We check in to the Cedar Court Hotel in the afternoon. Later, we enjoy a welcome drinks reception hosted by our tour manager.
Monday: Harewood House & Harrogate
We start the morning at Harewood House where we enjoy a private guided tour followed by lunch. Built in the 18th century for Edwin Lascelles to designs by architect John Carr, it is one of the greatest Treasure Houses in England with interiors designed by Robert Adam, superb Thomas Chippendale furniture and an outstanding art collection ranging from Renaissance masterpieces to 20th-century art. Set in a magnificent landscape created by ‘Capability’ Brown, Harewood is still home to the Lascelles family with the 7th Earl, cousin to the Queen, and Countess living here, and reflects the changing tastes and styles of the past 250 years.
The afternoon is spent in the elegant spa town of Harrogate, where notable sights include the Royal Pump Room and the Grade II listed Royal Hall. Don’t miss the attractive Montpellier Quarter with its pedestrianised streets lined with 19th-century buildings.
After dinner this evening, we enjoy an interesting themed talk from a guest speaker.
Tuesday: Allerton Castle & Goldsborough Hall
Today we head first to Allerton Castle, one of England’s most elegant and illustrious Gothic revival stately homes. Set amongst 200 acres of beautiful grounds, with a towering 70-foot high façade that dominates the landscape, the house was built in the 1840s by Lord Mowbray, Segrave and Stourton and once owned by Prince Frederick (the ‘Grand Old Duke of York’ and brother to King George IV).
A beautifully preserved relic of the English aristocracy, Allerton is a veritable time capsule offering an insight into a bygone era. Admire the Gothic splendour of the galleried Great Hall, the cosy library and elegant drawing room.
Afterwards, we visit Goldsborough Hall. The current Hall was built in the early 17th century and is renowned for its Jacobean architecture and magnificent Robert Adam interiors. Once home to Princess Mary (the Queens’ aunt), the Hall has been lovingly restored to its former glory by the current owners and is now a luxury five-star hotel. We enjoy afternoon tea in these stylish surroundings followed by a chance to walk round the historic, award-winning gardens.
Wednesday: Newby Hall & Ripley Castle
Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and with some of Britain’s finest Robert Adam interiors, Newby Hall is a perfect example of the Georgian ‘Age of Elegance’. Home to the Compton family and their ancestors since 1748, Newby houses numerous treasures including magnificent classical sculptures, fine pieces of Chippendale furniture and a superb set of Gobelins tapestries, which we explore on our exclusive guided tour.
Our final visit takes us to Ripley Castle. Home to the Ingilby family for over 700 years, the castle is steeped in history and offers fascinating stories of its inhabitants; one of the ten oldest families in the country still living in the same residence. Ripley’s colourful and sometimes gruesome history is well documented and we learn more on our private guided tour.
After breakfast, we check out of the hotel for our journey home.