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On the second day of my jaunt to Yorkshire I drove fifteen miles out to the stately home of Castle Howard.

You might recognise the building from Brideshead Revisited (both the 1981 television drama and the 2008 film). This is the famous Atlas Fountain.

Designed by Sir John Vanburgh (who also designed Blenheim Palace) for the Third Earl of Carlisle, Castle Howard began construction in 1699 and took almost a century to be finished.

Castle Howard is set in 1000 acres of grounds – gardens, forest and beyond that, farmland.

The grounds feature various buildings and follies – this is the Temple of Four Winds.

Before the house opened for the day I took a walk through the woodlands.

Quite lovely.

The interiors are spectacular. This is a view of the central dome or cupola.

This whole section of the house had to be rebuilt after a great fire in 1940. All of the murals had to be recreated.

A picture of the fire.

Gorgeous rooms.

Spectacular passageways lined with with antiques.

Opulent bedrooms.

The Earl’s study. I would like to model my own study on this room. When the house is closed in the Winter, the Howard family still use these rooms. During the Summer they have apartments in the other wing of the house.

Sitting room.

Dining room.

The Turquoise Drawing Room.

The Long Gallery.

The Chapel.

I had lunch and then took a walk along the lawns the north front of Castle Howard.

I walked down to the lake.

And then back up the hill.

Here is the walled garden.

On the way back to York I stopped in the village of Terrington – there were marvelous views of the Yorkshire Dales from the Lavender Farm.

I stopped by the National Trust’s Georgian mansion Beningbrough Hall, which was also very interesting. You couldn’t take photos inside.

That evening I had dinner at York’s famed cafe/tea room Bettys. Bettys (no apostrophe!) is a York institution and usually has long queues lining the street waiting to get in. I was lucky to be visiting in the early evening on a weeknight and I turned up just as a table became available.

There was a lovely atmosphere inside, including a pianist. The founder of Bettys, Frederick Belmont, took a voyage on the famous ship the Queen Mary in 1936 and commissioned its designers to create his York cafe in the same Art Deco style. I had the Chicken and Gruyere Rosti followed by a great berry sundae for dessert.