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Just Go! Tours

Brideshead Visited: Northern England's Mansions

June 1st - June 9th, 2014 —£2495 (approx. $4090). £500 deposit

Hidden in the folds of these ruggedly beautiful counties are some of our most lavish estates, offering an unforgettable tour of English architecture at its grandest.

Sunday 1st June: Arrival

On arrival at Heathrow you will be able to catch a 'Hotel Hoppa' bus direct to our overnight hotel, the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow. In the evening you are invited to join the group for a cocktail, followed by dinner.

Monday 2nd June: Calke Abbey

After breakfast we travel north to visit Calke Abbey. Calke tells the dramatic story of country house decline with its poignant air of faded grandeur. The National Trust call it their 'unstately' home, little restored to represent the many houses that have been lost due to the ravages of time, squandered fortunes and ruinous death duties.

We continue on to the De Vere Hotel Mottram Hall and check in. There'll be time to unpack and freshen up before dinner.

Tuesday 3rd June: Lyme Park and Quarry Bank Mill

This morning we visit Lyme Park. Built in the middle of the 16th century, it is the largest house in Cheshire with a 1,300 acre estate that is home to some spectacular walks and stunning views. Take a stroll through the Edwardian rose garden or discover luxurious herbaceous borders next to the lake. We then head to Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate. This restored Georgian mill, complete with hand spinners in authentic costume and Europe's most powerful working waterwheel, offers a rich insight into the earliest days of Britain's industrial past.

Wednesday 4th June: Chatsworth House

We drive through the stunning scenery of the Peak District National Park to spend a full day at Chatsworth House. This magnificent pile is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and has witnessed sixteen generations of the powerful Cavendish family. Grandiose interiors, wonderful grounds and a superlative art collection make Chatsworth easily one of Britain's most significant houses. We'll join a private house tour to find out more and be treated to afternoon tea.

Thursday 5th June: Beningbrough Hall and Treasurer's House

After breakfast we check out and travel further north to Yorkshire and Beningbrough Hall. This imposing Georgian pile contains a famous art collection – an imaginative collaboration between the National Trust and the National Portrait Gallery in London. Outside is a wonderful Victorian Walled Garden and labyrinth. We'll join a guided tour which uncovers the house's secrets.

Our next stop is Treasurer's House in the heart of York. The house has a 2,000-year-old history from the Roman road in the cellar to the Edwardian servants' quarters in the attic and was the first house given complete with its contents to the National Trust in 1930. This is thanks to Frank Green, a wealthy industrialist who not only restored this magnificent house but used it to stage his remarkable collection of antique furniture, art and textiles.

From here we go to the Middlethorpe Hall Hotel, arriving in time to unpack and freshen up before dinner.

Friday 6th June: York and Castle Howard

We head back into York, a city steeped in history – from its founding by the Romans in 71AD to the surviving medieval streets known as the Shambles and an iconic cathedral, York Minster. We'll enjoy a guided tour to see its highlights.

From York we go to the magnificent Castle Howard, which has twice appeared as Brideshead in film and television adaptations of Evelyn Waugh's classic novel. Like Blenheim Palace it was built on a jaw-droppingly grand scale by Vanbrugh. We'll enjoy a lecture by one of the castle's curators.

Saturday 7th June: Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal Water Garden and Harrogate

We go to the largest monastic ruin in Britain, Fountains Abbey. Nestling in the Skell Valley, the ruin is surrounded by some 800 acres of gorgeous countryside. We'll enjoy a guided tour of the abbey as well as the beautifully-landscaped Georgian Studley Royal Water Garden, with its wonderful views, cascades, follies and statues.

En-route back to the hotel, we stop in the elegant spa town of Harrogate for time to explore at our leisure.

Sunday 8th June: Hardwick Hall

We leave Yorkshire behind and head south to Derbyshire to visit Hardwick Hall. Ordered in the 16th century by Bess of Hardwick – England's richest woman after her Queen, Elizabeth I – Hardwick is a striking Elizabethan treasure. The lavish number of windows (at a time when glass was a luxury) inspired the neat phrase, 'Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall'. A guided tour with a property expert will bring Hardwick's story to vivid life.

From here we travel back to the Crowne Plaza Hotel close to Heathrow, where we'll enjoy dinner before departure the next day.

Monday 9th June: Departure

Special extras included in your itinerary

  • Private house tour and traditional afternoon tea at Chatsworth House
  • Guided tour at Beningbrough Hall
  • Blue Badge guided tour of York
  • Curator lecture at Castle Howard
  • Abbey and Garden tour at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden
  • Guided tour at Hardwick Hall

Your Hotels

Nights One & Eight

Woodlands Park Hotel is set in beautifully landscaped grounds near Cobham in Surrey. Built in 1885, this impressive country house still retains many of its original features including oak-panelled walls, antique furniture and the galleried Grand Hall with its intricate ceiling and stained glass.

Nights Two to Four

The De Vere Hotel Mottram Hall is a Georgian country house hotel set in 270 acres of Cheshire parkland with its own 18-hole golf course. Although newly refurbished throughout, it retains many original features. The beautifully-appointed modern bedrooms have Egyptian cotton bed linen while the extensive spa and leisure facilities include a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, spa bath and gym.

Nights Five to Seven

Built at the end of the 17th century, the Middlethorpe Hall Hotel is a beautiful red brick country house set in 20 acres of manicured gardens and parkland just two miles from the centre of York. One of the three Historic House Hotels of the National Trust, the interiors of this luxury hotel are elegantly decorated and furnished with antiques and fine paintings while the comfortable bedrooms are individually designed. A health and fitness spa offers guests a range of facilities including a swimming pool, sauna and gym.

At a Glance

  • 2 nights at the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow
  • 3 nights at De Vere Hotel Mottram Hall
  • 3 nights at Middlethorpe Hall Hotel
  • Full English breakfast & 3-course table d'hôte dinner each day
  • Travel by comfortable motor coach
  • Services of a tour director throughout your stay
  • All entrance costs
  • Welcome cocktail on your first evening

Single Supplement has been waived for this tour.

The member's price in US dollars is $3,750. As a British company, all our tours are priced in sterling rather than dollars. Obviously the exchange rate will fluctuate very slightly each day so the prices shown are correct at the time of this webpage going live.

The prices shown are Royal Oak members' prices. Non-members will be required to pay an additional £100 per person, if booking online please check the non-members box. If you are a member please take your Royal Oak membership card with you as some National Trust properties will require proof of membership to be shown on entry. If you're not a member why not join now?

Find out More

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