Customized Tours of England
Customized Tours of England www.englandhistorichousesandcastlestour.co.uk

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Julian Spencer Rouse Phone 44 (0) 1273 272810
Mobile 44 (0) 7973 714594
Julian Spencer Rouse
If you wish to see the real England that is hidden from the usual tour operator
I am your man!


Here is a tour to see some of our grandest country houses, wonderful cathedrals, real castles, the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge and the most celebrated gardens and parkland. We shall see the best works of our famous designers like William Kent, Robert Adam and Vanburgh, and landscaping by 'Capability' Brown. You can stay in some of our finest country house hotels and in the beautiful cities of Salisbury, Bath, Lincoln and Cambridge.

I have visited all these places on tours with clients in the last 14 years, and have drawn on this experience to prepare an itinerary to incorporate the best into a memorable tour.
Travelling with 4 passengers my van has lots of room for luggage, and charges are per day not per person, so this tour would be very suitable for 2 couples who would like to share a vacation.

At the end of this itinerary you will find notes and pictures of all the places to be visited, and timings for each day


Day 1

Collect from airport or London and travel south to Kent, where we can visit Ightam Mote, Knole, Hever Castle and Penshurst Place.
We shall stay overnight in Tunbridge Wells at the Spa Hotel.

Day 2

Drive south to Burwash, the village of my youth. Here we can find the follies left behind by Mad Jack Fuller. We go past my old school in Cranbrook to visit Sissinghurst Castle Garden. Towards the coast we visit Bodiam Castle and go to the pretty town of Rye. A circular drive to return to Tunbridge Wells takes us past Leeds Castle for a visit.

Day 3

Drive down to Brighton, to visit the Royal Pavilion, and on to Arundal Castle. We go to Mottisfont Abbey to visit the house and garden, home of the National Collection of Old-fashioned Roses, (best seen in June), and on to Salisbury, to visit the cathedral.
O/N at Milford Hall hotel, a Georgian house close to the town centre.

Day 4

First we visit Stonehenge to walk around the circle and then visit Wilton House. We drive west to visit Longleat, and finally to Stourhead to walk around this landscaped parkland and lake.
O/N at Wareham, The Priory (900 years old) on the riverfront.

Day 5

Morning visit to Athelhampton house and garden, then to Montacute, which houses Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits from the National Gallery. We go via Glastonbury to Wells to visit the cathedral, and through the Chedder Gorge to Bath. Visits to the Pump Rooms and the Abbey.
There is a large choice of hotels in this city, but we often stay in a delightful B&B, Marlborough House.

Day 6

Circular drive up to and around the Cotswold Hills, often on back-roads and through pretty villages, as well as the major towns. Afternoon visit to Hidcote Manor garden.
O/N at Ettington Park country house hotel.

Day 7

Morning visit to Warwick Castle and then Kennilworth Castle. Drive north to Baddesley Clinton house and then Kedleston Hall.
O/N in Matlock, Riber Hall Elizabethan house

Day 8

Morning tour of the Peak District, via Buxton and Hathersage and then visits to Haddon hall and Chatsworth.
O/N as above

Day 9

Morning visit to Bolsover Castle and then Hardwick Hall, north to Doddington Hall and arriving in Lincoln to visit the cathedral and castle.
O/N at the White Hart Hotel.

Day 10

Drive south to visit Belvoir Castle and then Belton House and in the afternoon Burghley House.
O/N at Stapleford Park, Edwardian oppulance country house hotel.

Day 11

Morning visit to Sandringham and in the afternoon Holkham Hall and Houghton Hall.
O/N Kings Lynn, Congham Hall country house.

Day 12

Morning visit to Ely Cathedral, and then to Audley End. Afternoon arrival in Cambridge , walking tour of the town and visit to King's College chapel and Christ's College, my old college.

Day 13

Morning visit to Woburn Abbey house and in the afternoon a walk around Stow gardens. Afternoon visit to Waddesdon Manor.
O/N nr. Aylesbury at Hartwell House country house hotel.

Day 14

Morning visit to Rousham House garden landscaped by William Kent and still intact, then on to Blenheim Palace. Afternoon tour of the city of Oxford.
Return to London or airport.


If you wish to take this tour, it is best to come to London first for a day or two, where you can sightsee and shop at your own pace to adjust to the time change.

On this tour you will see the ancient Stonehenge, strange local follies, the Roman Baths in Bath, 7 gardens, 7 cathedrals, 7 castles and 2 landscaped parklands, 4 gardens and visit 26 country houses. (Hever, and Belvoir are not really castles, so count as houses.) In addition to country house hotels, you will spend the evening in Salisbury, Bath, Lincoln and Cambridge.

The major attractions like Blenheim are open every day in season, but some of the smaller places like Ightam are closed for 1 or 2 days per week, so I need to know exact dates for your tour to confirm what we shall be able to include.
Each day starts at 9 am, except from Bath where we leave at 10. The tours in Kent & Sussex, the Cotswolds and the Peak District are on country roads. All other journeys are on the fastest route, mainly on A roads, so you will see plenty of countryside on the way.

The hotels all provide an English breakfast, and the country house hotels all have great restaurants, and when in town centres you have a choice of places to eat. So the day's itineraries are based on taking a light snack or sandwich at lunchtime. My van always has fresh fruit and water.

Marlborough House, Ettington Park and Stapleford Park are illustrated on my web site, see Country House Hotels.


To see details of timings of each day of the tour and charges
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To see details of the places visited on the tour
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To see more about my customized tours, simple daily charges and booking conditions
on my main web site
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