Exclusive Houses & Gardens: Broughton Castle, Waddesdon & Honington Hall

May 3rd-4th 2020

UPDATE: All participants have been contacted about this tour, please email us for any queries.

Enjoy a summer break on our new stately homes and gardens tour, staying overnight at the magnificent 4-star country house hotel Ettington Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon

A highlight of our tour will be a visit to see the extraordinary art collection in Waddesdon Manor including masterpieces by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Boucher, Chardin and de Hooch, as well as specially arranged guided tour of the gardens.

We also enjoy private openings of two properties which are not open to the public - Dorney Court, one of England's finest Tudor Manor Houses, as well as Honington Hall (by special arrangement with the family) where we will be greeted by the owner who will take us on a guided tour of the Wren-inspired church and beautiful 1680s house. Our final visit will be a special out-of-hours tour of Broughton Castle, a stunning fortified manor house in Oxfordshire which has been in private ownership since 1447. 

The tour also a visit to Hidcote Gardens where we have time to enjoy one of the most beautiful Arts and Crafts gardens in England. 

Most meals are included – morning coffee and cake at Dorney Court; one lunch, dinner with wine at Ettington Park and afternoon tea at Broughton Castle.

We have two spaces remaining on this tour.




You will be picked up from Cobham in Surrey* (there will also be a pick-up from Richmond-on-Thames, times TBC, please confirm which location suits you best). We then drive by executive coach to Dorney Court near Windsor (journey time approx 45 minutes). Dorney Court has been the home of the Palmer family for nearly 500 years and is widely regarded as one of England’s finest Tudor Manor Houses. It boasts a varied collection of art which reflects the collecting tastes and fortunes of various generations, including a fine collection of family portraits by eminent royal painters Peter Lely and Godfrey Kneller amongst others. 

The house is not open to the public but we will enjoy a private guided tour (by special arrangement) following coffee and cake on arrival.

Afterwards we drive to Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, a sumptuous mansion built in the style of an elegant French chateau by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild between 1874 and 1885 in order to entertain on a lavish scale whilst displaying his extensive art collections, from exquisite French 18th-century furniture and Sèvres porcelain to Dutch genre paintings and British portraits by artists such as Gainsborough and Reynolds. There are many unusual and highly original pieces, perhaps the most popular being a huge gilt-bronze musical automaton elephant complete with moving trunk and tail, which is nearly 250 years old. The house is set in beautiful gardens which display an intriguing mixture of French formality and English romantic parkland.  

Siân will give a short talk on the permanent collections en route and after a light lunch (included) there will be free time to visit the house. Afterwards, we enjoy a specially arranged tour of the gardens with its head gardener.

There will be some free time before we depart for our hotel, Ettington Park, just over an hour away by coach.

Ettington Park is a splendid Neo-Gothic mansion set in 40 acres of parkland just outside Stratford Upon Avon.  This elegant 4-star historic country house boasts stylish furnishings, ornate Rococo plasterwork ceilings, marquetry inlaid wood panelling and fine paintings. Residents have exclusive use of a heated indoor pool, spa bath, sauna, steam room, tennis courts and croquet lawn. You may like to relax with a drink in the library before dinner which is served in the Rosette Oak Room Restaurant.  A delicious 3-course menu has been arranged and wine is also included.


After a leisurely breakfast we depart for a private opening of nearby Honington Hall, an elegant house built in 1682 for Sir Henry Parker, a London merchant, with interiors remodelled in the Rococo style in 1740-1750 for Joseph Townsend. The house is not open to the public but we have arranged a private visit with its owner Sir Benjamin Wiggin who will be our guide.

We then depart for the award-winning Hidcote Manor Garden, a short drive away. Hidcote is one of the county’s most beloved and inspirational gardens, created in the early 20th century by American plant collector Major Lawrence Johnston following his move to Hidcote in 1907. His vision was to create ‘a wild garden in a formal setting’ which he achieved by designing a series of garden rooms of hedges, rare trees, shrubs and herbaceous borders, interspersed with sculptures and water features. A visit is a must for all garden enthusiasts! After lunch (independent) and free time to explore, we depart for our final visit of the day.

Our itinerary concludes with a special out-of-hours tour of Broughton Castle near Banbury, a stunning fortified manor house in Oxfordshire which has been in private ownership since 1447.  Home to the 21st Lord and Lady Saye & Sele, whose family name is Fiennes, the castle has been rebuilt over time and includes a rare 14th-century private chapel and long gallery. A guided tour is followed by tea and cake and a chance to enjoy the gardens, the perfect place for us to relax and have a short stroll before heading home to Surrey.

We should return by 6.45.

* Pick-ups times are approximate and will be confirmed in writing approx 2/3 weeks before travel.

