Norfolk's Downton Abbeys
From Sandringham to Holkham and from Blickling to Felbrigg, Norfolk has a veritable array of exquisite halls and stately homes to visit, as Uniquely Away magazine discovered.
Nestling in our beautiful countryside are some lesser-known Downton Abbeys that also offer a taste of the county's prestigious past.
The Invitation to View scheme allows visitors to step inside many of these treasures and to discover more about their history and the lifestyles of those who have lived there.
Near Holt, for example, Hindringham Hall is a Tudor manor house, complete with 13th century moat, while Brinton Hall is a 16th century home, which was rebuilt in 1822, and has a staircase reputed to originate from Merton Place, Horatio Nelson's home.
Hockwold Hall, near Thetford, is a Grade II listed, Elizabethan E-plan manor house, with earlier origins, and a Victorian extension, and Kirstead Hall, at Kirstead, is a fine Grade I listed Elizabethan manor house, with stepped Flemish gable ends.
These, and other splendours from the past, are open to the public on certain dates throughout the year, some of which are this summer.
One of Norfolk's larger, and perhaps better known, architectural jewels is Houghton Hall (pictured). Built in the 1720s by Sir Robert Walpole, Britain's Prime Minister, this is one of the country's finest Palladian houses.
Visit this summer and enjoy Houghton Revisited, a collection of art treasures, silver and artefacts, which were amassed by Sir Robert.
For more information on Invitation to View visit www.invitationtoview.co.uk