The first Palladian building by architect Inigo Jones after he returned from Italy is as enticing for its form as for its art collection. The Great Hall is a lovely cube shape with an elaborately tiled floor. Climb the beautiful helix-shaped Tulip Stairs up to the 1st floor, where there's a rich collection of paintings and portraits with a sea or seafaring theme from the National Maritime Museum's collection.
The house was begun in 1616 for Anne of Denmark, wife of James I, but was not completed until 1638, when it became the home of Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria. Don't miss the immaculately restored painted ceiling in the Queen's Presence Chamber on the 1st floor. An ambitious restoration of the house was under way at the time of writing, in preparation for a 2016 reopening to mark the building's 400th anniversary.