|Subject: Re: Cotswold & York?|
Welcome! You say that you like homes and estates rather than castles. One possibility is the Peak District where there are several wonderful stately homes. Chatsworth House, Hardwick Hall and Haddon Hall are all fabulous.
You might also consider the area near Bath. Bowood, Stourhead Gardens and house, the villages of Lacock and Castle Coomb are all worthwhile. I haven't been to Longleat, another famous attraction. In Bath itself are some interesting buildings and collections (costume, the Royal Crescent, the pump room, etc.) http://www.visitbath.co.uk/
We have stayed near there several times and once in Bath itself. A little pricey in Bath though. We stayed at the Kennard - great location, very nice small hotel. 100 pounds double with breakfast. http://www.kennard.co.uk/page3.htm
We also stayed at a B&B in a village nearby. Biddestone in Wiltshire is charming with two pubs and a duck pond in the village centre but there are lots of other small villages and farm B&B's around.
You asked specifically about York. You could certainly include York with the Peak District. York is wonderful.
The Cotswolds are very touristy, lots of tea shops and shopping in general. But in my opinion, the stately homes and gardens are not are interesting or as plentiful as the Peak District. You can of course combine Bath, some of the homes mentioned above and the Cotswolds. Depends on the time you have!