As ITV’s Downton Abbey returns to our screens, a new book showcases Britain’s most amazing stately homes

Great country houses and grand estates in England, Scotland and Wales

 

Highclere Castle near Newbury, location of ITV’s Downton Abbey

The Most Amazing Stately Homes in Britain is a beautifully illustrated guide to the very best country houses and grand estates in England, Scotland and Wales, each one unique in its own way, and the human stories associated with them.

From the forbidding Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye to the whimsical topiary of Knightshayes Court in Devon, and from the unbelievably lavish Cardiff Castle to Avebury Manor in Wiltshire with its own megalithic stone circle, here are hundreds of spectacular places of immense variety, often packed with priceless antiques and treasures.

And as for the people…. read about an obsessive collector who believed he was Bonnie Prince Charlie reincarnated, a decadent dancing earl whose car belched patchouli-scented exhaust, and an irascible eccentric who invented a gun to shoot wasps.

The Most Amazing Stately Homes in Britain is published by Reader’s Digest on 26 October 2012 at RRP £14.95 flexiback.

 

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