From £355 per person (based on minimum 25 paying guests)
Friday 10 July 2020
We depart from Scarborough by coach this morning and begin our journey South stopping for a visit to Hardwick Hall (NT).
Hardwick Hall, like a huge glass lantern, dominates the surrounding area - a magnificent statement of the wealth and authority of its builder, Bess of Hardwick.
Designed by Robert Smithson, the house is remarkable for being almost unchanged since Bess lived here, giving a rare insight into the
formality of courtly life of the Elizabethan age. There are outstanding collections of 16th century embroidery, tapestries,
furniture and portraits. Walled courtyards enclose fine gardens, orchards and a herb garden. Lunch is available here (not included).
We will continue our journey to London and to our comfortable accommodation at the 4-star Holiday Inn London-Brentford Lock Hotel. Dinner will be served at the hotel in the evening.
Saturday 11 July 2020
We begin this morning with a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden, at Kew, which is now a World Heritage Site and boasts a unique collection of plants from all over the world. Among the attractions are the iconic Palm House, which recreates a tropical rainforest environment, the Temperate House, home to the world's tallest indoor plant, and the Princess of Wales Conservatory, which contains ten climatic zones and a huge variety of plants including orchids and cacti. A guided tour is included here.
After lunch (not included) we make our way to Ham House and Garden in Richmond. One of a series of grand houses and palaces alongside the River Thames, Ham House is in an unusually complete survival of the 17th century, where time appears to have stood still. Rich in History and atmosphere, Ham House was largely created by the charismatic Duchess of Lauderdale, who was deeply embroiled in the politics of the English Civil War and subsequent restoration of the monarchy. As a sumptuous statement of wealth and power, Ham was built to impress in its day and continues to do so today. With lavish interiors, unique historical features and unusual 17th century gardens, Ham is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. The gardens are a rare example of 17th-century design and have recently been restored.
We return to our hotel where dinner is served in the evening.
Sunday 12 July 2020
This morning following breakfast we will visit Petersham House Gardens, which is owned by Gael and Francesco Boglione. Their beautiful garden is not normally open to the general public but during their special open day we will get to see their impressive double borders and topiary. We will also have an opportunity to visit their nursery and garden shop which is opposite the house and stocks both familiar and unusual plants and flowers.
We then begin our journey north stopping off for refreshments before arriving back in Scarborough in the evening.
Included in the price:
* Two nights dinner bed and breakfast at the 4 star Holiday Inn London-Brentford Lock Hotel. All rooms have private facilities
* Comfortable coaching throughout.
* Visits to Hardwick Hall, Kew Gardens, Ham House, Petersham House and gardens.
Not included per person:
* Single room supplement. - £90
* Non-NT members supplement - £30
Visit to Shibden Hall, Halifax - postponed re Coronavirus
To be rearranged
Leave Down Arms at 10.00am
Early lunch at Shibden Hall coffee shop.
Talk by stewards of the Hall, including video.
Visit the Hall and Gardens.
Return to Down Arms approx, 5.00pm
Total cost £32.00
Guided Tour of Birdsall House, near Malton
Wednesday 3rd of April 2019, Cost £20 (included Gratuity)
We met there at 2:15 for the tour commencing at 2:30.
The Tour lasted approximately one hour, after which we were served Tea or Coffee and biscuits in the dining room.
Members were welcome to look round the garden after the tour.
Visit to Ayrshire
10 - 12 June 2019
From £335.00 per person
Monday 10 June 2019
Our first visit was Crawick Multiverse, a hidden gem nested in a bowl of rolling hills in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway. This major new land restoration project on the Duke of Buccleuch’s Queensberry Estate has transformed a former open cast coal mine into a spectacular artland and public amenity and was designed by Charles Jencks, the celebrated landscape architect and author. The ecology of the site, and the materials found within it, inspired its design which is based around space, astronomy and cosmology.
Tuesday 11 June 2019
Visit to Dumfries House. Its stunning interiors are home to a world-class collection of furniture by Thomas Chippendale and many late 18th Century cabinet makers, which recently featured on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. A guided tour of the house is included. There will also be an opportunity for lunch (not included) and time to enjoy the grounds and gardens of Dumfries House.
