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YHA Great country estates to discover this spring
    29/04/2013 10:32

Great country estates to discover this spring

With spring having finally arrived, many Brits will be keen to get out and about in the countryside. But where to go?

With the weather perhaps not yet reliable enough to commit to a full day out in the open air, a tour of some of Britain's country houses and estates could be a good option. We've rounded up some of the best on offer, which will give you and the family the chance to see some beautiful gardens and enjoy a bit of the nation's history in the process.

Chirk Castle

Chirk Castle in North Wales was completed in 1310, and while much of the interior of the stately home features 17th and 18th century design, the site still features the original mediaeval buildings, including the tower and dungeon. The extensive gardens are also stunning, with shrub and rock gardens and clipped yews making it a beautiful area for a sunny stroll.

Chatsworth

In the heart of the Peak District is Chatsworth House, a sprawling country manor set in a 1,000-acre park, with its own on-site restaurants and shops so that you can spend the whole day there if you choose. It also has a working farm to entertain the kids, as well as events specifically for families. May 31st, for example, sees an outdoor musical performance of the classic children's story Treasure Island.

Mottisfont

For those of an artistic bent, Mottisfont in Hampshire is well worth a visit. As well as the exquisite gardens for a springtime stroll, the house contains a gallery featuring some excellent artwork and holds regular exhibitions. The house itself is also an interesting feature, having been formed around a mediaeval priory.

Longleat

Longleat in Wilstshire (near the border with Somerset) is a classic stately home with a difference; it is now home to one of Britain's premier safari parks. So as well as enjoying the exquisite home of the Marquis of Bath, you can also enjoy spotting lions, tigers monkeys and other wild animals in the vast grounds.

If you think any of these country estates are worth a visit this spring, why not make a break of it by booking a stay at one of YHA's great-value local hostels?

By Harry Hosteller

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