10 Of The Best National Trust Properties And Stately Homes To Explore Near London
Follow in the footsteps of Regency-era Dukes and Duchesses by exploring this list of the best National Trust properties and stately homes near London.
Period dramas usually always prove to be a popular thing to watch – this being the UK after all – and the behemoth that was Bridgerton certainly proved to be a pop cultural phenomenon. It smashed all viewing records on Netflix and was watched by a whopping 82 million people all around the globe – yep, really – and they’ve already got a second series in the can. It also featured a fair few National Trust properties as sets over the course of its run.
Luckily for us, some of those lavish houses featured within the series are actually in London, and there are plenty of other magnificent spots in the capital you can discover to live your best Bridgerton life. Here’s a rundown of ten of the best National Trust properties and stately homes you can explore in or near London:
1. Fenton House and Garden
Built around 1686, the Fenton House and Garden has been a National Trust property since 1952 and it’s situated right on the edge of the beautiful Hampstead Heath in North London.
It’s a large, detached house with a lovely walled garden, and has a tree-lined driveway which we think wouldn’t look out of place in a Merchant Ivory film.
You can take a wander around the pretty sunken garden or look at a plethora of paintings, 17th-Century needlework pictures and the famous Benton Fletcher collection of keyboard instruments, which are often played for visitors by the in-house staff. The house itself is open from March and you can visit on weekends and bank holidays.
You’ll find Fenton House and Garden on Hampstead Grove, London, NW3 6SP. Nearest station is Hampstead.
2. Ranger’s House
This elegant red-brick Georgian villa isn’t actually one of National Trust’s properties, but is a lovely stately home run by the English Heritage team. It’s located on the border between Greenwich Park and Blackheath, and was used as the actual exterior of the Bridgerton family’s Wysteria-draped mansion in the namesake TV show.
Ranger’s House is perhaps most well-known for housing The Werhner Collection, a world-class art exhibition collected by the 19th-century businessman Sir Julius Wernher.
There are over 700 pieces of art on display here – including medieval statues, Renaissance paintings, ornate jewellrey and intricate French tapestries – and you’re within easy walking distance of some of Greenwich’s best restaurants and pubs so why not make a full day of it?
You’ll find Ranger’s House on Chesterfield Walk, London, SE10 8QX. Nearest stations are Greenwich and Blackheath.
3. Sutton House and Breaker’s Yard
The Grade II-listed Sutton House is another worthy addition to this list of National Trust properties, and it dates all the way back to the Tudor Period. It’s the oldest residential building in Hackney, and over the course of its history it has been used as a boys’ school, a centre for fire wardens and a music venue before it became a museum after a restoration project in 1991.
Over its 500-year-plus history, it has played host to everyone from Tudor courtiers to 20th-century car-breakers, and it features beautiful Jacobean wall paintings, carved wooden fireplaces to an opulent painted staircase.
You can visit on a guided tour, and you should also visit nearby Breaker’s Yard – an award-winning community garden that was designed by RHS Landscape Designer Daniel Lobb.
You’ll find Sutton House and Breaker’s Yard on 2–4 Homerton High St, London, E9 6JQ. Nearest station is Homerton.
4. Osterley House
A magnificent neo-classical mansion that straddles the boundaries of Ealing and Hounslow, the sprawling Osterley House is one of the last surviving country estates actually in London.
It’s a Georgian National Trust property and is surrounded by spectacular rolling gardens, park and farmland – perfect for a leisurely picnic or for acting out your inner Bridgerton fantasies.
It was first constructed in the 1570s by Sir Thomas Gresham and was then transformed by the Scottish architect Robert Adam in the 1760s. They have regular exhibitions and workshops – including fireside storytelling and Winter picnics – and there’s a cute little café where you can grab a cup of tea or coffee after you’ve sufficiently explored.
You’ll find Osterley House on Jersey Road, Isleworth, London, TW7 4RB. Nearest station is Osterley.
5. Rainham Hall
Rainham Hall in Havering is perhaps one of the city’s best examples of a Queen Anne House, referring to the namesake style of beloved British architecture. It’s a Grade II-listed Georgian mansion which was originally built for the Sea Captain John Harle way back in 1729.