In the afternoon we visited The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum - a unique encounter with Scotland's most exceptional man. Set among the delightful scenery of historic Alloway, the museum houses the world's most important Robert Burns collection, an unmatched opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of the work of Scotland's National Poet. Other highlights include Burns' birthplace, brought to life through a mixture of modern technology and unique authentic locations and artefacts as we travel back in time and visit the Burns family; the humour and excitement of Robert Burns best-loved tale in the Tam O'Shanter Experience and a chance to walk in the footsteps of Tam himself in "Alloway's auld haunted kirk" and across auld Brig O'Doon, where Tam's mare, Meg had her narrow escape from the witches.
Wednesday 12 June 2019
Drumlanrig Castle. Surrounded by the 120,000 acre Queensberry Estate, Country Park and grand Victorian gardens, Drumlanrig Castle was completed in 1691 by William Douglas, first Duke of Queensberry, and is one of the first and most important Renaissance buildings in the grand manner in Scotland. Drumlanrig hit the headlines in 2003 following the audacious theft of the Leonardo da Vinci painting ‘Madonna with the Yarnwinder’ and it was as a consequence of this that formal guided tours of the castle were introduced.
Visit to Highclere Castle
Tuesday 17 July 2018 The Royal Derby Museum and Factory
Here we enjoyed a guided tour of the working factory, with the opportunity to try our hand at some of the key skills in the Demonstration Studio. We then visited the museum which houses the most comprehensive collection of Crown Derby Porcelain to be seen anywhere in the world and includes pieces from all three of the factories in the company’s history. We also had an opportunity to browse in the shop where visitors to Royal Crown Derby are able to purchase the exclusive Derby Ram paperweight, which is only available from the factory shop.
Wednesday 18 July 2018 Sandham Memorial Chapel and Highclere Castle
We began our day with a visit to nearby Sandham Memorial Chapel (NT). Sandham Memorial Chapel houses what is arguably the most important series of paintings by the Modern British artist, Sir Stanley Spencer (1891-1959). The chapel is a temple to the genius of Spencer, who wanted to express in paint his military experience during the Great War. His nineteen canvases, which took six years to complete, are unique in that they depict everyday routine rather than the horror of combat. His initial posting as a medical orderly at Beaufort Hospital in Bristol instilled in him a sense that the everyday and the menial could bring him closer to God. His wartime service took him to Macedonia where he continued service as a medical orderly and later as an infantryman.
We then continued for a visit to Highclere Castle - the main filming location for the award-winning period drama Downton Abbey. Highclere Castle is not only a stunning building, it is also the very welcoming home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. Built on an ancient site, the original house was recorded in the Domesday Book. The present day Castle was designed in 1842 by Sir Charles Barry, the architect also responsible for building the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. The Castle’s history includes a fascinating connection with ancient Egypt - the 5th Earl, along with Howard Carter, discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings in 1922. The Castle now houses an exhibition that commemorates this historic event, including some rare antiquities from the 5th Earl's earlier Egyptian excavations. The distinctive gardens and park designed by Capability Brown, also provided much interest and enjoyment.
Thursday 19 July 2018 Waddesdon Manor and return home
Sadly we reached the last day of our trip. In the morning we had time for one final visit to the house and gardens of Waddesdon Manor (NT) – which featured as the exterior of the fictional ‘Haxby Park’ in the second series of ‘Downton Abbey’. Situated on top of a knoll with fantastic views over the Vale of Aylesbury, the house was built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French château between 1874 and 1885 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild as a weekend residence for grand entertaining, and to display his outstanding collection of arts to the fashionable world. The manor also features a splendid Rococo ironwork aviary housing exotic birds overlooking the garden designed by Lanning Roper in the 1960s. Following our visit we began our journey home, returning to our original departure point.
Reports on Visits and Tours during 2017
Visit to Castle Howard to see the house decorated for Christmas
Thursday 23 November 2017
We travelled by coach to the popular Crown and Cushion Inn at Welburn for a two course lunch, followed by a visit to Castle Howard to see the house decorated for Christmas.
The whole day was a roaring success.
Visit to Bantock House Museum, Highgrove Garden,
Berkeley Castle and the Cotswolds 27 - 29 June 2017
Report on the Trip - By Christine Goodall
At the end of June 2017 a group of 26 of our members had a very enjoyable visit to The Cotswolds. En route to our comfortable 4 star hotel near Malmesbury we stopped at Bantok House, a beautifully preserved Arts and Crafts house near Birmingham.The next day after a leisurely breakfast we spent the morning exploring Tetbury. In the afternoon our coach picked us up for our visit to Berkeley Castle where we had a conducted tour of the castle, the keep of which was dates from the 12th century, the castle is fully intact and still lived in by the Berkeley family which gave it a lovely ambience.
