South of England Stately Homes & the Isle of Wight

About the tour

Renowned for its idyllic countryside and stunning coastline, the picturesque South of England is peppered with spectacular estates and unique homes. Here we uncover captivating stories and antique gems contained within properties such as impressive Polesden Lacey and opulent Petworth House, which is home to the National Trust’s finest collection of art and sculptures. We combine these fascinating discoveries with a trip to the Isle of Wight, a delightful holiday destination popularized in Victorian times. Here we delve into the history of the ‘Garden Isle’ with visits to some of the island’s finest treasures including Osborne House, the Italianate seaside retreat of Queen Victoria.

What’s Included

  • Return airport transfers from London Heathrow*
  • Return ferry crossings to the Isle of Wight
  • 2 nights at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel
  • 3 nights at the South Lodge Hotel
  • 4 nights at the Royal Hotel
  • Welcome drink and canapés
  • Full English/Continental breakfast each day
  • 3-course table d’hôte dinner on 8 nights at the hotels (with after-dinner tea and coffee)
  • 1 lunch at a local restaurant
  • Services of a tour director throughout your stay
  • Travel to and from all excursions
  • All excursion costs
  • Porterage where available

*supplement applies for transfers from all other airports and all other locations, including central London.

Special extras included in your itinerary

  • Guided tour of Standen
  • Guided tour of Parham House
  • Guided tour of Petworth House
  • Private tour of Arundel Castle
  • Guided tour and afternoon tea at Osborne House
  • Heritage train journey on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway (includes guided tour of Havenstreet station)
  • Guided tour of Watts Chapel and refreshments at Watts Gallery
  • Themed evening talk by a guest speaker

Tour Information

1st to 10th May 2023

10 Day Tour

Price from:
$5,940 Per Person


Yes! Send me a digital brochure of all trips!

Goodwood House

Petworth House


Polesden Lacy



Monday: Arrival

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

Meals: Dinner


Tuesday: Polesden Lacey and Standen

This morning we visit one of the National Trust’s most popular properties, Polesden Lacey, described as a ‘delicious house’ by the Queen Mother on her honeymoon there. This peaceful countryside retreat is most closely connected to Dame Margaret Greville, who entertained royalty and the celebrities of her time with lavish parties at the manor, which remains home to her extensive collection of art and ceramics. We also have time to wander the beautiful gardens that are a delight to explore and boast wonderful views out across the rolling Surrey Hills.

Next we visit Standen, one of the finest examples of an Arts and Crafts property, which combines the skills of architect Philip Webb and his friend William Morris. The light, airy rooms are decorated with Morris’ wallpapers and textiles with William de Morgan pottery to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere and we discover more on our special guided tour of the house. Imagine you are a guest of James and Margaret Beale at their rural retreat, as the house is dressed for a weekend stay in 1925.

Later we check in to the South Lodge Hotel, where we stay for the next three nights.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Wednesday: Parham House and Petworth House

We begin the day with a guided tour of Parham House, an idyllic Elizabethan family home with award-winning gardens. The tranquillity and timeless beauty of the house has changed little over the centuries since the foundation stone was laid in 1557. During the Second World War, Parham became home to 30 evacuee children before being requisitioned for billeting Canadian officers. The family lived in part of the house during this time and their descendants still remain there today. Outside, the gardens consist of beautiful pleasure grounds, a four-acre walled garden, an orchard, a vegetable garden and a 1920s Wendy house.

Immortalized in Turner’s paintings, Petworth House is an impressive estate that combines a deer park landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown with a vast 17th-century mansion, which houses the National Trust’s finest collection of art and sculptures. We enjoy a guided tour of the house and discover masterpieces by the likes of Van Dyck, Reynolds, Blake and Turner himself, displayed in the opulent state rooms and North Gallery.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Thursday: Brighton Pavilion

Today we visit the popular seaside resort of Brighton, where we discover Brighton Pavilion, a Grade I listed former royal residence and a hospital during World War One. Built for George IV as a seaside palace, this architectural treasure combines Regency and Indo-Saracenic styles with its exotic domes and elegant minarets.

Afterward we enjoy lunch together in a local restaurant followed by some free time to see the sights. Explore Brighton’s unique antique and boutique shopping area in the Lanes, visit the Prince Regent’s lavish Royal Pavilion or spend some time strolling along the beach.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Friday: Arundel Castle

This morning we make our way to Arundel Castle for a private guided tour. This imposing architectural gem is one of the longest inhabited country houses in England, having been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors since 1067. Although restored and remodelled in the 19th century, many of the original features remain such as the Norman keep and gatehouse, while the finely preserved interiors are home to priceless works of art.

