going to impress. But the wow factor just keeps on delivering. Enjoy a game of snooker over a brandy while the kids explore the playroom or lose themselves in games of hide and seek.
KEY FEATURES: Ballroom, disco, billiards room, library, casino, indoor pool, gym with sauna, 10-seater Jacuzzi, tennis courts, 3-hole golf course, fishing lake, flower meadow, walled garden, airstrip, helipad. Sleeps 42.
Sibton Park | Suffolk
Located on the stunning Wilderness estate in Suffolk, Sibton Park is the proof of what the Georgians did very well. They had architectural elegance, snug gun rooms, chandeliers dripping with charm, serpentine drives, rolling parklands and Chinoiserie wallpaper. You’ll have all this, too, but you’ll also go one up, because you can fire up a movie in the giant-screen, surround-sound Blu-Ray movie room. You can work out in the on-site gym and pad across heated marble floors to your freestanding bath.
KEY FEATURES: Cinema room, games room, swimming pool, hot tub, tennis court, lake boats, shared 4,500-acre estate. One dog welcome. Stag and hen parties considered. Sleeps 24.
The Park Hall Estate | Worcestershire
The main house at Park Hall has 10 bedrooms. All the bedrooms are furnished to a high standard and there are lots of extra rooms available if you are planning a big party. There is a great children’s room with four large singles and plenty of toys – perfect for having fun! Many bedrooms are en-suite and some have lounges which can be used as extra sleeping space.
KEY FEATURES: Heated indoor pool, games room, piano, walled garden, rugby pitch, tennis court, giant chess, 132 acres of gardens and woodland. Dogs welcome. Sleeps 61-165.
Weston Park | Shropshire
Go back in time and live like Lords and Ladies at Shropshire’s Weston Park, sumptuous yet simple, huge yet homely. An army of butlers, housekeepers and chefs waits behind the solid clunk of the oak door. Stroll the lawns, spark up the log fires, take your tea in fine-bone china. Elevate your spirit as you live the English dream.
KEY FEATURES: Music room, Victorian library, 1,000 acres of Capability Brown parkland, 4.5-acre walled garden with maze. Sleeps 56.
The Georgian House | Oxfordshire
A luxurious country house that feels like coming home. Here you can celebrate life with family and friends in a house that’s as grand on the outside as it’s Baroque and roll on the inside. Built for reunions, for taking over and making your own, The Georgian House is large, lavish and luxurious. There’s much to do here in deepest Oxfordshire, or much not to do. From bar billiards to bathing in the outdoor pool, and from relaxing by the roaring fire to tearing round the tennis court.
KEY FEATURES: Home cinema, table tennis, billiards, seasonal heated outdoor pool, tennis court, 30 acres of gardens and parkland, stocked trout river for seasonal fishing. Two dogs welcome. Weddings welcome. Sleeps 25.