PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Lake District boasts some of England’s finest scenery; awash with glittering blue lakes, jagged fells and verdant valleys. We are transported into a striking abundance of natural beauty in this region and are treated to exclusive behind-the-scenes insights into a treasure chest of hidden houses, renowned for their curious interiors, pele towers and secret gardens. Our owner-led tour illuminates the history of beautiful Johnby Hall and we enjoy special access to unseen areas of pink-hued Dalemain Mansion, while we admire the picturesque vistas from a different perspective on our leisurely Lake Windermere cruise.
Check in to the Lancaster House Hotel in the afternoon. Later, we enjoy a welcome drink reception hosted by our tour manager.
Monday: Johnby Hall & Dalemain Mansion
Nestled on the edge of the Lake District in the heart of rural Cumbria, Johnby Hall is a fortified Tudor mansion built around a defensive 14th-century pele tower. It is now a family home and the current owners, Henry and Anna Howard, take us on a fascinating guided tour, followed by refreshments. Purchased by the Duke of Norfolk in 1783, Johnby Hall has been home to the Howard family ever since, and if there are any musicians amongst us, then the owners love hearing guests play the piano in the Great Hall! Outside, the gardens are a delight to explore and perfect for bird spotting, from woodpeckers and nuthatches to treecreepers and buzzards.
Afterwards, we head to Dalemain Mansion, finely dressed in a salmon-pink Georgian façade which almost glows in the sunlight. We learn how behind Dalemain’s orderly frontage are the remnants of a 12th-century pele tower and an Elizabethan manor, and we trace its roots back to the reign of Henry II. There is much to discover inside; a helter-skelter of secret passages, spiral staircases, a priest’s hiding hole, as well as Chippendale furniture and priceless oil portraits. Our Housekeepers tour also includes access to unseen areas of the house and provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into life here. Outside, we can explore a Tudor knot garden and a splendid rose walk, and don’t miss the World’s Original Marmalade Shop! During our time here we also enjoy a cream tea and an introductory talk about the lovely gardens.
Tuesday: Leighton Hall & Levens Hall
This morning we step back in time during a guided tour with the owner of Leighton Hall, the ancestral home of the world-famous Gillow furniture family who are known as one of the leading British cabinet-making firms. The family home still retains a relaxed atmosphere as every room in the house is used regularly by the Gillow Reynolds family. There are no roped off areas at all, so we can sit on the ancient chairs while the entertaining guide reveals the family's history and habits. We also enjoy some refreshments here.
Later, we visit Levens Hall, a stunning Elizabethan mansion built around a 13th-century pele tower. We find out all about this family home of the Bagots, who have owned the property for over 400 years. Inside we discover an assortment of beautiful objects, including many fine paintings by Rubens, Lely and Cuyp, along with the earliest English patchwork. We enjoy lunch before a guided tour of the award-winning gardens, which boast the oldest topiary in the world, featuring over 100 huge abstract shapes, pyramids and columns resembling towering chess men.
Wednesday: Lake Windermere Cruise & Holker Hall and Gardens
We start our day with a leisurely steamer cruise on Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake. Sit back and relax as we take in the breathtaking scenery of towering mountains, secluded bays and wooded islands before we disembark in charming Bowness-on-Windermere, with its craft and gift shops, lakeside cafés and tea rooms.
Our last visit is to the stunning Holker Hall and Gardens, the delightful family home of Lord and Lady Cavendish. The property is a true reflection of an age of confidence, spaciousness and prosperity, and the craftsmanship in many of the rooms is outstanding. Built in red sandstone, it was once described as ‘the best Elizabethan Gothic house in the north of England’. On our guided tour we discover fine displays of antique furniture and art including portraits of Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, and even visit the bedroom where Queen Mary stayed in 1937. We are treated to lunch here before a wander around the award-winning gardens.
After breakfast, check out of the hotel for the journey home.
Please note: the itinerary order is subject to change and guided tours are subject to availability.
Self Drive Bullets
- 4 nights at the Lancaster House Hotel, Lancaster with dinner & breakfast
- Porterage where available
- Welcome drink
- After-dinner tea & coffee at the hotel
- Coach transfers to & from your excursions
- Visits to Johnby Hall, Dalemain Mansion, Leighton Hall, Levens Hall, Lake Windermere & Holker Hall and Gardens
- Guided tour with the owners & refreshments at Johnby Hall
- Housekeepers tour, cream tea & introductory garden talk at Dalemain Mansion
- Guided tour & refreshments at Leighton Hall
- Guided garden tour & lunch at Levens Hall
- Cruise on Lake Windermere
- Guided tour & lunch at Holker Hall and Gardens
- Accompanied by a friendly tour manager throughout
- 4 nights at the 4-star Lancaster House Hotel, Lancaster with dinner & breakfast
- Visits to Rydal Mount, Dalemain Mansion, Leighton Hall, Levens Hall, Muncaster Castle & Holker Hall and Gardens
- Exclusive guided tour and refreshments at Dalemain Mansion
- Guided tour of Leighton Hall
- Guided tour of Holker Hall and Gardens
- Accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Manager throughout
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Lancaster House (JG3 rating)
The Lancaster House Hotel is located just outside the centre of Lancaster and offers stylish accommodation with gorgeous views. This charming hotel also features modern en-suite rooms, a bar and restaurant plus a health club with indoor pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna and fully-equipped gym.Back to top