A Tour Around the Treasure Houses of England
The Treasure Houses of England are a collection of the most magnificent palaces, houses and castles, each with its own unique charm, stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. Most are still homes to the great families who have owned them for generations. Together, the houses display some of the most important art collections in the world, showcasing exquisite examples of fine furniture, porcelain, china and portraiture. On this captivating tour, we explore nine of these impressive places, alongside other historic gems, giving us a fascinating insight into life in England over the centuries.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
- Departure Dates
Jun 4, 2023 - Jun 15, 2023
Sep 10, 2023 - Sep 21, 2023
Jun 2, 2024 - Jun 13, 2024
Nights One and Two – Audleys Wood Hotel, Basingstoke
A grand Victorian manor house originally built as a private home, Audleys Wood Hotel is surrounded by lush woodlands and seven acres of private grounds on the edge of Basingstoke in the beautiful Hampshire countryside. The hotel has many period features and all bedrooms have been refurbished and offer a mixture of both modern and traditional features.
Night Three – Chilston Park Hotel, Lenham
Nights Four and Five – Ickworth Hotel, near Bury St Edmunds
Set in the East Wing of the National Trust’s historic Ickworth House, the Ickworth Hotel is a luxury country house hotel that enjoys some spectacular views across the grounds of the estate. Each room is uniquely decorated, while the hotel features a spa with an indoor swimming pool to relax in.
Nights Six to Eight – Grand Hotel & Spa, York
The Grand Hotel & Spa is situated in the heart of the historic city of York. Housed in the iconic former headquarters of the North Eastern Railway Company, the stunning Edwardian building retains many of its original features with views of York Minster and the city’s ancient walls. The hotel offers elegant guestrooms with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TV, while the luxury spa is located in the atmospheric vaults of the building.
Night Nine – Stapleford Park Country House Hotel, near Melton Mowbray
Night Ten – Hartwell House Hotel, near Aylesbury
Night Eleven – Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Windsor
Airport transfers from London Heathrow
June 4: Arrival (depart U.S. on 6/3)
On arrival at Heathrow airport, a private transfer will take you to the Audleys Wood Hotel where we stay for two nights. In the evening you are invited to join the group for a welcome drink, followed by dinner.
June 5: Beaulieu
After breakfast, we make our way to the Beaulieu Estate, set in the heart of the New Forest National Park. Here we enjoy a guided tour of Palace House, the ancestral home of the Montagu family since 1538. Remodeled in the 1800s, it is a fine example of a Victorian Gothic style country house adorned with family treasures.
June 6: RHS Garden Wisley and Leeds Castle
Today we travel first to RHS Garden Wisley, the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship garden. Extending over 240 peaceful acres – from beautiful rose gardens to tranquil woodland – Wisley offers a wealth of inspirational ideas on design and cultivation techniques. Our next stop is Leeds Castle, a moated castle set in 500 acres of glorious parkland. Dating back to the 12th century, it was once home to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. The castle’s last private owner was Lady Baillie, an Anglo-American heiress who lovingly restored the castle to its former glory, and we discover more during our audio guided tour. From here, we travel the short distance to the Chilston Park Hotel where we stay overnight. After dinner at the hotel we are treated to a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.
June 7: Hatfield House
Home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury, Hatfield House was built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury. There are superb examples of Elizabethan craftsmanship while the State Rooms are rich in paintings, fine furniture and tapestries and we learn more on our guided tour. Later we check in to the Ickworth Hotel on the Ickworth Estate – a magnificent National Trust property and our base for the next two nights. Here we enjoy dinner together.
June 8: Holkham Hall, Norfolk villages and Ickworth House
This morning we enjoy a private guided tour led by one of the most experienced Hall Stewards followed by refreshments at Holkham Hall, an elegant 18th-century Palladian mansion. The spectacular Marble Hall was inspired by the Temple of Fortuna Virilis and the Pantheon in Rome, while the magnificent State Rooms boast a range of superb collections. We also make a short stop in Castle Acre and Swaffham. The tranquil village of Castle Acre boasts an extraordinary wealth of history. With its castle, parish church and abbey, it is a rare and complete survival of a Norman planned settlement, while the small market town of Swaffham boasts many attractive Georgian buildings. On returning to the Ickworth Estate we explore Ickworth House itself. This Neo-classical mansion is most notable for its enormous central Rotunda commissioned by the 4th Earl of Bristol to house his priceless treasures. The impressive Italianate garden offers box hedges and Mediterranean planting plus a Victorian stumpery planted with shade-loving ferns.
June 9: Doddington Hall and Lincoln
Begun in 1595 by the Elizabethan architect Robert Smythson, Doddington Hall was completed in 1600 and has never been sold or cleared out since. Still a much loved and lived in
family home, this fine mansion’s unfussy, symmetrical looking exterior contrasts with an elegant Georgian interior, full of captivating collections that reflect 400 years of unbroken family occupation. We learn more on our exclusive guided tour. After our visit, we head to Lincoln where we have the afternoon at leisure. Lincoln has a well-preserved medieval quarter full of quaint cobbled streets while Lincoln Cathedral is one of Europe’s finest Gothic buildings. From here, we make our way to our hotel for the next three nights, the Grand Hotel & Spa in York, where we stay overnight with dinner included.
June 10: Chatsworth House
Today we travel to Derbyshire where we enjoy a guided tour of Chatsworth House. magnificent pile is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and has witnessed 16 generations of the powerful Cavendish family. The house has evolved through the centuries to reflect the tastes of succeeding generations and boasts grandiose interiors and a superlative art collection.
June 11: Castle Howard and York
Our first visit of the day is to Castle Howard, home to the Howard family for over 300 years, where we enjoy a private guided tour with refreshments and a complimentary guidebook. Designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, Castle Howard has twice appeared as Brideshead, as well as providing the backdrop for various scenes in the hit Netflix series, Bridgerton. This magnificent 18th-century residence offers world-renowned collections, all set within 1,000 acres of breathtaking scenery. We then return to York. There is plenty of evidence of the city’s fascinating past to admire, from the Roman city walls to the surviving medieval streets known as the Shambles. A must-see is York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe and home to stunning stained glass windows. Later this evening we enjoy dinner together at a local pub in York.
June 12: Harewood House
When Edwin Lascelles started building Harewood House in 1759, he employed the finest craftsmen of the time: architect John Carr, interior designer Robert Adam, furniture maker Thomas Chippendale and visionary landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. The house is also filled with an outstanding art collection. Harewood is still home to the Lascelles family and reflects the changing tastes and styles of the past 250 years and we learn more on our tailor-made tour followed by lunch. Later we check in to the Stapleford Park Country House Hotel in Leicestershire where we stay overnight.
June 13: Burghley House
This morning we start our journey south, stopping to enjoy a guided tour of Burghley House, cited as England’s greatest Elizabethan house. Burghley offers a unique glimpse into the way great houses have been lived in from the time of Elizabeth I to the present day. We continue on to our overnight hotel, the Hartwell House Hotel, one of the National Trust’s Historic
June 14: Blenheim Palace
We head to Blenheim Palace, designed by Vanbrugh and set in beautiful parkland landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown. As the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough, the palace is synonymous with the Churchill family and is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The magnificent State Rooms reveal a superb collection of tapestries, paintings, porcelain and furniture and we learn more on our audio guided tour followed by a delicious afternoon tea. Afterwards we travel east to check in to the Macdonald Windsor Hotel where we enjoy a farewell dinner together.
June 15: Departure
A private transfer will take you back to Heathrow airport for your return flight home.
Everything you need to know about the tour
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