Further Tour Information

Overnight accommodation including breakfast and dinner with wine has been arranged at the 4-star Ettington Park Hotel. All rooms are very comfortable and spacious combining period features with contemporary comforts. As a historic country house, each of the 48 bedrooms has its own character and is equipped with a hospitality warm drinks tray; still and sparkling water; Hypnos Lansdowne cashmere mattresses; an iron, luxurious toiletries and bathrobes, flat screen TV, safe and complimentary wifi. Single rooms are doubles based on single occupancy.  Porterage is not included. Guest areas include an excellent restaurant, a bar and lounges. Residents have exclusive use of a heated indoor pool, spa bath, sauna, steam room and all-weather tennis courts plus a croquet lawn. There will be time to enjoy the hotel's facilities before we depart on Monday.

Itinerary and Meals
A detailed, confirmed itinerary including timings will be provided approximately 2-3 weeks before travel and all reservations made where necessary. Further information regarding travel will also be provided but our coach will depart initially from Hollyhedge Road in Cobham at about 8.20 and then The Old Deer Park in Richmond at about 9.00am.

Dinner with wine (half a bottle) is included at Ettington Park as is breakfast. Morning coffee and lunch are included on Sunday and afternoon tea is included on Monday.

Please inform us when booking of any food intolerances or allergies so that these can be catered for. Thank you

How Strenuous?
Please note that there is some walking and standing involved in the trip, although at a gentle pace and not strenuous. It is not necessary to visit the gardens in all the properties if you prefer to just visit the houses and then rest. There are some steps in the properties and lifts are not always available so the trip may not be suitable for those who cannot manage stairs.

The price will be £399 per person for those sharing a double or twin room (please let us know which you prefer when booking) and a single room supplement of £45. There is a £15 discount for National Trust or Art Fund members.

The price includes 4-star hotel accommodation for 1 night including breakfast and dinner with wine; transfers by private coach; guided tours and specially arranged private visits; 1 lunch; afternoon tea and cake; morning coffee and cake; reservations and all entrance fees in the itinerary. It does not include insurance or personal spending.

A non-refundable deposit of £75 is required on booking and the remaining sum is payable 13 weeks before travel.

National Trust Discount
If you are a member of the National Trust or Art Fund, the tour price will be reduced by £15. Please bring your National Trust/Art Fund card with you. We will refund this money by paypal if you pay online (please let us know if you do not have a paypal account), or if you are paying by cheque please simply deduct £15 per person from the total.

Important note:
Please inform us on booking if you have membership, and please make a note to bring your pass on the day otherwise the extra £15 will be applicable. We are afraid that we are unable to offer discounts if we are informed about passes after bookings have been made. Thank you.

If you would like to join the tour please complete the online booking form. If you would prefer to send a booking form by post please download a copy hereUK tours do not involve flights and so you will not receive an ATOL certificate with your booking receipt, nor do we require any Advanced Passenger Information (passport details). Please leave this section blank on the online booking form, thank you. Travel insurance is optional for all UK tours, although advised in case of cancellation or unforeseen circumstances, so you may also prefer to leave this section blank.

Once your booking has been accepted, we will notify you by email. If you have not received an email confirmation, please check your ‘deleted items' and 'junk mail' folders. If you have not received a confirmation please contact us to ensure that we have received your booking

A full itinerary and practical details will be sent approximately two weeks in advance. We regret we are unable to offer refunds on unused tickets, but tickets may be transferred to someone else for the event you have booked (please  let us know if you would like to do so, and give us the name of the person who will be taking your place). Availability is limited but friends and relatives are as always welcome!

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event


  • Visit Waddesdon Manor art collection and guided tour of gardens
  • Masterpieces by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Boucher, Chardin and de Hooch
  • Private opening of Honington Hall and tour with owner
  • Private visits of Dorney Court and Broughton Castle
  • Dinner, bed and breakfast at luxury country house hotel
  • Most meals included
  • National Trust discounts


  • Tour Price: £399.00
  • Single Supplement: £45.00
  • Room Upgrade: per room per night
  • Deposit: £75.00
  • Lecturer: Siân Walters
  • Guest Speakers: Various


Booking is now closed.

If you have any questions regarding the tour or booking please send us an email or
call on +44 (0)1932 267322

Recommended Reading

Visit the AHF bookstore for a list of recommended books and products to accompany this tour.


Print tour details

Email tour details to a friend

Become a Friend of AHF

Enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits including prize draws, special events and priority booking

More Info

Loyalty Scheme

Enjoy a gift selection of fine wines for every 4 tours you book with us

More Info

ahf on facebook

Discuss AHF events online and get to know other members

More Info