All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
Explore Stowe House and gardens
Guided tour of Claydon House, a fine Georgian mansion
Visit Waddesdon Manor, filled with 18th century French furniture and English portraits
Talks by expert Nicholas Merchant
Join Nicholas Merchant, who will draw on his expertise in antiques to explore some of the great country houses of the Vale of Aylesbury, including those with a link to the renowned Rothschild family (as well as the Temple-Grenvilles). A full day is allowed at Waddesdon Manor whose collection is one of the finest in the country, reflecting the Rothschilds’ extraordinary wealth. Nicholas will give two talks explaining the family’s history and, more particularly, their role in the development of Waddesdon with his usual wit and verve.
Day 1: Arrive independently at the Oxford Belfry Hotel from 15.00 and enjoy a cream tea. This evening there will be a welcome reception, dinner with wine and talk by Nicholas – ‘The Rothschilds in the Vale of Aylesbury'.
Day 2: Stowe House and Gardens.
Our first day looks at the wealthy creation of a different family – the Temple-Grenvilles, who, in the 18th century, chose to create an idyllic landscape filled with temples. Amidst these large gardens, they built the most lavish temple of all, Stowe House (now an eminent school) that was so grand that even Queen Victoria was bewildered by its interiors (some state rooms may not be available according to school requirements). An included lunch in the grounds, now run by the National Trust, will be followed by plenty of time to explore the wonderful grounds and gardens, before returning to the hotel.
Day 3: Claydon House and Ascott House.
Morning visit to Claydon House, for a guided tour and light lunch. It is hard to believe that this fine Georgian mansion is but a fragment of the vast house intended to be built by the Verney family, for such it is. The modest exterior belies the sumptuous stucco of the interior and the wondrous staircase, unrivalled in England. After lunch (included) we are off to one of the less well-known Rothschild houses in the Vale of Aylesbury. Bought as a hunting lodge in 1876, Ascott instils a mood of luxurious refinement, filled as it is with fine paintings including a memorable Cuyp, and a collection of Chinese porcelain. Evening talk ‘The Collection at Waddesdon,’ and dinner with wine at the hotel.
Day 4: Waddesdon Manor.
Saving the best till last we spend the day at Waddesdon Manor including a welcome introduction, guided tour of the ground floor, lunch and a talk about its amazing furniture collection. Surely the epitome of “le goût Rothschild”, this 19th century mansion is filled with 18th century French furniture of unparalleled splendour juxtaposed with 18th century English portraits. It is unrivalled anywhere in the world with its collections of all that is best in the decorative and fine arts. The catalogues run to some twelve volumes, all prepared by the greatest scholars, which says everything about the scope of the treasures of this house, which we will explore in some detail today. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30.
NB: Exact order of itinerary 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 25 passengers.
For a more detailed account on Waddesdon Manor by Nicholas Merchant please click here.
The Oxford Belfry Hotel
The four-star Oxford Belfry Hotel is set in 17 acres of beautiful grounds and is situated just off the M40, near to the picturesque university city of Oxford. The hotel has a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gym and spa. The Oxford Belfry's stylish restaurant offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with a bright and spacious lounge bar to relax in after a long day. Rooms are beautifully decorated with modern furnishings and all have private bathroom facilities with bath/shower, free Wi-Fi, hairdryer, TV, telephone and tea and coffee making facilities. Complimentary car parking is available at the hotel.
Oxford Belfry Hotel 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.
I enjoyed the tour very much, especially Waddesdon and Ascott. I met some extremely nice people and although travelling alone I didn't feel lonely!! You even arranged very pleasant weather!
Review by Yarwood who travelled 29-July-2018