Family reunions and celebrations are generally hosted at home. But why not switch things up and do them at the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s place in the Yorkshire Dales?

Now, after more than 300 years of hosting only the likes of friends and family (and, back in 2005, Queen Elizabeth), the Cavendish family is opening their 12-bedroom hunting lodge on the 28,000-acre Bolton Abbey estate, located an hour’s drive northwest from Leeds, to the masses. They have some experience in this area: the Duke of Devonshire’s family seat, Chatsworth House, in Derbyshire, was among the first of these country piles to open up to tourists, offering everything from tours to branded merchandise.

Bolton Abbey.

The Hall, as it is called, appears intimidating. Dating back to the 14th century and overlooking the 12th-century Bolton Priory church and ruins, it was originally constructed as the gatehouse of the Augustinian priory. And while the proportions of its common spaces are predictably grand, its bedrooms are cozy, especially since almost all of them have been reimagined by English interior designer Rita Konig. Sweetly patterned wallpaper, framed midcentury posters, and richly upholstered club chairs were designed to be enjoyed by both the Cavendish family and, well, you and your fraternity brothers, kooky cousins, quirky colleagues, or perhaps even loved ones.

A room with a view.

The bedrooms are clustered on either side of a long hallway on the second and third floors; staff quarters and kitchens are located directly below. But visitors have no need to go, largely because they are occupied by the delightful butlers, footmen, kitchen staff, and housekeepers who will be looking after you during your entire stay.

Don’t even think about retreating to the drawing room without taking advantage of the martini, champagne, or cup of tea offered by a gentleman in a three-piece suit. This would be the moment to dream up stories about the Cavendish-family members, who date back to the 14th century and are immortalized in oil paintings that hang imposingly all around the room.

The Hall at Bolton Abbey.

At meals, offered at a communal table in the adjacent vaulted dining room, there will probably be too much delicious food, and it will not be of the spa variety. This is Yorkshire, after all, and the culinary team (many of whom come from the nearby Devonshire Arms Hotel) are known for their roasted meats and vegetables, sausage rolls, Yorkshire pudding, and other indulgent delicacies that Gwyneth Paltrow probably hasn’t touched since the 80s.

But outside, the glorious Bolton Abbey estate beckons. It draws more than 400,000 visitors each year and for good reason; its heathered moors, wildflower meadows, and waterfall are straight out of Jane Austen. This also is the setting of James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small, and the cast and crew of its most recent television adaptation have filmed several scenes on the estate. (Remember the very posh Mrs. Pumphrey and her obese Pekingese, Tricki Woo?)

The Burlington bedroom.

If shooting is of interest, guests of the Hall are welcome to hit the moors with the duke and duchess’s personal gamekeepers; they will also organize a civilized buffet lunch, complete with china, champagne, and a full bounty of local Stiltons, in a remote outbuilding in the dales.

A bathroom in Bolton Abbey.

Such moments used to belong exclusively to the aristocracy. But now, as the pace of social change in the United Kingdom accelerates, the doors of these worlds are slowly opening. Why not walk right in?

Ashley Baker is a Deputy Editor for Air Mail and the co-host of the Morning Meeting podcast

The Hall at Bolton Abbey is available at about $30,000 for a three-night stay inclusive of room for 18 guests, board, and staff; longer-term rentals are available upon request