Lose yourself for a day in an English country mansion with its own sprawling estate, a classic art collection and eccentric artefacts. Every county needs at least one beautiful mansion that once belonged to a wealthy family that loved all things elegant, and Kingston Lacy is Dorset’s. The mansion was built to replicate an Italian palace, and it houses grand carvings, art work by like likes of Ruben and Van Dyck and more unexpected objects such as an ‘I owe you’ note from the king himself.
Speaking of the unexpected, have a look at the largest private collection of Egyptian artefacts in the UK in the home’s Egyptian Room and get a family snap taken with the obelisk outside. The estate sprawls for 8,500 hectares, and visitors can enjoy a picnic on the lawn while the children let off steam in the play area, or take one of the many walks to enjoy the scenery.
The woodland walks are a nice way to enjoy some shade on a hot day, and the Japanese Garden makes for a quirky way to enjoy the grounds. Cyclists are welcome to enjoy the estate on two wheels, and the National Trust run tours of the estate on their special trailer, which is always fun too. The estate has more historic surprises than the inside of the house, including a Roman road, Iron Age forts and picturesque water meadows.