Friday June 23, 2017 – Friday June 30, 2017
8 Days – $2,500

Final Payment May 15, 2017

What is more blissful than a week long stay at an English Lake? This tour will have you journeying through the stunning and varied Cumbrian landscape and staying in a waterside spa hotel famous as a haven for weary travelers for the last 200 years. Along the way, we’ll visit assorted stately homes, glorious gardens and literary landmarks, as well as take two scenic lake cruises and a journey aboard an historic steam train. A bit of relaxation, a leisurely yet interesting itinerary and stunning lake views – bliss.

  • Visits to Holker Hall, Levens Hall, Sizergh Castle, Minehouse, Dalmain House and Tatton Park.
  • Motor coach tour of the Lake District with area guide
  • Cruises on both Lake Windermere and Bassenthwaite Lake
  • Steam railroad journey

 

Day 1

Upon your arrival in Manchester, the complimentary airport shuttle will take you directly to our hotel, the four-star Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel. Meet your fellow travelers in the Lobby Bar for a cocktail before we dine together this evening in The Grill Room.

Day 2

After breakfast, we will travel by private coach to Lake Windemere and check-in to The Swan Hotel and Spa, offering luxe accommodation in an historic setting nestled between the Lake and the River Leven. The oldest part of the current building was erected in 1623 and the grand Georgian façade was added in 1766, when it became a stopping point for the Royal Mail.

There will be time for you to have lunch or unpack before we set off for a 90 minute round trip cruise around Lake Windermere, featuring breathtaking scenery and commentary on the highlights of the Lake. We will break our cruise at the ancient town of Bowness-on-Windermere, where you’ll have plenty of time to stroll the quaint streets lined with gift and antique shops, atmospheric pubs, craft shops and the World of Beatrix Potter attraction. Afterwards, we’ll resume our cruise and return to the hotel for dinner in the River Room.

Day 3

This morning we travel to Holker Hall, the Grade II listed home belonging to the Cavendish Family. The home has never been sold since it was built in the 16th century, but passed, via inheritance, from one loving caretaker to the next. The house was largely remodeled by the Duke of Devonshire in 1840 and stands today as a stunning example of the archetypical pre-war country house. The gardens have been sustained by generations of avid gardeners and are among the most beautiful in Britain. Stroll the 10 acres of formal gardens or walk in the deer park, exploring the woods beyond. As the current Lord and Lady Cavendish say, “The record reveals that for 400 years my ancestors felt that, for them, Holker was more desirable, more favoured by Providence and more enhanced with natural beauty than any other place on earth.”

Afterwards, we’ll board the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Steam Railway for a nostalgic trip that offers beautiful views of the Levens Valley on this iconic historic railway.

Day 4

We begin our day at Levens Hall, which boasts one of the best preserved Elizabethan interiors in England and which is still owned by the Bagot family. Sir Charles Bagot married Lady Mary Wellesley, niece of the first Duke of Wellington, and it is through this connection that so many fascinating artifacts have been handed down through the family and are on display. Outside, we’ll visit the Hall’s world renowned topiary garden, originally planted in the 17th century and walk the fabulous flower gardens and grounds.

In the afternoon we’ll visit Grade I listed medieval Sizergh Castle. Inside, the Castle offers a true walk through 700 years of history, with many of the rooms, from the Elizabethan Inlaid Chamber to the Regency Drawing Room, displaying the Strickland family’s wealth through the centuries. The family is still in residence and you will see current photos displayed amongst the Castle’s artwork, furniture and costume displays. Afterwards, explore the lovely grounds, which include an orchard, a limestone rock garden, pond and lovingly tended flower gardens.

Day 5

Today we go further afield with a guided coach tour of the Lake District featuring the stunning Cumbrian landscape of glittering lakes, craggy mountains, moor-covered fells, sun dappled valleys and pristine woods. Along the way we’ll be stopping at scenic views, quaint and quintessentially English villages, a charming afternoon tea room and at literary landmarks, including Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop Farm and William Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage. Our day long adventure will introduce you to some of Cumbria’s most breathtaking scenery and most beloved places of interest.

Day 6

The literary theme continues today as we visit Mirehouse, built in 1666 for the Earl of Derby, with its interesting collection of furniture, portraits, manuscripts by Francis Bacon and letters from Wordsworth, Tennyson, Southey, Thomas Carlyle and John Constable. Piano music accompanies us on a tour of the house that includes both the grand public rooms and family spaces such as the library and nursery. Outdoors, the lawns, Victorian colonnade and Bee Garden must be seen before embarking on the circular walk which brings one to the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake.

There will be time for you to visit the Old Sawmill Tearoom before we board the nearby Keswick Launch for a scenic cruise around Derwentwater, offering stunning views of both St. Herbert’s Island, home to a famous 5th century saint and hermit, and Lord’s Island, erstwhile home to Earl Radclyffe, an avowed Jacobite who was beheaded for his role in the Scottish uprising.

Day 7

Mid-morning will find us arriving at Dalemain House and Gardens (Christie’s Garden of the Year 2013), with its impressive pink stone Georgian façade and acres of estate grounds. The House is still lived in by the Hasell-McCosh family and contains interesting collections of fine furniture, family portraits, ceramics and dolls’ houses. Nearby is the Great Barn, housing farming tools, carts, a blacksmith’s shop and all manner of exhibits recalling a bygone way of life.

Outside, we’ll visit the award winning gardens and those who wish can take the two mile walk from Dalmain to Dacre and back. In addition to the stunning natural scenery, you’ll find fallow deer and hens, the old fox hound kennels, a coaching inn, St. Andrew’s Church and the Dalemain Castle. Upon your return to the House, you may choose to get a bite to eat at the Medieval Tearoom – don’t forget to sample Dalemain’s award winning marmalade.

This afternoon might be the perfect time to schedule a spa treatment at The Swan Hotel’s Vu Spa.

Day 8

Bidding goodbye to the Lakes, we make our way back to Manchester, with a stop along the way at the magnificent Grade I listed Tatton Park, one of the most complete estates to come under the care of the National Trust. It comprises the Tudor Old Hall, the neo-classical mansion, award winning gardens, a working farm and a 1,000 acre deer park. The rich furnishings of the Tatton Park mansion and its important library and furniture collections reflect the growing wealth and status of the Egerton family at the end of the 18th and during the 19th centuries.

Upon arrival, we’ll be greeted by Mr. New and Mrs. Cork, the “butler” and “housekeeper” at Tatton, who will take us on a guided tour of the Mansion, including the first floor, usually closed to visitors. Below stairs we will gain a striking picture of the number of servants and level of domestic management necessary to run such a large establishment. We’ll see the contrast between the richness and grandeur of the State Apartments, the more intimate family rooms and the utilitarian servant’s quarters and cellars. Afterwards, there will be time to explore the gardens and grounds before we are served a traditional Afternoon Tea in the bucolic setting of the former Gardener’s Cottage, taken outdoors if the weather is fine.

Late afternoon finds us returning to the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel, Manchester. Farewell dinner at the hotel this evening.

What’s Included:

  • 2 Nights at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel
  • 6 Nights at The Swan Hotel
  • Complimentary airport shuttle
  • Full English breakfast each day
  • Seven Dinners
  • Afternoon Tea at Tatton Park
  • Services of an expert tour guide throughout the tour
  • Private coach transportation each day
  • Lake Windermere Cruise
  • Derwenwater Cruise
  • Steam railway journey
  • Entry or admission fees to all venues