Designed for up to eight guests and on dates subject to availability, this programme is our first collaborative venture with award-winning Haslemere Travel. Our programme incorporates a stunning country house stay with private visits to some of our most beautiful ancestral estates, some of which are featured in television and film productions, as well as Royal gardens and their designers and glorious scenic views and villages. The perfect antidote to a hectic life.
Self drive or chauffeur driven transport throughout.
Arrive mid-afternoon at the beautiful Wyatt and Capability Brown estate of Bowood, home of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, and close to the Royal estates of Gatcombe and Highgrove. Charles Lansdowne and his talented interior designer wife Fiona have transformed the estate into a fabulous visitor attraction with a superbly appointed hotel, spa and golf course tastefully created in the grounds. An original Dower House, Queenwood Lodge, is available to our special guests for a private country house stay and is beautifully furnished, warm and comfortable, with personal butler service. As longtime friends of ours, the Lansdownes have welcomed many of our special guests who have all waxed lyrical about their stay here. For smaller numbers and individuals, alternative accommodation within the main house is available.
This morning, depart for a private tour and morning coffee at the historic home of the Lowsley-Williams family at Chavenage, location for much of the BBC TV series ‘Poldark’ and setting for many historic films over the years. Caroline and her father David give a magnificent insight into the history of the house and the family who have lived here for hundreds of years, with tales of ghosts and Royal visits, and if you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of Captain Poldark himself filming series four or five!
From here, lunch at the gorgeous former home of Royal garden designer and writer Rosemary Verey at Barnsley House, with a private tour of the beautiful gardens, restored to their former glory by the owners.
Afterwards, subject to the Royal diary, a guided tour and Champagne afternoon tea at Highgrove, the very special gardens of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Tours last approximately ninety minutes (suitable footwear should be worn). In the event that a visit to Highgrove is not possible, the iconic garden designers Lady Mary Keen or Heidi Howcroft will guide guests at a local garden of note nearby for a private visit.
The Count and Countess de Salis look forward to entertaining our guests today at their lovely home, Yarlington House. Always generous and gregarious hosts, Charles and Carolyn are most interesting people; Charles is an authority on the history of Napoleon and Carolyn is a talented needlepoint specialist linked to the Royal School of Needlework. Their home and garden is a delight, and they will give a private tour and luncheon. From here, we suggest a visit to the magnificent Stourhead the home and gardens of the Hoare family.
This morning, guests will be welcomed at the outstandingly pretty home of Virginia McPherson Grant at Kingston Bagpuize. Widowed in her early thirties, Virginia has devoted her life and energy to the estate and house and gives a fabulous private tour with morning coffee and home made biscuits for our guests. Although open to the general public for limited hours, Virginia herself leads this visit and it is one of the gems for all of our guests each year.
From here, we suggest taking lunch at the nearby Plough at Clanfield (own arrangements) before heading to the simply stunning gardens and home of Lord and Lady Faringdon at Buscot Park. Buscot is leased to the National Trust by the Henderson family but Lord Faringdon (Charles Henderson, former chairman of Cazenove) has amassed a fabulous and unrivalled Collection of art, furniture and treasures which have to be seen to be believed. Lord and Lady Faringdon are great friends and, whilst they have now handed over the running of the house to their son who we have known for over 25 years, are still very hands on and will, subject to availability, lead our tour of the House and Lady Faringdon’s passion, the gardens.
Champagne and Canape Reception in the Private Apartments of Lord and Lady Lansdowne with a private tour and chat with our hosts. If the weather is fine, Lord Lansdowne loves to display his superb walled garden (never open to the general public) and also his Rhododendron collection (noted by Roy Lancaster as one of the most important in the UK).