Castle Howard tours
One of the UK's grandest country houses
Set in a 1,000-acre (405-hectare) estate in the rolling Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the iconic Castle Howard is one of England's best-loved stately homes. It was built for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, who commissioned his friend Sir John Vanbrugh to design the stately home. Vanbrugh had no previous experience as an architect or designer - in fact, he was best known as a playwright.
To help with the huge task facing him, Vanbrugh hired Nicholas Hawksmoor, an assistant of Christopher Wren. Between them, they designed the breathtaking Baroque building, including its famous dome, which was surprisingly only a last-minute addition after construction had begun. The main house was built between 1699 and 1712, and has been continuously inhabited by the Howard family ever since; the Hon. Simon Howard currently lives here.