A Romantic Journey to Cheshire and the Lakes

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June 11-19, 2017 | Prices from $4,990 per person

$5,140 for Royal Oak members

We journey north to experience the romantic landscapes of the Lake District and explore this beautiful region’s effect on literature, art and design. We also uncover some of the hidden stories behind picturesque rural villages and grand houses along the way.

Day 1: Arrival

On arrival at Heathrow airport, a private transfer will take you to our overnight hotel, the Macdonald Windsor Hotel. In the evening you are invited to join the group for a welcome drink, followed by dinner.

Day 2: Stowe and Moseley Old Hall



En-route to Cheshire, we visit Stowe. We enjoy a guided tour of the lavish house with its spectacular Neo-classical interiors which reflect the flamboyant characters of its creators, the powerful Temple-Grenville family. We also have free time to explore the stunning informal gardens, which offer historic temples, monuments, beautiful lakes and vistas. We enjoy lunch here after our visit.

We continue on to Moseley Old Hall, an atmospheric Elizabethan farmhouse where King Charles II sought refuge from Cromwell’s troops while on the run after being defeated at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

Later, we check in to the Rookery Hall Hotel, where we spend the next three nights.

Day 3: Buxton, Eyam and Chatsworth House

albionjourneys_aromanticjourney_1463586653robmellorchatworthhouse_525x350Our first stop is the elegant spa town of Buxton, known as the gateway town to the Peak District. Famed for its natural spring water, the town has many beautiful buildings including the Opera House and the Georgian Crescent.

We then pay a brief visit to Eyam, known as the ‘Plague Village’ due to the events of 1665-66 when the plague was brought from London to this tiny community.

Magnificent Chatsworth House is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and has witnessed sixteen generations of the powerful Cavendish family. Grandiose interiors and a superlative art collection make Chatsworth easily one of Britain’s most significant houses. We join a guided house tour, followed by a Devonshire Champagne Cream Tea.

Day 4: Arley Hall and Tatton Park

View of the house from the garden, Tatton Park, in late summer.

Arley Hall has been the much-loved home of Viscount Ashbrook and his forbears for over 500 years. The Hall provides a warm and intimate atmosphere with elaborate ceilings, oak-panelling and beautiful furniture while the formal gardens are home to a huge variety of plants, including a magnificent double herbaceous border.

Built by Samuel Wyatt, Tatton Park is one of Britain’s most complete estates, with a landscaped deer park and exquisite formal gardens. The opulent interior is crammed with collections of silver, china, glass and fine furniture made by Gillows. Outside, year-round colour is provided by the Rose, Italian and Japanese gardens. Here we enjoy a tour with the Head Gardener followed by traditional afternoon tea.

Day 5: Little Moreton Hall and Samlesbury Hall

Little Moreton

Little Moreton

We head to Little Moreton Hall, a charming and quirky black and white timbered Tudor manor house surrounded by a scenic moat. It is a unique and delightful sight with its tumbling architecture, Elizabethan Long Gallery and pretty knot garden.

Next stop is Samlesbury Hall, where we enjoy lunch. Built in 1325, this beautifully preserved, half-timbered black and white medieval house has a colourful history, offering a captivating insight into life from the early 14th to the early 20th century.

We then travel to Lakeside Newby Bridge Hotel where we stay for the next three nights.

Day 6: Brantwood House, Steam Yacht Gondola and Holker Hall

In the morning, we celebrate the Arts and Craft movement at Brantwood House, former home of John Ruskin. Brantwood is filled with many fine paintings, beautiful furniture and Ruskin’s personal treasures and offers a fascinating insight into the world of the famous writer, artist and social reformer.

We then take a boat trip across Coniston Water, with its backdrop of spectacular scenery, aboard the steam yacht Gondola. The original Gondola was first launched in 1859 and has been completely rebuilt by the National Trust.

Finally, we visit Holker Hall, home of Lord and Lady Cavendish. Dating back to the 16th century, with alterations and additions in the 18th and 19th centuries, it is a delightful family home with fine displays of antique furniture and art.

Back at the hotel this evening, we enjoy a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.

Day 7: Blackwell, Keswick, Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount

albionjourneys_aromanticjourney_1463586650TonyWestBlackwell_525x350We start with a visit and morning coffee at Blackwell, one of Britain’s finest Arts and Crafts houses. Designed by MH Baillie Scott, Blackwell retains many of its original decorative features, including spectacular plasterwork, stained glass and carved wooden panelling while the rooms contain furniture and objects by many of the leading Arts and Crafts designers.

We then enjoy a scenic drive to Keswick, a pretty market town set on the banks of Derwentwater and an area beloved by the poet Coleridge.

The afternoon is dedicated to the poet William Wordsworth as we visit Dove Cottage, home to Wordsworth from 1799 to 1808. We learn more about the house and family with a guided tour, and see many of Wordsworth’s furniture and possessions on display.

We continue on to Rydal Mount, Wordsworth’s family home for the greater part of his life from 1813 until his death in 1850. The house retains a lived-in, family atmosphere and contains portraits, personal possessions and first editions of the poet’s work.

Day 8: Rufford Old Hall and Wedgwood Visitor Centre

We start our journey southwards, stopping to visit Rufford Old Hall. This magnificent Tudor Great Hall was home to the Hesketh family until 1936 and reveals the family’s lives, loves and fortunes.

We also make a short stop at the recently refurbished Wedgwood Visitor Centre, a modern interpretation of Wedgwood’s 250 year heritage in the ceramics industry.

We then travel to Hartwell House Hotel, one of the National Trust’s Historic Hotels, where we enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 9: Departure

A private transfer will take you back to Heathrow airport for your return flight home.

What’s Included:

  • Airport transfers
    • 1 night at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel
    • 3 nights at Rookery Hall Hotel
    • 3 nights at Lakeside Newby Bridge Hotel
    • 1 night at Hartwell House Hotel
    • Welcome drink and canapés
    • Full English breakfast and 3-course table d’hôte dinner each day
    • After dinner tea and coffee
    • Services of a tour director throughout your stay
    • Travel by comfortable motor coach
    • All entrance costs
    • Porterage

Special Extras included in your itinerary:

  • Guided tour and lunch at Stowe
    • Guided tour and Champagne Cream Tea at Chatsworth House
    • Guided garden tour and afternoon tea at Tatton Park
    • Lunch at Samlesbury Hall
    • Steam yacht cruise on Coniston Water
    • Morning coffee at Blackwell House
    • Guided tour at Dove Cottage
    • Themed evening talk by a guest speaker
  • Private evening tour with refreshments at Rydal Mount

Hotel Info:

Night One
Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Windsor

Nights Two to Four
Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa is a 19th-century country house hotel set in 38 acres of Cheshire countryside. The hotel has retained many original features including mahogany panelling and ornamental ceilings. The hotel’s spa, set in the converted stable block, offers a glass-roofed swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, steam room and gym.

Nights Five to Seven
The Lakeside Newby Bridge Hotel is a traditional lakeside hotel located on the shores of Windermere. Offering stunning views across the lake, this former 17th-century coaching retains many of its original features including oak panelling and real fires. The hotel’s spa offers a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and gym plus spa treatments (at an extra cost).

Night Eight
Hartwell House Hotel, near Aylesbury