Visit Apsley House — AKA Number 1, London — to see the Georgian home of the Duke of Wellington and one of the finest art collections in London. Inside this Grade I-listed building, little has changed since the Duke's lived here.
Don't miss the 200-odd paintings, (including works by Velazquez and Rubens) plus sculpture, porcelain and furniture.
Apsley House: 149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner,W1J 7NT. Standard admission is £6.70, free with the National Art Pass.
Chiswick House in west London is a Grade I-listed building with a chequered past. One of the finest examples of neo-palladian architecture in the city, the house has been home to the Dukes of Devonshire, used as an asylum, a fire station and was damaged in the second world war.
Today, the gardens are a highlight of any visit, following a major restoration of the original vistas, statues and garden buildings.
Chiswick House: Burlington Lane, Chiswick, W4 2RP. Standard admission is £6.10, free with the National Art Pass.
While part of Kensington Palace is the official, modern London residence of Will and Kate (and George and Charlotte), other rooms stuffed with royal history are open to the public.
Inside, you can explore four royal stories: Queen Victoria (who lived at Kensington as a child); William and Mary (in the Queen's State Apartments); and George I and II (in the King's State Apartments). The final section shows fashions from more contemporary times: clothes worn by Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales.
With so much to see at Kensington, it's well worth visiting more than once: a perfect excuse to buy an Art Pass.
Kensington Palace: Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX. Standard admission is £16,50, free with the National Art Pass.
Designed in the late 18th century by neoclassical architect Robert Adam for the Child family — owners of the Child's Bank — Osterley House was described as 'the palace of the palaces' by Horace Walpole.
Its sumptuous interiors are completed by a permanent collection of rare portraits and artworks that have returned here after a 10-year loan. The most stunning part of the estate is the green area, which includes a 18th century-style garden, an extended park and farmland — perfect for a spring stroll.
While you're there, make the most of your visit and stop by the cafe and second hand bookshop.
Osterley House: Jersey Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4RB. Standard admission is £9.90, free with the National Art Pass.
Visit Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham to enjoy unique gothic revival architecture from the late 1700s.
Built by eccentric Horace Walpole, the villa features towers and battlements outside and elaborate decoration inside to suit Walpole's collection of antiques and Renaissance painted glass. The whole house underwent extensive restoration around 2010; visit now to admire it.
Strawberry Hill House: 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, TW1 4ST. Standard admission is £10.80, reduced to £5.40 with the National Art Pass.