During our time in York this summer, we would like to visit a historic house. We only have time for one and I’m trying to choose between Harewood House and Castle Howard. Thoughts?
Catlin - Castle Howard is my choice. It reminds me of Château de Vaux le Vicomte in Loire Valley of France. The beauty of the lawn, gardens, and the architecture ect. You will enjoy touring this castle.
On the link you will see how similar it is to Vaux le Vicomte.
Castle Howard is a much grander house in a huge estate with lots of high brow art. It was certainly worth a visit. Buses run frequently from York. However, I remember Harewood House more vividly; it is more homelike because it is not quite as big. The architects were John Carr and Robert Adams, the landscape by "Capability" Jones. It has a unified Neoclassic style that became very popular, even in America. The interiors use the favorite colors of Wedgwood Pottery with the charming cream embellishments. It was featured in the TV show "Victoria" and the recent "Downton Abbey" Movie. Honestly, I would try to see both. You could do both in a day. Check the Tours.
Castle Howard looks more impressive in photos and its grounds are perhaps the better of the two. But, remember a lot of Castle Howard itself hasn't yet been restored since the fire and what you see inside is the rebuilt version. Whereas Harewood is more complete and original internally with a better art collection.
I think either would be a good visit, although Harewood famously has flamingos.
Harewood famously has penguins and the set of Emmerdale (closed to the public) on it’s estate. But otherwise it is rather lovely to wander the grounds when you’ve done the house!
PS. Harewood House also features as Mr Darcy’s Pemberley in ‘Lost in Austen’ a hilarious reworking of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ where a twenty first century Amanda Price swaps places with Elizabeth Bennett via time travelling shenanigans with predictably disastrous results. Worth seeking out - stellar cast!