The country mansions inspiring a Downton Abbey style UK holiday boom

The latest chapter in the life of the Crawley family hitting cinema screens this week, the period splendour of Downton Abbey is back. But you can live a much less dramatic life and still have a chance to live like a lord or lady of the manor, with a host of country retreats available to rent across the UK proving popular with holidaymakers who are still a bit nervous about international travel regulations.

Here we round up some of the best, including one which works out costing from a surprisingly reasonable £19.40 a night per person – not bad for a taste of the silver spoon life.

Silverholme, Lake District



Silverholme has stunning views of Lake Windermere from its windows

Where: Around 5 miles from the town of Hawkshead, Silverholme is a manor house on the banks of Lake Windermere with stunning views of the Lake District.

Top ‘how the other half live’ factor: Staff at the estate will arrange for you to have a butler or chef on hand for the duration of your stay for an extra charge.

Price:From £7,415 per week

This stunning Georgian manor house overlooking Lake Windermere looks exactly the kind of home you’d see in a historical TV show. But it hides a range of sustainable gadgets inside that makes it surprisingly eco-friendly including biomass central heating and a wood burner.

The nine bedroom, nine bathroom property sleeps 18 comfortably. There’s plenty of space to relax together, with a library, dining room ideal for large meals and drawing room with wood burner as well as a more contemporary open-plan living space with kitchen, dining area and sitting area. Meanwhile, if you’re in the mood for a movie, there’s a cinema room with a 65″ smart TV and Sonos surround sound.

Maisonwyck, Canvey Island



The country mansions inspiring a Downton Abbey style UK holiday boom
Maisonwyck in Canvey Island, Essex sleeps 14 people and has luxurious interiors

Where: On the Essex coast, close to seaside views and with easy access to Southend-on-Sea.

Top ‘how the other half live’ factor: The grounds of the property boast both a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi.

Price:From £1,510 a week.

Sleeping 14 people across six bedrooms (five with en-suites), Maisonwyck’s quaint ivy-covered exterior hides a modern home packed with everything you need for a luxurious weekend including dining room, sitting room with open fire, games room and snooker room with full-size table and bar area.

As well as the pool and jacuzzi there’s an outdoor kitchen area with dining table, sun loungers and even wi-fi speakers so you can play music and soak up the ambiance as you cook.

A short stroll away there is the small, yet beautiful beach of Thorney Bay, which provides impressive views across to the Kent coast and sights of boats coming into the Thames Estuary, perfect for enjoying some fresh, sea air.

Plas Yolyn, Ellesmere



The country mansions inspiring a Downton Abbey style UK holiday boom
Plas Yolyn comes with its own banqueting hall.

Where: Four miles outside of Ellesmere in Shropshire.

Top ‘how the other half live’ factor: It comes with its own tennis court.

Price:From £2,221 a week

Plas Yolyn dates back to the 17th century and has links with Oliver Cromwell, the Sheriff of Shropshire and Welsh royalty. Sleeping 14 across seven bedrooms and with eight bathrooms, this Grade II* listed stately home has the wow factor with a wood-panelled banqueting hall ripe for white linen-laden meals full of whispered discussions of scandals in proper Crawley fashion.

The whole house has nooks and crannies ideal for people to sit together, as well as the dining room there is a sitting room with open fire, imposing entrance hall with a seating area and woodburner and a separate snug with another woodburner. The games room has a table tennis table, while the kitchen boasts all the modern gadgets you’d expect including an electric double oven, but also has an Aga in case you want to go more traditional.

Outside the house has 10 acres of grounds and gardens including lawns, woodland and lake, patio with furniture, barbecue and a hot tub as well as the tennis court.

Talhenbont Hall, Snowdonia



The country mansions inspiring a Downton Abbey style UK holiday boom
A bedroom in Talhenbont Hall, which boasts a bathtub with views of the extensive grounds

Where: Two miles from Criccieth, tucked in the countryside of the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales.

Top ‘how the other half live’ factor: The 75-acre estate has peacocks roaming free.

Price:From £2,153 a week

This Grade II listed 17th century manor house was built in 1607. Once the home of William Vaughan, Talhenbont Hall was used as a garrison for Cromwell’s soldiers during the Civil War. Packed with impressive original features including a coat of arms and intricate stained glass windows, it also boasts high tech facilities for a relaxing break including a dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer meaning guests who don’t travel with their own servants in tow can at least minimise the amount of housework.

The property sleeps up to ten people across five bedrooms, one of which has a four poster bed and a bath in it. There are three full bathrooms, a kitchen with an Aga, three different sitting rooms including one with an open fire and basically everything you need in a home away from home.

Outside, not only does the house have a private terrace, outdoor chess set, barbecue and seating area, but there is also a Japanese water garden and private woodland walks alongside a 1.5mile stretch of river with a series of waterfalls in a ravine. You can also spot the estate’s resident peacocks while walking the grounds. The full estate consists of the main Manor House and five individual cottages, which can be rented individually or together.

Alston Hall, Devon



The country mansions inspiring a Downton Abbey style UK holiday boom
Choose from two stunning swimming pools depending on your mood

Where: Battisborough Cross, Devon

Top ‘how the other half live’ factor: Not sure whether you’d prefer to swim indoors or outdoors? Don’t worry, Alston Hall has private pools for both.

Price: From £5,162 a week

Alston Hall is a magnificent country house, sleeping 38 people across 17 bedrooms. Originally a rectory and then a hotel, it is the perfect retreat for a big group of friends or family and is packed with period features including oak panelling, stained glass and magnificent fireplaces. There’s even a grand piano in the main sitting room.

As well as the two sitting rooms, there is a reception room, utility and snooker room as well as a full kitchen if you don’t want to take advantage of the professional catering – a butler or maid can also be engaged for your stay.

Outside the garden also has tennis courts, a children’s play area and barbecue for cooking outdoors.

While its price tag seems hefty, when divided out among 38 people it works out at just £19.40 a person per night, surprisingly reasonable for a taste of the high life.