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Live Like a Queen: a look at Britain’s queer stately homes

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Live Like a Queen: a look at Britain’s queer stately homes. 

Join two award winning tour guides for the queerest look you'll ever get at Britain's stately homes!

Join award-winning tour guides Nick Collinson and Dan Vo as they look at the grand palaces and stately homes that have been the settings for queer love as well as inspired the fantastical imaginations of film makers across the decades.

From novels, to films, romance among the roses, and bust-ups in the bedchamber, stately homes around the UK have been the setting for queer love and heartbreak for hundreds of years. We go upstairs and downstairs as well as outside into the bushes, to look for queer love in some of the most glamourous residential buildings in the UK. Some of the amazing locations you will see are:

  • Knole was the ancestral home of Vita Sackville-West, which inspired Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando. The property is where the original, fragile manuscript is kept today.
  • Sissinghurst Castle is where Vita Sackville-West made her home. Her beautifully designed gardens, while a source of inspiration for English gardens across the country, were first designed by her with same-sex romantic dalliances in mind.
  • Kensington Palace is the current home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their young family. It was once home to Queen Anne, played by Olivia Colman in 2018 movie ‘The Favourite’. Its corridors echo with the turbulent relationships between the queen and her ‘favourites’.
  • Shibden Hall is the focus of the BBC drama series written by Sally Wainwright, 'Gentleman Jack' starring Suranne Jones and Sopie Rundle. Within a stone’s throw is also the church where Anne Lister and Ann Walker married.
  • Madresfield Court has belonged to the Lygon family since the 12th century. It was home of Liberal politician William Lygon, 7th Lord Beauchamp and Governor of New South Wales, who had a penchant for youthful, rosy-cheeked footmen. His story inspired Evelyn Waugh to write Brideshead Revisited...
  • Castle Howard was catapulted into the public eye in the 1980s, when it was used as the setting for the TV adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. It is still synonymous with the well-loved novel and in 2008 reprised its role in the big screen adaptation

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