From Oxfordshire to the Brecon Beacons, some of the grandest country piles across the UK are available to rent for parties, weddings and holidays. Always dreamed of staying in a Downton Abbey-style mansion? Here are a few of the best stately homes to hire, whatever the occasion
1. Hedsor House, Taplow, Buckinghamshire
Mark Ronson held his birthday party here, it’s only 26 miles outside of central London and it was recently heralded as Event Venue of the Year. It’s no surprise that Hedsor House, a Grade II listed Georgian property, has been sought-after for private celebrations and parties ever since it opened in 2008. There are 11 bedrooms and 100 acres of private grounds to explore, which is why the property is also a popular luxury wedding venue. The house and grounds, which were renovated this summer, can be hired in their entirety for civil ceremonies and the bridal suite has its own private balcony terrace, spanning the entire front of the house. It’s a bride-to-be’s dream. Exclusive hire of Hedsor House starts at £5,450 +VAT. This includes overnight accommodation for up to 22 people (sharing double rooms).
2. Steward’s House, the private west wing of Horncliffe House, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland
This Grade II listed property, set on the banks of the River Tweed, is the perfect base for touring Northumberland’s countryside. Enjoy cliff top and beach walks at St Abb’s Head or along the Heritage coastline, then make the most of a cosy night in at this beautiful country house. There are four bedrooms, three bathrooms and it’s pet friendly! Steward’s House sleeps eight and can be rented for £720 per week.
3. Abbotsford’s Hope Scott Wing, Melrose, Scottish Borders
One look at the Hope Scott Wing’s grand exterior and it’s more than likely visitors will be impressed. The seven-bedroom home (which once belonged to Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott) is available to rent exclusively for parties, weddings and corporate events. While you’ll find plenty of contemporary luxuries here, this is a property that treasures its history. It’s packed with original artwork, antiques and chandeliers making it a unique experience for guests looking for a place to stay with a difference. It sleeps up to 14 people and is priced from £2,750.00 per week.
4. Felin Newydd Manor House, Brecon Beacons, Wales
With morning papers, seasonal produce from the estate, bathroom toiletries by REN Skincare, a morning maid and a concierge service, this Brecon country house comes with all the perks of a hotel, without other guests. It has nine large double bedrooms and seven bathrooms plus 50 acres of gardens where clay pigeon shooting, foraging and fishing can be enjoyed. Walking, cycling, golf and watersports can also be arranged along with an in-house chef and spa treatments. Perfect for a relaxing (but indulgent) weekend. Felin Newydd House sleeps up to 18 people. The weekend rate is £3600 for three nights, the weekly rate is starts at £5,250.
5. Cornbury Park, near Charlbury, Oxfordshire
This 17th century home and former royal hunting lodge is nothing but grand. Set on a 1,700 acre estate, the eight bedroom house is just 90 minutes outside of London with local attractions including Blenheim Palace and Oxford’s university colleges nearby. However, with a swimming pool, tennis court and a 350 acre deer park on site, guests will find plenty to keep them busy during a stay here. The decor is definitely traditional so it might not be suited to all tastes, but if it’s opulence you want, this place is full of it. Cornbury Park sleeps 20 and can be booked exclusively through Loyd & Townsend Rose. The nightly rate is £6,000 + VAT, including chef, house keeper and LTR concierge service.
6. The Old Monastery, Burton Bradstock, Dorset
This six bedroom Tudor manor house comes with quite a history (it was once used as a retreat for monks) and is set in a stunning seaside location just a short walk away from the beautiful beaches of the Jurassic Coast. However, despite its rich heritage, visitors shouldn’t expect stuffy or old-fashioned interiors here. Acclaimed architect Simon Morray Jones led the renovation project which resulted in a contemporary design with all the mod-cons included (home cinema, Sonos, internet). Located between Dorchester and Lyme Regis on the south coast, The Old Monastrey can be reached from London by car in three hours. Prices start from £2,505 for a four night break based on 12 people staying.
7. Huntsham Court, Tiverton, Devon
For party planners working on a larger scale, this property has been described as the ‘quintessential English country house party’ venue for a reason. Built in 1869, the mansion was fully restored and refurbished in 2012. With accommodation for up to 80 guests, this grand stately home comes with five reception halls, 34 bedrooms, 25 en suite bathrooms and over five acres of stunning Devonshire countryside. From fully self-catering to staffed silver service, there are a number of options to choose from when booking a party here, which is why the rental fee includes five hours of an experienced event planner’s time! Huntsham Court can be hired from £80 per person, per night based on two-night full occupancy of 34 bedrooms in October, November and December.
8. Thorington Hall, near Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk
For a beautiful country pile that’s a little less OTT, this 17th century farmhouse might be more your style. Set in gated private grounds against the backdrop of East Anglia’s unspoilt landscape, this National Trust property comes with plenty of space – eight bedrooms and a large garden – plus a self-contained two-bedroom lodge which can also be hired if needed. Thorington Hall sleeps up to 18. Prices start at £1,295 for three nights.