The most popular stately homes to visit in the UK have been named – ‘full of secrets’

Kensington Palace: Royal expert reveals why location was chosen

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Stately homes are “a staple of UK culture and tourism”, said a spokesperson for Fantastic Services, which helped release a popularity ranking for the attractions. With beautiful buildings and stunning gardens, stately homes make for a perfect day trip, no matter the season.

In top spot was Blenheim Palace.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the only non-royal residence in England to be called a palace, and it’s not hard to see why.

The palace has 300 years of history and was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

Blenheim is a favourite with visitors and with film and TV crews.

Harry Potter, James Bond, Transformers, Mission Impossible, Indiana Jones: they’ve all featured the Palace.

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On Tripadvisor, Caroline said: “Blenheim Palace is an estate full of secrets! With activities for kids, and enough to interest teenagers and adults alike, it is a great activity to do as a family.”

Trey C wrote: “Everything about this place is stunning from the main rooms of the castle to the tour of the apartments to the gardens.

“Takes a few hours to get through everything and it’s nice to relax and enjoy the fountains and gardens.”

Second on the list was Chatsworth House.

The home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire is a favourite for many, and it’s also been used as a backdrop to some popular films and TV shows such as Pride and Prejudice, The Duchess and Peaky Blinders.

Douglas C, who visited recently, said: “We were so glad we booked the market and garden experience as well as the house. It was a very rememberable experience.

“The house was amazing and the guides so helpful and knowledgeable.

“The Christmas market was well spaced out and so many good stalls. The gardens with the light show was also excellent. Cannot recommend this enough.”

The third most popular stately home was Kensington Palace.

The official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, Kensington attracts many tourists all year round.

On Tripadvisor, Joanne said: “The gardens are beautiful, we enjoyed seeing Diana’s statue which you can do for free.”

Amanda D wrote: “A lovely afternoon visiting the royal apartments in Kensington palace plus the fashion exhibition in the orangery.

“Wonderful paintings in the rooms of the apartments and a useful guidebook in each room.”

In fourth place on the list was Windsor.

The oldest and largest occupied castle in the world made the top five.

On Tripadvisor, Sue B said: “Wonderful experience especially watching changing of the guard and the rooms are tremendous. Really worth a visit.”

Amanda Dutton wrote: “What a magnificent building with so much history, was in time to see the changing of the guard, really interesting. The inside of the castle is amazing.”

Hales M said: “Fabulous place to visit, loved everything about the castle and grounds, definitely would visit again.

“Such a lovely few hours spent in the most gorgeous of surroundings, we are so privileged to have such history available to visit.”

Rounding up the top five was Longleat House, the home of the Marquesses of Bath.

The house is currently closed due to Covid, but the estate is still a popular attraction, especially for its Safari Park.

On Tripadvisor, Carole T said: “Our highlight of the year.

“The beauty of the park with so much space and beautiful trees was stunning.

“Great to see the animals up close and how well you are trying to mimic what would be their natural habitat.

“Longleat is one of our country’s star attractions.”

Most popular UK stately homes

1. Blenheim Palace

2. Chatsworth House

3. Kensington Palace

4. Windsor Castle

5. Longleat House

6. Hampton Court Palace

7. St Michael’s Mount

8. Warwick Castle

9. Leeds Castle

10. Highclere Castle

Fantastic Services


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