Arrive in England at Manchester and head off to your overnight stay, a grand Gothic Revival castle perched high on a hill overlooking the Welsh borderlands.
A drive through the Cheshire countryside to the ancient city of Chester. Chester was founded by the Romans and is one of the few remaining walled cities in England. Famous for The Rows, its black and white, half timbered shopping area, and St. Werburg’s Cathedral dating back to the 11th century. Your base for the next four nights is a delightful traditional farmhouse in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, with views across the fields to the high promontory of Beeston Castle.
Over the border into North Wales. A land of castles, legends, dragons and an almost incomprehensible language! With a visit Conwy Castle, built in 1283 and still an impressive sight over 700 years later.
The Peak District. Picturesque limestone countryside with peaceful villages hidden in remote dales, interlaced by narrow lanes and traditional, ancient dry stone walls. Also Chatsworth. Home to the Dukes of Devonshire since the 17th Century and still one of the great stately homes of England. This is an excellent place to call in at the Chatsworth Estate farm shop and put together a picnic of local cheeses, pies and all manner of things to ruin your dieting plans.
An unplanned day. This is not because we cannot think of anything for you to do today. We always like to keep some days free, so that you can fit in some unforeseen delight which may only become apparent as time progresses.
Over the Pennines to York. We have a choice of routes today. If you like a good suit of armour, we could go via Leeds and visit the Royal Armouries Museum. This houses a large part of the national collection of arms and armour, and displays over 8500 objects throughout its galleries. Plus a bit of jousting with knights in armour occasionally doing combat in the Tiltyard. Alternatively we could stop off at one of the local market towns (if this day falls on a market day), and browse around the colourful stalls, pick up a bargain or just soak up the local atmosphere.
York. A city dominated by its 13th century cathedral or minster as they call them in Yorkshire. This city was the Viking capital of eastern England. It is reputed to be the most haunted city in England, and a ‘Ghost Walk’ in the evening is a perfect way to meet some of the City’s previous residents. Today is one of the compulsory stops of the trip: afternoon tea at Betty’s Tea Rooms.
Through the rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Dales. A day for just meandering, stopping off for a bite to eat and just taking in the scenery. This is ‘picture postcard’ country, with picturesque villages, sheep filled fields and landscapes which will wear out your camera. Your next base is in an eccentric folly of a castle in the Cumbrian hills.
Hadrian’s Wall. One of the great construction feats of the Roman Empire, stretching 73 miles across northern England. Where at the Housesteads Garrison, around 1000 men lived and worked over 1600 years ago. Also the Vindolanda Museum, which houses some of the finest Roman treasures in Europe.
Lake District. This area is a land of mountains, lakes and hidden valleys. The inspiration for writers and painters, such as William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin. Taking a sail on one of the Lakes, visiting one of the local stately homes or revelling in the literary and artistic heritage of the area. Maybe take a drive through the forest or over the fells or just stroll around the local village, empty a few shops for last minute souvenirs.
Head back home with lots of memories and hundreds of photographs.