The 20 best historic houses and gardens in Yorkshire
Explore the glorious stately homes and famous gardens of Yorkshire
Yorkshire isn’t known as God’s county for nothing. With glorious rolling hills in the Dales, major cities such as Leeds, Hull and York, and famous beach towns such as Whitby and Scarborough, Yorkshire is a tourist’s dream. No visit to Yorkshire is complete, though, without a tour of the magnificent country houses and famous gardens of the county. Here, we’re highlighting the best historic houses and gardens to visit in Yorkshire. You can also view a map of all these houses here.
Allerton Castle, near Knaresborough
Allerton Castle is one of England’s most elegant and illustrious gothic revival stately homes. Allerton Castle is a beautifully preserved relic of the early modern aristocracy and a stunning venue for weddings and events as well as a dramatic TV and film location.
Built by the premier Baron of England, Lord Mowbray, Segrave and Stourton in the 1840s, this stately home is steeped in history.
Bolton Castle, Leyburn
Bolton Castle in Wensleydale provides a huge range of exciting things to do in Yorkshire. From family days out to educational trips and historic tours you will find a raft of sights, sounds and smells which bring the castle to life and make for a truly memorable trip.
Bolton Castle is one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles; originally built as one of the finest and most luxurious homes in the land, the castle bears the scars of over 600 years of fascinating history.
Brockfield Hall, Warthill
Brockfield Hall is only six miles from York, but is in parkland little changed from when Benjamin Agar built the farm and walled-garden in 1799 and his house in 1804. The architect was Peter Atkinson, partner of John Carr of York, and a feature is the entrance hall with a fine cantilevered staircase.
Brockfield was bought in 1951 by Lord Martin Fitzalan Howard and the current owner, Mrs. Simon Wood, is his eldest daughter.
Goldsborough Hall, Goldsborough
Goldsborough Hall, built in the 1620s, is renowned for its Jacobean architecture and magnificent Robert Adam interiors.
The privately owned stately home stands in its own beautifully landscaped grounds with unspoilt elevated views over its historic gardens. Built for Sir Richard Hutton, the acting Lord Chief Justice, the hall was later remodelled in the 1750s by the eminent architects Robert Adam and John Carr of York. The house came to fame in the 1920s as the former residence of HRH Princess Mary (the Queen’s aunt), who lived here following her marriage to Viscount Lascelles (later the 6th earl of Harewood).
Kiplin Hall, Richmond
Kiplin Hall is the delightful Jacobean country seat of George Calvert, founder of Maryland and 1st Lord Baltimore. The award-winning Hall is now shown as a comfortable Victorian home, with centuries of the belongings of its previous owners.
The collections contain furniture from the 17th to the 19th centuries, and numerous family portraits and paintings by artists such as Joachim Beuckelaer, Luca Carlevarijs, Angelica Kauffman, Lady Waterford and G.F. Watts. There are also many Arts and Crafts pieces.
Explore Yorkshire without a car
We’re keen to encourage sustainable travel when visiting Historic Houses and famous gardens in Yorkshire, so if you’re planning your day out in Yorkshire we recommend you visit the website of Good Journey, who help you plan out car-free days in God’s own county. Take a look at Good Journey’s website here to start planning your next trip.
...also in North Yorkshire
Markenfield Hall, Ripon
From the first glimpse of the Hall from between the farm buildings, to the moment the Medieval Courtyard opens up as visitors pass beneath the Tudor Gatehouse, Markenfield never fails to astound.
The earliest part of the house was built circa 1210, and this was enlarged by Canon John de Markenfield, who received a Licence to Crenellate the Hall on 28 February 1310, resulting in the distinctive outline that you see to this day.
Newby Hall, Ripon
Newby Hall is one of England’s renowned Adam houses. In the 1760s William Weddell, an ancestor of the current owners, acquired a magnificent collection of ancient Roman sculpture and Gobelins tapestries.
He commissioned Robert Adam to alter the original Wren-designed house, and Thomas Chippendale to make furniture. The result is a perfect example of the Georgian ‘Age of Elegance’ with the atmosphere and ambience of a family home.
Norton Conyers, near Ripon
Norton Conyers has a special atmosphere, resulting from almost 400 years of occupation by the same family. Recent excavations have shown that the house’s origins are Anglo-Saxon.
Notable visitors to Norton Conyers have included Charles I, James II and Charlotte Bronte, with who we have close links. A family legend inspired her mad Mrs Rochester and the house gave her ideas for “Thornfield Hall”.