These days it’s now joined the extensive list of National Trust properties, and it opened up to the public back in 2015. One great thing you can do here is visit The Denney Edition – an exhibition inspired by 1960s tastemaker and classical decorist Anthony Denney.
The accompanying gardens of this stately home are free to enter and are covered in a beautiful carpet of snowdrops come Spring. It’s a lovely little spot and there’s also a small section of woodland which is just calling out for a romantic walk, Bridgerton-style.
You’ll find Rainham Hall on Broadway, Rainham, RM13 9YN. Nearest station is Rainham.
6. Red House
If you’re a fan of the Arts and Crafts movement then you need to get yourself down to the Red House in Bexleyheath. It was the only house commissioned, created and lived in by William Morris, the founder of said movement, and is a building of major architectural and social significance.
It was described by Edward Burne-Jones as ‘the beautifullest place on earth’, so there’s definitely scope for you here to pretend that you’re in your own period drama on Netflix.
The National Trust property itself boasts a range of original features, as well as stained glass windows, paintings and embroidery by Jane Morris – a leading figure of the Pre-Raphaelite circle – and her sister Elizabeth Burden. The gardens are also a delightful place to go for a stroll.
You’ll find Red House on Red House Lane, Bexleyheath, DA6 8JF. Nearest station is Bexleyheath.
7. Hatfield House
Situated 21 miles to the north of London, this stately home is most famous for being the spot where Queen Elizabeth I Iearnt of her succession to the throne. The present Jacobean house – built by Robert Cecil in 1611 – offers visitors the chance to view a marvellous collection of pictures, furnishings and historic armour, and has been featured in films including The Favourite and Batman.
However, the piece-de-resistance at Hatfield House is arguably the gorgeous gardens, which offer over 40 acres of woodland, landscaped sections filled with pretty plants and a large lake – perfect Bridgerton-style vibes. Hatfield is also supposedly haunted by its former royal resident – make sure you’ve got your curtsey ready!
You’ll find Hatfield House on Great North Road, Hatfield, AL9 5HX. Nearest station is Hatfield.
8. Standen House and Gardens
Another welcome addition to this list of National Trust properties found near London, this peaceful spot is within striking distance of Gatwick Airport. It’s another stately home that was a major part of the Arts and Crafts movement, and is surrounded by a beautiful hillside garden with an award-winning plant collection. There are also numerous footpaths leading out into Ashdown Forest and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – great for a country walk we say.
The Grade I-listed Standen House and Gardens also has some exquisite Morris & Co. interiors, and the house itself is decked out to look like a weekend stay in 1925. Spring is a great time to come when the gardens are blooming with rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas and spring bulbs.
You’ll find Standen House and Gardens on West Hoathly Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 4NE. Nearest station is East Grinstead.
9. Emery Walker’s House
This tall and terraced home is set right in the heart of Hammersmith, and while it isn’t a stately home per se, it is definitely worth a visit due to its intriguing history. It’s Grade II*–listed and is certainly grand – being the former home of the engraver, painter and photographer Emery Walker who had a prominent role in the Arts and Crafts movement.
Emery Walker’s House is now a museum run by the Emery Walker Trust, which was designed to establish a secure, long-term future for the house and its contents. There are also some fantastic riverside pubs within easy walking distance from the house so you can make a real day of it.
You’ll find Emery Walker’s House at 7 Hammersmith Terrace, London, W6 9TS. Nearest stations are Ravenscourt Park and Stamford Brook.
10. Syon House
The last surviving country house and estate belonging to a Duke in Greater London, Syon House is also a Bridgerton filming location and featured as Queen Charlotte’s dining room throughout the series.
Just around the corner from both Richmond Park and Kew Gardens, it’s a beautiful spot and has been in the family of the present owners for over 400 years. Profoundly historic, the magnificent house itself holds a wealth of art within its interiors, and the sprawling grounds and gardens are well worth a visit.
There’s also Tide Meadow neatby, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and you may be able to spot bats, birds and various rare species of fungi as you wander around. As well as featuring in Bridgerton, the house has also featured in Killing Eve, Gosford Park and Hulu’s Harlots.
You’ll find Syon House at Park Road, Isleworth, TW7 6AZ. Nearest stations are Brentford and Syon Park.