All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
Madresfield Court – home to the Lygon family
Kentchurch Court with lunch
12th century Berkeley Castle
Thousand year old Croft Castle
Some of England’s oldest families are still the proud owners of beautiful country estates that they have called home for generations. This private home heritage tour tells the story of both the families and their stately piles from the 11th century to present day with special private tours to view family relics, distinguished collections, magnificent architecture and sprawling parkland whilst discovering more about the Lygons, Scudamore, Berkeley and Croft families themselves. A very special visit is arranged at Madresfield Court which dates back to the 12th century and was remodelled in the 19th century, as well as a private visit to Kentchurch Court, home of Jan Lucas-Scudamore where we will enjoy a homemade lunch. We will also visit Croft Castle, a family home for nearly a thousand years.
Day 1: Arrive independently at the Jurys Inn Cheltenham from 15.00. This evening there will be a welcome reception, dinner with wine and an introductory talk by host Mike Stone - 'The Great Families and Estates of Lygon, Scudamore and Berkeley from the 11th to 20th Century'.
Day 2: Berkeley Castle and Madresfield Court.
This morning we visit Berkeley Castle, home to the Berkeley family since their ancestor, Robert Fitzharding, completed the Keep in the late 12th Century. The contents of the castle have been chosen and collected by members of the Berkeley family throughout the centuries and reflect the history of their home. Located within 6,000 acres, the castle also has a medieval deer park. After lunch (not included) we visit Madresfield Court which began its life as a great hall in the 12th century. In 1593 the house was rebuilt and substantially remodelled in the 19th century to resemble a moated Elizabethan house. The Court chapel was decorated in the Arts & Crafts style and the Lygon family have owned the house and estate for several centuries. The novelist Evelyn Waugh visited the house and may have based the Flyte family in Brideshead Revisited on the Lygons. This evening dinner will be included at the hotel restaurant.
Day 3: Kentchurch Court and Croft Castle.
Today we begin our story with Ralph Scudamore, who arrived from Normandy to build a castle in Ewyas Harold in 1042, and whose family moved to a moated manor at Kentchurch in the 14th century. The Kentchurch Court you will see now was modernised by renowned architect John Nash between 1773 and 1795 and contains carvings by Grinling Gibbons and a fine collection of portraits dating back to the 16th century. Filming for Regency House Party and Country House Rescue has taken place here. As part of your visit a two-course lunch has been organised for you (included) and there will also be time to visit the gardens. This afternoon we head north to Croft Castle, family home to the Croft family for nearly a thousand years, this intimate home (now in the control of the National Trust) has a plethora of stories to tell. 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: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 48 passengers.
The Jurys Inn Cheltenham
Located in the Cotswolds, close to the historic town of Cheltenham, and set within its own landscaped gardens, the four-star Jurys Inn Cheltenham Hotel offers a restaurant, lounge bar, indoor pool and health club. Bedrooms are en-suite with bath/shower, TV, wifi, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. Complimentary car parking is available at the hotel.
Jurys Inn Cheltenham 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.
The venues visited and their guides were excellent with the added bonus that the weather was good and we were able to explore the gardens which should not be missed. Time went all too quickly. The owner of Kentchurch provided a wonderful lunch which we all appreciated.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 21-May-2019
It would have been helpful to have the address of the 'Grand Private Houses we visited so that we could follow the route on a map.
Review by Pointer who travelled 21-May-2019
Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-September-2018
Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-September-2018
Review by Gray who travelled 25-September-2018
Review by Clarke who travelled 27-September-2021
An excellent trip; good tour and local guides and driver. Marilyn (wife of tour leader) coped most sensitively with one non-walker. Hotel seems to be on the slide; has it been taken over? Staff were excellent but running between jobs. Food and service were poor BUT we didn't come on this trip for the food. We came for the scenery, the history, the houses. A great Travel Editions tour! See you again!
