Holdenby House, Northampton
Once the largest in Elizabethan England, this grand Tudor house is easy on the eye, makes the perfect day out and is a spectacular wedding venue, with plenty of regal history, Grade I listed gardens and a falconry centre.
Whilst Holdenby House is somewhat smaller than it was nearly 500 years ago, it’s lost none of its incredible glamour and beauty. A sweeping, tree-lined driveway leads to the facade of this pleasingly harmonious house, once owned by James I and subsequently Charles I, who was also imprisoned here before, well… he lost his head.
Grand state rooms overlook 20 acres of Grade I listed gardens, which are dotted with stunning modernist sculpture, sitting in beautiful juxtaposition to traditional English flower borders. There’s also a fully functioning kitchen garden, which provides veggies and flowers for the house.
You can retrace the footsteps of King Charles I where he walked during his imprisonment at Holdenby and visit the Icarus Falconry Centre, where you can get up close to the huge bird of prey collection and meet resident tortoises Sly and Simba, Roxy the fox and Norma the hedgehog. Then don’t forget to nab refreshments at the fabulous Connie’s Tea Parlour and pick up some lovely booty at Seaton Gifts before you head home.
Oh, did we mention you can also get hitched here? No conveyor belt weddings here, the (erm, unbelievably grand) family home vibe means it really is exclusive and unique, with the stylish state rooms spilling out onto the perfectly manicured lawns. Absolute bliss.
Holdenby House, Northampton, NN6 8DJ
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