Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire is renowned as the home of one of the county’s most infamous legends, Lord Byron. Originally a monastery, the abbey seems to vibrate with its rich, and often fantastic, 900-year history. From 'wicked' Lord Byron the 5th, to the 'mad, bad and dangerous to know' romantic poet Lord Byron the 6th, Newstead has seen its fair share of characters over the centuries.

We visited recently to take part in the tours, which are held every Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. The tour costs £12 per adult, with accompanying children going free.

Stepping behind a draped velvet curtain, we were transported back in time onto a grand stone staircase, and introduced to the stories of some of the abbey’s previous owners.  The stair well is lined with paintings associated with these owners, including one of Colonel Thomas Wildman, who bought the house from Lord Byron for the princely sum of £94,000 (and outbid Queen Victoria to do so!), and W.B. Webb, who was a rich mine-owner and avid hunter.

The inside of Newstead Abbey is impressive to say the least. Grand rooms decorated with Victorian timberwork and luxurious drapes, special art collections and original furniture. Looking through large windows towards the picturesque lake outside the house, we listened to tales of the 'wicked' Lord Byron the 5th, who used the lake to create maritime battle scenes, firing upon his servants in boats with live canons to make the re-enactments suitably realistic. From there, it was on to the romantic poet Lord Byron himself.

Said to have been one of the first true celebrities, Byron was renowned around the world for his aristocratic excesses and scandalous liaisons. The abbey is home to a remarkable number of his possessions, and a highlight of the tour is a visit to his bedroom, which has been preserved intact containing many of his belongings and his original bed. Our guide did a fantastic job of bringing the renowned Romantic Lord to life, so that we almost imagined Byron himself could have appeared at any moment. Each room within the abbey has to be seen to be believed.

From centuries old wallpaper featuring splendid prints and creatures, to lion skin rugs brought back by Webb and the original toilet fittings from Lord Byron’s time. You could spend many hours looking in wonder at the amazing items on display. All too soon, our tour was over, and it provided a fascinating insight to this very special historic house, and the many characters who have called it home over the past 900 years. 

If you can’t make it on one of the tours, you can explore on your own self-led adventure when the house is open on weekends, school holidays and bank holidays from 11am – 4pm. The grounds are open all year round, so a visit at any time of the week is highly recommended. You can easily spend a day exploring the estate and gardens – be sure to visit the hidden Japanese Garden, and the beautiful walled Rose Garden, and soak up the history and grandeur of one of Nottinghamshire’s great legends.

Have you been to Newstead Abbey? Tell us about your experience on @visitnotts on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. We’re also on TikTok under @visitnottinghamshire

2024 marks 200 years since Lord Byron’s passing. Here in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire we are celebrating his life and legacy with a host of events and activities taking place throughout the year. Please click here for more details.


Newstead Abbey
Historic Site
Newstead Abbey

A beautiful historic house set in a glorious landscape of gardens and parkland within the heart of Nottinghamshire.

Gardener's Cottage at Newstead Abbey
Gardener's Cottage at Newstead Abbey | Visit Nottinghamshire

Stay in our Gardener’s Cottage at Newstead Abbey and you’ll be walking in the footsteps of the classical romantic Poet, Byron and enjoying the same stunning park vistas and surrounding country

Byron at Newstead Abbey
Byron 200
An actor dressed as Lord Byron poses in front of Newstead Abbey with two large Newfoundland dogs.

Newstead Abbey was once home to the infamous Romantic poet Lord Byron. To celebrate the Bicentenary of Lord Byon in 2024, they are hosting a range of fantastic events throughout the year allowing you to get closer than ever before to the man behind the celebrity.

Lord Byron: Dangerous to Know
Byron 200
Graphic of the event including a red silhouette of Lord Byron and the title of the event, as if written in blood.

The Byron Society is supporting a thrilling new preview performance of a new play by CLAIR/OBSCUR Theatre about the devastating, dashing, and brilliant Lord Byron, which will be performed at Lord Byron’s ancestral home, the beautiful and gothic Newstead Abbey (in Nottinghamshire).

Byron's Bash
Byron 200
Two characters dressed as Byron and a monk stand back to back in raucous laughter, beckoning the camera with wide smiles.

Come dressed as Byron to join in the weekend anniversary activities through the historic house and gardens inspired by Byron’s activity here.



Comments are disabled for this post.