Treasure Houses of Southern England

May 5th-14th, 2019

Itinerary Highlights

Sunday, May 5th - Evening departure from your chosen US gateway city. Overnight: Plane

Monday, May 6th - Upon arrival, you will be met and provided transportation to our hotel in Dorking, Surrey. After time to unpack and relax, your tour guide will lead an excursion for those who want to participate to nearby Polesden Lacey, an exquisite Edwardian country home. We will return to our hotel in time for cocktails before dinner. Overnight: Dorking

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Tuesday, May 7th - Today we take a leisurely drive through the Surrey countryside to Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. We’ll have a private tour of the castle and plenty of time to explore the gardens and have lunch before continuing on to Ightham Mote, a 14th-century moated manor house, complete with a hand-painted ceiling in the Tudor chapel and a Grade I listed dog kennel! We return to our hotel in Dorking for a free evening. Overnight: Dorking

Wednesday, May 8th - Leaving Dorking, our first stop is the beautiful city of Oxford. We will start with a walking tour of the city before you’ll have free time to explore this historic city on your own. You can explore the spire at St. Mary the Virgin, Radcliffe Camera, Ashmolean Museum, Carfax Tower, or Oxford Botanic Gardens, or Blackwell’s, with the largest single room devoted to book sales in Europe- the cavernous Norrington Room (10,000 sq. ft.). We’ll continue on to our hotel in the nearby village of Woodstock and settle in before gathering for dinner. Overnight: Woodstock

Thursday, May 9th - We start today with a private tour at Waddesdon Manor, the home of Lord Rothschild. Bequeathed to the National Trust in 1957, the property is still administered by a Rothschild charitable trust. This afternoon we visit Greys Court, a lovely 16th-century house that was, until recently, the home of the Brunner family, and is now part of the National Trust. This evening is free. Overnight: Woodstock

Friday, May 10th - Our day begins with a visit to Upton House and Gardens, the home of Lord and Lady Bearsted, and now administered by the National Trust. The gardens of the house are justly famous and the interior contains exquisite collections of porcelain and silver, as well as some magnificent paintings. From here it is a short drive to Sezincote where we’ll visit the house and gardens. The house at Sezincote is a product of the fashion during the Regency period for “Orientalism,” while the gardens were laid out in the English style by Repton. This evening is free. Overnight: Woodstock

Saturday, May 11th - This morning we have a private tour of neighboring Blenheim Palace. Designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, Blenheim is the family seat of the Churchills, the Dukes of Marlborough, and was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The afternoon is free in Woodstock before we gather for dinner together this evening. Overnight: Woodstock

Sunday, May 12th - We begin the day at Basildon Park, a Georgian mansion surrounded by parkland that was lovingly rescued by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the mid 1950s. The house you see today is a re-creation and restoration of the 18th-century mansion. We continue on to Stonor Park, a wonderful house that has been in the same family for 850 years. The current owner is the former Lord Chamberlain to Her Majesty the Queen and we will be his guests for lunch followed by a private tour of the house and gardens. It’s a short drive from here to our hotel in Windsor where we will enjoy a free evening. Overnight: Windsor

Monday, May 13th - This morning we visit what is possibly the stateliest home of all - Windsor Castle. The Castle has been a royal residence since its founding by William the Conqueror shortly after the Norman invasion in 1066 and is still one of the primary homes of HM Queen Elizabeth. We’ll tour the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel and then spend a free afternoon in the town of Windsor. You can make your way back to the hotel at your leisure. This evening we gather on the hotel terrace for drinks before our farewell dinner. Overnight: Windsor

Tuesday, May 14th - Morning transfers to Heathrow Airport for returning flights to the U.S.

Quick Facts

  • $4,980 per person based on double occupancy

  • 8 nights’ accommodation in first class hotels in Dorking, Woodstock, and Windsor

  • All ground transportation as detailed in the itinerary and airport pick ups and drop offs to either London Gatwick or Heathrow

  • Breakfast daily, 4 dinners

  • Discover Europe tour guide, David Phillips, throughout and local guides for private tours as indicated on itinerary

  • Guaranteed departure

Review

"David Phillips was spectacular.  He is highly knowledgeable on a wide range of subjects.  He was patient and treated the members of the tour as adults despite several members being very elderly with physical challenges.  He was well organized and on top of all the arrangements.  I would recommend him highly to anyone. The houses were well selected to represent a good range of architectural styles, which was important to us.  The pace was great, we did not feel rushed anywhere.  Further, the gardens of all these homes were a great treat."- Edward & Monica C., 2018 tour