We check in to the Aztec Hotel and Spa in the afternoon. Later, we enjoy a welcome drinks reception hosted by our tour manager.
Monday: Longleat House, Wells & Bishop’s Palace and Gardens
We begin the day with a visit to Longleat House which is widely regarded as one of the best examples of high Elizabethan architecture in Britain. Substantially completed by 1580 and now home to the 7th Marquess of Bath, Longleat House is set within 900 acres of stunning ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland. We take a guided tour around the house before enjoying an included lunch.
Afterwards we venture to Wells, located at the foot of the Mendip Hills. England’s smallest city boasts a magnificent cathedral while the eclectic mix of historic buildings and narrow streets adds to the atmosphere. We also spend time at the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens, which in 2020 are celebrating 800 years since construction began on the palace. The 14 acres of gardens here are a haven of serenity and there is time to explore at your leisure, and marvel at the spectacular moat.
After dinner this evening, we enjoy an interesting themed talk from a guest speaker.
Tuesday: Bowood House & Theatre Performance in Bristol
Today we head to Bowood House. Family home of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, Bowood houses a unique collection of historical artefacts and family heirlooms built up over 250 years; from Queen Victoria’s wedding chair to Napoleon’s death mask and an extensive art collection. Outside are 100 acres of beautiful parkland, designed by ‘Capability’ Brown. After our private guided tour, we enjoy lunch here before returning to our hotel to freshen up.
After an early dinner at our hotel, we make the short journey into the centre of Bristol, straddling the River Avon. Here we enjoy our evening theatre performance.
Wednesday: Bath – No.1 Royal Crescent & The Peto Garden
Once home to Jane Austen, Bath has remained faithful to its Regency roots and today we visit No.1 Royal Crescent. This beautiful Georgian town house creates a wonderful picture of life for both the wealthy and their servants in Georgian Bath. Afterwards, there is some free time to find lunch and explore Bath further. You might wish to visit the famous Roman Baths, impressive Abbey or grand Pump Rooms (please note that extra charges apply for these visits).
In the afternoon we head to The Peto Garden at Iford Manor. These Italian-style gardens were designed by Harold Peto, who lived at Iford Manor from 1899 until his death in 1933. The landscape is characterised by terraces, impressive sculptures and stunning views of the valley. We enjoy an exclusive, out-of-hours guided tour.
After breakfast, we check out of the hotel for our journey home.
Please note: in order to accommodate your theatre performance the itinerary order is subject to change.