In the latest of our Discover series profiling hidden gems and places to visit around south-east London and north Kent, we take a trip to a beautiful villa with a rich history.

Danson House is more than 200 years old and sits in Danson Park in Welling overlooking the sparkling lake. Open all year round at specific times, it gives locals and visitors the chance to take in all its history.

What makes Danson House special?

Danson House is a Grade 1 listed Palladian villa, which was designed by Sir Robert Taylor who was the architect of the Bank of England.

It was then built in the 1760s for Sir John Boyd, sugar merchant and vice-chairman of the British East India Company, and his second wife Catherine Chapone. Sir John died in 1800 and is buried in St Mary's Churchyard in Lewisham.

It is set in more than 200 acres and also operates as Bexley’s register office. It offers appointments for registering births and deaths and holding ceremonies such as weddings and citizenship. The registration service is run by Kent County Council on behalf of the London Borough of Bexley.

Are there any rumours of ghosts or famous stories about Danson House?

Danson House is often used in film and TV productions. The recent TV programme Taboo, starring Tom Hardy had scenes filmed here and the film The Favourite with Olivia Colman that is currently in cinemas across the country also featured the house.

Has Danson House ever gone through any dramatic changes?

In the 20th century, the Georgian house fell into an almost ruinous state. In 1995 English Heritage identified the house as 'the most significant building at risk in London', signalling the start of a decade of restoration.

After a significant restoration, Danson House was reopened officially by the Queen in July 2005 with the restored interior opening to the public for the first time in 30 years.

What’s the best time to come and visit?

Danson House opens on certain days throughout the year to allow the public to come in and receive a tour from the heritage volunteers. There are so many gorgeous rooms to look at and explore including the dining room, the library and Sir John Boyd's Room. Each holds a different number of people so you could imagine a party in one and someone having a quiet read in another.

The opening times are as follows:

November to February: Every Thursday, 10am until 4pm (last admission 3.15pm)

March to October: Every Sunday, 10am until 4pm (last admission 3.15pm)

How much is it to visit?

Admission: £7 per person. £3.50 for English Heritage members/concessions, under-7s go free

For more information contact