Review by Taylor who travelled 25-September-2018
no complaints, coach driver excellent
Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-September-2018
Very enjoyable event through lovely countryside, blessed with superb weather. Would have liked dinner a bit earlier on our first evening after Mike Stone's helpful introductory talk, having travelled during the day. Excellent guides on the whole but especially at Berkeley Castle (?Lynda) and the very hospitable family at Kentchurch ,including young Charlie. The "light lunch" they provided was amazing . As for admin- I was surprised after completing payment online not to get a proper acknowledgement- a bit un-nerving! Staff at Jury's Inn very helpful, especially when we asked for an extra night's stay (Laura). We enjoyed the whole experience & congratulations to driver Colin for his skill and nail biting negotiations of narrow lanes and entrance gates.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-September-2018
Review by Lloyd who travelled 22-May-2018
Would prefer a hotel nearer town. Hotel OK, but have had much better breakfasts in similar class hotels. Mean lot - not even a plain biscuit with tea tray! If you have influence, suggest to hotels that when they test a mock up room, they do not use a 6 foot athlete! I am fairly tall but could not reach a folded towel without stepping into bath, bath side so high I had difficulty getting in, and trying to reach the hook on back of bathroom door without a stepstool was impossible. You could sit down in front of the dressing table mirror, but only to do the top part of hair. However bed very comfortable. Some changes would be a boon to normal size rather older customers.
Review by Herman who travelled 22-May-2018
The coach was excellent and very comfortable. The hotel was good but there were a few problems. The second night we were told that dinner would be for 7.0p.m. However, they were not prepared to serve until 7.30 p.m. and my wife and myself had arranged to go out to go back to Berkeley Church, and we only just made it in time. (We got there at 8.45 p.m. and I was not very pleased) Also, there was a problem with drainage from the bath, with awful dirty and smelly water coming back up through the drain plug. The following morning all was OK!
Review by White who travelled 22-May-2018
I have rated the accommodation satisfactory overall: however, this represents a 'good' for the hotel and a 'very poor' for the hotel restaurant. On the first evening, despite our having pre-ordered our food, the service was chaotic. It was better on the second evening. On the third (we had elected to stay the extra night) the time from ordering food to recieving it was 70 minutes!
Review by Weaver who travelled 26-September-2017
Review by who travelled 26-September-2017
Many thanks for a very enjoyable break
Review by Mrs Sheila Feakes who travelled 23-May-2017
Mike and Marilyn were excellent hosts. Hope to join them again on another tour next year.
Review by Mrs Carolyn Simons who travelled 23-May-2017
Review by Mr Henry Carlton who travelled 23-May-2017
A very rewarding two days!
Review by Mrs Rachel Larcombe who travelled 23-May-2017
I have done many similar tours with ACE. This was equally good in all respects, the main difference being in the larger size of the party, however, as we were split into smaller groups at each site this wasn't detrimental. I thoroughly enjoyed each of the four visits despite having been to Berkeley and Abbey Dore before and found the local guides excellent, as was the tour leader/lecturer (he seemed to do all the work). Excellent dinners, average breakfasts.
Review by Mr Peter Adams who travelled 23-May-2017
Very enjoyable. Beautiful houses
Review by Ms Helen Smyth who travelled 19-September-2016
Pity the hotel could not be more 'historical' to fit the trip. It was rather more for business people, but can see why chosen for location near M5. Visits themselves very interesting though a little more time for viewing on day 2 at both sites might have improved the experience.
Review by Mr Sydney Kelly who travelled 19-September-2016
This was truly an outstanding tour.
Review by Mrs Biddy Brown who travelled 19-September-2016
We really appreciated the care that Mike & Marion Stone provided. We enjoyed Mike's lecture and were impressed with his historical knowledge. Ideally a second lecture on the second night would have suited us fine. The hotel whilst adequate was not four star as they market themselves.
Review by Dr Joy Main who travelled 19-September-2016
The tour was superb ... could do it all again tomorrow!
Review by Miss Hilary Whitbread who travelled 19-September-2016
Review by Mrs Jean Saunders who travelled 19-September-2016
My husband and I enjoyed our few days with the above tour. Madresfield was the highlight for us but we enjoyed each of the other houses too. The hotel was more than adequate but food was just OK. It is in the middle of refurbishment and a little disorganised in the bar and on the Tuesday evening dinner when the staff were confused. Mike Stone was excellent and very knowledgeable and we appreciated that. We may be interested in another trip abroad hence having requested appropriate brochures. We already have 2017 UK brochure. Thanks again. Deirdre
Review by Mrs Deirdre McGowan who travelled 19-September-2016
Excellent throughout. Guides ,accomdoation, Coach,meals and general help
Review by Mr James Gough who travelled 13-September-2016
Review by Miss Jean Jones who travelled 13-September-2016
We would particularly like to say how much trouble Mike and Marilyn took to make sure the trip went without a hitch, they really looked after us extremely well. We saw some lovely houses and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Review by Mrs Virginia Pryor who travelled 13-September-2016
Thoroughly enjoyable, well run trip, as ever.
