If you haven’t seen my post on the ‘Great British Food Festival’, click here first to check it out. Originally I wasn’t going to write this post but I took so many beautiful photos that I really wanted to share on here, so I thought to create an extra post all about Castle Howard itself. In case you aren’t aware, Castle Howard is a stately home and gardens near York. Last week I attended the food festival with the brand ‘tastecard’, and after the event we decided to upgrade our tickets and have a look around the house, and it was so magical. I had my camera with me for the blog event, so I was able to take some good photos that I am really proud of. I really should spend more time out with my camera because I absolutely love taking photos and I don’t do it half as much as what I should. So here’s a warning that this post is incredibly photo heavy!
We didn’t have a proper walk around the gardens (because the weather wasn’t really on our side!) but we did walk along the main pathways and it was very beautiful. I really want to go back another time on a warm day to have a proper explore of the grounds and take some good photos of outdoors. Everywhere you look it seems to be so pristine, and it would be lovely to spend the entire day walking around. However I don’t think it would be possible to get around the entire gardens in a day, I bet you could go back numerous times and still find somewhere new to explore.
After having a look around the grounds, we entered the main part of the house. Something that I didn’t know is that the family still live in the house, but in a separate section to where visitors can look. The house is stunning and there are so much to take in, it feels like it has remained the same since it was first decorated hundreds of years ago… you feel like you are going back in time! I was told that if the current owners have guests to stay they often sleep in the rooms that we had had a tour of, which I imagine is really creepy and a surreal experience.
Even though I am not into history I really enjoyed reading the information and listening to the employees talk about the house. You don’t have a set tour guide but instead you walk around on your own and then there are employees in each room explaining what is there and some history behind it. The employees were incredibly informative and It was cool to learn facts that I would have never known about the house unless they were taught to me. For example the husband and wife sleep in separate rooms (but interconnected) once married, which surprised me. I also found out that the couple that lived in this house were married when they were 17 and then lived together until they died… which is strange to think about considering I am 17 now.
Something else that surprised me about the house is that, because it is so old, there aren’t any original bathroom facilities and the toilets have been fitted at a later date. This shocked me because there are so many elegant and glamorous features to the house but they still lack the very basic facilities that we have today.
I loved the main section of the house, the entrance hall. There are beautiful paintings all over the walls, and everything looks so breathtaking. The paintings are actually symbolising different zodiac symbols, and I really liked that because they had a lot of meaning. The winding stairs going up from the main entrance hall are stunning and I loved the stone. I can’t think how it would feel to be the children that live here currently, imagine how amazing it would be to play hide and seek in this house!
I think one of my favourite sections is walking down the long corridors, because they are so beautiful. Especially when they are empty, they are so eerie and almost magical… I feel like you can hear a pin drop if you were there alone. A particular section that I liked is the line of statues in the corridor, I wish I had spent more time taking photos of them but it was hard to capture because of other visitors walking down there too.
Once you have had a walk around the main house, you go into some more modern rooms that have been made into a museum style exhibition all about Castle Howard. In one room there is lots of information all about where Castle Howard has been featured in movies and TV shows, for example ‘brideshead revisited’, and some behind the scene photos of filming. In the next room there were lots of old letters and books that were found in Castle Howard. I really liked looking at these as I love looking back on old handwritten notes and letters, I find it fascinating to think about someone actually writing these many years ago and how they were living at the time.
At the end of the tour, there is a small gift shop and cafe, which is nice if you want to purchase any souvenirs or a tour programme. Overall I really enjoyed the entirety of Castle Howard and I would definitely go back, even though when I went I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. The tour didn’t take as long to look around as I thought, but I would still definitely recommend it if you are around the York area this summer.
If you are interested in finding out more about Castle Howard, Click Here.