Longford Castle
Longford Castle
5
About
Please note: Visits to the castle and grounds are only available via the National Gallery. Longford Castle is a fine Elizabethan country house, home to a world-class collection of art built up in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the Bouverie family and still owned today by their descendants. Until now, it has been relatively less known amongst the pantheon of English country houses.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.

Top ways to experience Longford Castle and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles27 reviews
Excellent
25
Very good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

exotissima1
London737 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
Despite what seemed like petty requirements (online-only booking form demanding your address and names of all visitors who must all bring photographic ID with them, no transfers or exchanges, strictly limited numbers, no under-12s, no buggies/pushchairs, no wheelchair access, you must get picked up miles away, bags must be left in minibus, no photos permitted inside) we decided to add this to our trip to the Salisbury area.

We’re so pleased we did. What a jewel!

We’ve visited a number of stately homes all over Europe and England and even the US (yes, there are some, although often cobbled together from European raids, such as Hearst Castle in California, Vizcaya in Florida and The Cloisters in New York). This is the most fabulous small castle we’ve had the privilege of seeing, more a baroque chateau. Started in the 16th century and finished in the 18th, it is built in an unusual, triangular pattern with 4 round towers.

Still a family home, the major part of the collection was acquired in the 18th century. It’s crammed with family portraits and landscape paintings by Old Masters. Wonderful pieces of furniture are also on show. In pride of place is an intricate wrought-steel chair made half a millennium ago in the German Renaissance period; bought for £1,000, with inflation that was said to be the equivalent of over £200million now.

A small booklet is handed to all visitors; it covers the tour areas, room by room, mentioning all the major works. The 2 hour tour was given by 2 friendly and knowledgeable National Gallery guides who clearly loved being there. Like Hearst Castle and a few other fiercely protected places opened to the public, they topped and tailed the group to make sure everyone stayed together. The tour covered only about half the castle, the most formal parts - there were lots of family photos on table tops; the remaining areas (lived-in and private) were strictly off limits.

We were told there is CCTV in some rooms. At the end, we had a ½ hour in the formal gardens at the back, lushly planted. The river Avon runs down one side of the parterres and past the castle. When we looked back at the house, all the shutters in the rooms we visited had already been closed.

We were puzzled that visitors are permitted, even under stringent conditions. (We certainly wouldn’t allow the public in, if Longford were ours!) Later we discovered that over 40 items in the collection have been nominated as “tax-exempt heritage assets”, so the public has a right to see them.

Under the previous Earl, the castle was open one day each year. Then limited small tours used to be arranged by art appreciation groups, women's institutes and the like. Now, we understand, these tours are only through the National Gallery, and tickets are available for just a few weeks, when the family is usually away: over Easter and then July through early September (basically the school holidays).

We intend to return and, in the meantime, are looking forward to the book, due out in 2017.
Written 22 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julie S
Alstonville, Australia107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017 • Couples
My husband and I recently visited Longford Castle. It was a very special experience for me, my great grandparents met and married while they were working at Longford Castle in the early 1900’s. He was the coachman and she was a maid. The 6th Earl Of Radnor and his wife presented them with a beautiful marble clock on the occasion of their marriage, I now have that clock and it still keeps perfect time. The family Castle is beautifully maintained and I really felt very privileged to have had the opportunity to visit the artworks in the Castle with the National Gallery tour.
Written 18 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

highstreet2016
Seend, UK7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Friends
Seend Historic Houses Club has toured many grand houses over the years but it was agreed that this beautiful, family owned Castle was amongst the best we have visited. As soon as we arrived, the warm and friendly welcome from Principal Guide, Alexandra Ormerod, enthused us all in anticipation of the treasures and delights to follow. Room after amazing room, stairway, vestibule - the styles of the centuries melded into a delightful and fascinating history of the families who have lived there. Each room we entered presented us with a delicious spectacle of high art, the kind of which is only found in the best houses and galleries the world over. I need say no more, go, visit this wonderful gem yourselves and take away the memories we now have.
Written 27 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lauraine M
Ilminster, UK793 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Friends
A very organised nearly 3 hour tour with very knowledgeable and expert guides who give you a personal insight into a most amazing collection of paintings, furniture and the castle itself. A picturesque and stunning castle which reminds me of a French chateau sited near the river with a lovely parterre garden and statuary.
Longford is still a personal home but it is open for tours which are booked through the National Gallery. You are taken to the castle by mini-coach which collects you from Salisbury railway station at 1.30 or the Radnor Arms (lovely lunch) at 2pm and does the return trip departing the castle at 4.45. Tickets are £12 but worth every penny for this unique opportunity.
The round towers rooms are spectacular full of light and even a marble table built to go with the curve of the room. My favourite object was the jewellery box given as a present from Queen Elizabeth I. There is also a brief opportunity to walk through the garden. Do go!
Written 1 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kirkie
192 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Friends
This is the most extraordinary house and garden. The garden is being recreated with great flair and taste, however there are parts which are already established like the magical carpet of wild cyclamen (hundreds of them) under a vast beech tree. The river, with an 18th century bridge and swans, borders one edge of the garden, and the landscape looks as if it is waiting for Constable.

