For a glimpse of the life of the British upper class in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the 'upstairs-downstairs' social hierarchy of their bygone world, this stately house and its gardens are highly recommended. The house, the earliest parts of which date from 1680, has hardly been altered since the early 20th century; there's no electricity and it still has extensive outbuildings.
Erddig is about 12 miles northeast of Llangollen in the village of Rhostyllen, signposted off the A483.
Situated on the Clywedog River, Erddig was the Yorke family's ancestral home for more than two centuries (until 1973). It provides a unique insight into the relationship that existed between masters and their servants, with the best archive of servant material of any house in Britain. There are even oil paintings and poems in honour of some of the favourites.
Today the house and 486-hectare landscaped pleasure park are managed by the National Trust, which has added a decent cafe and a gift shop. The house and outbuildings trace the Yorke family's story, while the country estate includes a walled garden, restored in Victorian style, rare fruit trees, a canal and the National Ivy Collection. Best of all, however, Erddig now hosts a huge program of family-friendly activities, school-holiday events and themed days out, ranging from outdoor theatre to Easter-egg trails and a Christmas fair.
Admission prices halve in winter.