Natural Beauty & Architectural Splendours of Suffolk

From glorious coastline to rolling countryside, there is so much in Suffolk to discover. The area is also rich in history, being feted for its archaeological finds of Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age origins, and its fascinating Anglo Saxon heritage. We uncover the stories behind some of Suffolk’s most famous inhabitants, as we visit their splendid houses, from the artist Thomas Gainsborough, whose home is filled with his work, to the fascinating history of the owners of lavish Somerleyton Hall.


Travel Options


5 Days from just £

5 Days from just £

Holiday Highlights

  • 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 Kentwell Hall, Gainsborough’s House, Somerleyton Hall, Hoveton Hall Gardens, Glemham Hall & Helmingham Hall Gardens
  • Guided tour with the owners of Kentwell Hall
  • Guided tour of Gainsborough’s House
  • Guided tour of Somerleyton Hall
  • Guided tour with the owners plus tea & biscuits at Glemham Hall
  • Lunch* at Helmingham Hall Gardens
  • Themed evening talk from a guest speaker
  • Services of a Tour Manager

    *Please inform us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements
  • Return coach travel
  • 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 Kentwell Hall, Gainsborough’s House, Somerleyton Hall, Hoveton Hall Gardens, Glemham Hall & Helmingham Hall Gardens
  • Guided tour with the owners of Kentwell Hall
  • Guided tour of Gainsborough’s House
  • Guided tour of Somerleyton Hall
  • Guided tour with the owners plus tea & biscuits at Glemham Hall
  • Lunch* at Helmingham Hall Gardens
  • Themed evening talk from a guest speaker
  • Services of a Tour Manager

    *Please inform us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements

Swipe left and right

Date Hotel from Price Single Supplement  
08/09/2019 £735.00 £N/A Please Call
Departure Date Pickup Points Hotel from Price Single Supplement  
08/09/2019 £735.00 £N/A Please Call
Dunston Hall Hotel

Set amidst 150 acres of wooded parkland, the Dunston Hall Hotel is situated four miles south of Norwich. The hotel combines Victorian and Elizabethan styles and offers spacious rooms with satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and a well-equipped health club with indoor pool, sauna and spa. Dunston Hall is also home to an 18-hole golf course.

Sunday: Arrival

We check in to the Dunston Hall Hotel in the afternoon. Later, we enjoy a welcome drinks reception hosted by our tour manager followed by a three-course evening meal.

Monday: Kentwell Hall & Gainsborough’s House

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 guided tour given by the owners of this much-loved family home which presents an interesting mix of periods within what is still essentially a Tudor layout. After our tour we have free time to explore the beautiful gardens including a Walled Garden and a traditional potager.

We continue on to Gainsborough’s House, the charming Georgian townhouse in Sudbury that was artist Thomas Gainsborough’s childhood home, and now a museum and gallery dedicated to his life. On our guided tour we are lead through the galleries and beautiful historic garden, learning more about the details of the museum’s extraordinary collection and gaining further insight into the famous artist and his home.

In the evening we enjoy a three-course dinner and an interesting themed talk from a guest speaker.

Tuesday: Somerleyton Hall & Hoveton Hall Gardens

We spend the morning at Somerleyton Hall, one of the finest Victorian stately homes in the country. The original Jacobean manor house was lavishly rebuilt in the Italianate style by Sir Morton Peto and architect John Thomas. Now home to Lord and Lady Somerleyton, the inside of the house is a pastiche of styles from high Victorian splendour in the chintz ballroom to the dark Jacobean Oak Parlour and contains many fine portraits of the Crossley family, tapestries and two stuffed Polar bears – souvenirs of Lord Somerleyton's 1897 excursion to the Arctic. Our guided tour brings this fabulous house to life while outside are 12 acres of magnificent formal gardens and one of the finest yew hedge mazes in Britain.

Afterwards we visit Hoveton Hall Gardens, part of the beautiful Hoveton Hall Estate. The delightful 15 acres of gardens are made up of several areas, all with their own unique characteristics including the walled ‘Spider Garden’, the ‘Old Kitchen Garden’ with lawns and herbaceous borders, a 19th-century glass house and 18th-century ice well, a ‘Woodland Walk’, ‘Magnolia Garden’ plus two lakes and an arboretum.

This evening, we enjoy a three-course dinner back at the hotel.

