Malvern Hills

Six days and five nights on a half board basis at the 3* Damson Dene Hotel at Crosthwaite. Located in a countryside setting, five miles from Bowness-on- Windermere,

Day 1 We depart by executive coach from our designated pick up points and en route to our hotel we visit the National Trust’s Biddulph Grange Garden in Staffordshire, one of Britain’s most exciting and unusual gardens with a series of connected ‘compartments’. Unique features at the garden include upside down trees, a formal Italian garden, Egyptian Court and a tranquil Chinese garden. We continue to the 3* Damson Dene Hotel at Crosthwaite

Day 2 Our Blue Badge guide meets us at our hotel this morning and accompanies us throughout the day. Holker Hall is our destination this morning. Home to the Cavendish family, this grand Victorian mansion is lavishly furnished, with marble fireplaces, splendid linenfold panelling, fine plasterwork and intricate carving. Later this afternoon we visit Blackwell, one of England’s most important surviving houses from the turn of the 20th century. Designed by M.H. Baillie Scott, the house occupies a stunning position overlooking Windermere and is a fine example of Arts and Craft movement architecture.

Day 3 We visit Muncaster Castle this morning, home to the Pennington family for 800 years and a genuine treasure trove of art and antiques. We have time at leisure for lunch at Muncaster Castle, before continuing with our Blue Badge guide to the nearby Ravenglass and Eskdale narrow gauge steam railway. Affectionately known as ‘La’al Ratty’ by the locals, the railway runs from the coastal village of Ravenglass and passes through two of the Lakeland’s most picturesque valleys on its seven mile journey to Dalegarth.

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Day 4 This morning we visit the National Trust’s Wordsworth House with our Blue Badge guide, a fine Georgian town house that was the birthplace and childhood home of William Wordsworth. We continue to the traditional market town of Keswick where we have time at leisure for lunch. We enjoy a memorable steam cruise on Ullswater between Glenridding and Pooley Bridge this afternoon, sailing along what is considered as England’s ‘most beautiful lake’.

Day 5 Levens Hall is our destination this morning with our Blue Badge guide, an Elizabethan mansion built around a 13th century pele tower. The house offers fine panelling, plasterwork and period furniture, and the world-famous topiary gardens were laid out by Guillaume Beaumont in 1694 and remain largely unchanged to this day. This afternoon we visit Dove Cottage at Grasmere, William Wordsworth’s home from 1799 to 1808. Here Wordsworth wrote much of his poetry, and his sister Dorothy kept her famous journals. At the Wordsworth Museum, we discover the greatest collection of the Wordsworths’ letters, journals and poems in the world.

Day 6 After checking out of our hotel and before returning home we visit Arley Hall & Gardens in Cheshire. Built between 1832 and 1885 by Rowland Egerton-Warburton, Arley Hall is a fine example of the Victorian Jacobean style, whilst the award-winning gardens, created gradually over a period of 250 years have recently been voted in the top 10 in Britain.

Cost £589 per person (based on two people sharing a twin/double- bedded room; single room supplement £99).

For more information please contact Clive Hooper.

 

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