Review by Mr C Morris who travelled 13-September-2016
Review by Mr P Hatch who travelled 13-September-2016
Wonderful experience. Both houses were enchanting. Guides in both houses were exceptional and welcoming.
Review by Mrs Judith Wynn-Jones who travelled 13-September-2016
It was my visit holiday with Travel Editions. I thought the tour was very well organised. Although the Jurys Inn wasn't very prepossessing from the outside, my room was fine, the staff were all very pleasant and helpful and the food was good. Hope to have a holiday with you again. Flight/Train/Ferry not applicable. I would like your brochure for next year please.
Review by Mrs Betty Miller who travelled 13-September-2016
Wonderful. Mike and Marilyn Stone are superb. Came home and immediately book a trip next June.
Review by Mrs Danielle Joy who travelled 13-September-2016
A most interesting tour with a range of contrasting visits Our tour manager was excellent, patient and good humoured - his introductory talk excellent too The delays in reaching our venues were unavoidable but meant that some visits were cut rather short. Guides at the houses and Abbey all most welcoming and informative. The Hotel was something of a disappointment. It is currently being refurbished and initial impression was good but the "housekeeping" has obviously suffered. Room only prepared for one guest, soup spoons instead of dessert spoons and young Bar staff needing training. Please don't think I am being a "grumpy old woman" - these matters seemed very basic and when I mentioned my concerns to the Staff their response was courteous and positive. As always I enjoyed my break with Travel Editions and shall most certainly book again.
Review by Mrs Susan Webster who travelled 13-September-2016
Review by Mrs Bridget Barry who travelled 24-May-2016
As tour was based close to an historic centre (Cheltenham) an option for future tours could include a few hours exploring the town.
Review by Mr Gordon Chard who travelled 24-May-2016
Very interesting and enjoyable trip also well organised
Review by Ms Eileen Horrocks who travelled 24-May-2016
Jury's Inn good position, but overall left something to be desired. Staff nice enough, but needed some organisation. eg asked for toilet - roll never delivered/meals good but chaotic service. Not the individual staff to blame. Did not stop extra night because of exorbitant price for rooms. Went to nicer and less expensive alternative. Mike was excellent leader. All the visits were organised with good local guides.
Review by Mr James Walton who travelled 24-May-2016
Pulhams Coach not comfortable, rather aged. Hotel food good and visits of quality. Special mention for Jan Scudamore and her staff for making us feel at home at Kentchurch
Review by Mr Paul Shaw who travelled 24-May-2016
The tour guide Mike was informative approachable and efficient as usual. The hotel was fine apart from the meal on the second night which was appalling. Staff were lovely and friendly and the room was lovely. Most of the tour was excellent but I'm not sure what Dore Abbey is doing in a tour called Grand Private Houses and it was the weak link in the holiday. Also we had a very long time at Kentchurch Court. Probably too long
Review by Smith who travelled 24-May-2016
The tour was very well organised and immensely enjoyable. The tour manager (Mike Stone) was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and always cheerful. We were very impressed by his squeezing in an extra unplanned but appropriate visit on the first day.
Review by Mr Max Barton who travelled 08-September-2015
Ignore the travel mark can't take it out.! We really enjoyed the tour, each house was special in its own right. Dore Abbey was a slight disappointment but important in its time. To have such enthusiastic hosts made the visits more special. Thank you
Review by Mrs Elaine Foulds who travelled 08-September-2015
We enjoyed our trip greatly and our manager and hotel staff were very friendly.our only surprise was the hotel's fixed charge of £20 for drinks package for the banquet dinner which thought was covered by our prepayment!
Review by Mr Martin Banister who travelled 08-September-2015
I could not erase the travel arrangements because of course I drove down. It was a really good tour and the Tour Manager added a few extra things of interest. Please do another Italian gardens tour.
