Highclere Castle Sunday 28th to 30th July 2019
Day 1 - Travel to the 4 star Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke via National Arboretum
The Arboretum is home to over 300 thought-provoking memorials, each with a story to be discovered. To help you find your way around we and choose the sites of interest to you we have included a train ride.
The memorials are diverse in nature, rich in symbolism and collectively represent a broad population of society from military associations, charitable organisations, emergency services, fraternity groups and individuals.
After visiting The Arboretum we will travel to our hotel in plenty of time to refresh ourselves ready for the evening meal.
The hotel boasts comfortable accommodation comprising of 125 bedrooms, all equipped with en-suite facilities, TV, Hospitality Tray & hairdryer. The restaurant offers an innovative menu. Guests can relax in the Library Bar and there is a Health & Fitness Club and Spa Treatment Rooms
Day 2 - Highclere Castle and ‘Downton Villages’
We start our day by visiting Highclere Castle, the real ‘Downton Abbey’, and home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The current design of Highclere was completed in 1938 when the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon brought in Sir Charles Barry to transform his classical Georgian mansion into a grand mansion that would impress the world. We take a self-guided one-hour tour of the public rooms, including the state rooms and bedrooms where scenes for the show were filmed. We also explore the ‘Egyptian Exhibition’, located throughout the cellars, celebrating the 5th Earl of Carnarvon’s discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun. There’s time to discover the ‘Capability Brown’ designed grounds, browse the gift shop where there are some non-fictional works written by the Countess herself, and perhaps stop for tea and cake at one of the tea rooms. In the afternoon we spend free time in the Cotswold villages of Shilton and Swinbrook. We also visit the picturesque village of Bampton where most of the outdoor scenes for ‘Downton Abbey’ were filmed, including St Mary’s Church, the village pub, the Library and Matthew Crawley’s house
Day 3 - After breakfast we head north and stop at Royal Lemington Spa. Time to stretch your legs, go for a bit of lunch or a coffee and a cake. All areas of the town centre are easily accessed on foot within a ten minute walk, which is a great way to appreciate the stunning Regency architecture.
With an unrivalled selection of specialist boutiques and major high-street stores, Royal Leamington Spa is a shopping experience not to be missed. The town has an eclectic mix of independent retailers selling unique and interesting wares, coupled with all the well-known brands offered by national chains. So whether you’re after one-off pieces or household names, Royal Leamington Spa has them all within a beautifully picturesque town centre.
Member Plus: £210
Non Member: £235
Single Supplement: £45
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