3 nights starting from
Magnificent Burghley House – with welcome talk and lunch
Rockingham Castle – a family home for 450 years
Boughton House – an 18th century mansion inspired by the Palace of Versailles
Deene Park – including lunch
Grimsthorpe Castle – dating back to the 13th century
Join Nicholas Merchant, Ex-Chairman of the West Yorkshire Art Fund Fundraising Committee, who will draw on his expertise in antiques to deliver a convivial weekend exploring some of the great country houses of the East Midlands, complete with illustrative and illuminating lectures. Based on lovely Rutland Water in England's smallest county, whose motto "multum in parvo" (much in little) sums up its appeal, this delightful tour visits some of the East Midlands finest country houses, including Elton Hall, Boughton House, Burghley House, Deene Park House, Grimsthorpe Castle and more.
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Day 1: Arrive independently at Barnsdale Lodge from 15.30 and enjoy a cream tea in the hotel’s conservatory. This evening there will be a welcome glass of prosecco, private dinner with wine and an introductory talk by Nicholas Merchant: ‘More Houses of Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire’.
Day 2: Burghley House and Grimsthorpe Castle.
Our first visit is to the magnificent Burghley House where there will be a welcome talk by Jon Culverhouse, followed by a free-flow visit of the house. A light lunch will be included here, and this afternoon it is on to Grimsthorpe Castle where we will have a guided tour. The castle has been in the Willoughby de Eresby family for 500 years and some parts of it date back to the 13th century. Evening talk from Nicholas Merchant: ‘A French Palace in the English Countryside’ followed by dinner at the hotel.
Day 3: Rockingham Castle and Deene Park.
A guided tour of Rockingham Castle, standing high on a hill overlooking the expanse of the Welland Valley. Having been in the same family for 450 years, the house contains fine Elizabethan portraits, contemporary paintings, and in the garden ‘the elephant hedge’. This afternoon light lunch and tour of Deene Park, an interesting house occupied by the Brundenell family since 1514. The Brudenell family developed Deene Park from a medieval manor into a Tudor and Georgian mansion. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 4: Boughton House and Elton Hall.
Morning guided tour of Boughton House, the great 18th century Versailles-inspired mansion of the Dukes of Buccleuch. After a light lunch here (included), we visit nearby Warkton, St Edmund Church, site of the mausoleum of the Dukes of Montagu, then on to Elton Hall for a guided tour. An extraordinary part-Gothic house, Elton Hall has been and continues to be the home of the Proby family since 1660. Return to the hotel for approximately 18.00.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
Barnsdale Lodge, Rutland Water
Converted from an historic farmhouse that has been in the owner's family since 1760, the three-star Barnsdale Lodge offers comfortable accommodation, excellent food and a warm, friendly welcome. All bedrooms are en-suite and individually furnished with TV, telephone, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer and have views of the surrounding countryside or the picturesque courtyard. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant where dinner will be served each evening. Complimentary car parking is available at the hotel.
Barnsdale Lodge Website
Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.
You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day.
For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation.
The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.
We love to receive feedback from our customers. Their views help us to keep improving the ours we offer. If you have been on this tour and would like to submit a review, please log in to our client area here and fill in the short form.
A most enjoyable holiday
Review by who travelled 22-July-2018
Review by who travelled 22-July-2018
A really enjoyable tour. What a lovely hotel - I shall look out for more tours based there. Nicholas Marchant is an excellent leader and lecturer. We are looking forward to "Gothic Splendours in September.
Review by King who travelled 22-July-2018
We found the coach rides slightly uncomfortable; rocking from side to side on country roads. Local guides inevitably varied in quality; some were more interested in retelling family history than in architecture or contents; the best were at Rockingham and Broughton. Please don't take these comments as indicating that we were dissatisfied with our overall experience. Far from it. The tour came well up to the standards of comparable companies.
Review by who travelled 22-July-2018
As ever, Nicholas Merchant proved an excellent guide, his knowledge is formidable and he has such a friendly manner as well as good leadership skills. The coach drivers took great care. Next time I would avoid Apethorpe: English Heritage are not very helpful and there were distasteful Jimmy Saville connections.
Review by Pounder who travelled 20-August-2017
A delightful trip with the added bonus of good weather and good company. Nicholas was an amusing and informative guide, and I shall certainly travel with company again. Thank you.
