South of England Stately Homes & the Isle of Wight

South of England Stately Homes & the Isle of Wight

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DETAILS

Renowned for its idyllic countryside and stunning coastline, the picturesque South of England is peppered with spectacular estates and unique homes. Here we uncover captivating stories and antique gems contained within properties such as the impressive Polesden Lacey and opulent Petworth House, which is home to the National Trust’s finest collection of art and sculptures. We combine these fascinating discoveries with a trip to the delightful Isle of Wight, where we delve into the history of the “Garden Isle” with visits to some of the island’s finest treasures including Osborne House, the Italianate seaside retreat of Queen Victoria.

Pricing from
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No single supplement – very limited availability!

Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
Departure Dates
May 4, 2025 - May 14, 2025

HOTELS

Nights One and Nine Macdonald Windsor Hotel
The Macdonald Windsor Hotel is situated in the heart of the historic town of Windsor, opposite the famous Windsor Castle. The classic interiors, with a contemporary edge, fit perfectly with the Georgian elegance of this townhouse hotel. The luxury bedrooms are individually-designed and the hotel also offers a stylish bar and restaurant.

Nights Two to Four – South Lodge Hotel, Horsham
Nights Five to Eight – Royal Hotel, Ventnor (Isle of Wight)

TERMS & CONDITIONS

VACATION CANCELLATION BY YOU: If you want to cancel your booking after we have confirmed it with you either verbally, over the telephone or by email, you can do so over the phone or in writing. The following cancellation charges will apply:

More than 91 days prior to departure     $1000
90 days or less before departure            100% of the program cost is non-refundable

If any member of your party is prevented from travelling, that person may transfer their place to someone else (introduced by you) providing we are notified no less than two weeks before departure.

TOUR MAP

SouthEnglandMap

ITINERARY

  • day 1&2

    Depart your home city and arrive the next day in London/Depart U.S.

    On arrival at Heathrow airport, a private transfer will take you to our overnight hotel, the Macdonald Windsor Hotel. In the evening join the group for a welcome drink, followed by dinner.

  • day 3

    Polesden Lacey and Standen

    This morning we visit Polesden Lacey, described as a ‘delicious house’ by the Queen Mother on her honeymoon there. This peaceful countryside retreat is most closely connected to Dame Margaret Greville who entertained royalty and the celebrities of her time with lavish parties at the manor, which remains home to her extensive collection of art and ceramics. We also have time to wander the beautiful gardens which boast wonderful views out across the rolling Surrey Hills. Next we visit Standen, one of the finest examples of an Arts and Crafts property, which combines the skills of architect Philip Webb and his friend William Morris. The rooms are decorated with Morris’ wallpapers and textiles with William de Morgan pottery to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere and we discover more on our special guided tour of the house. Later we check in to the South Lodge Hotel, our base for the next three nights.

  • day 4

    Parham House and Petworth House

    We begin the day with a guided tour of Parham House, an idyllic Elizabethan family home with award-winning gardens. During the World War II, Parham became home to 30 evacuee children before being requisitioned for billeting Canadian officers. The family lived in part of the house during this time and their descendants still remain there today. Outside, the gardens consist of beautiful pleasure grounds, a four-acre walled garden, an orchard, a vegetable garden and a 1920s Wendy house. Immortalized in Turner’s paintings, Petworth House is an impressive estate that combines a deer park landscaped by Capability Brown with a vast 17th-century mansion, which houses the National Trust’s finest collection of art and sculptures. We discover masterpieces by the likes of Van Dyck, Reynolds, Blake and Turner himself.

  • day 5

    Brighton Pavilion

    This morning we take a guided tour of Brighton Pavilion, a Grade I listed former royal residence and a hospital during World War I. Built for George IV as a seaside palace, this architectural treasure combines Regency and Indo-Saracenic styles with its exotic domes and elegant minarets. Afterward we enjoy lunch together in a local restaurant followed by some free time, the perfect chance to explore Brighton’s unique antique and boutique shopping area in the Lanes or stroll along the beach.

  • day 6

    Arundel Castle

    This morning we make our way to Arundel Castle for a private guided tour. This imposing architectural gem is one of the longest inhabited country houses in England, having been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors since 1067. Many of the original features remain such as the Norman keep and gatehouse. We then head to Southampton to catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight and check in to the Royal Hotel, where we stay for the next four nights.

  • day 7

    Osborne House

    Today we are treated to a guided tour and lunch or afternoon tea at Osborne House, purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1845 as a seaside retreat. The Italianate palace reflects Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s tastes and passions, and boasts spectacular views across the Solent. We take an intimate glimpse of Royal Family life as we wander through the magnificent Royal Apartments as well as the walled gardens and grounds. After dinner back at the hotel this evening, we enjoy a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.

  • day 8

    Carisbrooke Castle & Museum and Isle of Wight Steam Railway

    This morning we head to Carisbrooke Castle. Take the chance to explore the museum, walk around the award-winning Edwardian-style garden and admire the panoramic views from the castle walls. The museum was founded by Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter, as a memorial to her husband, Prince Henry of Battenburg. In the afternoon we journey back to a bygone era as we board the award-winning Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Havenstreet. Sit back and relax in beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian carriages as we enjoy the rolling views of the glorious Isle of Wight countryside.

  • day 9

    Quarr Abbey and Isle of Wight Villages

    Our first visit today is to Quarr Abbey, nestled in the beautiful countryside and home to a small group of Benedictine monks. Founded in 1132, the abbey was demolished under the reign of King Henry VIII. Today, we can see the ancient ruins and explore the newer buildings, lovely gardens and visitor center, which tells the turbulent story of the abbey. In the afternoon we enjoy a scenic drive through some of the Isle of Wight’s most picturesque and charming villages such as Godshill and Brighstone, as well as the beautiful Steephill Cove.

  • day 10

    Jane Austen’s House Museum

    This morning we catch the ferry back to Jane Austen’s House Museum, the charming house where she spent the last eight years of her life. It was in this country cottage where Austen did the majority of her mature writing, including the timeless Pride and Prejudice. The museum tells the story of the author and her family through a host of treasures, including first editions of Austen’s books, jewellery and furniture. Later, we return to the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, where we enjoy a farewell dinner together

  • day 11

    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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