Historic London - Greater London
Chiswick Park, W4
A fine Palladian mansion designed by Lord Burlington in classical style. There are wonderful ceiling paintings by William Kent, and the art collection is extensive. The gardens at Chiswick are now much altered from Burlington's original "picturesque" designs, but the Cascade still tumbles down a flight of rocks.
TUBE: Turnham Green
Cutty Sark & Gypsy Moth
Two for the price of one, these famous boats (ships?) are appropriately enshrined as permanent exhibits just yards from the River Thames. The Cutty Sark was the last and most famous tea-clipper built for the lucrative China tea trade. In the minuscule (by comparison) Gypsy Moth Sir Francis Chichester sailed single-handedly around the world in 1966-67.
RAIL: Maze Hill,TUBE: Cutty Sark (Docklands Light Rail), or Riverbus to Greenwich Pier
Windmill Hill, Hampstead, London, NW3 6RT
Just off Hampstead Heath, this National Trust house is famous for its collection of early keyboard instruments, most of which are in working order. The 17th-century house also boasts an outstanding collection of porcelain, 17th-century needlework pictures, and Georgian furniture. The delightful walled garden includes fine displays of roses and a vegetable garden.
Ham Street, Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey TW10 7RS
Ham House is unique in Europe as the most complete survival of 17th -century power and fashion. Built in 1610, it was enlarged during the 1670s when it was at the heart of Restoration court life and intrigue. The garden is one of the few formal gardens to have survived the English Landscape Movement in the 18th-century. An important and influential restoration programme was begun in 1973 and an exhibition about this with a video of the history of the house is on show in the 18th-century dairy.
Just 5 minutes walk from Chiswick House, this was once the home of artist William Hogarth, famous for his renderings of the highs and lows of English society in the Georgian period. There are copies of many of Hogarth's paintings and engravings on view.
TUBE: Turnham Green
Wentworth Place, Keats Grove, NW3
Poet John Keats lived here 1818-20. Free Admission.
Hampstead Lane, NW3
A wonderful art collection graces this National Trust stately home set in gardens at the northern edge of Hampstead Heath. The interior is by Robert Adam, and there are paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer among others. In summer the house hosts open-air concerts.
TUBE: Archway, Golders Green, then bus #210
12 Holland Park Road, W14
Victorian house built for artist Lord Leighton, contains examples of his work, the studio where he worked, and the exotic Arab Hall with fantastic tiled floors.
TUBE: High Street Kensington
One of the few surviving works by Inigo Jones, the Queen's House was finished in 1635, and has recently been meticulously restored. The Tulip Staircase is the first example in Britain of a cantilevered stair, and fine period furniture and art grace the interior.
RAIL: Maze Hill TUBE:Cutty Sark (Docklands Light Rail), or Riverbus to Greenwich Pier
Old Royal Naval College Greenwich
Begun as a hospital and retirement home for seamen wounded in their country's service, the College now belongs to the University of Greenwich. The south wing is open to visitors, and you can see the amazing Painted Hall, where James Thornhill emblazoned the ceiling with paintings glorifying William and Mary and victory over the French.
RAIL: Maze Hill, TUBE: Cutty Sark (Docklands Light Rail), or Riverbus to Greenwich Pier
Chesterfield Walk, Blackheath, SE10
Built by the French Admiral Hosier in 1700, and home to the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, the house showcases a collection of period musical instruments and very large Stuart portraits.
TUBE: Blackheath, Greenwich, or Riverbus to Greenwich
Marble Hill House
Richmond Road, Twickenham
This Palladian mansion was built for George II's mistress, Henrietta Howard. It was later occupied by Mrs Fitzherbert, secret wife of George IV. The interior contains fine Georgian furniture and paintings and an exhibition on the life of Henrietta, while the park stretches down to meet the Thames.
TUBE: Richmond, RAIL: St. Margaret's, Richmond, Twickenham
Osterley Park House
A masterful, ornately classical house designed by Robert Adam. The plasterwork is some of Adam's finest, and the staterooms are filled with fine furniture and paintings. Contrast all this finery with the kitchen below stairs. Free entry to the 120-acre park.
Another Robert Adam masterpiece, remodelled for the Dukes of Northumberland. The earlier medieval house was Lady Jane Grey's home prior to her 9-days rule and subsequent execution. The interior features wonderful ornate staterooms and sculpture, including the famous "Dying Gaul". The 55-acre gardens were designed by Capability Brown. Of note is the Great Conservatory, a remarkable glass dome.
TUBE: Gunnersby, then bus 237 or 267 to Brent Lea Gate