Wednesday: Glemham Hall & Helmingham Hall Gardens

Glemham Hall is a charming manor house, built around 1560 by the de Glemham family. In the early 1700s the house was sold to Baron Guildford of the North family, whose uncle had earlier purchased the lordship of the manor of Little Glemham. The Baron began major structural work to bring the house up to date in the height of Georgian fashion, which is the house we visit today. On our guided tour we can see the majority of the Hall, from the depths of the cellars up to the servants quarters in the attic, an area largely untouched by restoration where we can get a real sense of life ‘below stairs’. Our tour will be conducted by one of the Cobbold family, who have owned the house since 1923, providing a fascinating insight into growing up on a country estate. We also tour the gardens, which have been linked to Humphrey Repton, which feature an avenue of Irish Yew, a stunning rose garden and herbaceous borders. We also enjoy tea and biscuits during our visit.

Next, we head to Helmingham Hall Gardens where we enjoy lunch before exploring the beautiful gardens, set within a 400 acre deer park surrounding the spectacular Tudor moated Hall. 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 exquisite herbaceous borders and beds of vegetables, a herb and knot garden as well as a beautiful rose garden.

We return to our hotel for a three-course dinner.

Thursday: Departure

After breakfast, we check out of the hotel for our journey home.

Experience Suffolk Architecture at Dunston Hall Hotel

Sunday: Arrival

We check in to the Dunston Hall Hotel in the afternoon. Later, we enjoy a welcome drinks reception hosted by our tour manager followed by a three-course evening meal.

Monday: Kentwell Hall & Gainsborough’s House

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 guided tour given by the owners of this much-loved family home which presents an interesting mix of periods within what is still essentially a Tudor layout. After our tour we have free time to explore the beautiful gardens including a Walled Garden and a traditional potager.

We continue on to Gainsborough’s House, the charming Georgian townhouse in Sudbury that was artist Thomas Gainsborough’s childhood home, and now a museum and gallery dedicated to his life. On our guided tour we are lead through the galleries and beautiful historic garden, learning more about the details of the museum’s extraordinary collection and gaining further insight into the famous artist and his home.

In the evening we enjoy a three-course dinner and an interesting themed talk from a guest speaker.

Tuesday: Somerleyton Hall & Hoveton Hall Gardens

We spend the morning at Somerleyton Hall, one of the finest Victorian stately homes in the country. The original Jacobean manor house was lavishly rebuilt in the Italianate style by Sir Morton Peto and architect John Thomas. Now home to Lord and Lady Somerleyton, the inside of the house is a pastiche of styles from high Victorian splendour in the chintz ballroom to the dark Jacobean Oak Parlour and contains many fine portraits of the Crossley family, tapestries and two stuffed Polar bears – souvenirs of Lord Somerleyton's 1897 excursion to the Arctic. Our guided tour brings this fabulous house to life while outside are 12 acres of magnificent formal gardens and one of the finest yew hedge mazes in Britain.

Afterwards we visit Hoveton Hall Gardens, part of the beautiful Hoveton Hall Estate. The delightful 15 acres of gardens are made up of several areas, all with their own unique characteristics including the walled ‘Spider Garden’, the ‘Old Kitchen Garden’ with lawns and herbaceous borders, a 19th-century glass house and 18th-century ice well, a ‘Woodland Walk’, ‘Magnolia Garden’ plus two lakes and an arboretum.

This evening, we enjoy a three-course dinner back at the hotel.

Wednesday: Glemham Hall & Helmingham Hall Gardens

Glemham Hall is a charming manor house, built around 1560 by the de Glemham family. In the early 1700s the house was sold to Baron Guildford of the North family, whose uncle had earlier purchased the lordship of the manor of Little Glemham. The Baron began major structural work to bring the house up to date in the height of Georgian fashion, which is the house we visit today. On our guided tour we can see the majority of the Hall, from the depths of the cellars up to the servants quarters in the attic, an area largely untouched by restoration where we can get a real sense of life ‘below stairs’. Our tour will be conducted by one of the Cobbold family, who have owned the house since 1923, providing a fascinating insight into growing up on a country estate. We also tour the gardens, which have been linked to Humphrey Repton, which feature an avenue of Irish Yew, a stunning rose garden and herbaceous borders. We also enjoy tea and biscuits during our visit.

Next, we head to Helmingham Hall Gardens where we enjoy lunch before exploring the beautiful gardens, set within a 400 acre deer park surrounding the spectacular Tudor moated Hall. 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 exquisite herbaceous borders and beds of vegetables, a herb and knot garden as well as a beautiful rose garden.

We return to our hotel for a three-course dinner.

Thursday: Departure

After breakfast, we check out of the hotel for our journey home.