The Emmy award winning TV series Downton Abbey returns to our screens for a fourth innings. The early 20th century British period drama has charmed audiences worldwide, particularly across the pond in the US, with its gaze at a by-gone era of British society.

Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton, is one of England’s most beautiful Victorian castles set amidst 1000 acres of remarkable parkland. Britain is famed for its spectacular stately homes, and here is The Oxford Scholastica Academy’s top 5 British country homes:

  • Chatsworth – the ever popular stately home is the home of the Dukes of Devonshire and the home’s contents (4,000 years worth of art) even outshine the 1,000 acre park settings.
  • Longleat – being one of the finest examples of high Elizabethan architecture would be enough to get on our list, but it also has its own Safari Park!
  • Blenheim Palace – Oxfordshire’s best makes an entry and it is the only palace in England not in Royal hands. Click here to read more about how Bleinheim is making news by becoming environmentally friendly.
  • Castle Howard – taking more than 100 years to build and set on a colossal 10,000 acre estate, this magnificent venue is recognisable from the 1981 TV version of Brideshead Revisited.
  • Waddesdon Manor – a 19th century manor built in the style of a 16th century French chateau in the Buckinghamshire countryside by French billionaire Rothschild.

Photo by Zen Whisk (CC BY 2.0)