Harewood, Leeds LS17 9LG

As country piles go, that of the Earl and Countess of Harewood has few peers. Just seven miles outside Leeds, it sits in magnificent gardens and grounds, designed by Capability Brown, which are worth the visit alone, whether you’ve got children to exhaust or have terrace and lakeside walks in mind. But the imposing house also repays a lengthy visit. There are daily tours and talks, and you can view both ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ areas, along with changing art exhibitions from the Harewood collection, and there are any number of events and activities throughout the year. You won’t have enough time to see everything in one visit – give yourself a full day to try to do justice to the fairly hefty admission fee (note, if you come by bus, the No.36 from Leeds, you get 50 per cent off).