Think stately homes - think splendid architecture, immaculate gardens, tempting tea rooms and the chance for a good nose around
Easter is traditionally the date in the calendar when stately homes, dormant over winter, come back to life and open their doors for us to visit.
Recognise any of these great houses of literature?
‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.’ The evocative first line of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca sets the tone for this atmospheric story. And while the house was based on Milton Hall near Peterborough, the longing was taken from du Maurier’s own desire for Menabilly near Fowey in Cornwall.
Who hasn’t been haunted by the idea of the mad woman, hiding the attic at Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre? Many believe Charlotte Brontë based her fictional house on Norton Conyers, near Ripon.
The faded grandeur of Miss Havisham’s house in Great Expectations is chilling, with its grand gates and dark, dusty rooms. Restoration House in Rochester, Kent – a beautiful Tudor building – lays claim to being Dickens’ inspiration.
Most of the action in Shakespeare’s Macbeth takes place at Glamis Castle. The castle isn’t fictional, and neither is the story of the killing of Duncan by Macbeth, but the bard did take some poetic licence in placing the murder at the castle.
Turn to page 64 of April's The Simple Things for more of our Grand Days Out feature.