Harewood HouseLast Saturday I had a very enjoyable visit Harewood House in West Yorkshire (ably organized by RM).

Harewood definitely ticks all the boxes on the stately home circuit. Although there have been some changes over the years, the house is still pretty much as it was it was built in the mid 18th century complete with interiors by Adam, furniture by Chippendale,  views by Capability Brown and an excellent collection of  paintings (including several by some local bloke called Turner). The house also has the merit of being relatively small and having chairs that you are allowed to sit on in most of the rooms.

Outside features include a rather dull lake, a superb walled garden, bees, butterflies and a terrace on which you can sit and take tea.

Harewood House Formal GardenMy favourite things were the amazing Chinese wallpaper in one of the bedrooms – basically a giant cartoon – and taking tea on the terrace in the sunshine.

Full marks to the people who run the place for making  it family friendly with a play area, picnic areas and a fish and chip van as an alternative to the pretentious NT-style café. It’s also reasonably accessible, with sloping paths and a  lift up the front steps of the house – the areas open to the public are all on the level on the ground floor.

Bonus points for collaborating on an archaeological project with York University to explore the site of Gawthorpe Hall, the original 13th century manor house which was demolished when the new Harewood House was built.

Definitely worth a visit – just don’t ask where the money came from.

Anyway, here are the pics.:

Harewood House
 
 
 
Harewood House – a set on Flickr
 
 

 

Links: Harewood House official website