Review by Mrs Mary Clark who travelled 08-September-2015
Very good value...we particularly enjoyed the visit to \\\\\\\\\kentchurch Court which really is a Private Grand House. Some of the coach journeys rather long but worth it for what we saw.
Review by Mr Michael Grindrod who travelled 08-September-2015
A very enjoyable and interesting nostalgic break round my old stamping grounds!
Review by Mr Nicholas Holding who travelled 08-September-2015
A terrific itinerary. All the guides were very knowledgeable. I'm sure we will be taking another tour next year.
Review by Mrs Julie Hall who travelled 08-September-2015
Review by Mr Raymond Shardlow who travelled 08-September-2015
Review by Mrs Victoria Holding who travelled 08-September-2015
Very good tour. Just the right amount of locations. Not too much crammed into too a short time. The coach & driver were good. Guide was very informative and pleasant. He kept the right balance of talking/guiding and letting us be on our own. Impressed that we stayed ahead of schedule both days!
Review by Mr Paul Ralston who travelled 08-September-2015
Four very different and interesting places visited plus a bonus quick stop Kilpeck church. Most enjoyable throughout.
Review by Mr Leslie Goddard who travelled 08-September-2015
Review by Mrs Joanna Pellew who travelled 19-May-2015
Very good two days but slightly marred by the fact that at two of the houses visited (Berkeley, Madresfield) there was no time to visit the lovely gardens.
Review by Mr Peter Holland who travelled 19-May-2015
The Tour Manager supassed our expectations. He and his wife were excellent in fact could you furnish me with the tours that he will be doing next year or later this year.
Review by Mrs Ruth Baker who travelled 19-May-2015
A very enjoyable tour, among like-minded people. The hotel accommodation and food were terrific, and the staff at the Thistle, Cheltenham, couldn't do enough for you. The trip to Kentchurch Court was delightful and our hostess was a hoot, though don't be fooled by her 'light' lunches - you won't be wanting much dinner! Our leader Mike Stone had the gift of conveying his considerable knowledge lightly. If I had one criticism to make, it would be that another half-hour at Madresfield Court would have been useful, as there wasn't time to walk around the moated house and take in its surroundings. I have been on both the William Morris tours and they were just as good. I shall certainly be booking with Travel Editions again. Thank you!
Review by Ms Susan Naden who travelled 19-May-2015
We had a great time on this our 4th tour - everything went very well and Mike Stone and his wife were as before charming and helpful. BUT - we were quite bothered by the fact that Eastnor Castle was withdrawn from the tour very late in the day. We had booked primarily to see Eastnor as we had been turned away from there a couple of years ago in favour of a Land Rover event - which we had not seen advertised. We thought Travel Editions were a "fail safe" way of seeing this particular monument and were very disappointed to be turned away again. I don't blame your company but I would like to suggest that as they are unreliable you do not use them again. Instead of this venue we travelled a much further distance on our final day, granted we saw Havington Hall which was very interesting but it was not what we had signed up for. We really enjoy these tours and have recommended them to a lot of our friends – and look forward to next time. Alwyn Tucker U010545
Review by Mrs Alwyn Tucker who travelled 22-September-2014
Travel Editions feedback:
Many thanks for returning your questionnaire and so pleased that you enjoyed the tour but so you still didn't get to see Eastnor Castel. I think there is a little confusion as this castle visit on the September tour was never included ( on our brochure and website we put ... you visit Eastnor Castle (May and July only).....but when your final documents were sent we kept the visit included on the September date but did send you a letter explaining that this was a document error and as per the itinerary, a visit to Eastnor was not included.
Another successful trip for us. Your tours are well-organised with a full and interesting itinerary. This was my 4th or 5th tour and I look forward to my next - Nancy in March I think. Very many thanks for all your careful planning and hard work. Much appreciated. Val Watkins
Review by Miss Valerie Watkins who travelled 22-September-2014
Hotel staff were very welcoming and dining room staff were excellent - best staff we've come across in any hotel! Really enjoyed our trip.
Review by Mrs M Norman who travelled 22-September-2014
Lovely weather and a refreshingly different set of historic houses (and religious edifices).
Review by Mr Alan Hilton who travelled 22-September-2014
Review by Gibbs who travelled 20-September-2013
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