Fodor's Expert Review Althorp House
Deep in the heart of Northamptonshire sits the ancestral home of the Spencers, best known in recent years as the family home of Princess Diana. Here, on a tiny island in a lake known as the Round Oval, is Diana's final resting place. A lakeside temple is dedicated to her memory. The house has no permanent Diana exhibits on display, but it does have rooms filled with paintings by Van Dyck, Reynolds, and Rubens—all portraits of the Spencers going back 500 years—and an entry hall that architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner called "the noblest Georgian room in the country." Two paintings by contemporary artist Mitch Griffiths stand out in complete contrast. A literary festival is held here in mid-June. On the west side of the estate park is Great Brington, the neighboring village where the church of St. Mary the Virgin holds the Spencer family crypt; it's best reached by the designated path from Althorp. A major festival takes place here over a week in June.