Hatfield House

If you've seen Shakespeare in Love, you may recognise parts of Hatfield House: it was used as Greenwich Palace in the film. It's an authentic 17th-century Jacobean mansion, with a strong political history. It's also a spectacular place to spend a day, full of magnificently decorated rooms, elegant gardens and the famous Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I, who spent her childhood in the Old Palace and Park. It is also only a 22-minute train ride from London Kings Cross.