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Kenwood House

Breath taking exteriors and a stunning gallery all in one.

Kenwood house, part of the English heritage franchise, stands on the very edge of Hampstead heath, ok, so not exactly local to Grays, to Thurrock or even Essex but we figure even the most devoted couch potato can find it in their hearts to venture out sometimes for something other than Morrison's. In this spirit we wanted to highlight this house as a great two-in-one option.

The house was build and designed by the renowned Scottish architect Robert Adam (a man who's life's work cover the country and remain intact today – things like the theatre royal on Dury lane and the Adelphi in London. It was built for some Earl, a chap called William Murry (the 1st Earl of Mansfield) in 1764. There is no great scandal or ghost story to include within these walls but they don't try and market any scandal or horror, instead you get to wonder around a vast and splendid house that is currently home to over 100 master pieces of art effectively making it a great gallery as well. These and the house were donated by the last owner, a generous chap called Edward Cecil Guinness, also an earl. They even have 3 Rembrandt paintings that, when contrasted with the other paintings, remind you how truly great the old Dutch master really was.

The other great benefit is that the grounds back on to Hampstead heath and are the perfect back drop to one of the countries great houses. This house was actually used on the Hugh Grant / Julia Roberts film Notting Hill; for the Julia- making-a-posh-film scene and was also used more recently in the film "Belle". It has its own parking (but quite limited) and and excellent children's section to keep them busy. The cafe is doubtless brilliant as well but we can't attest to that beyond the fact the queue was massive. So must have been good.

Postcode: NW3 7JR
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