Photo: larique

Located in Cambridgeshire, this 16thCentury country mansion was built for Sir William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth I’s Lord High Treasurer. The importance of his position is certainly reflected in the grandeur of Burghley. The main part of the house consists of 35 rooms, with over 80 smaller rooms, bathrooms, halls and corridors in addition.

As you look around Burghley House you will never cease to be amazed by the brilliance of the architecture and the intricacy of the interior decoration. Take the George Rooms for example; last used by Queen Victoria in 1844 as a suite, they are ornamented with Italian paintings, works of art and furniture. Don’t forget to look up at the beautifully painted ceiling before you move on.

Following the theme of looking up to the heavens, the Heaven Room is truly a marvel. Painted on the walls is the work of Antonio Verrio, which is so skilfully done that you will believe it to be three dimensional. Just after this you will be visually transported into Hell as Verrio’s last commission saw him paint the ceiling above the high staircase, depicting Hades in graphic imaginary detail.

All this exploring is bound to have worked up an appetite so why not head to the kitchens and see just what it took to rustle up an Elizabethan banquet. Make sure you keep an eye out for the turtle skulls pinned to the wall, the only remnants of the fashionable turtle tureen.

If you prefer to feed animals than to feed upon them, the Deer Park is a delightful way to get some fresh air. Or you can stretch your legs through the stunning gardens and have a look at the many sculptures dotted about. So whether you want to enjoy the scenery or immerse yourself in history, the Burghley House estate has it all.


Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 3JY

Tel: 01780 752451

Opening Times: 17th March – 28th October 11am-5pm.