Posted by: marymarthatours | January 18, 2012

England in Miniature Tour, 2012 – A Tour with Something for Everyone

Our September 2012 tour to northern England is one of our most delightful itineraries yet. While the itinerary includes visits to some sites of special interest to miniature enthusiasts, we think anyone who loves beautiful houses, gardens, and art will be thrilled as well.

The itinerary includes beautiful houses of many eras and styles:

  • Anne Hathaway’s Cottage: The cottage was occupied by the Hathaway family from the 15th to 19th centuries. Now the property of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the cottage has been restored as a museum depicting the period when Ann lived there.


Ann Hathaway’s Cottage

  • Dalemain House: The same family has lived at Dalemain House for eleven generations. The building includes portions built during Medieval, Tudor, and Georgian times. Dalemain is known for its collections of fine furniture, ceramics, 18th century wallpaper, and old toys and dollshouses.
  • Castle Howard: One of England’s most magnificent houses, Castle Howard is discussed on a previous blog.

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Views from Castle Howard, 1999

  • Hill Top Farm: If you’ve seen the movie “Miss Potter” with Rene Zellweger, you know that Hill Top Farm was a place of escape and respite for Beatrix Potter. A typical Lake District farmhouse from the 17th century, the house is a part of the huge gift of land and property given by Beatrix to the National Trust. It is maintained by the Trust in a way that suggests that Beatrix may arrive at any time.
  • Blackwell: Designed by noted architect, Baillie Scott, Blackwell is the quintessential Arts and Crafts house. Through the years, the significant architectural features of the house were preserved, so that today, the restored house can be seen in its early 1900’s glory.

You’ll find many gardens to wander and enjoy:

  • Dalemain House: The five acres of gardens at Dalemain include herbaceous borders with many varieties of plants and over 100 old-fashioned roses. The knot garden features white flowers and herbs. The garden was featured in the November 2011 issue of The English Garden magazine.
  • Nunnington Hall: The totally organic walled garden at Nunnington Hall retains its lovely 17th century character and includes a collection of 50 different varieties of clematis as well as climbing roses and other vines. Perhaps the resident peacocks will spread their beautiful fans for your camera.

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Treasurer’s House Garden, York and New Place Garden, Stratford-upon-Avon

  • Gardens of York and Stratford: You will have free time in each of these locations to find the marvelous small gardens that are tucked in among the historic buildings. In York, Martha and I love the Dean’s Garden next to the Minster, the small garden at the Treasurer’s House, and the open space of the Museum Gardens. Or for their free day in York, garden lovers might choose to take a day trip to the Royal Horticultural Society garden at Harlow Carr or to the amazing Studley Royal Garden at Fountains Abbey. We will gladly help to arrange your day trip.

Museums for the art and history lover:

  • The Bowes Museum: A wonderful collection of decorative arts, the Bowes Museum will offer something for everyone.
  • Museum of Lakeland Life: A local museum in Kendal, the Museum of Lakeland Life tells the story of the Lake District and its inhabitants. I am especially looking forward to seeing the many period rooms depicting life from the 17th century through Victorian times.
  • Many museums in York: Deciding which York museums to visit on your free day will be a challenge. During our week in York in 2010, Martha and I visited the Yorkshire Museum, the Quilt Museum, and Jorvik, as well as a variety of other historical sites, but we have yet to see the Castle Museum. We hope to get there in 2012.



York Theatre Royal

  • York: We hope something as wonderful as “When We Lived in Uncle’s Hat” will be showing at the York Theatre Royal while we’re there. If it’s dark at the Theatre Royal, folks might choose to attend a performance of “Singing in the Rain” at the Grand Opera House, which is near our hotel.
  • Stratford upon Avon: We’ll be in Stratford during the World Shakespeare Festival. While we’re there, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre will have performances of “Twelfth Night”, “The Comedy of Errors”, and “The Tempest”. There are evening and matinee performances to choose from, but we hope folks will save Friday evening for the fun surprise that Martha and I have planned.

All of these wonderful opportunities are a part of our 2012 England in Miniature Tour. We’d love to have you join us.

(article by Mary, all photos by Mary and Martha)


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