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Downton Abbey & the Magnificent Stately Residences of the Cheshire Nobility
August 29 - September 5, 2015
Join National Trust Tours and explore the lavish stately homes set in the picturesque, rural county of Cheshire, discovering Gillows furniture and treasured art collections amassed by its noble families across the centuries. In addition, uncover the romantic Capability Brown landscapes that surround some of these magnificent residences and explore Highclere Castle, the residence of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and filming location for the acclaimed Downton Abbey television series.
- The Mercure Windsor Castle Hotel is located in the heart of Windsor, just a few minutes’ walk from the castle. Once a Georgian coaching house, the hotel offers contemporary comforts mixed with traditional architecture. Hotel facilities include a bar and restaurant plus well-equipped en-suite rooms with tea and coffee-making facilities and satellite TV.
- Less than 5 minutes’ walk from Chester Cathedral, the Chester Grosvenor Hotel is a historic building with a black and white timbered façade located in the heart of the historic city of Chester. All the luxury rooms are individually decorated while the Grosvenor Spa features a herb sauna, ice fountain, crystal steam room, salt grotto, foot baths, and a small gym (charges apply for spa facilities).
Day 1 | Arrival
On arrival at Heathrow airport, a private transfer will take you to the Mercure Windsor Castle Hotel. In the evening, guests are invited to join the group for a welcome drink, followed by dinner.
Day 2 | Highclere Castle
After breakfast, the group will journey to the world-famous Highclere Castle, residence of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and filming location for the much loved Downton Abbey television series. Entrance includes access to the Egyptian Exhibition in the cellars of the castle, which explores the achievements of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922. After, the group will travel north to The Grosvenor Hotel in Chester and check in. There’ll be time to unpack and freshen up before dinner.
Day 3 | Chester and Erddig
Enjoy a relaxing morning in historic Chester, exploring the city with a guided coach tour which takes in the rescued remains of its Roman Amphitheatre and the distinctive Medieval Rows that line its streets. After, walk along the city walls, thought to be the most completely preserved of their kind in the country.
Set in a superb formal garden and landscape park, Erddig is known as the jewel in the crown of Welsh country houses. An atmospheric early 18th century house, Erddig reflects the ‘upstairs, downstairs’ life of a gentry family. Enjoy a fascinating introductory talk before the visit. The downstairs rooms are home to a unique collection of servants’ portraits, while upstairs there is a wealth of important furniture, textiles, and wallpaper.
Day 4 | Dunham Massey and Lyme Park
This morning, explore fascinating Dunham Massey, a fine Georgian house set in a tranquil 300-acre deer park. Delve into the colorful stories of past owners and servants alike, including tales of the house’s role as Stamford Military Hospital during the First World War. Take a stroll around the magnificent gardens that surround the house and feature some of the most scenic landscapes in the north.
Then group will then head to 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. The lavish interiors are filled with treasures that tell the story of a vanished age while outside are an Edwardian rose garden and luxurious herbaceous borders next to the lake. Lyme Park also stood in as Pemberley in the classic BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.
Day 5 | Liverpool and Knowsley Hall
Enjoy a guided tour of Liverpool, learning all there is to know about its history as an industrial force and, of course, its most famous sons. As well as The Beatles, the enlightening tour of the city will take in iconic landmarks such as the Liver Building. After the tour, the group have free time to explore the rejuvenated Albert Dock, now a bustling cultural hub of shops, restaurants, and the Tate Liverpool art gallery.
The afternoon is spent at the splendid Knowsley Hall, home to the Earl of Derby. Set in a 2,500 acre estate, the Hall dates back over 500 years and is a fascinating structure boasting a Georgian façade and some extremely fine Jacobean, Baroque and Victorian interiors. Enjoy a guided tour followed by traditional Knowsley afternoon tea.
Day 6 | Tatton Park and Arley Hall & Gardens
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. The group will enjoy a guided tour of the house to uncover some of the amazing artefacts and objets d’art collected by Lord Egerton.
The next visit is to Arley Hall and Gardens. Here, enter a piece of living history as the Hall has been the much-loved home of Viscount Ashbrook and his forbears for over 500 years. The present-day Hall stands on the site of the original 15th century house and provides a warm and intimate atmosphere with elaborate ceilings, oak-panelling, and beautiful furniture. Learn more on the private house tour.
Day 7 | Weston Park
The group will check out of the hotel and head back south via Weston Park, a magnificent 17th century stately home set amidst 1,000 acres of Capability Brown parkland and beautiful gardens. The dining room houses one of the country’s most impressive collections of paintings including works by renowned artists such as Sir Anthony van Dyck. After the visit, enjoy lunch here.
From here the group will travel back to the Mercure Windsor Castle Hotel, where everyone will enjoy a farewell dinner.
Day 8 | Departure
A private transfer will take guests back to Heathrow airport for their return flight home.
From $3,895 per person*
*Single supplement not available. A $500 deposit is due at time of book.
Mention Historic Hotels of America when booking your tour and receive three $100 gift certificates, each good toward a $100 refund when you book through HistoricHotels.org and stay for at least two-nights at a Historic Hotels of America hotel.**
To book a tour, please contact our tour VIP desk at +1 202 772 8000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terms and Conditions
Included in tour cost: Airport transfers from & to Heathrow airport; 2 nights at the Mercure Windsor Castle Hotel; 5 nights at the Chester Grosvenor Hotel; Full English breakfast & 3-course table d’hôte dinner each day; Travel by comfortable motor coach; Porterage; Services of a tour director throughout the stay; All excursion costs; Evening lecture from a guest speaker; Welcome drink on the first evening.
**Maximum of one $100 certificate may be claimed for a refund with a minimum two night stay booked through HistoricHotels.org following the return of your tour and completion of your hotel stay. The refund will be issued within 45 days of the completion of your stay upon submitting a Great Experiences & Tours $100 refund application. Refund application must be submitted with a copy of your hotel folio receipt, the original confirmation number from your booking on HistoricHotels.org, and the Certificate number issued to you for booking your tour through Historic Hotels of America. Certificates issued are a promotion only valid toward future reservations made through HistoricHotels.org and do not have any cash value. One certificate may be used per room per two night or longer stay at the same hotel. Eligible rates include rates publicly available at time of booking. Reduced rates, rooms included in another travel or tour package, employee rates, advance purchase rates, and certain last minute sale rates are not eligible for this promotion.