The UK is acclaimed for the quality of education it provides to students right from the school level. It has thousands of private schools that are appreciated as much for their beautiful buildings as the academic quality they provide. Some institutions replicate the glory of grand country mansions, while others are masterpieces of modern architecture. As a parent, you may want to ensure that your child gets a first-class education in the most enchanting surroundings. Here is a list of the country’s top private schools renowned for their beautiful campuses.


Founded – 1848

Alumni – Sir Tim Rice, Sir David Hare, Evelyn Waugh

Lancing College, located high on the South Downs, is the world’s largest school chapel. It features Gothic-style architecture with a 90-ft high vaulted ceiling and soaring columns. The school also stands apart for having one of the largest rose windows. Architect Richard Carpenter designed the sandstone school buildings and chapel. The estate is huge and has an open-air amphitheatre that was opened by Agatha Christie.


Founded – 1923

Alumni – Sir Richard Branson, Howard Goodall, Chelsy Davy, George Monbiot

Stowe School on Buckinghamshire was the erstwhile seat of the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos. The sprawling building showcases the expertise of great architects and designers, including Sir John Vanbrugh, Robert Adam, Sir John Soane, William Kent, and Lancelot “Capability” Brown. The most interesting features of the campus include the south façade, the elliptical Marble Saloon, and the beautiful gardens which have more than 40 temples and monuments.


Founded – 1962

Alumni – Mishal Husain, Alex Crawford, Kate French

Cobham Hall blends Jacobean, Restoration, Tudor, and 18th-century architecture. The Gilt Hall is the most impressive feature, with its spectacular double-height ceiling, elaborate chandelier, and exquisite marble fireplaces. The hall was used as the music room back in the 1770s and still serves as the venue for school performances. The picture gallery is another outstanding element of the architecture.


Founded – 1550

Alumni – Alan Turing, Hugh Bonneville, Chris Martin, Jeremy Irons

The legendary school formed after the dissolution of the monasteries is one of the oldest in the country, and legend has it that it was the learning institution of King Alfred. The architecture shows traces of the ancient origins of the school, with many of its buildings dating back to the 12th century. The current Headmaster’s offices were once the abbot’s house and the library was the monastery guest house.


Founded – 1841

Alumni – Edward Wilson, Ollie Thurley, John Davenport

Cheltenham College has a large campus with many buildings, including the iconic Chapel of St Mary and St George. Henry Prothero, a former student, designed the building to commemorate 50 years of the College. Thirlestaine House is another notable element of the school’s impressive architecture. The Neo-Greek style building features magnificent central columns and houses the music, art, and modern languages departments of the institution.


Founded – 1593

Alumni – Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, Mark Thompson, Chris Morris

Stonyhurst’s Grade I Listed manor house is among the biggest buildings under one roof in Europe. The campus features the unique domed Victorian Observatory, which is the home to the school astronomy society. Another noteworthy part of the school is its impressive collection of manuscripts and historic artefacts, which are a part of the institution since the Renaissance. Students have access to the greatest works of art, including a Shakespeare First Folio and poetry manuscript by Gerard Manley Hopkins for English students and original pieces by Durer, Turner, and Rembrandt for art students.


Founded – 1845

Alumni – Chloé Zhao, Dakota Blue-Richards

Brighton College was the first Victorian public school in Sussex, and it has several overseas campuses in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Bangkok, and Dubai. It is renowned for its historic Gothic buildings designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott R. He worked on the Cairns Tower, the centrepiece constructed in an elaborate new Tudor style. The design work was later taken over by the former pupil Sir Thomas Graham Jackson RA.  


Founded – 1619

Alumni – Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paul Sinha, Ed Simmons

Barry Buildings in Dulwich College are an iconic landmark. Designed by Charles Barry Jnr, these buildings date back to 1870. The architect had the freedom to indulge in his imagination, and he came up with a unique design featuring triangular gables and a roof of finials, cupolas, and turrets. The Royal Institute of British Architects awarded him a gold medal for his exemplary work.


Founded – 1863

Alumni – Florence Pugh, George Fenton, Emilia Clarke, Laurence Olivier

One of the few boarding schools located in a city, St Edward’s School lies on a sprawling campus of 100 acres. It has a Victorian red brick quad at the centre, surrounded by extensive sports grounds. The quad is flanked by a Chapel in the northeast corner and other Gothic-style buildings. The Christie Centre is the latest addition that came in 2021.


Founded – 1611

Alumni – William Makepeace Thackeray, Rachel Portman, Peter James

Charterhouse is one of the Great Nine English Public Schools. The school was originally located on the site of an old Carthusian monastery, and it later moved to its current location in 1872. The buildings around the Founders Court were designed in a striking Victorian Gothic style. They were constructed using local Bargate Sandstone obtained from quarries around the grounds.

These magnificent campuses are worth exploring as they showcase the brilliance of the architects and designers who crafted them. Students have a chance of being a part of the most beautiful surroundings while they ramp up their academic skills.

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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