Country estates across the UK worth visiting including Chatsworth House and Blenheim Palace

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There are country estates scattered around the UK that are definitely worth a visit for a family day out or on a summer staycation

There are a number of stunning country estates around the UK well worth visiting if you find yourself nearby this summer.

Whether they're close to where you live or local to somewhere you're planning a staycation, visiting places like Wollaton Hall and Blenheim Palace would surely not be a disappointment.

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Many of the historic locations include attractions such as play areas, animals to look at in the wild, and even museums.

But nearly all country homes include vast open areas that are great for picnics, ball games, or relaxing in the good weather.

These grand country homes still standing today were usually built in the 18th and 19th centuries and feature intricate details. They served as country retreats for the higher echelons of British society at the time.

And for those looking to learn about the country's past, many are now run by public bodies or otherwise open to visits from the public.

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So why not get out to enjoy some breathtaking architecture and stunning scenery right on your doorstep with the kids or perhaps for a romantic afternoon walk with your other half.

Newstead Abbey

Newstead AbbeyNewstead Abbey
Newstead Abbey | Alan Murray-Rust

Just outside of Nottingham but within the county boundaries is Newstead Abbey.

This is well known as being the home of British poet Lord Byron but it was originally a religious building where Augustinian monks lived - hence the building's name.

Here features include stunning ornate gardens, a cafe, and even an exciting waterfall.

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Harewood House

Harewood HouseHarewood House
Harewood House | geograph

Harewood House is a country house built between 1759 and 1771, for Edwin Lascelles - a wealthy West Indian plantation and slave owner.

The landscape was designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown and spans 1,000 acres (400 ha) at Harewood.

It is still home to the Lascelles family and Harewood House is also a member of the Treasure Houses of England, a consortium for ten of the most historic homes in the country.

Facilities here include a café and even a tearoom.

Wollaton Hall

Today Wollaton Hall is known as the residence for Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, but it's history goes back further than some other country homes.

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It was built all the way back in the 1580s for Sir Francis Willoughby and is believed to have been designed by Elizabethan architect Robert Smythson.

It features statuary and other design elements that were imported from Italy - features that give the building its grandeur.

Facilities here include a play area but you can also sit and watch the wild deer as they mind their own business.

Hatfield House

Hatfield HouseHatfield House
Hatfield House | Christine Matthews

Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, was built by Robert Cecil on the ground where Queen Elizabeth I spent most of her childhood.

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The property features gardens well worth a visit and was built in 1611. There's also a restaurant on site and - rather uniquely - there is living space and commercial space available for the public to take up for themselves.

You can book a tour around the house itself or you can spend time in the sun walking around its six gardens.

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth HouseChatsworth House
Chatsworth House | Andy Stephenson

Over 16 generations, Chatsworth House has remained in the Devonshire family.

Located in the Derbyshire Dales, construction was completed in 1708 and the Grade I listed property has undergone a number of alterations in its life.

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Facilities here include gardens, a library, and also a farm shop.

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim PalaceBlenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace | Philip Halling

In Woodstock, Oxfordshire, sits the magnificent Blenheim Palace.

Built between 1705 and 1722, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is unique as it was designed in the short-lived English Baroque style.

You may also not know that is in fact one of the largest country homes anywhere in Britain.

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Here you can try your best to avoid getting lost in Marlborough Maze, stroll around the Walled Garden or visit a number of interesting exhibits - including one centred on Churchill as he was born here in his ancestral home.

Highclere Castle

Highclere CastleHighclere Castle
Highclere Castle | Steve Daniels

Highclere Castle is a Grade I listed country house built in 1679 and largely renovated in the 1840s, with a park designed by famed gardener and landscaper Capability Brown in the 18th century.

The Hampshire estate is the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon, a branch of the Anglo-Welsh Herbert family.

Highclere Castle has been used as a filming location for several films and television series, including the comedy series Jeeves and Wooster, and received a tourism boom as it was the main location for ITV's Downton Abbey.

Facilities include walking gardens, an Egyptian exhibition, and a gift shop.

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