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10 of the best stately homes and castles to visit in Yorkshire

Discover some of Yorkshire’s top historic attractions and start planning your next great day out.

Welcome to the picturesque county of Yorkshire, where history and culture are literally around every corner. From stately homes and historic houses to ruined castles and abbey’s, Yorkshire is somewhere I’ve spent many holidays exploring and there is a tremendous amount to see.

Although I can’t cover every corner of this fascinating county in this article, I’m sharing 10 of my favourite places to visit across Yorkshire.

Castle Howard

1. Castle Howard

Castle Howard is a true marvel of Baroque architecture, a symphony of grandeur that has captured the imaginations of visitors for centuries. 

This historic house stands as a testament to the opulence of the Howard family and their enduring influence. Step inside to be transported to a world of lavish interiors, including the awe-inspiring Great Hall and the iconic dome, a masterpiece in itself. 

The gardens, meticulously designed by renowned landscape architect Capability Brown, offer an enchanting journey through time. Be sure to explore the Rose Garden, a fragrant paradise in full bloom during the summer months. 

Address:

Castle Howard, York, YO60 7DA

How to Get to Castle Howard by Road:

Located just off the A64, Castle Howard is easily reachable by car with ample parking available.

The Nearest Train Station to Castle Howard is Malton (approximately 6 miles away).

Harewood House

2. Harewood House

Harewood House, an architectural gem nestled in the heart of Yorkshire, offers visitors a glimpse into the refined world of Georgian elegance. 

As you approach the house, the stunning facades and meticulously manicured gardens hint at the treasures within. Inside, you’ll find an exquisite collection of art, including works by renowned artists such as J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Chippendale’s masterfully crafted furniture. 

The “Below Stairs” exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the servants who once maintained this grand estate.

Harewood’s extensive gardens, designed by Capability Brown, are a joy to explore. From the Himalayan Garden to the Lakeside Garden, each corner of Harewood offers a new perspective on natural beauty.

Address:

Harewood House, Leeds, LS17 9LG

How to Get to Harewood House by Road:

Situated off the A61, Harewood House is well-signposted, with parking facilities.

The Nearest Train Station to Harewood House is Weeton (around 6 miles away).

Beningbrough Hall

3. Beningbrough Hall

Beningbrough Hall, a masterpiece of Georgian architecture, stands as a testament to a bygone era of grace and sophistication. 

This splendid mansion houses a remarkable collection of portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, offering a unique opportunity to gaze into the eyes of historical figures who shaped the course of British history. 

The house’s interiors are a feast for the eyes, with exquisite period furnishings and decor. Step outside, and you’ll find yourself in a different world altogether—the walled gardens and riverside walks provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Beningbrough Hall is a captivating blend of art, history, and natural beauty.

Address:

Beningbrough Hall, York, YO30 1DD

How to Get to Beningbrough Hall by Road:

Located near the village of Beningbrough, just off the A19, with parking available.

The Nearest Train Station to Beningbrough Hall is York (approximately 7 miles away).

Newby Hall

4. Newby Hall and Gardens

Newby Hall and Gardens, a splendid example of Georgian architecture, stands proudly amidst verdant parkland, beckoning visitors to explore its rich history and enchanting gardens. 

The moment you step into the grand entrance hall, you’re greeted by a treasure trove of art, including paintings by esteemed artists like Gainsborough and Reynolds. The rooms are impeccably preserved, offering a glimpse into the lifestyle of the 18th-century aristocracy. 

Beyond the walls of this magnificent house lies a horticultural wonderland—the award-winning gardens are a testament to the artistry of gardening, with the double herbaceous border stealing the show.

Address:

Newby Hall and Gardens, Ripon, HG4 5AE

How to Get to Newby Hall by Road:

Off the A1(M), Newby Hall is easily accessible with parking facilities.

The Nearest Train Station to Newby Hall is Thirsk (about 6 miles away).

Bolton Castle

5. Bolton Castle

Bolton Castle, a rugged medieval fortress nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, stands as a testament to the tumultuous history of the region. 

This imposing stronghold was built in the 14th century by Sir Richard le Scrope, and its sturdy battlements and formidable towers provide a vivid glimpse into the past. Explore the castle’s interiors, where echoes of noble feasts and military strategy still resonate. 

Ascend the keep for breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, a reminder of the strategic importance of this fortress. Bolton Castle is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and those seeking to immerse themselves in the medieval heritage of Yorkshire.

Address:

Bolton Castle, Leyburn, DL8 4ET

How to Get to Bolton Castle by Road:

Situated off the A684, Bolton Castle is easily accessible with parking available.

The Nearest Train Station to Bolton Castle is Northallerton (approximately 15 miles away).

Burton Agnes

6. Burton Agnes Hall

Burton Agnes Hall, an exquisite Jacobean manor, stands as a testament to the enduring charm of Elizabethan architecture. 

This historic house exudes an air of timelessness, inviting visitors to step into its beautifully preserved interiors, where the past comes alive. Every room is a treasure trove of art, antiques, and historical curiosities. 

As you wander through the house, you’ll be transported to a bygone era of elegance and refinement. Beyond the grandeur of the hall lies a haven of natural beauty—the gardens at Burton Agnes are a delight for the senses, with fragrant blooms and meticulously manicured lawns. 

