The main difference between a manor house or castle and a stately home is that the latter is much grander and generally the home of an aristocrat. We have organized some wonderful events at Althorp, which is a glorious stately home set in a 500- acre deer park in Northamptonshire.
Stately homes for centuries played a vital part in the political, artistic and social fabric of our country and it was in these magnificent homes that a lot of the great decisions of the day were made, where the great minds met to discuss new innovations and were artistic leaders showed off their talents. Althorp has played host to everyone from King George V to Oscar Wilde.
There are a handful of homes even grander than stately homes and these like Blenheim Palace attain the title of palace but most of the dukes and other senior aristocrats lived in stately homes like Woburn Abbey, Longleat, Bowood, Highclere and Goodwood to name just a few. Most are still owned by the original families who built them over 300 years ago and the fabric of the homes remains much the same.
Of course, the lifestyle depicted in Downton Abbey and other period dramas, where dozens of staff toiled below stairs has rather changed and apart from a very few homes, most grandee families now have no more than a handful of staff and they have to allow far greater public access to their homes. This is partly to honor various tax concessions but mainly to help pay for some of the staggering maintenance costs that these homes incur annually.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
“The Hall was absolutely captivating – the best Christmas party ever. Toby and Jennie were so lovely and so accommodating too! My Chairman and Creative Director have said it was one of their favourite venues for a Xmas party and haven’t stopped saying “thank you” since they got back! That has certainly earned me a bank of brownie points. You have also been a marvel and really saved the day!”
Many stately homes fell into disrepair after the war, either from lack of funds or because they had been used as schools, hospitals and army bases and not very well treated. In the sixties, they were pulling down 2 large houses every week. However, happily many not only survived but are now thriving and being used for a multitude of different events, weddings, parties and rock festivals. LTR can arrange house parties in a few of these homes and private access to many others for lunches or tours with the owners. At LTR we have expert local knowledge in Scotland, England and Ireland are able to draw on this to create unique experiences for each of our groups.
How do we chose which stately home is the most suitable for our family group?
This is where our travel advisors at Loyd & Townsend Rose are really able to use their experience and local knowledge to help you make the best choice. We know all our stately homes personally and the areas they are located in. This allows us to match the requirements and wishes of you and your group to ensure you pick the most suitable stately home for your stay. There is a limited number of stately homes available to rent for exclusive use and so the choice is perhaps not as difficult as it is when choosing a smaller country house to stay in.
How can we find out what to do in the local area to ensure our guests are fully occupied?
Again, LTR specializes in arranging activities for guests during the day as well as wonderful entertainment for the evenings to ensure that each evening is different and memorable. We are very used to multi-generational groups with elderly grandparents who are keen to have a relaxing stay, together with young children who need to have more activities laid on for them to keep them occupied. LTR can arrange anything from mini highland games and fabulous treasure hunts to cultural tours of local cities. A bespoke programme of activities and entertainment is put together after full consultation between our travel advisors and our clients.
Will the owners of the stately home still be in residence if we book one of the stately homes for our family reunion?
In the majority of the cases the owners will not be in residence when they rent out their stately home. However, in a very few instances it can be arranged for them to host your stay if that is what you wish.
SPEAK TO ONE OF OUR EXPERIENCED TRAVEL CONSULTANTS