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Itinerary help for trip to English stately homes, gardens, castles.

Itinerary help for trip to English stately homes, gardens, castles.

Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 02:43 PM
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Itinerary help for trip to English stately homes, gardens, castles.

We're trying to plan a driving trip to visit formal gardens, stately homes, & castles in England in mid-June/July; 3- 4 weeks. We need the expert advice I read here all the time (but this is my first post).

Would love any suggestions for areas to concentrate on or routes that you've taken that would help us to plan to see the best homes and gardens? Places to stay?

We're generally not thinking of a tour, but would look into any that are suggested. Thanks, TM
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 02:54 PM
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I'd start by looking at the English Heritage and National Trust websites, as thse two organisations ownm and manage a lot of places you might want to visit, although other remain in priate hands.

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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 03:28 PM
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only time for a short answer just now - a "certain" football game is on

You will want to get Great British Heritage Passes. The GBHP cover all the National Trust and English Heritage sites = plus a LOT of teh privately owned one (likek Blenheim, Chatsworth, Castle Howard, etc)

W/ 4 weeks I'd plan on about 7 days in Kent/East Sussex (more castles, gardens and stately homes per sq mile than just about anywhere on earth)

3 or 4 days in Norfolk/Suffolk

4-7 days in the north (Yorkshire and/or the Peaks or there abouts)

and one other area - could be Devon/Cornwall, the Cotswolds, Bath/Wiltshire or just about anywhere.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 04:05 PM
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That's a lotta info to start with, from both of you; can't wait to see what will come after the SuperBowl! Any 'must see/don't miss help would be great. TM
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 06:27 AM
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Hi Tmax - 'Any 'must see/don't miss help would be great'

Stately homes: Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth House ...

Gardens: Stourhead (Wiltshire), Leonardslee (Sussex), Exbury (Hampshire) ...

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main...e/w-stourhead/

http://www.invectis.co.uk/leonardslee/index.htm

http://www.exbury.co.uk/exbury/index.htm

Hope this helps ...

Steve
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 06:47 AM
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The green Michelin guidebooks rank the various sights (***=worth a trip, **=worth a detour, and so on) and give suggested driving tours. There are also some books of driving tours.

What do you mean by "formal gardens?" The English contribution to landscaping is informal, natural-seeming gardens.

For gardens Cornwall is great. (Michelin missed Trebah Gardens, which is probably my favorite garden in Britain.) And southern England in general. In the Cotswolds if you go to lunch at Barnsley House (www.barnsleyhouse.com), you can visit Rosemary Verey's garden there.

Alistair Sawday (www.sawdays.co.uk/accommodation/britain/gbb) publishes a book of B&B's for garden lovers, that is, B&B's with notable gardens. We stayed at Millgate House in Richmond, Yorkshire. This is a great B&B with a prize-winning garden in a very nice little town.

It's hard not to be all over the place without your having limited your plans. But I agree with getting the Great British Heritage Pass. Not only do you save money, you see more than you planned.
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 06:54 AM
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I adore stately homes and castles. One of my favourites is the Royal Pavilion in Brighton because it was so incredibly different. Well worth a trip.

We also thought Leeds Castle was excellent, very touristy but for good reason. It's not in Leeds, it's in Kent.

The small town of Battle is not that far away and has the ruins of the abbey and battlefield from the Battle of Hastings. We found that quite atmospheric but it may have been the grey, drizzly day.

Lots and lots to see, it will be hard to narrow your choices down!
Kay
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 03:40 PM
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I'll second the recommendations of Chatsworth and Stourhead. Blenheim's gardens are lovely, but the house is, well, ostentatious.

Haddon Hall is very close to Chatsworth and worth a stop.

Lee Ann
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