Have a look at some of the most stunning homes in Britain!
As much as spending time in your own home is relaxing, it's always good to go and have a snoop around someone else's once in a while. And lucky for us, Britain has vast selection of stunning historical homes in which we can wander.
Beautiful buildings and estates that are open to the public can be found across the country, but the county of Hampshire, in the south east of the country, is home to more than just a handful. Whether you're a local or just fancy a day trip to the county, be sure to plan a visit to one of the must-see homes below.
1. Stratfield Saye House
Stratfield Saye House is a stunning stately home located on the Stratfield Saye estate in north-east of Hampshire. The house has been the home of the Wellingtons since 1818, when the 1st Duke of Wellington acquired it after the Battle of Waterloo. Alongside the beautiful house, which hosts guided tours daily, are the Grade II-listed stables containing the Wellington Exhibition. Home to a vast collection of family heirlooms, the collection is a fantastic visual representation of Wellington's life. The estate is also home to Wellington Riding Centre, Wellington Country Park, and the Wellington Farm Shop, where delicious, locally-sourced products are on offer.
Stratfield Saye, Hampshire, RG7 2BT
Gates open at 11.30am with tours from midday on Monday to Friday. Gates open at 10.30am with tours from 11am on weekends and bank holidays.
2. Avington Park
Originally the property of Winchester Cathedral, the Avington estate has been owned by several people including George Brydges, Groom of the Bedchamber to Charles II; The 3rd Duke of Chandos; Sir John Shelley, brother of the poet; and finally Lt. Col and Mrs Hickson, whose family now own Avington Park. The house, with its banqueting halls, state rooms, stunning gardens and surrounding parkland, is open to visitors every Sunday from May to September, as well as Mondays in August. Guided tours include stops in the main hall, ballroom and library.
Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1DB
Tours run from 2.30pm-5.30pm on Sundays and selected Mondays.
3. Basing House
As it stands today Basing House isn't quite a house – it's actually ruins of a house. When it was first built in 1531, this residence in the picturesque village of Old Basing was the largest private house in the country. It had 360 rooms and was visited by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Philip II of Spain and Queen Mary I, who spent their honeymoon there after marrying in Winchester. It was during the Civil War in 1645 that Basing House was sadly destroyed by a fire, however. Only its remains can be seen today, but what's left is are the Great Barns, a winding maze, the land’s stunning canal-side vistas, and the Museum at Basing House, which is home to a mind-blowing LEGO construction of how the original house once stood.
Old Basing, Basingstoke, RG24 7BH
Open from 11am–4pm March to October.
One of the most beautiful Victorian country houses in Britain, Beaulieu Palace House is located deep in the luscious New Forest and overlooks the beautiful Beaulieu River millpond. The house was originally the gatehouse to Beaulieu Abbey but has been the home of the Montagu family home ever since 1538. Gothic in style and utterly decadent, Beaulieu Palace House is filled with family treasures including paintings, jewels and antique furniture. If you’re looking for a tour, guides dressed as Victorian household staff will walk visitors around the house and grounds, revealing the building's rich history as well as its many secrets along the way.
Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, SO42 7ZN
Open daily (except Christmas Day) although hours change depending on the season. See the Beaulieu website for more details.
5. Chawton House Library
Over 400 years old, the Grade II-listed Chawton House and its pretty grounds are located on the northern outskirts of the South Downs. The house itself, which underwent vast restoration in 1996, opened as Chawton House Library in 2003 and is now open to both visitors and library users, and plays host to many events as well. Set within the South Downs National Park, the house's own gardens are alluring in themselves. Along with the luscious green lawns, be sure to wander the beautiful walled garden, which was built by one-time resident Edward Austen Knight (Jane Austin's brother), and the memorial rose garden as well.
Chawton, Alton, GU34 1SJ
Open from 1.30pm-4.30pm Monday to Friday, and from 11.00am-5.00pm on Sundays and bank holidays.
6. Mottisfont Abbey
Around eight centuries old, the Mottisfont estate has been shaped and altered many times, but it was Georgian owners, the Mill family, that made Mottisfont what it is today. Originally a priory, tour the main house and you can see the breathtaking 13th Century vaulted cellarium (a giant larder!) as well as the stunning drawing room painted by Rex Whistler. But that's not the only art on show at Mottisfont, however. The house is home to the Mottisfont gallery, which includes a permanent collection of many 20th Century masterpieces and plays hosts to annual exhibitions too. Outside of the house, Mottisfont has a lot to offer garden-wise – the estate lends itself to lovely, leafy riverside walks and features tree-filled landscapes fit for a postcard.
Mottisfont Lane, Romsey, SO51 0LP
Opening hours change often regularly so see the website for daily details.
Bowled over by the beauty of Hampshire? We have many homes located in the county available to buy. For more details of our properties for sale in Hampshire, click here.