IT’S TRICKY to visit most grand estates right now, but you can tour these four historic mansions with picture-perfect grounds in the simplest way: virtually. Just tap or click to visit upstate New York or the Cornwall region of England, where Netflix’s new “Rebecca” adaptation is set. When conditions improve, arrange a private IRL visit, suggests Philip McCrum, director of Extraordinary Britain, a luxury travel and tour company based in London. “We can arrange a stay in the Duke’s apartments at Syon, with a butler, or a private visit to Alnwick Castle, of Harry Potter fame,” said Mr. McCrum, who also recommends a trek to North Devon, on the Hartland Peninsula, designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty in 1959.
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Named after the linden trees planted on its vast 67-acre estate, Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, N.Y., is a turreted Gothic Revival mansion designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838 for William Paulding, a former New York City mayor. Go room by room viewing the home’s artwork and antiques in a virtual tour, or peruse by collection (choose ‘Furniture’ for the Rococo revival sofas and Tiffany Studio lamps). Do a laptop ‘stroll’ through its bowling pavilion or tour the grounds ($ 10) through Nov. 22. lyndhurst.org
Historical mansions often have complex linages. Petworth House, a Baroque estate in West Sussex (one of eight houses used in Netflix’s “Rebecca”) has its own downloadable family tree so virtual guests can glean who lived there (and when). Almost as posh as Versailles, its galleries hold inestimable riches, including works by Titian, Gainsborough and Turner. nationaltrust.org.uk
About 10 miles from London, Syon House has been in the Duke of Northumberland’s family for over 400 years. In the 18th century, the estate went through a complete refresh, its formal gardens transformed by landscape architect Lancelot “Capability” Brown, while rooms were rethought by Scottish architect Robert Adam with antiquities shipped in from Italy. The website documents its impressive list of screen credits, from “Killing Eve” to Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” all of which the curious can view. (Pity there’s no link to David Cassidy’s 1973 “Daydreamer” music video.) syonpark.co.uk
In 1900, George Charles Boldt Sr., millionaire proprietor of New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, set out to build a castle for his wife, Louise, in Alexandria Bay, on what was then known as Hart Island in the Thousand Island region of northern New York. The result, Boldt Castle, is still accessible by boat from Canada and the U.S. but the best way to visit right now is virtually. An app lets you peek inside some its 120 rooms, including a ballroom and billiards room. A narrated tour highlights its decorative interiors and tragic history—Louise Boldt died in 1904; her heartbroken husband never returned. boldtcastle.com
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