Review by Mrs Gillian Van Der Steen who travelled 16-July-2017
Never got to see Belton House -Nat.Trust offiicals not very visitor friendly - most rude ... It later seems that just 11 of our party of 22 had a tour - they did not see Silver.... We stayed an extra night and were told 8 people were staying to dinner - the hotel reserved a table for 8 accordingly. on going down for dinner the reserved table was full --- 12 persons had stayed - as luck would have it the restaurant was not full and the extra 4 - including we two - were able to dine.
Review by Mrs Dorrie Collins who travelled 11-June-2017
Nicholas Merchant was an excellent guide throughout the tour. Interesting selection of country houses but visit to Belton house disappointing entirely due to lack of communication by National Trust about the house opening hours
Review by Mr William Joscelyne who travelled 11-June-2017
We liked the hotel - the food was good and the provision of wine with it was much appreciated. The light lunches provided were very suitable and Nicholas Merchant looked after us very well as usual. An enjoyable holiday.
Review by Dr G Stephenson who travelled 11-June-2017
National Trust administration/contact on the day needs improvement !. Insufficient places were provided by the hotel to allow all those who stayed for the extra day to sit together at dinner
Review by Mr Gordon Chard who travelled 11-June-2017
Just one minor blemish on Sunday, there was a long wait between starter and main course even though menu choices had been made when checking in. Otherwise the usual high TE standards - our first UK and fifth in total tour .
Review by Mr Francis Lucraft who travelled 21-August-2016
Some guides in great houses get carried away by their enthusiasm to tell one about every picture, ancestor and marriage. Greater freedom would be good in houses where there is information or a steward in each or most rooms
Review by Mr W Bingham who travelled 12-June-2016
Excellent hotel, tour guide very knowledgeable which made the visits to the various houses all the more interesting.
Review by Mrs Rosemary Beal who travelled 12-June-2016
Nicholas Merchant was the ideal person for the holiday, plenty of information,polite, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He made the holiday a first class experience. We were very placed on this holiday.
Review by Mr Stephen Smith who travelled 23-August-2015
I would say Very Good for sightseeing tours and overall impression if given the option. The size of the group was just right for travel house tours and getting to know fellow guests. I am looking at the brochure for other tours.
Review by Mrs Patricia Barr who travelled 23-August-2015
A brilliant Holliday many thanks a point to note is the hotel uses some of their ground floor rooms for clients with dogs so animals may have slept in the bedroom Our room definitely had a doggy smell which is not very nice I think you should be made aware of this practice
Review by Mr David Young who travelled 23-August-2015
All went very smoothly and satisfactorily.
Review by Mrs J Stone who travelled 19-July-2015
I asked when booking, and again before we went if the hotel had a lift. I was told it had, but there was no lift there. Fortunately the hotel were able to change us to a ground floor room. They also had to alter dining arrangements, so that we could eat downstairs.
Review by Mrs Isabel Lofts who travelled 19-July-2015
communication from the tour office to the hotel and tour leader seemed poor and the fact that I booked in for an accessible room with a walk in shower and to put my mobility scooter onto the coach to use when possible was not passed on. All sorted amicably in the end!
Review by Mrs Diana Powell who travelled 14-June-2015
Accommodation was very good
Review by Mr Warwick Bayley who travelled 14-June-2015
Another well organised tour. Excellent food. Nicholas as usual a delight. We both enjoyed it. Many thanks.
Review by Mr James Croall who travelled 14-June-2015
Very enjoyable and interesting short break in a part of the country I didn't know beforehand.
Review by Mrs Diana Amies who travelled 14-June-2015
Hotel bathroom cleaning before our arrival was not adequate. Hotel meals had very inadequate vegetables.
Review by Mr David Winter who travelled 14-June-2015
Review by Mr James Oldroyd who travelled 14-June-2015
Please note that the bus broke down twice en route to us in the morning. As it happened this didn't really matter but it was unimpressive. Otherwise tours and the hotel were excellent.
Review by Mr Peter Holland who travelled 08-June-2014
Review by Dr G Stephenson who travelled 08-June-2014
We very much enjoyed the holiday. Our one adverse comment relates to the quality of the food at diner, the main courses were poor. On our last night after the tour had finished we eat in the hotel restaurant and the food was very good there.
Review by Mr Graham Blackwell who travelled 08-June-2014
An excellent few days in the lovely countryside of England. The only slight disappointment was the quality of the food. I am not particularly fussy but the choice of evening meal was poor and the meal itself was of a poor standard. A pity as otherwise everything would have been perfect!
Review by Mrs B Eales who travelled 08-June-2014
Travel Editions feedback:
Thank you for your comments but frustrated to read about the quality of the food which we will be taking up with the hotel. A constant quality control is required with our UK hotels with regards to food, compared to our Europe tours....
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