Door 2 Tour

Coach Holidays, Escorted Tours & Events

0330 440 3999

Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm

Spectacular Houses Of Norfolk & Suffolk

UK & Ireland
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Board Basis: Half Board
  • Tour Ref: D2TJUS8645

Holiday Summary

  • Travel Type: Coach

5 days

English Heritage 2019

PRICE FROM ? £635 per person
Plan My Trip

Itinerary

Description

Norfolk and Suffolk combine beautiful countryside, historic villages and an unspoilt, picture-perfect coastline. The area is dotted with magnificent stately homes, and we discover two of the finest on our tour. On the border of Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, Audley End House was one of the greatest houses of early 17th-century England, while Sandringham Estate is the much-loved country retreat of Her Majesty The Queen. On our tour we also explore medieval castles, a stunning ruined priory, and the quaint villages and relaxing coastal towns that add such charm to these counties.

Self Drive Itinerary

Excursion One – Castle Acre Castle, Bailey Gate and Priory & Sandringham

We head to the tranquil village of Castle Acre which boasts an extraordinary wealth of history. With its castle, village, parish church and abbey, it is a rare and complete survival of a Norman planned settlement, built by the Warennes, a great Norman baronial family. Castle Acre Priory was the site of the first Cluniac order of monks in England, and today it’s one of the best-preserved monastic sites in the country with extensive remains. The nearby castle is a superb and well-preserved example of a motte-and-bailey castle. The Bailey Gate is one of two stone gatehouses added to the settlement’s massive earthwork defences in about 1200 to guard the entrances to the village.

Afterwards we pay a visit to the house, gardens and museum of the Sandringham Estate, the country retreat of Her Majesty the Queen. Built in 1870, Sandringham has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs. The interiors are home to many fine works of art and an important collection of oriental arms and armour, and the walls are hung with family portraits by leading contemporary court painters. In the 24 hectares of gardens you will find woodland walks, rockeries, magnificent sweeping lawns, lakes and streams, and the formal North Garden. The museum, housed in the former coach houses and stable block, holds collections of Royal vehicles, rare ceramics, photographs and memorabilia.

Excursion Two – Framlingham Castle, Orford Castle, Orford Museum & Aldeburgh

This morning we visit Framlingham Castle, a magnificent late 12th-century castle. For over 400 years it was owned by the Earls and Dukes of Norfolk, who were rich, ambitious and influential. The curtain wall has remained in an exceptional state of preservation despite renovations of later centuries, which saw Framlingham used as a school, a poorhouse and a prison. On our guided tour we discover more about the history of the castle and its former residents, including Mary Tudor who was at the castle when she was proclaimed Queen of England in 1553.


Next stop is Orford Castle, one of England’s most complete and unusual keeps, built by Henry II in the 12th century. The unique polygonal tower keep is remarkably intact, allowing us to explore the castle from the basement, through the lower and upper halls and up to the roof where there are magnificent views seaward to Orford Ness. We also have time to visit Orford Museum, housed in the Upper Hall of the castle, which contains items relating to the archaeology and social history of Orford and the surrounding area.

We then head to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk Heritage Coast where we have free time to explore and enjoy a spot of lunch. A former Tudor port, this coastal town is full of old-fashioned seaside charm and historic buildings, including a 16th-century moot hall and a Napoleonic-era Martello Tower.

Excursion Three – Audley End House and Gardens

We spend the day at Audley End, one of the finest Jacobean houses in England with an impressive great hall and magnificent state apartments. We enjoy a guided tour of the house’s impressive collections. The painting collection was mostly put together by Richard, 3rd Baron Braybrooke and contains a large number of early English portraits, as well as many Old Masters. The 4th Baron was an archaeologist and contributed one of the best surviving taxidermy collections in the country to the treasures of the house. Although Audley End is in the care of English Heritage, much of its collection still belongs to the Braybrooke family. After our tour we have free time to have lunch and explore the tranquil gardens.

Self Drive Bullets

  • 4 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at the Dunston Hall Hotel, near Norwich
  • Porterage
  • Welcome drink
  • After dinner tea and coffee at the hotel
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Castle Acre Castle, Bailey Gate and Priory, Sandringham, Framlingham Castle, Orford Castle, Orford Museum, Aldeburgh & Audley End House and Gardens
  • Guided tour of Framlingham Castle
  • Guided tour of the Audley End House Collections
  • Guidebooks for selected properties
  • Services of a Tour Manager

Are you an English Heritage Member?