We then head to Southampton to catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight and check in to the Royal Hotel, where we stay for the next four nights.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Saturday: Osborne House

Today we are treated to a lovely leisurely visit to Osborne House with a guided tour and afternoon tea included. Osborne House was purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1845 as a seaside retreat away from London and Windsor. The Italianate palace reflects Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s tastes and passions, and boasts spectacular views across the Solent. It is no wonder that Victoria herself once said, ‘it’s impossible to imagine a prettier spot.’ We take an intimate glimpse of royal family life as we wander through the magnificent Royal Apartments as well as the walled gardens and grounds where we find the charming Swiss Cottage, used by the royal children to learn household management.

After dinner back at the hotel this evening, we enjoy a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.

Meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner


Sunday: Carisbrooke Castle & Museum and Isle of Wight Steam Railway

This morning we head to Carisbrooke Castle. Over the centuries Carisbrooke has been an Elizabethan artillery fortress, a prison for a king and a royal summer residence. Take the chance to explore the museum, walk around the award-winning Edwardian-style garden and admire the panoramic views from the castle walls. The museum was founded by HRH Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter, as a memorial to her husband, Prince Henry of Battenburg, and cares for over 30,000 items connected to the Isle of Wight’s history.

In the afternoon we journey back to a bygone era as we board the award-winning Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Havenstreet. Sit back and relax in beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian carriages as we enjoy the rolling views of the glorious Isle of Wight countryside. We pass through quaint rural stations, quiet hamlets and ancient woodland on our delightful journey.

We round off our day with a heritage tour of Havenstreet, a charming station which has been carefully restored to a 1940s British Railways style. With friendly platform staff dressed in traditional uniforms and the nostalgic sights and smells of steam travel, this experience feels like stepping back in time.

Meals: Breakfast


Monday: Quarr Abbey and Isle of Wight Villages

Our first visit today is to Quarr Abbey, nestled in the beautiful countryside and home to a small group of Benedictine monks. Founded in 1132, the abbey was demolished under the reign of King Henry VIII and some of its stone was used to build Yarmouth Castle. Today, we can see the ancient ruins and explore the newer buildings, lovely gardens and visitor centre, which tells the turbulent story of the abbey.

In the afternoon we enjoy a scenic drive through some of the Isle of Wight’s most picturesque and charming villages such as Godshill and Brighstone, as well as the beautiful Steephill Cove.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Tuesday: Watts Gallery

This morning we catch the ferry back to the mainland and head to Watts Gallery and Artists’ Village, a building intended to provide ‘art for all’ and finished shortly before artist George Frederic Watts’ death. After major restoration work, the gallery walls are hung with a large selection of Watts’ prolific output and glow with deep reds, rich greens and cool blue-greys. In addition to visiting the gallery, we enjoy a guided tour of the Arts and Crafts chapel, designed by Watts’ wife Mary, followed by refreshments.

Later, we return to the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, where we enjoy a farewell dinner together.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10

Wednesday: Departure

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

Meals: Breakfast

Please note: the order of excursions is subject to change and guided tours are subject to restrictions.


Hotel Information

  • Nights One and Nine – Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Windsor
    The Macdonald Windsor Hotel is situated in the heart of the historic town of Windsor, opposite the famous Windsor Castle. The classic interiors, with a contemporary edge, fit perfectly with the Georgian elegance of this townhouse hotel. The luxury bedrooms are individually-designed and the hotel also offers a stylish bar and restaurant.
  • Nights Two to Four – South Lodge Hotel, Horsham
    The South Lodge Hotel in Horsham is a magnificent Victorian country house with 93 acres of gardens and parklands. Facilities include a restaurant, a bar and a Victorian wine cellar plus a luxury spa with a state-of-the-art gym and indoor and outdoor pools. The comfortable rooms are en suite offering 200 Sky TV channels and handmade mattresses.
  • Nights Five to Eight – Royal Hotel, Ventnor (Isle of Wight)
    Founded in 1832, the Royal Hotel is one of the oldest hotels on the Isle of Wight. Set in subtropical gardens overlooking Ventnor Bay, the hotel offers a bar, restaurant and outdoor swimming pool. The elegant rooms are a lovely place to rejuvenate after a day of sightseeing, sumptuously decorated in fine fabrics and with a flat-screen TV.


MacDonald Windsor bedroom

Royal Hotel, Ventnor, exterior

Yes! Send me a digital brochure of all trips!