How to experience a stately treat

Thanks to online virtual tours, and 360° imagery, it is still possible to enjoy the stunning architecture and interior design of many stately properties that normally open to the public across the UK.

Here’s a few stately homes and historic houses you can still “step inside” through the marvels of modern technology…

Boarding now: a flight over an East Yorkshire Tudor gem

Take to the air and enjoy a bird’s eye view of an East Yorkshire gem! Built between 1598 and 1610, Burton Agnes Hall has remained a family home ever since, and is famed for its Tudor Renaissance architecture. Head to the Hall’s website, click on the aerial image and then take your own personal flight above the Hall, grounds and gardens, thanks to amazing drone footage. Discover more at or go straight to the Hall’s YouTube page with the impressive drone footage

Take a look inside England’s greatest Elizabethan house

Thanks to 360° photography it’s now possible to take a look around a magnificent set of rooms fit for a Queen. Burghley House, on the edge of Stamford in Lincolnshire, was built by William Cecil, Elizabeth I’s most trusted minister and the country’s first chief spymaster. Burghley is not just a magnificent Tudor house, but also a treasure trove of art, ceramics and furniture, mainly collected by two great collecting Earls during the 17th and 18th centuries. Take a virtual tour of 17 of the 18 state rooms, including The Old Kitchen – featuring the 260 piece copper ‘batterie de cuisine’ – and The Billiard Room, where the intricate ceiling was designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (an interior designer as well as influential gardener). Highlights of the tour include The Heaven Room filled with scenes from ancient mythology, and acclaimed as Italian painter Antonio Verrio’s masterpiece; and The Hell Staircase, which was Verrio‘s last commission at Burghley.

Explore the real ‘Downton Abbey’…narrated by Carson the Butler

Here’s a chance to not only ‘tour’ Hampshire’s Highclere Castle, the real life location for both the hugely popular TV series and last year’s hit movie, but also hear some behind-the-scenes stories as well. A paid-for app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, and narrated by “Carson the Butler” (Jim Carter), features 360° photography of the Castle’s interiors as well as exclusive video interviews with Lord and Lady Carnarvon about life at Highclere. You will also find footage of Highclere’s collections: including paintings, furniture and a desk that once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as stunning footage of the gardens and wider estate. Discover more at

Be inspired to imagine ‘A Lost Paradise’ 

For something a little different, Staffordshire’s Shugborough Estate offers virtual visitors a chance to go behind the scenes of a contemporary arts project. Home to the Anson family since 1624, it was once described as ‘a perfect paradise’, with sweeping parkland, ancient woodland and a landscape peppered with monuments. The Georgian mansion, the ancestral seat of the Earls of Lichfield, was for many years, home to royal photographer, Patrick Lichfield. ‘A Lost Paradise?’ is a poetic, visual journey through Shugborough’s parkland, taking the audience back to the night of a great flood in 1795 that washed away much of the landscape conceived by Thomas Anson in the 18th century. Explore the making of ‘A Lost Paradise?’ with a 13-minute video, also featuring views of the parklands and famous follies, which reveals more about the project.

Zoom in on history at a medieval manor house

For a sneak preview of one of the best-preserved timber-framed manor houses in the UK, dating back to the 15th century, zoom in on history with online interactive floor plans and 360° photography at Gainsborough Old Hall, Lincolnshire. Boasting an impressive Great Hall, with timber-framed architecture and arched oak roof beams, and original medieval kitchen – one of the largest and best surviving in the country – the house also has links to the fascinating story of the Mayflower Pilgrims. View the interactive floor plans at; and take a peek inside some of the impressive rooms with 360° photography

  • slide

    Heaven Room

  • slide

    Burton Agnes Hall

  • slide

    Burghley House

  • slide

    Gainsborough Hall