Beyond Blenheim

Visit some of England's most interesting country manors, with their lovely gardens, and even a splendid medieval castle.

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P.O. Box 180,High Wycombe, Bucks HP14 4XT, England; or call 011-441-49-475-5572. Tickets are £5.10 for adults (about $7), £2.55 for children (about $4) and £12.75 for families (about $18). Chastleton House is six miles from Stow-on-the-Wold on the A436.

A Castle to Remember

Broughton Castle, surrounded by a three-acre moat, is one of those romantic medieval castles that you're sure you've seen in the movies. And, of course, you have. In Shakespeare in Love, Viola's parents (Viola is played by Gwyneth Paltrow) lived here. In fact, you've probably seen the castle several times, since the place has provided scenery for about a dozen films and documentaries.


Broughton Castle was built in 1300 and has been owned by the same family, the Fiennes, since 1377. Today the family maintains a comprehensive Website , about the castle and about the family's achievements, particularly those of actor Ralph Fiennes, who starred in Schindler's List, Quiz Show and The English Patient.Broughton Castle is open Wednesdays and Sundays from May 18 to September 14, and on Thursdays in July and August from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is £4 for adults (about $6), £2.50 for children (about $4) and £3.50 (about $5) for senior citizens and groups. For information, call or fax 011-44-1-29-527-6070. Broughton Castle is located about 30 minutes south of Oxford on the B4035.


Kent's Masterwork

"All gardening is landscape painting," explained William Kent, and Rousham Park and Garden is the best surviving example of the 18th-century architect and landscape designer's work. Today the grounds remain almost as Kent left them. The same family has lived here for some 360 years, and the property retains a private, noncommercial feel. There are no gift shops or places to buy a snack, so bring a picnic--and don't be bothered by the herd of longhorn cattle in the park.

Rousham Park House is open from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays from April through September. The garden is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is £3 (about $4), and children under 15 are not admitted. For information, call 011-44-1-86-934-7110. Rousham House is located 12 miles north of Oxford off the A4260.

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