Harewood House

One of the most enjoyable and impressive of the many historic houses I’ve visited over the years, Harewood Hall was one of the highlights of my trip to Yorkshire. I’ve been to places with individually better parts, but rarely anywhere as consistently good.

From the outside the house is impressive but not spectacular compared with the relatively nearby Castle Howard.

The interior however was another world, with exquisite room after room, helped greatly by including the Harewood Biennial, celebrating craft and craftsmanship with modern pieces that generally nicely complemented the historic.

The Robert Adam ceilings in particular were quite stunning.

All the rooms on the ground floor are open to the public, as are the servants floors below, including a generously stocked kitchen and pantry area.

Outside are beautifully maintained formal gardens, with views toward the lake and grounds designed by the prolific Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown between 1776 and 1781.

The courtyard buildings are home to the usual suspects of a cafe and shops.

Behind which are distressingly small bird enclosures including these completely out of place penguins, and some farm animals. Not my favourite part of the property, and sad to see still here.

A chain ferry provides a shortcut over to the sizeable and extremely colourful walled garden, filled with wonderful flowers, both cultivated and wild.

To end with the neighbouring Himalayan Garden, a peaceful place complete with stupa.

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