When you’re considering a new driveway, taking design inspiration from the very best examples is not a bad place to start. Here, we look at how some of Britain’s long approach driveways provide the ultimate arrival experience and perfectly complement the homes they lead to.
- Highclere CastleImposing Highclere Castle, also known as Downtown Abbey thanks to its location on the hit TV show, has a driveway to match its grandeur. Although there are no fewer than nine entrances to the Estate, the main entrance that leads to the front door is a straight, mile-long gravel driveway. It’s flanked by simple yet neatly manicured lawn, allowing the magnificence of the Castle to speak for itself.
- Goodwood HouseA tree-lined driveway winds gently towards Goodwood House once you’ve passed through the main gates. Impressive property gates are the first indication you’ve arrived, as well as a marker of prestige, security and privacy. Goodwood House’s driveway offers visitors a glimpse of the house from a prime, perpendicular standpoint, before making the final approach where a turning circle allows vehicles to grandly sweep in and out.
- Blickling HallAn extra-wide, extra-long gravel driveway guides visitors to the pleasingly symmetrical building of Blickling Hall. Consistent with so many of its stately home counterparts, it’s an impeccably straight design, framed by lawn and leading directly to the centre of the Hall.
- Windsor CastleA favourite residence of the Queen, particularly at weekends, Windsor Castle has a series of driveways to welcome tourists, residents and private guests. But a long driveway leading to the main front door is poker straight and immaculately fringed with a clipped lawn. Like Highclere Castle, the simplicity of the driveway means it doesn’t detract from the architectural splendour of the residence.
- Blenheim PalaceThere are two approaches to Blenheim Palace’s grand entrance. One is a long straight drive through wrought iron gates, affirming that if space allows, a straight driveway is an ultimate design statement. A second entrance begins at a triumphal arch, the East Gate, that guides the visitor’s gaze to a second impressive gate and through to the Great Court.
- Charborough HouseDorset’s Charborough House has an unusually long driveway, taking over four minutes to reach the house from the road. It directs visitors through the beautiful parkland of the Estate, before a final sweeping curve brings vehicles to the main house.
- Longleat HouseLongleat House’s extra-long driveway guides visitors through an impressive and undulating estate, a sense of anticipation building all the while. Although it breaks away from the norm of a straight driveway, it nevertheless offers enchanting views of the house on approach.
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