Just outside of Leeds, you’ll find the grand looking Harewood House and Gardens, a stately home that still boasts residents and wouldn’t be out of place in a period drama. Harewood House is open to visitors and so if you have time, it’s worth having a walk and an explore around the house and grounds. Before you go, here’s some interesting info you can bring up to show off your knowledge!
The Lascelles Family still live in the house
If you’re a fan of the Netflix series ‘The Crown’, you’ll have heard the family name ‘Lascelles’ (pronounced Lay-cells). The family are still resident in the house today, over 200 years after it was built for them.
Harewood is listed as a ‘Treasure House’
Harewood House sits on a list of English ‘Treasure Houses’, a consortium of the top 10 most historical stately homes still under private ownership. Others on the list include Blenheim Palace and Chatsworth House.
Capability Brown landscaped the gardens
Over 1,000 acres of gardens surrounding the house were landscaped by the famous Capability Brown, who is well renowned as ‘England’s Greatest Gardener’.
Elton John meets Emmerdale at Harewood…
The grounds have been used for numerous filming opportunities but also the occasional gig – and Elton John has even played there! Part of the estate is even used as part of the Emmerdale village, where the soap has been filmed since 1996.
You can find Exotic Birds in the North of England
The dedicated Bird Garden within the grounds play home to over 30 species of exotic birds, many of which you won’t find anywhere else in the UK. There’s even a flock of Humboldt penguins you can meet!
The House’s previous Servants can be traced
An online database allows anyone to access information on the historical staff of the house, offering a fascinating glimpse into times gone by and roles, duties and living arrangements of servants.
The House can be Sailed around
The House has its own boat, The Capability, which can be hired to tour the grounds by river. The views from the river are unrivalled and you can even peek into the Walled Garden from the water.
The most famous English Furniture Maker ever refurbished the House
Thomas Chippendale, considered the greatest English Furniture Maker back in the 18th Century, landed his largest ever commission to refurbish Harewood House in 1767 – worth what was then a whopping £10,000! A series of pieces are still available to view in the House today.
Christmas transforms Harewood and takes it back to the Victorian period
The set designer for ITV series Victoria transforms the House in winter and guests are invited in for a Victorian Christmas. Traditions from yesteryear are re-invoked and toys from the period can be played with. This does require booking in advance, so check online before you leave.
Walk an Alpaca, Feed a Pig and Cuddle a Goat…
Harewood’s Farm Experience is open for interactivity between visitors and animals in a way rarely found at stately homes. This area is family-friendly and can be booked online at a discounted rate.