I have been leading Discovery and Heritage Tours for HF Holidays since 2012 and will continue to do so in 2021. These are small group tours to places of interest radiating from one of their 17 country houses. Holidays are full board and consist of Active Sightseeing (which means there is a reasonable amount of walking around towns and attractions). Please see their website for further details of each holiday but below is a list of the holidays I am leading in 2021.
THE ARTS & CRAFTS MOVEMENT IN NORTH CUMBRIA
The late 19th century saw the birth of the Arts and Crafts Movement - the idea that there is value to creating everyday objects which are beautiful and well made. This trip celebrates the work of some of the movement’s most important influencers. Glorious stained glass, Morris wallpapers and metalwork from the Keswick School of Industrial Arts highlight Cumbria’s diverse Arts and Crafts output. You’ll also enjoy an exclusive visit to a family-owned castle, usually closed to the public.
THE ARTS & CRAFTS MOVEMENT IN SOUTH CUMBRIA
Cumbria was a favourite haunt of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones who, together with George Howard of Brampton, were integral figures in the Arts and Crafts Movement. This trip visits key sites connected with their vision including to private homes (not normally open to the public) which house magnificent textiles, furniture and stained glass. You’ll learn about Langdale lace-making and visit Brantwood – home of John Ruskin – as well as Blackwell – the Arts and Crafts house designed by M H Baillie Scott.
DORSET DISCOVERY TOUR
Discover the dramatic Jurassic Coast and the beautiful chalk downlands further afield. Get ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ in Dorchester, once home to renowned author Thomas Hardy, and enjoy the calm of Cerne Abbas – famous for its chalk giant. Take a ride on the Swanage Heritage Railway, explore the elegant mansion of Kingston Lacy, view the unique expanse of Chesil Beach and stroll the streets of Weymouth at the coast and Wimborne Minster inland.
SOUTHERN LAKE DISTRICT DISCOVERY TOUR
While the Lake District is well known for its walking options, it has much to offer those who prefer a less strenuous way of exploring. A ride on the narrow-gauge Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway and a cruise on Windermere are very relaxing ways to enjoy the beautiful Lake District scenery. You’ll visit the Lakeland towns of Ambleside and Grange-over-Sands, the quaint villages of Hawkshead and Coniston, historic Holker Hall, haunted Muncaster Castle and Cartmel. In Grasmere you’ll visit Dove Cottage – home of Wordsworth.
CORNWALL DISCOVERY TOUR
Journey to a land of stunning coasts, quaint fishing harbours, exotic gardens and fascinating history. Step back in time at the Celtic village of Chysauster and the Merry Maidens stone circle then fast forward to the Victorian era at the Museum of Submarine Technology. Enjoy the scenery at Kynance Cove and Lizard Point; see if you can spot a rare Chough. Absorb the scents and colours of Trelissick Garden and explore picturesque fishing villages at Mousehole and Coverack.
WESTERN YORKSHIRE DALES DISCOVERY TOUR
Get under the skin of the local area with visits to picturesque market towns, museums and historical attractions. Taste Wensleydale cheese at the creamery, travel over the Pennines to Barnard Castle and enjoy a guided tour of Kendal.
BRECON WATERWAYS TOUR
This trip uncovers the industrial heritage of South Wales exploring various facets of man’s harnessing of water, both ancient and modern. The ‘Mon and Brec’ Canal is unusual in that it is not connected to the rest of the network; find out why during canal-side strolls. You’ll also visit the amazing Newport transporter bridge and the remains of a Medieval ship that was found in the River Usk. Learn about local history in Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum and discover how the Aberdulais Falls powered tin mining.
COTSWOLDS DISCOVERY TOUR
The beautiful honey-coloured stone buildings of the Cotswolds stand out against the picturesque backdrop of gently rolling countryside. Stroll around the Roman city of Cirencester, explore the 17th century market hall in Chipping Campden and wander through the stunning gardens of Sudeley Castle – the famous estate where Catherine Parr lived and is buried. There’s also a visit to the Roman villa at Chedworth, the gardens at Hidcote Manor and time in the picturesque Bibury village.