The house is fascinating, triangular in shape and Elizabethan, but renovated by Salvin in the late 19th century, very sympathetically.

The collection, both of paintings and furniture, is the star. The family have been collecting since the 18th century and though there have been some sales (Holbein's The Ambassadors in the National Gallery, London and the Velasquez of Juan Pareja now in the Metropolitan Museum NY) it is extraordinary what they have been able to still keep and are buying in the modern field.

This is a memorable place to visit, especially if you are interested in works of art situated in the house where they have been for sometimes hundreds of years.

There is one snag, this is still a private house, and not entirely easy to get a booking to see. You go through the National Gallery London, via their web-site to see availability.

The tours have to be guided, and usually this brings a groan of despair to my lips as guides can be so boring, but not at Longford, the knowledge of the guides is amazing and the passion with which they describe the works of art, from Elizabeth I's Jewel case to an Elephant boy by Laura Ford is infectious.

I have seldom spent such an enjoyable 3 hours.
Written 7 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rosalind A
Devizes51 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Friends
I have lived within 25 miles of this amazing place for years and only discovered its existence last year. Booking was slightly challenging. Kept getting messages on the National Gallery website saying tours had finished for 2017. Dogged determination got us there, and it was so worthwhile. So much art, so many stunning things to see. Guides were excellent, gardens lovely.
Written 6 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PMQuestions
North Yorkshire, UK35,139 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Couples
This is a very interesting and unusual place to visit. It’s a beautifully kept private home in the form of a stately house. It is not routinely open to the public although access can be achieved in a very particular way for a particular reason. It contains a number of significant paintings that are now owned by the National Gallery.

As others have described it very well you book through the National Gallery website in advance having given a large number of personal details. You report to the pub in the nearest village and upon establishing your credentials you’re loaded onto a bus and taken into the estate and into the house. There will be two guides who are clearly experts and make a delightful job of a couple of hours walking around the house explaining the history of the house and the provenance of many of the pieces in it. It is definitely not a trip for children and one has to be aware that you are essentially in a private house. However, the setting, contents, and the general aura of the place makes it an essential visit if you are interested in art and if you can negotiate the entrance procedure
Written 8 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

visitor2905
St. Albans, UK3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Solo
booking through the National Gallery site is daunting, but a visit is worth the wait and well worth the £12 price, since it includes a minibus from Salisbury Station, an illustrated booklet, and a generous hour-and-a-half tour by two knowledgeable and engaging guides. We went round in a group of 20, and were encouraged to ask questions and to linger in each room. The paintings are largely portraits, but by artists such as Gainsborough, Van Dyke, Reynolds. . . and the visitor has the rare opportunity to see them in situ, rather than an anonymous gallery. Most of the surfaces (of exquisite furniture) are covered in framed photos of the current Radnor family. The original 16th-c castle was triangular, and, though reshaped later, the architecture is striking. And after seeing round the house, we were allowed to wander through the gardens, reworked of late to resemble their former formal pattern. So much of the pleasure of the trip depended on the two guides, who combined erudition with friendliness.
Written 6 September 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sc6874
Tisbury, UK199 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
Longford Castle is a truly remarkable place, which should be on any art lovers' "to do" list. The setting is terrific in a grand family home that boasts of what is probably the largest Private Collection in England. The collection is astounding since it is ongoing, with modern works amongst a magnificent array of older paintings and artefacts. The partnership between the Family and the National Gallery is of long standing. The tours arranged by the National Gallery are well organised and prevent overcrowding: guides are knowledgeable and helpful and the pace is right. A visit will appeal to anyone with a strong interest in the arts, and is all the better with a bit of homework beforehand. It is not really suitable for young children.
Written 16 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sallyg
Harrow, UK55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Couples
It's a bit of a James Bond scenario to get access to this place but it's worth it. So let me clarify, we needed to do an online booking and they wanted to know our names and address and we needed photographic ID when we arrived...I guess you can't be too careful. It's still a family home crammed with family portraits, we saw a brilliant hand made steel chair made in the Renaissance said to be worth over £200 million.
A small booklet helped to guide us around the rooms along with the aid of the National Trust workers. It was great.
Written 5 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 23
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

LONGFORD CASTLE (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

FlightsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire