The House of Wonders

Aynhoe Park is not a hotel. Aynhoe Park is a spectacular private house embodying the best of British eccentricity and is one of Britain’s best kept secrets.

Aynhoe owner and passionate collector James Perkins, his family and their cat Banoffee, as well as James’ astonishing collection of art, antiques and antiquities. As you enter you are greeted by a jolly-looking polar bear in driving goggles, and as you delve deeper there are unicorns and giraffes, one of which is suspended by helium balloons in the Orangery. There is also a mini replica of a Aston Martin DBR1 (complete with engine) in the library where it is parked next to a huge alligator carrying a silver salver.

When Grayson Perry visited the house for his Channel 4 series All in the Best Possible Taste, he said “What James is doing at Aynhoe is no different from what aristocrats did back in the day… and they were the true taste-makers in Britain”.

Although closed to the public, the house does play host to fabulous events and celebrations as rooms and parts of the house can be hired out for special occasions. Aynhoe Park is a delightful mix of traditional and eccentric AND is tremendous fun

Historically, Aynhoe was built in 1615 in the heart of the Cotswolds. It was seriously damaged during the Civil War and rebuilt after the Civil War to the design of Edward Marshall, master mason in Charles II’s Office of Works. At the beginning of the 19th century the house was embellished by legendary neo-classical architect Sir John Soane RA, his best known work being the Bank of England. Since 2004, James has remodeled and updated the house, combining restoration of some traditional elements whilst creating additional contemporary spaces.

The surroundings represent an early formal garden with landscape park. The gardens were laid out by the celebrated Mr Guilliam between 1701–14, and the park laid out between 1760–63 by Capability Brown. James’ next project is to restore the extensive gardens to their original design.

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This gallery of photos has been kindly provided by James Perkins.

To take The Aynhoe Grand Tour and explore the house visit