England: Coastal Castles and Magnificent Mansions of Dorset5th Sep 2024
We wind our way through the stunning Surrey countryside, the rolling downs of Hampshire and the New Forest National Park to discover the coastal castles and magnificent mansions of Dorset. We visit the ancestral home of William and Ali Hanham, Deans Court, which has been in their family for nearly 500 years. We also visit Highcliffe Castle, a Grade I listed building which was the brainchild of Lord Stuart de Rothesay, the opulent Venetian palace-styled Kingston Lacy, as well as fascinating collections at the Russell Cotes House and Gallery. We enjoy a nostalgic journey on the heritage Swanage Railway and have the chance to explore the ruins of Corfe Castle. The artillery fortress of Portland Castle also features, as we learn about its long serving history from its commission by Henry the VIII in 1540 to defend England against European invasion from the French and Spanish to the roles it played in both World Wars. We delve into another facet of Tudor history with visits to Sherborne Castle and Athelhampton Hall, both great examples of stately homes of this period. At the latter, we are also treated to a delightful lunch before returning to our original joining points.
South West England
departures:Select Your Departure Date
What to Expect
- Guided tour of Highcliffe Castle with Refreshments
- ‘Story of the Victorian Villa’ tour at Russell Cotes House & Gallery
- Guided tour of Portland Castle, guided book and tea or coffee with Cake
- Guided tour of Athelhampton Hall with light lunch, tea or coffee and glass of wine
- Visits to Deans Court, Kingston Lacy, Sherbourne Castle and Corfe Castle
|To be advised
|London - Coach Bays on Tothill Street, Westminster
|Basingstoke - Outside the Railway Station
** Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure. **
Day by Day Itinerary
We depart London and head south-westwards through Surrey and Hampshire to Dorset, home to some of the most beautiful coastline and rolling countryside in all the United Kingdom. The first stop on our exploration of the magnificent houses and coastal castles of Dorset is Deans Court, an exquisite historic house set in mature gardens and just a short distance from the centre of Wimborne Minster. It is owned by William and Ali Hanham and has been in William’s family for almost 500 years. Inside we will find a long line of ancestral portraits that provide a remarkable example of private heritage. Thought to have been built in the 8th Century by King Ine of Wessex and his sister St Cuthburga, it is the oldest surviving house in Wimborne. The gardens at Deans Court feature a large solitary fishpond, historic walled permaculture gardens, streams, herb garden and an orchard. After some time to explore we head to our hotel for some time to relax before dinner is served in the restaurant.