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Grand Historic Tours are delighted to be able to provide an exclusive opportunity to stay and experience three of England’s finest houses: Mapperton House, Eastnor Castle and Newby Hall.

Mapperton House

Mapperton House

Mapperton is a glorious sandstone Tudor manor house and romantic valley garden deep in a lost Dorset combe among tumbling hills and unspoiled countryside. Fifteen acres of gardens descend from the croquet lawn, through the formal topiary down to the wild garden.

Mapperton was entered in the Domesday Book 1086 as Malperetone. From then on Mapperton belonged to only four families linked by descent in the female line until it was bought in 1919 by Mrs Ethel Labouchere.

Since her death in 1955 it has been the home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, and more recently Viscount and Viscountess Hinchingbrooke. The Sandwich family moved to Mapperton from Cambridgeshire, bringing with them an important collection of pictures and furniture which reflects their contribution to British naval history.

The current house was first built in the 1540s by Robert Morgan. It was extended and rebuilt in the 1660s, and then again in the 18th century when a Georgian staircase and north front were added. Mapperton is known for its elegant fireplaces and plasterwork, in particular the extraordinary pendant ceiling in the Tudor Great Chamber with its fleur-de-lys motif.

Mapperton was voted the Nation’s Finest Manor House by Country Life Magazine. It has also been the location for several major feature films, including Rebecca starring Lily James, Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Restoration with Robert Downey Jr.

Wisteria on the stable block in front of Mapperton House
The Drawing Room at Mapperton House
Mapperton Gardens in the Spring
The Great Chamber bedroom at Mapperton House

Mapperton House has a variety of grand bedrooms with four poster beds and fine antique furniture, as well recently redecorated double and single rooms on the second floor. Some of the rooms have views over the gardens.  All the beds have modern mattresses and luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets. The bathrooms have been modernised and guests will enjoy Floris soap and bath essence.

During the day you will have access to the main rooms of the house, to include the Hall, the Library and the Sitting Room. There will also be a self service bar with a variety of drinks and snacks.

There are no TVs in the rooms but the house has reasonable WiFi, though in common with many other rural locations it does not have the same broadband speed you may be used to.

Note that this is an historic house with period features which give it tremendous character but mean that it lacks some of the facilities of a modern hotel. There are some steep staircases, creaking floorboards and unusual bathroom fittings which all add to the experience!

Bathroom at Mapperton House
Eastnor Castle from across the Lake

Eastnor Castle

Eastnor Castle stands at the foot of the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire, just beyond the Cotswolds. Surrounded by a beautiful deer park, arboretum and lake, the Castle is the home of the Hervey-Bathurst family.

Their ancestors, the Somers Cocks, lived at Eastnor since the 16th century, and construction of the castle began in 1812. It was designed by Robert Smirke, who later designed the British Museum.

Interiors at Eastnor include the Gothic Drawing Room by AWN Pugin, well known for designing the Gothic interiors of the Palace of Westminster after the fire of 1834.

The Castle has been painstakingly restored by James Hervey-Bathurst and his family, and now provides luxurious, classic interiors for guests to enjoy during their stay. Eastnor is a popular venue for many celebrations such as weddings, anniversaries and other special occasions.  It has also been a film and TV location, including the recent HBO series ‘Succession’.

Eastnor Castle in the Fall
Eastnor Castle Bedroom

The award-winning Castle bedrooms provide impressive and comfortable accommodation for guests. All bedrooms are on the upper floor apart from the State Bedroom which is on the ground floor or piano nobile.

James and his staff ensure that all guests receive a warm welcome, impeccable service and privacy during their stay. The twelve guest bedrooms – eleven doubles (four with four-poster beds) and one large single – have been individually decorated and furnished in different styles.

Several of the bedrooms have stunning views of the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the lake and arboretum. Each bedroom has been re-designed with comfort as a priority, with Egyptian-cotton sheets, goose-down duvets, fluffy-white towelling robes and English Floris toiletries.

All the rooms have a local flavour with bottled water, delicious handmade Herefordshire biscuits and the best quality tea and freshly ground coffee. High-speed WiFi is available in all the bedrooms and throughout the Castle; in the tradition of the Edwardian age, we always display individual guests’ names in card holders on bedroom doors.

Eastnor Castle Bedroom
Eastnor Castle Bedroom
Eastnor Castle State Bathroom
Newby Hall and Gardens

Newby Hall

One of Britain’s finest houses, Newby Hall is the family home of Mr & Mrs Richard Compton. It is one of England’s renowned Adam houses and an exceptional example of 18th century interior decoration. Built in the 1690s by Sir Christopher Wren (who built London’s St Paul’s Cathedral) the house was later enlarged and adapted by John Carr and subsequently by Robert Adam.

The main parts of the house are the epitome of ‘Georgian elegance’ with the Victorian wing providing a fascinating contrast between the two architectural styles.

Guests will be shown the original IOU from King Charles II to Sir Robert Vyner in 1677, the money being used to create the present day Crown Jewels. The collection of ancient Roman statuary is housed in the stunning Statue Gallery where guests will attend a black tie dinner. The Gallery was designed by Robert Adam – as was the Tapestry Room (which houses the unique collection of Gobelins tapestries and Chippendale furniture). Newby is the home of the real Lords Grantham (ancestors of Richard Compton) and their portraits adorn the walls in the house.

An interior of Newby Hall
Newby Hall from the air
Newby Hall's South Bedroom

The bedrooms are Newby are grand country house rooms that epitomise 18th Century Georgian elegance (indeed Country Life magazine stated one of them was the most beautiful bedroom in Britain). Most have four-poster double beds with their own bathrooms ensuite.

All bedrooms are on the first floor and there is a lift for luggage.  They are fitted out with art, antiques and Chippendale furniture. From the first floor they have lovely views of the award-winning gardens, the parkland or the magnificent 18th Century Stables.

Some of the beds have duvets, others have traditional linen sheets and blankets. There is Newby Tea and Yorkshire Water in each room and soaps and shampoos come from Penhalligons. There is even a sauna (on request!). There are no mini bars in the rooms but there is an all day self service bar in the Red Library.

As Newby is a stately home (reserved for the Royal Family in the War) and not a hotel, we don’t have TVs in the bedrooms but there is WiFi throughout the house. Each bedroom is named and will display guests’ names on the door, an aristocratic tradition!

Newby Hall's Motto Bedroom
Newby Hall's Print Bedroom
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