Magnificent Stately Homes
August 28th through September 4th
Travel to England's largest county, known for Roman and Viking heritage, the vibrant city of York, and spectacular countryside dotted with many of Britain's most awe-inspiring stately homes. As on all my tours, you will enjoy the Louisa White Difference – slower travel, later starts, a positive impact on the communities you visit, and a chance to go beyond the postcards and explore the authentic Britain.
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Small group travel: maximum 14 travelers
Visits to three of the Treasure Houses of England; Chatsworth, Harewood, and Castle Howard
Some of England's finest stately homes, including Newby Hall, Nostell Priory, and Burton Agnes
UNESCO World Heritage Site Studley Royal Water gardens and Fountains Abbey
Accommodation at The Grand, York's only Five Star hotel
All sightseeing and touring as listed in itinerary
Meals as outlined in itinerary including daily breakfasts in hotel, afternoon teas, lunches, and dinners.
Transportation on an exclusive private coach
Day 1, Welcome to Britain
Fly into Manchester this morning and meetup with the group after passing through Customs. Grab a cup of coffee before we head out into the countryside. Our first stop, Chatsworth House, is sure to blow away the cobwebs of jetlag. The seat of the Duke of Devonshire, and home to the Cavendish family since 1549, Chatsworth House sits magnificently on the River Derwent and is comfortably surrounded by 1,000 acres of parkland. Lavishly furnished with an extensive collection of antiques and artwork, Chatsworth is considered one of the most fabulous stately homes in all of Britain and has featured in many films including taking a turn as Mr. Darcy’s home Pemberley in the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Following our visit to Chatsworth we will continue our drive to the medieval city of York and check into our hotel which will be our home for the duration of the trip.
Included Meals: Afternoon Tea, Welcome Dinner
Day 2, Exploring York
Today you will explore the local area in the city of York. A walking tour of the city accompanied by visits to some of York’s most famous sites including the York Minster, Mansion House, Treasurer’s House, Fairfax House, and the medieval city walls. Walk the medieval cobbled streets and soak up the history of the city, once ruled by the Romans and the Vikings. A melting pot of culture waiting to be discovered, where Chocolatiers created the world’s finest chocolate and ghosts roam the medieval snickelways. All this and more in less than one square mile!
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3, Newby Hall and Studley Royal
Built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1697 and called “the Jewel of the North,” Newby Hall is a grand stately home packed with tapestries and statues. Today it remains a family home, and is an exceptional example of 18th century interior decoration. Beautiful neoclassical interiors by Robert Adam and furniture by Thomas Chippendale complement a superb collection including rare tapestries and Roman statues from the first century BC. Newby is also noted for their 25 acres of award winning gardens full of many rare plants. The famous double herbaceous borders are flanked by numerous compartmented gardens such as the rose and autumn gardens and the water garden.
Studley Royal Water Gardens & Fountains Abbey
Veiled in a secluded valley, this UNESCO World Heritage Site captivates you with its vast Cistercian abbey ruins, Georgian water garden, medieval deer park, Elizabethan Hall and Gothic church. Studley Royal Water Garden is an outstanding example of the ‘English’ garden style that swept across Europe during the eighteenth century. Created by father and son John and William Aislabie, the design of this garden is a precursor to the later style which became synonymous with Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Elegant ponds and cascades entwined with rustic bridges, classical temples and statues enthrall today’s visitor just as they would the pleasure-seeking Georgians. There could be no finer eye catcher, however, than the grand ruins of Fountains Abbey.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4, Harewood House
From the moment you arrive Harewood captures your imagination. One of the Treasure Houses of England, the historic Georgian property sits within a Capability Brown designed landscape with remarkable views from the award-winning Terraces. You may recognize these terraces from the recent Downton Abbey film where Branson and Lucy dance during the final scenes. Inside you will be treated to rare Chippendale furniture, an impressive art collection including works by JMW Turner and El Greco, renaissance masterpieces, and fabulous neoclassical interiors by Robert Adam. Outside there are 100 acres of award-winning Gardens and a renowned lakeside Bird Garden.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5, Nostell Priory & Wentworth Woodhouse
Built on the site of a medieval priory, Nostell is a Palladian mansion set in a large park of over 300 acres. Discover rooms that were dressed to impress with exquisite plasterwork, hand painted wallpaper and amazing paintings. The interiors were designed by James Paine, Robert Adam and Thomas Chippendale. The famous collection of Chippendale furniture is the largest fully documented collection in the world and there are some unique pieces, from a simple chopping block to entire interiors. With tranquil lakeside walks, the ‘secret’ menagerie garden and colorful fragrant rose garden to discover, the gardens are truly peaceful.