The following day we were to return home but spent a pleasant morning in Malmesbury a charming market town which is England's oldest borough with a stunning 12th century Abbey, also still in use today. However the afternoon was the highlight of our trip when we visited the garden at Highgrove, the home of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, members had a conducted tour of the garden with a very informative guide and had the opportunity to have their photograph taken in the garden by a professional photographer (a member of the Prince's Trust who now photographs most of the Prince's official engagements.) Before leaving for our return journey our members had time to get a meal in the garden restaurant and visit the Highgrove gift shop, the profits of which all go to the Prince's charitable trusts. We had a smooth journey home and members thanked our driver for his safe and considerate driving and everyone agreed it had been a very enjoyable trip and our chairman said he hoped everyone would join our trip next year to Highclere Castle.
Wentworth Woodhouse 26 April 2017
Report on the Trip - By Christine Goodall
Forty one of our members enjoyed a great trip to Wentworth Woodhouse one of the finest Georgian houses in England, 'Grade 1' listed it ranks as one of Britain's largest and most important country houses. The estate has recently been acquired by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust who are applying for and obtaining grants to make essential repairs to the building and to restore the gardens to their former glory. After a comfortable coach journey we enjoyed a very nice lunch at Le Bistro restaurant in the picturesque village of Wentworth (recommended by the staff at Wentworth estate.) Suitably sustained we were met at the grand house by our guides for the Strafford Tour seeing 15 of the most important rooms in the building. The guides were very knowledgeable, passionate about Wentworth and enthusiastic about the plans for the future. They told us the house is often used by film crews making period drama programmes, which we will look out for from now on. On our return journey our members said they had had a great day and expressed a wish to visit again in a few years time to see what progress has been made with the restoration.
Reports on Visits and Tours during 2016
Visit to Littlethorpe Manor Ripon and Free afternoon in Harrogate
Wednesday May 25 2016
We met at the Downe Arms early in the morning in order to arrive at Littlethorpe Manor at approximately 10.30 am. We enjoyed coffee and biscuits on arrival, with introductory talk. Garden maps were provided for members to explore the gardens at leisure. The gardens exceeded our expectations. (NB. The owners of Littlethorpe Manor are related directly to the family who founded The Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds, which we will be visiting in September). In the afternoon we travelled to Harrogate with free time for lunch, shopping and gallery visits etc. Everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Visit to Shropshire and Ironbridge 5 - 7 June 2016
An interesting break was enjoyed by all with an overnight stay (dinner, bed and breakfast) nights 5 and 6 June at the Telford Golf and Spa Resort (4*).
Sunday 5 June:- Visited Attingham Park, near Shrewsbury (National Trust).
Monday 6 June:- Visited the Ironbridge Gorge complex; the Coalport China Museum; and the Jackfield Tile Museum.
Tuesday 7 June:- Visited Benthall Hall near Broseley (National Trust).
Visit to Lincoln Castle (including "Poppies wave")
Lincoln Cathedral Wednesday 29 June 2016
(A review of the day by Jessica Cathcart)
a sunny start and gloriously panoramic
journey over the Yorkshire Wolds, Humber
Bridge and along Watling Street, the rain
set in just as the coach carrying 43 of our
members reached Lincoln.
Undaunted, our intrepid members made the most of this popular trip. It gave us all a wonderful opportunity to see the touring wave of ceramic poppies at Lincoln Castle just as we are about to honour the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.
Sadly the heavy rain necessitated that we bypass the famous battlements walk with its spectacular views but the newly renovated castle was a dry haven of great interest. This former men's and women's claustrophobic prison accommodation of the 1840-1870s was restored for us to view. The untouched chapel arrangements with areas for debtors and the condemned, the remainder given narrow sealed blinkered pews were shocking to us today.
Although we were disappointed that Lincoln's copy of the Magna Carta had been so recently removed because of a humidity issue, the film about it was engaging and enlightening. After our visit to the castle we walked across to the cathedral where we enjoyed an excellent buffet lunch in a cathedral reception room.
After lunch we were free to explore the Cathedral itself, and marvel at the intricate stone and wood carvings, the choir, the impressive chapter house, find the Lincoln Imp and view the 1958 Duncan Grant murals in the St Blaise Chapel, on the theme shepherds and wool.
The time just flew, and all too soon it was 4pm and time to depart. All in all we had a superb day, well worth the early 8 am start.
Our grateful thanks to Pauline Latham who well deserved our three cheers for her thoughtful and careful organisation which ensured another highly enjoyable outing.
Thank you Pauline.