Is it a palace? Is it a castle? No! It’s spooky writer Horace Walpole’s gothic revival home. The youngest son of Britain’s first Prime Minister turned an existing Thames-side hall into this magnificent building in the late eighteenth century, and was thereafter inspired to write ‘The Castle of Otrantro’, widely considered to be the first Gothic novel. The building opened to the public in 2010, and now hosts regular family events, evening tours, murder mysteries and more. Visiting without pretending to be some kind of valiant Disney character is, from experience, a challenge.