Wentworth Woodhouse is a stately home in South Yorkshire, with the longest façade of any country house in England and is one of the largest houses in Europe. It stands in 87 acres of gardens and grounds and has extensive views over former parkland, including a deer park and lakes. Wentworth Woodhouse was built for the 1st Marquess of Rockingham from circa 1735, the work continuing over four decades. The family derived much of their wealth from their mines and ironworks in the nearby village of Elsecar and were one of the richest aristocratic families in the country. In 1912 hosting King George V and Queen Mary at Wentworth during a royal visit to the industrial heartlands of Yorkshire.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6, Sledmere & Burton Agnes
The charming Sledmere House has been captivating visitors for over 200 years. Originally built in the 1700’s, the house itself was carefully restored after a fire in 1911. Fortunately, most of the contents were rescued and are still on display today, and the house has a uniquely Edwardian-Georgian aesthetic. It is worth a visit just to see the splendor of Joseph Rose’s plasterwork and the fine examples of furniture by Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Sheraton. Joseph Rose was responsible for the stucco decoration on the ceilings of the drawing and music rooms, while the Turkish Room is a copy of the Sultan's apartments in the Yeni Mosque in Istanbul. In the historic stables – in constant use since 1780 – visitors can see the Sledmere Shire horses which still carry out their duties around the grounds today.
An outstanding example of late-Elizabethan architecture, Burton Agnes was built between 1598 and 1610 by Sir Henry Griffith, and it has stayed in his family for more than four centuries. Described as ‘the perfect English house,’ Burton Agnes was listed as one of England’s twenty finest houses alongside Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. Its main rooms are characterized by their decor of stuccowork and wood paneling depicting biblical, mythological, and allegorical themes. The family’s passion for collecting and commissioning art has created an impressive and unusual collection including many French Impressionist paintings, tapestries, contemporary furniture and striking modern pieces. The award-winning walled garden contains over four thousand different plants, a potager filled with herbs, fruit and vegetables, herbaceous borders, giant board games, a maze, a jungle garden and a national collection of campanulas.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7, Castle Howard
Castle Howard is one of Britain’s finest historic houses, situated just outside York in the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Built over 300 years ago by Sir John Vanbrugh (who also created one of Britain’s other finest historic houses: Blenheim Palace), today it remains home to the Howard family. Discover the awe-inspiring architecture, interiors, and world-renowned collections, with something to capture everyone’s imagination. Castle Howard’s 1000 acres of parkland are a mixture of sweeping vistas, lakeside terraces, woodlands, temples and statues and formal gardens. The imposing Atlas Fountain dominates the south parterre, which also boasts an impressive collection of lead statues, lakes and terraces with the Temple of The Four Winds giving stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding hills and monuments.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
Day 8, Homeward bound
After breakfast this morning check out of your room and join the group for the transfer back to Manchester f your flight home.
Included Meal: Breakfast
Five Star Accommodation in York; The Grand
York’s only 5 Star hotel, The Grand truly lives up to its name. This beautiful Edwardian building was built as the headquarters of the wealthy North Eastern Railway Company and numerous original features have been lovingly restored to their original glory or adapted to modern use in creative ways; such as the vaults which are now the decadent ESPA spa. Less than five minutes from the train station, a 10-minute walk to the Minster and other medieval attractions makes The Grand is perfectly suited to exploring the city.
A deposit of $500 per person is due at the time of booking and your reservation will be confirmed upon receipt of payment. We accept payment by all major credit cards and bank transfers. Prices are in US dollars. The full balance is payable by 60 days from departure.
Travel to and from Manchester
Guests are responsible for getting themselves to Manchester Airport on Day 1 by 8 am and home from Manchester Airport on Day 10.
Travel insurance is not included in the price. While not required, it is strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance.
Single and double occupancy rates are available.
61+ days from departure: Deposit non-refundable
30 to 60 days from departure: 50% non-refundable
0 to 29 days from departure: 100% non-refundable
Can I arrive early or stay later than these dates?
Yes, you certainly may extend your trip on either end. If you arrive early you must get to Mancheser Airport by 8am on Day 1 to meet the group to begin our journey together.
What meals are included?
Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner are included as noted in the itinerary. Daily breakfast in your hotel is included.
Are children able to attend?
While children may certainly attend, we encourage you to bring no children under 15 years of age. This is simply because the sites and tours planned might not be interesting to a younger child and we want everyone to enjoy the trip.
What should I plan to wear?
The sites we will be visiting do not have a dress code so feel free to dress as you please. We do recommend shoes that are comfortable for walking and standing for several hours at a time. For some dinners and afternoon tea we recommend smart casual.
Can special diets be accommodated?
Gluten-free and vegetarian options are typically available. Vegan might be available. Please indicate dietary restrictions and allergies upon booking.
How much physical activity can I expect?
Although we will enjoy a private coach for most of our getting around, walking will be required for tours and other sightseeing. You should expect to be able to walk for 15 minutes at a time without a break.
What does double and single occupancy mean? Will the room have two beds?
Double occupancy means two people in a room, either one or two beds. If you would like two beds, you must indicate this at time of booking since these room types are limited in number. Single occupancy means one person in their own room.
Will we have free time? What if I don’t know what to do during free time?
Yes you will have free time in York and at the sites to explore the area at your own pace. And not to worry, if you do not know what to do we will provide you with plenty of our own suggestions!