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A magnificent Elizabethan house built in the early Renaissance style, Longleat House was owned by the seventh marquess of Bath. On first glimpse, it's romantic enough, but once you've been inside, it's hard not to be dazzled by the lofty rooms and their exquisite paintings and furnishings.

The house is quite grand, but the attractions that have opened around it are a bit of a cheesy tourist trap, although thousands of visitors are fascinated by the extra amusements.

From the Elizabethan Great Hall and the library to the State Rooms and the grand staircase, the house is filled with all manner of beautiful things. The walls of the State Dining Room are adorned with fine tapestries and paintings, whereas the room itself has displays of silver and plate. The library represents the finest private collection in the country. The Victorian kitchens are open, offering a glimpse of life "below the stairs" in a well-ordered country home. Various exhibitions are mounted in the stable yard.

Adjoining Longleat House is Longleat Safari Park. The park hosts several species of endangered wild animals, including rhinoceroses and elephants, which are free to roam the surroundings. Here you can walk among giraffes, zebras, camels, and llamas, and view lions and tigers, as well as England's only white tiger, from your car. You can also ride on a safari boat around the park's lake to see gorillas and to feed sea lions. You can see the park by train, for a railway adventure, or visit the tropical butterfly garden. The park provides plenty of theme-park amusements as well, including an Adventure Castle and the world's longest maze, the Maze of Love.