High Society Stories - Highclere & their Neighbours

Many of Britain’s elegant country mansions are dotted through the rural landscapes of the Home Counties surrounding London. We delve into the fascinating society stories of these magnificent places with their enchanting treasures, including Highclere Castle, setting of the much-loved Downton Abbey television series, and Petworth which houses the finest art collection in the care of the National Trust.


Travel Options


5 Days from just £

5 Days from just £

Holiday Highlights

  • 4 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at the Thatcher’s Hotel, near Guildford
  • Porterage
  • After dinner tea and coffee at the hotel
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Kew Palace, Highclere Castle, Hatchlands Park, Hinton Ampner & Petworth House
  • Introductory talk at Petworth House
  • Guided tour of Kew Palace (July date only)
  • Services of a Tour Manager
  • 4 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at the Thatcher’s Hotel, near Guildford
  • Porterage
  • After dinner tea and coffee at the hotel
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Kew Palace, Highclere Castle, Hatchlands Park, Hinton Ampner & Petworth House
  • Introductory talk at Petworth House
  • Guided tour of Kew Palace (July date only)
  • Services of a Tour Manager

Thatcher’s Hotel

The Thatcher’s Hotel is situated in the village of East Horsley in the heart of the Surrey countryside, close to Guildford. The charming Tudor-style property sits within beautifully manicured gardens and boasts many original features. Facilities include a traditional restaurant with garden views, a cosy bar and a small fitness area.

Single Supplements Apply

Hotel Rating

Hotels with a JG3 rating tend to be a more formal style of hotel, often part of a hotel chain, with a greater range of facilities and services. Bedrooms are a little more spacious and have additional features. Public areas are larger and include lounge seating, a bar and restaurant with good quality food served either buffet style or with waiter service. 

Excursion One - Kew Palace
We head to the outskirts of London to explore Kew Palace, an intimate royal retreat within the famous Kew Gardens. The house has a rich history spanning nearly 400 years, from its modest beginnings as the home of a rich Flemish merchant to a royal retreat for Kings George II and III and their families. We also discover the Royal Kitchens which give a fascinating insight into Georgian culinary life and Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, built for George III’s wife as a picnic retreat. There will also be time to explore lovely Kew Gardens during our visit.

Excursion Two - Highclere Castle & Hatchlands Park
We visit world-famous Highclere Castle, residence of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and filming location for the much loved Downton Abbey television series. Entrance includes access to the Egyptian Exhibition in the cellars of the castle, which explores the achievements of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922.

Built in the 1750s, Hatchlands Park is a classic country house with fine Adams ceiling decoration and tenant Alec Cobbe’s superb collection of paintings and sculptures as well as Europe’s largest collection of keyboard instruments. Outside, the informal grounds include a parterre garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll.

Excursion Three - Hinton Ampner & Petworth House
Hinton Ampner is the fulfilment of one man’s vision. Following a devastating fire in 1960, Ralph Dutton, the last Lord Sherborne, rebuilt the house in the elegant Georgian country house style he loved and filled it with an exquisite collection of ceramics and art. However, Hinton Ampner is best known for its fine gardens, widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of 20th-century garden design with beautifully manicured lawns, meticulously sculpted topiary and breathtaking views across parkland and the South Downs.

Immortalised in Turner's paintings, Petworth House is an impressive estate that combines a deer park landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown with a vast 17th-century mansion, which houses the National Trust’s finest collection of art and sculptures. Masterpieces by the likes of Van Dyck, Reynolds, Blake and Turner himself are displayed in the opulent state rooms and North Gallery. We enjoy an introductory talk before our visit.

Club Class Home Collection

Door to Door Service from just £90 per person

Take advantage of our brand new, stress free departure option of "Club Class Home Collection Service". With this luxury service, a uniformed chauffeur will collect you from home and transfer you to the hotel, airport or cruise port in top specification cars or MPV's then at the end of your holiday they will be waiting to whisk you home again.

Please note: On some journeys we may collect other customers en-route who are travelling on the same holiday as yourself. The maximum number of pickups would be your plus two more with a maximum of six people in the vehicle. Journeys over 2.5 hours will include comfort breaks and complimentary bottles water is provided. All vehicles are fitted with satellite navigation and tracking devices. Service available from addresses in mainland England only, one pickup per booking. Service operating in partnership with Club Class Chauffeurs.
Round Trip Mileage Price (pp)
Up to 150 miles £90
151 - 200 £150
201 - 250 £175
251 - 300 £200
301 - 350 £225
351 - 400 £250
400 + Call for a quote
Single Traveller Supplement Additional 75%

Excursion One - Kew Palace
We head to the outskirts of London to explore Kew Palace, an intimate royal retreat within the famous Kew Gardens. The house has a rich history spanning nearly 400 years, from its modest beginnings as the home of a rich Flemish merchant to a royal retreat for Kings George II and III and their families. We also discover the Royal Kitchens which give a fascinating insight into Georgian culinary life and Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, built for George III’s wife as a picnic retreat. There will also be time to explore lovely Kew Gardens during our visit.

Excursion Two - Highclere Castle & Hatchlands Park
We visit world-famous Highclere Castle, residence of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and filming location for the much loved Downton Abbey television series. Entrance includes access to the Egyptian Exhibition in the cellars of the castle, which explores the achievements of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922.

Built in the 1750s, Hatchlands Park is a classic country house with fine Adams ceiling decoration and tenant Alec Cobbe’s superb collection of paintings and sculptures as well as Europe’s largest collection of keyboard instruments. Outside, the informal grounds include a parterre garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll.

Excursion Three - Hinton Ampner & Petworth House
Hinton Ampner is the fulfilment of one man’s vision. Following a devastating fire in 1960, Ralph Dutton, the last Lord Sherborne, rebuilt the house in the elegant Georgian country house style he loved and filled it with an exquisite collection of ceramics and art. However, Hinton Ampner is best known for its fine gardens, widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of 20th-century garden design with beautifully manicured lawns, meticulously sculpted topiary and breathtaking views across parkland and the South Downs.

Immortalised in Turner's paintings, Petworth House is an impressive estate that combines a deer park landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown with a vast 17th-century mansion, which houses the National Trust’s finest collection of art and sculptures. Masterpieces by the likes of Van Dyck, Reynolds, Blake and Turner himself are displayed in the opulent state rooms and North Gallery. We enjoy an introductory talk before our visit.

Club Class Home Collection

Door to Door Service from just £90 per person

Take advantage of our brand new, stress free departure option of "Club Class Home Collection Service". With this luxury service, a uniformed chauffeur will collect you from home and transfer you to the hotel, airport or cruise port in top specification cars or MPV's then at the end of your holiday they will be waiting to whisk you home again.

Please note: On some journeys we may collect other customers en-route who are travelling on the same holiday as yourself. The maximum number of pickups would be your plus two more with a maximum of six people in the vehicle. Journeys over 2.5 hours will include comfort breaks and complimentary bottles water is provided. All vehicles are fitted with satellite navigation and tracking devices. Service available from addresses in mainland England only, one pickup per booking. Service operating in partnership with Club Class Chauffeurs.
Round Trip Mileage Price (pp)
Up to 150 miles £90
151 - 200 £150
201 - 250 £175
251 - 300 £200
301 - 350 £225
351 - 400 £250
400 + Call for a quote
Single Traveller Supplement Additional 75%

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Date Hotel Price Availability
09/07/2017 Legacy Thatchers £ Book Now
Departure Date Pickup Points Hotel Price  
09/07/2017 Legacy Thatchers £615.00 Book Now