All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
Harrogate Antiques Fair
18th century Harewood House
York and its Treasurer’s House
Privately-owned Sledmere, Sutton-in-the-Forest and Burton Agnes
Two talks from Yorkshire resident and antiques expert, Nicholas Merchant
Explore some of Yorkshire’s finest houses with long-term Harrogate resident, country house enthusiast and antiques expert, Nicholas Merchant, whose knowledge and wit will enliven all the visits. Several of the houses visited are still privately-owned offering a more intimate visit, with a contrast of styles – from an Elizabethan mansion that has been in the same family for 400+ years to the wonderful Treasurer’s House in York.
Day 1: Arrive independently at the Ripon Spa Hotel from 15.00 for cream tea. This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and an introductory talk by Nicholas Merchant – ‘Some Yorkshire Country Houses’.
Day 2: Burton Agnes Hall and Sledmere House.
A wonderful day in prospect as we head first for a guided tour of Burton Agnes Hall, home of the Cunliffe-Lister family for more than 400 years and inherited by the current incumbent when he was just 12 years old. Close to the North Sea, Burton Agnes is a fine Elizabethan house designed by Robert Smythson, the builder of Hardwick Hall (featured on our Country Houses of Derbyshire tour), described by Simon Jenkins, author of “England’s Thousand Best Houses” as the “perfect English house” and one of the twenty best houses in England. A magnificent Great Hall leads on to a series of beautiful period rooms culminating in the immense barrel-vaulted Long Gallery containing Marcus Wickham-Boynton’s collection of English and French paintings of the 18th-20th centuries. An adjacent Norman manor-house and lovely gardens add to the appeal. After time for lunch we visit Sledmere, home of the Sykes family. The 18th century house, was rebuilt as recently as 1911 after a disastrous fire, in the style of the original. The splendid interiors reach a high point in the magnificent library which is inspired by no less a building than the Baths of Caracalla in Rome, explored on our guided tour. The house also boasts a lovely walled rose garden and art gallery with rotating exhibitions. Dinner in the hotel
Day 3: Treasurer’s House, York and Sutton Park.
The Treasurer’s House in York is situated close to the magnificent Minster and was built for the first treasurer of the Minster, who took up residence in about 1100. Since then the house has enjoyed varied forms, but has been in constant use, latterly by wealthy industrialist, Frank Green, who in 1896 bought the house, rehabilitated it, filled it with furniture, art, ceramics and textiles, living here until his death in 1930. Now in the hands of the National Trust, its interior is a treasure trove, whilst outside its garden overlooks the Minster and was won the gold award for Yorkshire in Bloom for the past 5 years. Time free to explore York and lunch before heading to 18th century Sutton Park, Sutton-on-the-Forest, another privately owned house, this time by the Sheffield family. This house despite its understated exterior conceals splendid plasterwork by Italian craftsmen, and furnishings originating from the family’s former, and much grander home, Normanby Park. Beautiful gardens. A guided tour is followed by a cream tea. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 4: Harrogate Antiques Fair and Harewood House.
After breakfast a second talk from Nicholas, ‘Introducing Mr Chippendale, ’ before heading to the lovely spa town of Harrogate to visit the Northern Antiques Fair. This fair, run in conjunction with the British Antique Dealers’ Association, will give you a chance to see a wide selection of fine antiques including ceramics, silver, furniture and paintings presented by BADA dealers from all over Britain. After free time to see Harrogate and lunch, our final visit is to Harewood House, an 18th century country house designed by architects John Carr and Robert Adams and one of the county’s foremost historic homes and a treasure trove of art and furniture. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour managers discretion.
Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 30 passengers
Ripon Spa Hotel
Stylish, traditional three-star hotel located five minutes from the centre of the lovely market town of Ripon. Set in spacious grounds and privately-owned by the same family for more than a century, the “spa” in its name is purely historic, but the hotel boasts a restaurant, bar, and comfortable bedrooms with all modern appointments including en-suite bath/shower, flat screen digital TV and radio, direct dial telephones, trouser press, hair dryer and tea and coffee making facilities. Complimentary car parking is available at the hotel.
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.
Nicholas Merchant is an excellent Guide, whose knowledge is extensive. His talks, and guiding during visits was first class. We were not impressed with the Executive Coach, which as uncomfortable, though the Driver was good.
Review by Herrington who travelled 07-October-2018
As ever Nicholas Merchant was an excellent guide; the houses visited were well chosen and his lectures very helpful.
Review by HIGGINS who travelled 07-October-2018
Review by Anonymous who travelled 07-October-2018
Review by Anonymous who travelled 07-October-2018
Review by Gray who travelled 07-October-2018
The hotel staff were all friendly and tried to be helpful, but they were obviously inexperienced and minor chaos prevailed at most mealtimes. There was a lack of good management there. Nicholas Merchant was exceptionally knowledgeable and enthusiastic, but possibly needed a tour manager to help organisation when difficulties emerged. The programme was very crowded and inevitable glitches that come with new tours led to abbreviated visits at some locations, so that one could see round the houses for a second time at our own pace or spend time in the gardens, but not both. Nevertheless we had a very enjoyable tour and we hope to return on other Travel Editions holidays in future years
Review by Thornton who travelled 03-September-2017
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