Excursion One - Renishaw Hall & Hardwick Hall
We start the day at Renishaw Hall, home to the Sitwell family for nearly 400 years. Still very much a family home, Renishaw reveals a real sense of the history of the generations who have lived there, with a stunning collection of art and furniture, which we discover on our guided tour. We also have time to explore the award-winning gardens.
We continue on to Hardwick Hall. Ordered in the 16th century by Bess of Hardwick (England’s richest woman after her Queen, Elizabeth I), Hardwick is a striking Elizabethan treasure. The lavish number of windows, at a time when glass was a luxury, inspired the phrase ‘Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall’.
Excursion Two - Nostell Priory & Wentworth Woodhouse*
We visit Nostell Priory, an 18th-century architectural masterpiece which has been the home of the Winn family for 300 years. Set in landscaped parkland, Nostell is also home to England’s best documented collection of Chippendale furniture, designed especially for the estate. The gardens and grounds include lakeside walks, a formal rose garden and recently-planted orchard and vegetable garden.
*Please note: On 1st June departure, Wentworth Woodhouse is unavailable and will be replaced by a visit to Temple Newsam House.
Wentworth Woodhouse was built by the First Marquess of Rockingham between 1725 and 1750 and consists of two joined houses of totally different architectural styles; the Baroque style west front and the east front in the later Palladian style. Having been closed to the public for over 25 years, the house is now open and in the process of being restored to its former glory. Here we enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent State Rooms, acknowledged to be some of the finest of the Georgian era.
Excursion Three - Chatsworth House & Kedleston Hall
Magnificent Chatsworth House is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and has witnessed sixteen generations of the powerful Cavendish family. Grandiose interiors and a superlative art collection make Chatsworth easily one of Britain’s most significant houses. The 100 acres of garden include the famous 300-year-old cascade and enormous Emperor Fountain.
We then make our way to Kedleston Hall, architect Robert Adam’s Neo-classical masterpiece. The Curzon family have lived here since the 12th century and Lord Curzon’s Eastern Museum is full of curios from the days of the Empire. The house was also used as a key filming location for The Duchess.