If you are visiting the Cotswolds and want to see a truly magnificent, stately home, Longleat is a perfect choice. This Elizabethan country house is immense and imposing in its splendor, set on neatly cultivated grounds with elaborate hedge mazes, landscaped parkland, and even a safari park.
More than 900 acres of land comprise the grounds, landscaped by the famous Capability Brown. The house was completed in 1580. If you take the tour of the house, you will be able to view the Great Hall with the minstrels’ gallery, the lower east corridor, several different libraries and dining rooms, the saloon, several bedrooms, and the grand staircase.
With seven libraries and more than 40,000 books, Longleat houses one of the largest private book collections in all of Europe. You can also view the waistcoat worn by King Charles I during his execution in 1649, still stained with his blood.
Longleat Safari Park
While you are in the area, don’t miss out on visiting the Longleat Safari Park, the first drive-through safari park located outside of Africa. The park is situated on 9,000 acres and was opened in 1966. You can view more than 500 animals roaming freely over the landscape, including giraffes, rhinos, lions, tigers, and more.
You can even purchase the VIP experience and feed the animals yourself—even the fearsome predators. A passport ticket will give you access to the Longleat Safari Park, Longleat House, the gardens and grounds, the hedge maze, and many other fun attractions in the area.
There is so much to see and do here that you could easily spend days just exploring this small area of Wiltshire.
The entire experience is one which you will treasure for the rest of your life.