The turrets and towers of Tudor-style Cragside, a Victorian country house, look out over the edge of a forested hillside. It was built between 1864 and 1895 by Lord Armstrong, an early electrical engineer and inventor, and designed by Richard Norman Shaw, a well-regarded architect. Among Armstrong's contemporaries Cragside was called "the palace of a modern magician" because it contained so many of his inventions. This was the first house in the world to be lighted by
hydroelectricity; the grounds also hold an energy center with restored mid-Victorian machinery. There are Pre-Raphaelite paintings and an elaborate mock-Renaissance marble chimneypiece. The gardens, including a huge rock garden and a sculpture trail, are as impressive as the house; in June rhododendrons bloom in the 660-acre park surrounding the mansion. There's also a children's adventure playground. Paths around the grounds are steep and distances can be long, so wear comfortable shoes.
Off A697 and B6341, Rothbury, NE65 7PX, England