Hatfield House: The Old Palace (the original property on the site)
Hatfield House often has a familiar air about it for visitors. The reason being that it has been used extensively in films and TV, including Batman, Laura Croft and Sherlock Holmes.
The house and grounds are quite stunning. Huge, sprawling and very impressive. The same family has lived here for over 400 year (Earl of Salisbury) and still do, but it is also known as the original property and grounds where the children of Henry VIII grew up. It is also here that Queen Elisabeth I heard she was to become queen (you can visit the tree she was supposed to be sitting under). The original Old Palace still exists and today is a large hall that is used for events and functions.
Over 400 years ago the family that own it today started to build the new house. Over the years it has evolved and grown, and is a huge complex with impressive front face and gorgeous gardens. The house has a long history associated with Royalty and Politics due to the family connections. Some of the rooms were designed to be used by King James who succeeded Queen Elisabeth on her death.
You can pay to just visit the gardens or the house and gardens. As you cannot take photos and video inside the house, the photos and video i have are of the outside – but the inside of the house is breath-taking and very much worth visiting. You can do an audio tour or stroll about and read about the house using the guide book (£6.50) or the signs in each room.
The tour let’s you see the main reception rooms and these are fantastic and include: The Marble Hall (ornate and dramatic); Grand Staircase; King James’s Drawing Room (bright, high ceiling and huge fireplace); Chinese Bedroom (which had been designed to be the King James bedroom); The Long Gallery (a very long room with gold ceiling); Winter Dining Room; The Library; Chapel; Armoury and Kitchens.
In the grounds there is a complex that has a number of interesting shops that include sweet shop, garden centre, antiques and then a large tea shop and restaurant with great cakes and very tasty food.
Hatfield House is very popular for weddings and the day we were there, there were two going on.
The house is about an hour drive from London and also can be reached by train. The station is opposite the entrance to the grounds.
A great day out, it is also worth checking out on their site as they have many events (mostly from April – September, at around Christmas). The house is open from April to September.
See all my photos on Flickr of Hatfield House: click here
Watch my video tour of the house and grounds:
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