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Great Historic Houses and Castles

Time capsules of power and privilege
Great Historic Houses and Castles

The manor houses, stately homes and castles of England are time capsules of power, privilege, architecture and art that reveal much about the story of England’s past and the great families that owned them. There are superb examples from different historical periods in every county across southern England. A themed tour might explore the art of the great houses or the story of a particular family or you might choose to visit a favourite stately home as part of a wider tour.

On this tour you could:

Tours close to London:

  • Blenheim Palace and Woodstock  Blenheim is one of the great houses of England and now a World Heritage Site. Built for the 1st Duke of Marlborough and his infamous wife, Sarah, it was also the birthplace of Winston Churchill. It was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh in magnificent baroque style and is renowned for its Capability Brown landscape setting. Combine your visit with time in Woodstock, Oxford or head to Minster Lovell: a ruined but lovely medieval manor house close by.

  • Downton Abbey Tour.  Visit Highclere Castle, characterised as the model English stately home for the Earl of Grantham, his family and household, in the Downton Abbey series.   In real life the house has been magnificently restored by the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon with splendid views and lovely gardens.  Continue on to Basildon House where many Downton interior scenes were shot and Bampton in the Cotswolds used for many of the village scenes.

Booking Options

Great Historic Houses and Castles

Great Historic Houses and Castles


8 HOURS or several days.


  • The services of a local expert Blue Badge Guide.

  • Advice and local insights to choose the best combination of historic sites for your tour with carefully selected scenic routes between locations.

  • Local food and drink venues to suit your tastes.

  • Links to coach and car services or help with trains and public transport for travellers wishing to minimise their carbon footprint.

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