27th April 2017 – “Knole” Sevenoaks, Kent. Cost: £12 (NT), £23 (non NT)
Originally an archbishop’s palace, Knole has been in the Sackville family from 1603 until today. The house contains wonderful art, textiles and seventeenth century furniture. The Gatehouse tower opened to the public for the first time in June 2016.
Coach leaves Waitrose 9 a.m., Windsor End 9.10 a.m. Knole 4 p.m.
18th May 2017 – Brighton Pavillion, Brighton. Cost: £23
Brighton Pavillion was built in three stages as a seaside retreat for George Prince of Wales who eventually became King George IV. Built in the Indo-Saracenic style, it owes it present appearance to John Nash, who extended the building in 1815.
Coach leaves Waitrose 9 a.m., Windsor End 9.10 a.m. Brighton 4.30 p.m.
15th June 2017 – Croome, Worcestershire. Cost: £16 (NT), £28 (non NT).
Croome Court, once home to the earls of Coventry, lies in a grand landscape which was Capability Brown’s first commission. The secret wartime airbase, now a visitor centre, was once a hub of activity for thousands of people. Artists and craftspeople in the house tell the story of its eclectic past.
Coach leaves Waitrose 9 a.m., Windsor End 9.10 a.m. Croome 4 p.m.
29th June 2017 – Hever Castle, Edenbridge, Kent. Cost: £25
Dating from 1270, the castle was converted into a manor by Geoffrey Boleyn whose grandson, Thomas Boleyn was father to Anne, future wife of Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn lived here until she was sent to the Netherlands in 1513 to the court of Archduchess Margaret. Hever Castle was repaired and renovated in the 20th century when it was acquired by William Waldorf Astor.
Coach leaves Waitrose 9 a.m., Windsor End 9.10 a.m. Hever 4 p.m.
24th July 2017 – Althorp, Northampton. Cost: £25
Althorp reflects the interests and passions of those who have lived there over the centuries. The formal gardens were reputedly laid out by Andre Le Notre for the second Earl of Sunderland in the seventeenth century. In 1860 the fifth Earl engaged W M Teulon to replace the lawns up to the house and the present Earl has removed the formal planting of bed, borders and cypress trees to draw the eye to the park.
Coach leaves Waitrose 9 a.m., Windsor End 9.10 a.m. Althorp 4 p.m.
7th August 2017 – Kingston Lacy, Wimbourne, Dorset. Cost: £13 (NT), £25 (non NT)
Built to resemble an Italian Palace, Kingston Lacy is an art lover’s dream. In addition, the house contains the largest private collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK. Outside there is a Japanese Garden and beautiful woodland.
Coach leaves Waitrose 9 a.m., Windsor End 9.10 a.m. Kingston Lacey 4 p.m.
7th September 2017 – Colchester Gems and Bouncing Bombs. Cost: £45
Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town. After lunch (included) there is a guided tour of the Castle, views of roman mosaics and modern art. The coach continues to Abberton Reservoir where the Dam Busters made practice runs with their bouncing bombs.
Coach leaves Waitrose 9 p.m., Windsor End 9.10. Essex
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