Parcevall Hall, Gardens, Skyreholme
Parcevall Hall Gardens are a renowned historic plantsman’s garden laid out from 1927 onwards by the late Sir William Milner and set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Comprising of 24 acres of formal and woodland gardens they rise up a hillside for 200 feet giving wonderful views in every direction. Planted with specimens from around the world, many collected from Western China and the Himalayas.
Ripley Castle, Harrogate
Ripley Castle and Gardens is situated 3 miles from Harrogate in North Yorkshire on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The Castle Gardens and Parkland are open to the public all year round, the Castle is viewed by guided tour only April to October; a visit to the Estate makes for a fascinating and entertaining day out.
Scampston Hall, Malton
Scampston Hall, home to Christopher & Miranda Legard and their family, is one of the finest examples of a regency country house in North Yorkshire.
The first house was built around 1700 and was remodelled to a design by Thomas Leverton in 1795-1800. This is the house as you see it today, with its magnificent Regency interiors and art collection.
When in York...
Unlock the splendour within one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and let Fairfax House transport you to the glory days of city-living in 18th-century York.
Originally the winter home of Viscount Fairfax and his daughter Anne, Fairfax House’s richly decorated interiors and magnificent stucco ceilings make it is a masterpiece of Georgian design and architecture.
Bramham Park, Wetherby
Bramham Park was built in 1698 and its famous landscape laid out over the following 30 years by Robert Benson, 1st Lord Bingley.
After 300 years, which include the South Sea Bubble, the untimely death of the heir, dissipation by illegitimate children, crippling gambling debts, a devastating fire, the ravages of two World Wars and death duties, the same family still lives at Bramham and cares for its heritage.
Harewood House, Leeds
Harewood House, built in the 1760s by Edwin Lascelles, is renowned for its magnificent Robert Adam interiors. It is also home to superb Thomas Chippendale furniture and a world class collection of paintings by, amongst others, JMW Turner, Reynolds, Titian and El Greco.
It has been home to the Lascelles family since it was build, reflecting the changing tastes and styles of the past 250 years. Harewood House is also home to the first contemporary art gallery to be opened in a country house. The Terrace Gallery hosts a changing programme of exhibitions and has welcomed artists including Sir Sidney Nolan, Antony Gormley, and Henry Moore.
Temple Newsam, Leeds
Magnificent Tudor-Jacobean mansion set in 1500 acres of parkland, woodland and farmland landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown.
The house and estate are owned by Leeds City Council and open to the public. The estate is made up of large woodland, (the second largest part of the Forest of Leeds) many areas of which join onto the surrounding estates of Leeds. There are facilities for sports including football, golf, running, cycling, horse-riding and orienteering. There is also a children’s play park. The local football team, Colton Juniors, play on the football pitches surrounding the house.
If you love Georgian architecture...
Sutton Park is a fine example of early Georgian architecture overlooking beautiful parkland.
It is filled with a rich collection of 18th-century treasures all put together with great style to make a most grand but inviting lived in stately home.
Burton Agnes Hall, Driffield
Built between 1598 and 1610 by Sir Henry Griffith, Burton Agnes Hall is an Elizabethan stately home that has stayed within our family for more than four hundred years.
Fifteen generations have filled the Hall with treasures, from magnificent carvings commissioned when the Hall was built to French Impressionist paintings, contemporary furniture, tapestries and other modern artwork in recent years.
Burton Constable Hall, Hull
Burton Constable Hall & Grounds is East Yorkshire’s finest historic day out – there is so much to enjoy and discover for families of all ages!
This fascinating Elizabethan gem nestles in over 300 acres of natural parkland and offers visitors unrivalled access to 30 rooms of faded splendour that are filled with fine furniture, paintings and sculpture.
Sewerby Hall, Bridlington
Uniquely situated on a dramatic cliff-top position, forming the gateway to the Flamborough Heritage Coast, Sewerby Hall and Gardens enjoys spectacular views over Bridlington Bay.
There is something for everyone from the magnificent gardens to the newly refurbished house; now styled as it would have looked in 1910.
Explore possible days out in Yorkshire
Sometimes it’s easier to see where everything is on a map, so take a look at our map below to see all places in Yorkshire that you can visit for free as a member of Historic Houses. If you’re interested in knowing a little more about about what membership entails, do take a look at our information page here.
Become a Historic Houses member
Explore the nation’s heritage from just £59 per year.
Hundreds of the most beautiful historic houses, castles, and gardens across Britain offer our members free entry.
Also: receive a quarterly magazine, enjoy monthly online lectures, get exclusive invitations to buy tickets for behind-the-scenes tours, and take up a range of special offers on holidays, books, and other products you might like.