A visit to Burton Agnes Hall is a journey into the heart of English history and horticultural excellence.

Address:

Burton Agnes Hall, Driffield, YO25 4NB

How to Get to Burton Agnes Hall by Road:

Just off the A614, with plenty of parking available.

The Nearest Train Station to Burton Agnes Hall is Bridlington (around 7 miles away).

A grand stately home with a freshly mown lawn in the foreground
Nostell Priory

7. Nostell Priory

Nostell Priory, a Palladian masterpiece nestled amidst rolling parkland, offers visitors a glimpse into the refined world of 18th-century aristocracy. 

This grand mansion, with its splendid Adam interiors and Chippendale furniture, is a testament to the craftsmanship and artistry of the era. The opulence of the house is perfectly complemented by the serene parkland surrounding it, where leisurely strolls through landscaped gardens and woodlands provide a welcome escape. 

Nostell Priory is managed by the National Trust and if you are keen on visiting lots of different historic properties across the UK, you may be keen to know whether a National Trust membership is worth it if you planing to save some money.

Address:

Nostell Priory, Wakefield, WF4 1QE

How to Get to Nostell Priory by Road:

Located off the A638, Nostell Priory provides parking on-site.

The Nearest Train Station to Nostell Priory is Fitzwilliam (approximately 2 miles away).

The stone remains of a ruined abbey in Yorkshire, surrounded by freshly mown lawns
Rievaulx Abbey

8. Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey, a hauntingly beautiful Cistercian monastery nestled amidst the rugged splendor of the North York Moors, is a testament to the spiritual and architectural achievements of medieval times. 

The ruins of this once-great abbey evoke a sense of awe and wonder as you explore its ancient arches and weathered stones. Wander through the tranquil cloisters and contemplate the lives of the monks who once called this place home. 

Rievaulx Abbey offers a unique opportunity for reflection and discovery amidst breathtaking natural beauty. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful escape, this sacred site transports you to a world where time stands still.

If you’re interested in visiting more historic castle and houses managed by English Heritage, you should read my article about becoming a member of English Heritage, and whether it’s really worth it.

Address:

Rievaulx Abbey, Helmsley, YO62 5LB

How to Get to Rievaulx Abbey by Road:

Via the A170, parking is available near the abbey ruins.

The Nearest Train Station to Rievaulx Abbey is Malton (about 18 miles away).

A light-coloured stone house with rounded walls at either end.
Sewerby Hall

9. Sewerby Hall and Gardens

Sewerby Hall, a charming Georgian gem, exudes an air of timeless elegance and offers visitors a delightful journey through the art and history of the period. 

Step inside the hall to discover beautifully restored rooms adorned with period furnishings, paintings, and historical artifacts. The sense of stepping into a bygone era is palpable. Beyond the hall, the extensive gardens are a horticultural wonderland. 

From the vibrant flower displays to the peaceful walled garden, every corner of Sewerby Hall’s grounds offers something unique to explore. 

And don’t forget to visit the on-site zoo, where you can meet a fascinating array of animals. Sewerby Hall and Gardens combine history, natural beauty, and family-friendly attractions in one charming package.

Address:

Sewerby Hall and Gardens, Bridlington, YO15 1EA

How to Get to Sewerby Hall by Road:

Situated off the A165, there’s parking on-site.

The Nearest Train Station to Sewerby Hall is Bridlington (approximately 2 miles away).

A large brick house set within a large estate.
Temple Newsam

10. Temple Newsam House

Temple Newsam, a splendid Tudor-Jacobean mansion, invites you to step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of its history. 

As you explore its opulent rooms, you’ll be captivated by the exquisite collection of art and furniture that spans the centuries. The house offers a unique glimpse into the lives of its inhabitants throughout the ages, from the Tudor period to the Victorian era. 

Beyond the historic interiors, Temple Newsam’s vast parklands provide a serene escape. Stroll through the beautiful gardens and discover the tranquil lakes, woodlands, and meadows that make this estate a peaceful oasis in the heart of Yorkshire.

Address:

Temple Newsam House, Leeds, LS15 0AE

How to Get to Temple Newsam House by Road:

Located off the M1, Temple Newsam is easily accessible with parking facilities.

The Nearest Train Station to Temple Newsam House is Cross Gates (around 2 miles away).

These historic houses and stately homes in Yorkshire offer a fascinating journey through time, each with its own unique charm and historical significance. 

Whether you’re interested in art, architecture, or simply soaking in the grandeur of the past, Yorkshire’s heritage sites have something for everyone. Plan your visit and step back into history!

About the author

Having worked across the heritage and tourism sector for over 10 years, Monty Beaumont is an expert when it comes to discovering new places to visit and great days out for the whole family. 

He has previously worked for the National Trust as a General Manager in Cornwall, coordinated the complex operations of running a castle in Devon and the mastered the intricacies of providing exceptional hospitality and service at some of the finest historic houses in the UK. 

As part of his vision and drive for Monty’s Guide, Monty travels across the country to find new places to visit and explore, and sharing his finding on montysguide.com, which is used by 1,000s of people each week to find their next great day out.

His experience and knowledge of the historic and cultural sector gives him a unique insight into the elements that make tourism and learning so important in our quest to understanding more about our heritage.

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