Spring 1905 in England. Margaret Schlegel is at home with her overbearing Aunt Juley and her hypochondriac brother Tibby when she receives a letter from her younger sister Helen, who is visiting the Wilcox family at their country house, Howards End.
The Wilcoxes are rocked by a death in the family, but the loss is followed by an unusual final request concerning Howards End that throws the family into confusion. The Schlegels also face an uncertain future when they are evicted from their home, which is due to be demolished to make way for luxury flats. Margaret and Helen come to the aid of Jacky Bast, who turns up on their doorstep pleading with them to help her husband. However, their act of charity has unintended consequences.
Still searching for a new home, Margaret receives an offer from Henry which changes her plans significantly. While Margaret becomes more involved with the Wilcox family, Helen is incensed by the unfair fate of the struggling Basts. In a dramatic encounter at Evie Wilcox’s wedding the three families collide, and Henry’s past is thrust into the present.