If you are a member of English Heritage you can save a further £40pp on the price shown. To redeem this all you need to do is tick the "EH Member Discount" box on the "Passenger Options" page during the booking process.

Search Bullets

  • 4 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at the Dunston Hall Hotel, near Norwich
  • Visits to Castle Acre Castle, Bailey Gate and Priory, Sandringham, Framlingham Castle, Orford Castle, Orford Museum, Aldeburgh & Audley End House and Gardens
  • Services of a Tour Manager

Helpful Information

Please note: You will need a reasonable degree of mobility to keep up with the pace of the tour; you may encounter steep or rough terrain and have stairs to climb. As a general guideline, we recommend that you are comfortable to stroll for 20-30 minutes at a time.

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Coach Itinerary

Excursion One – Castle Acre Castle, Bailey Gate and Priory & Sandringham

We head to the tranquil village of Castle Acre which boasts an extraordinary wealth of history. With its castle, village, parish church and abbey, it is a rare and complete survival of a Norman planned settlement, built by the Warennes, a great Norman baronial family. Castle Acre Priory was the site of the first Cluniac order of monks in England, and today it’s one of the best-preserved monastic sites in the country with extensive remains. The nearby castle is a superb and well-preserved example of a motte-and-bailey castle. The Bailey Gate is one of two stone gatehouses added to the settlement’s massive earthwork defences in about 1200 to guard the entrances to the village.

Afterwards we pay a visit to the house, gardens and museum of the Sandringham Estate, the country retreat of Her Majesty the Queen. Built in 1870, Sandringham has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs. The interiors are home to many fine works of art and an important collection of oriental arms and armour, and the walls are hung with family portraits by leading contemporary court painters. In the 24 hectares of gardens you will find woodland walks, rockeries, magnificent sweeping lawns, lakes and streams, and the formal North Garden. The museum, housed in the former coach houses and stable block, holds collections of Royal vehicles, rare ceramics, photographs and memorabilia.

Excursion Two – Framlingham Castle, Orford Castle, Orford Museum & Aldeburgh

This morning we visit Framlingham Castle, a magnificent late 12th-century castle. For over 400 years it was owned by the Earls and Dukes of Norfolk, who were rich, ambitious and influential. The curtain wall has remained in an exceptional state of preservation despite renovations of later centuries, which saw Framlingham used as a school, a poorhouse and a prison. On our guided tour we discover more about the history of the castle and its former residents, including Mary Tudor who was at the castle when she was proclaimed Queen of England in 1553.


Next stop is Orford Castle, one of England’s most complete and unusual keeps, built by Henry II in the 12th century. The unique polygonal tower keep is remarkably intact, allowing us to explore the castle from the basement, through the lower and upper halls and up to the roof where there are magnificent views seaward to Orford Ness. We also have time to visit Orford Museum, housed in the Upper Hall of the castle, which contains items relating to the archaeology and social history of Orford and the surrounding area.

We then head to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk Heritage Coast where we have free time to explore and enjoy a spot of lunch. A former Tudor port, this coastal town is full of old-fashioned seaside charm and historic buildings, including a 16th-century moot hall and a Napoleonic-era Martello Tower.

Excursion Three – Audley End House and Gardens

We spend the day at Audley End, one of the finest Jacobean houses in England with an impressive great hall and magnificent state apartments. We enjoy a guided tour of the house’s impressive collections. The painting collection was mostly put together by Richard, 3rd Baron Braybrooke and contains a large number of early English portraits, as well as many Old Masters. The 4th Baron was an archaeologist and contributed one of the best surviving taxidermy collections in the country to the treasures of the house. Although Audley End is in the care of English Heritage, much of its collection still belongs to the Braybrooke family. After our tour we have free time to have lunch and explore the tranquil gardens.

Coach Bullets

  • 4 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at the Dunston Hall Hotel, near Norwich
  • Porterage
  • Welcome drink
  • After dinner tea and coffee at the hotel
  • Return coach travel
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Castle Acre Castle, Bailey Gate and Priory, Sandringham, Framlingham Castle, Orford Castle, Orford Museum, Aldeburgh & Audley End House and Gardens
  • Guided tour of Framlingham Castle
  • Guided tour of the Audley End House Collections
  • Guidebooks for selected properties
  • Services of a Tour Manager

Are you an English Heritage Member?

If you are a member of English Heritage you can save a further £40pp on the price shown. To redeem this all you need to do is tick the "EH Member Discount" box on the "Passenger Options" page during the booking process.

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