The Cotswolds can boast a splendid array of stately homes and Manors that offer culture-rich days out for visitors of all ages, with the chance to learn about architecture and imagine what life was like in a bygone era.


Owlpen Manor, a Tudor Manor is an architectural gem that was left untouched for centuries until sympathetic restoration began in early in the 20th centuryduring the Arts and Crafts Movement.The gardens are also open to the public and have recived great aclaim form many garden designers.Box parterres immaculately clipped hedges and moss-lined walls frame the borders rich with colour.


Chavenage House, often used for a backdrop for TV and film productions, the most notable being the home of George Warleggan in the BBC period drama Poldark. Chavenage is a wonderful Elizabethan house which has only been owned by two families since the dissolution of the Monastries 


William Morris,(1834-1896) the craftsman central to the Art & Craft Movement chose Kelmscott Manor as a summer house to get away from the stresses of his successful interior design business and London life. Morris loved the house for it’s pureness- It has been virtually untouched since its building in 1600.He found not just peace and sanctuary from the house, countryside and village but inspiration for much of his work.  


What is it about Blenheim Palace? What is that that made King George 111 exclaim “We have nothing to equal this” What is it that inspired Turner to paint here? It’s grandeur on the largest scal. eBlenheim was given to the 1st. Duke of Marlborough by Queen Anne for his stunning victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. Sir John Vanburgh’s magnificent Baroque aarchitecture reflect not only the Duke’s military achievements but also Vanburgh’s feeling that the Palace should be a monument Quenn Anne’s glory. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site.


Stanway House offers sumptuous Jacobean architecture. J.M Barrie (1860-1937) fell in love with Stanway and holidayed at the house repeatedly and donated the cricket pavilion where he entertained the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G Wells. As you arrive at the house you will pass the magnificent 14th C Tithe Barn , and the jewel like gatehouse which dates from around 1630. While in the grounds Britain’s tallest fountain erupts from a Cotswold water garden like an Icleandic geyser to a height of 300ft. THe Highest gravity fed fountain in the world.


Chastleton House, also owned by the National Trust, is another fine example of Jacobean architecture.It is simply a cosy home and one that remained in the same familyfrom 1612 until 1991. The house was built by MP, lawyer and wealthy woll mercghant, Walter Jones between 1607and 1612. He boughtbthe estate from the disgraced Robert Gatesby whose involvement with the Gunpowder Plot led to his downfall.Next to the house is the 12thC parish church which is not owned by the National Trust.