Door 2 Tour

Coach Holidays, Escorted Tours & Events

0330 440 3999

Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm

Natural Beauty & Architectural Splendours Of Suffolk

UK & Ireland
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Board Basis: Half Board
  • Tour Ref: D2TJUS8915

Holiday Summary

  • Travel Type: Coach

5 days

HH 2024

PRICE FROM ? £979 per person
Plan My Trip

Itinerary

Description

On this intriguing tour we step back in time to the ancient lands of Suffolk, a beautiful county steeped in rich heritage and dotted with fragrant gardens. Come and learn how the fascinating discovery of Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo revolutionised historian’s understanding of early England and uncover secrets at South Elmham Hall, where the fascinating connections span back to the 7th century and offers unique clues into the past. We fast forward to the Tudor period with the moated Kentwell Hall and the stunning West Stow Hall, where the owner shares stories and family heirlooms enclosed within this magnificent property.

Self Drive Itinerary

Sunday: Arrival

Check in to the Holiday Inn Ipswich in the afternoon. Later, we enjoy a welcome drink reception hosted by our tour manager.

Monday: South Elmham Hall & Haughley House

Nestled within a four-acre moated site lies South Elmham Hall, our first stop today, where bishops, kings and courtiers once came and went. Recent restoration work has revealed more of the original bishop’s palace than first thought, including the oldest domestic wall paintings in Suffolk, and the 16th-century exterior also hides a medieval hall. A peaceful deer park and the ruins of an 11th-century chapel complete this ancient episcopal estate. It has been home to three generations of the Sanderson family, who feel privileged to farm sustainably and nurture the landscape here, and we find out more on our guided tour.

 

Haughley House awaits next, where we meet the current owner. Henry II was once lord of this late medieval manor, which sits on the outer bailey of a ruined Norman castle, and is now only open for private tours. There are plenty of stories to hear and intriguing features to discover enclosed within the ancient walls on our fascinating guided tour, from a chimney priest hole and blocked up tunnels to fascinating antique weapons. Outside, the walled kitchen garden and three-acre garden provide the perfect setting for a summertime stroll. 

 

Tuesday: Sutton Hoo & Helmingham Hall Gardens

This morning we take a private burial ground tour at Sutton Hoo, home to one of the most significant discoveries ever made. As the Second World War loomed, archaeologists meticulously brushed away layers of soil to reveal an Anglo-Saxon ship, burial chamber and a range of ancient treasures and in 2021, this remarkable story was transformed into a smash-hit film, The Dig. We find out more about the archaeological finds at the High Hall exhibition and learn more about the fascinating life of Edith Pretty, the woman responsible for the excavation, at her former home, Tranmer House.

 

Next, we head to Helmingham Hall Gardens, a spectacular Tudor moated Hall set within a 400-acre deer park and an exquisite example of horticultural brilliance. Named ‘Garden of the Year 2017’ by Historic Houses and extensively redesigned by the current Lady Tollemache, a well-known garden designer and Chelsea Gold Medallist, the gardens include a classic parterre flanked by hybrid musk roses, a stunning walled kitchen garden with lovely herbaceous borders and beds of vegetables, a herb and knot garden as well as a beautiful rose garden.

 

After dinner this evening, we enjoy an interesting themed talk from a guest speaker.

 

Wednesday: Kentwell Hall & West Stow Hall

Our first visit takes us to Kentwell Hall, a romantic, moated, mellow red brick Tudor mansion in a tranquil parkland setting. Once neglected, the Hall has been lovingly restored by the current owner, Patrick Phillips, slowly returning it to its former glory. We enjoy a private guided tour of this much-loved family home with Patrick himself and have time to explore the beautiful gardens.

 

Afterwards we visit West Stow Hall, one of England’s most unusual Tudor houses and still a family home. Built in the early 16th century by Sir John Croftes, ‘Master of the Horse to Mary Tudor’, the Hall consists of large timber frames joined by iron ties while the lounge has one of the largest inglenooks in Suffolk. The highly decorative brick gatehouse has turrets surmounted by terracotta figures and contains a very rare 16th-century wall painting of the Four Ages of Man, discovered during Victorian restorations. We learn more about the history of the house on a guided tour with the owner.

 

Thursday: Departure

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 Holiday Inn, Ipswich with dinner & breakfast
  • Porterage where available
  • Welcome drink
  • After-dinner tea & coffee at the hotel
  • Coach transfers to & from your excursions
  • Visits to South Elmham Hall, Haughley House, Sutton Hoo, Helmingham Hall Gardens, Kentwell Hall & West Stow Hall
  • Guided tour of South Elmham Hall
  • Guided tour & meet & greet with the owner of Haughley House
  • Private burial ground tour at Sutton Hoo
  • Guided tour with the owner at Kentwell Hall
  • Guided tour with the owner at West Stow Hall
  • Themed evening talk from a guest speaker
  • Accompanied by a friendly tour manager throughout

Search Bullets

  • 4 nights at the Holiday Inn, Ipswich with dinner & breakfast
  • Coach transfers to & from your excursions
  • Visits to South Elmham Hall, Haughley House, Sutton Hoo, Helmingham Hall Gardens, Kentwell Hall & West Stow Hall
  • Themed evening talk from a guest speaker
  • Accompanied by a friendly tour manager throughout

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Accommodation

Hotel

Holiday Inn, Ipswich (JG4 rating)

The Holiday Inn Ipswich is situated on the outskirts of the town and offers a wonderful place to relax and unwind. The modern rooms have air-conditioning, Freeview TV and tea and coffee-making facilities, while the hotel also features a lounge bar, restaurant, indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, steam room and gym. 

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