Just north of York sits the magnificent Castle Howard, a heritage house I'd dreamt of visiting for the longest time (back when I was still living in Australia in fact) as it was the setting to one of my favourite film adaptations: Brideshead Revisited. Since moving to London and being a whole lot closer to it in general, I'd always made a point to visit but it didn't actually happen until this year when I planned a trip with my friend who lives nearby. Getting there was quite convenient as there's a bus that drives straight to Castle Howard from York station. As soon as we arrived, entry led us into the castle grounds where the gardens surrounding the home are quite expansive and would probably require an entire day alone to explore. We encountered various English landscape gardens and rose gardens, and just making our way to the actual 'castle' from the entrance itself was quite a trek (albeit a highly rewarding one) so I'd definitely recommend your best walking shoes if you come for a visit. We were blessed with the perfect weather too and it was so pleasant just to wander around slowly and soak it in, and of course, take plenty of photos along the way. When we reached the front of the house where the iconic Atlas fountain glistened under the sun, I just couldn't believe my eyes. These beautiful locations that I was already so familiar with from the film looked even more breathtaking in real life. My friend Danielle and I couldn't resist recreating some of the scenes from the movie either haha, and honestly I think we did them justice.
The house itself is over 300 years old and still kept in pristine condition. I loved walking the long corridor decorated with busts because the sequence in the film where Charles first visits Bridehead and the camera follows them down the same corridor as Sebastian lifts the sheets and uncovers each figurehead is one of my favourites. I felt like I was experiencing the same sense of wonder as Charles in the film. The chapel located inside is an absolute vision to behold in itself with it's high domed ceiling that's been intricately carved and covered in celestial paintings. I may have bumped into more than a few pillars because I couldn't keep my eyes off the sky. All the different rooms are beautifully decorated and furnished just as if people were living in them day to day and I especially fell in love with the grand piano in one of the corridors. The staff member overlooking that section was nice enough to let me tinkle on it and of course I had to play Always Summer from Brideshead Revisited. It was lovely to see how many people there recognised it and the staff member was so touched, he kept thanking me when I should've been thanking him. Unfortunately as we had to catch our bus back to York at a specific time, we missed out on visiting The Temple of the Four Winds but of course that just gives me an excuse to come back in the near future! I had the most magical day there and although I love these photos I took, I feel that they still do not do the castle and gardens justice so I'd definitely recommend visiting if you're around the area or planning a holiday. Plenty more information can be found on their official website.