Known as ‘Hampton Court in miniature’, much haunted red-brick Ham House was built in 1610 and became home to the first Earl of Dysart, unluckily employed as ‘whipping boy’ to Charles I. Inside it’s grandly furnished; the Great Staircase is a fine example of Stuart woodworking. Look out for ceiling paintings by Antonio Verrio, a miniature of Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard and works by Constable and Reynolds. The grounds slope delightfully down to the Thames and lovely 17th-century formal gardens await exploration.
A cafe (10am to 4.45pm) is open for light refreshments. Just opposite the Thames and accessible by small ferry is Marble Hill Park and its splendid mansion.