Special tours for special places
If you like to dig deeper, there are plenty of guided tours and talks by experts to help you soak up the atmosphere of our places.
These are some of our personal favourites:
Castle Drogo, Devon
Craftmanship and conservation
Discover more about the vision of Edwin Lutyens, and the skill of the craftsmen who built Castle Drogo, as well as learning more about how we are conserving the castle today.
Dunster Castle, Somerset
Summoned by the bell
Step into the life and times of a Victoria servant, whilst accessing parts of the 19th-century Dunster Castle not normally open to the public. Glimpse what life was like for those who spent most of their time in the attics and basements.
Petworth House and Park, West Sussex
Life ‘below stairs’
Follow in the footsteps of the servants who laboured out of sight to ensure the smooth running of this magnificent country house, and imagine the activity and aromas in the historic kitchens, and the cleaning of all those pans. You can visit the still-room, pantries, larders and ice house at Petworth House, too.
The Churchills at Chartwell
Take a closer look into the lives of the Churchill family through this informal tour of the principal rooms of the house, which remains much the same as it was when the family lived here. The tour of Chartwell highlights interesting contents and gives an insight into the family’s tastes and lifestyle.
Constable at Flatford
Put yourself in the picture, quite literally, on a guided walk around the locations for some of John Constable’s most famous and much-loved paintings. We will explore the hamlet of Flatford, visit areas of Flatford Mill not normally open to the public and give you an insight into the landscape.
Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire
Waterways and wildlife
Enjoy a gentle boat ride through one of Britain’s oldest nature reserves at Wicken Fen. Open boats were traditionally used to transport peat and sedge to the surrounding villages; today they provide a delightful way to travel through the landscape and discover some of the secret wildlife that makes it home here.
See the lovely walled courtyards that enclose a fragrant herb garden, pretty orchards and beautiful lawns. Discover more behind the scenes in the ‘engine room’ of the garden at Hardwick Hall too.
Belton House, Lincolnshire
Would your group love to hear more about life as a 19th-century servant in the ‘big house’? Enjoy this specialist tour of Belton House which starts at the basement and goes to the very roof of the house. It’s a fascinating tour to suit small groups of up to 10 people.
Steam Yacht Gondola, Cumbria
A Victorian day out
Indulge in a luxurious cruise on captivating Coniston Water aboard this carefully rebuilt steam-powered yacht with its sumptuously upholstered saloons. Enjoy the glorious views as wealthy Victorians once did. Disembark at Brantwood House (not National Trust), home of famous Victorian artist and writer John Ruskin before returning on Gondola.
Wordsworth House, Cumbria
Wordsworth’s childhood garden
Tiptoe back in time through Wordsworth’s magical childhood garden, the source of inspiration for some of his most emotive and cherished poems. On this delightful guided tour around Wordsworth House, learn about the research undertaken to establish how the garden was then and what it takes to keep it that way.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
Abbey and garden Tour
Lose yourself in tales of medieval monks and visionary Georgians at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, before wandering in some of the most spectacular and tranquil landscapes in Britain.
Gibside, Tyne & Wear
18th-century intrigue and strife
Discover the rise and fall of Gibside’s families, including the dramatic true story of Mary Eleanor Bowes, one of the richest heiresses of the 18th century, whose torturous marriage to con-man ‘Stoney’ Bowes was a cause célèbre of the Georgia era and recent subject of a best-selling biography, Wedlock.
Powis Castle and Garden, Powys
A garden for Europe
Celebrate this world-famous garden in the company of one of our specialist garden guides. Overhung with enormous clipped yews sheltering an array of rare and tender plants, the garden at Powis Castle benefits from the most exquisite French and Italian design influences.
Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd
Fantasy fixtures and fittings
Enjoy a connoisseur out-of-hours tour that allows your group to privately explore the beauty and opulence of this magnificent 19th-century fantasy castle. Discover fascinating features at Penrhyn Castle, from carved grotesques, handmade wallpapers and exquisite stained glass to walls adorned with impressive paintings by Canaletto, Vecchio, Gainsborough and Richard Wilson.
Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim
A step back in time
Wonder at the grandeur of Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site, the beautiful and mysterious Giant’s Causeway. Hear stories of this incredible natural phenomenon on a personalised tour, including the story of the Earth’s evolution 60 million years ago and the legend of Finn McCool.
Castle Coole, Fermanagh
As one of Ireland’s finest Neo-classical houses, an ‘upstairs downstairs’ guided tour of the house is the perfect way to soak up the opulent Regency interior of Castle Coole. Join one of our experienced guides to explore the extravagant mansion, finishing with an information tour through the vast underground basement.