Heritage Tours 2024

New Season of Heritage Tours to Historic Houses, Museums, Galleries and Gardens.

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Stockport and Lyme Park - Saturday 20th April

Burnley and Gawthorpe Hall - Saturday 18th May

Wrest Park - Saturday 15th June

Leominster and Hampton Court Castle - Sunday 21st July

Leamington Spa and Compton Verney - Saturday 17th August

Skipton, Bolton Abbey and Grassington - Saturday 7th September


Click "Read More" to see full details of tours, plus links to guidebook downloads, tourist maps and websites:

Full details of the Heritage Tours

Stockport & Lyme Park
Saturday 20th April - 9.00am from Northwich
Other pick-up points available - see below.
£22.00 - book online at www.danarts.co.uk or call 07932927694

Over the past couple of years Stockport has seen a wealth of independent restaurants, bars, shops, art and more, with the old town gaining a reputation as ‘one of the coolest little corners of the country'. The Underbanks are fast becoming well known for their array of independent stores and traders. The borough, which is laced with history, was made famous in the 19th Century as the home of the nation’s hatting industry. Visitors are able to celebrate the town’s unique history in the Hat Works Museum, the UK’s only dedicated hatting museum. Alongside the cobbled streets and old architecture, you can also visit the 15th Century Staircase House, the newly opened Bus Interchange Rooftop Garden, Stockport Air Raid Shelters and the Stockport Museum.

Nestling on the edge of the Peak District, Lyme Park (NT) was once a great sporting estate and home of the Legh family for over 500 years. The house is renowned for its elegant interiors and beautiful gardens, against a backdrop of sweeping moorland with extensive views across Manchester and the Cheshire Plain. Step inside the house and discover unusual objects and strange secrets as you walk through six centuries of family history, including the Lyme Missal, the most important printed book in the National Trust’s collection. The 1,400 acre estate with its medieval herd of red deer is a paradise for bird-watchers and wildlife spotters, and hosts regular guided walks and running events. For a more tranquil stroll, explore the Edwardian rose garden, ravine garden or orangery next to the reflecting lake where a certain Mr Darcy met Miss Bennett in the BBC production of 'Pride and Prejudice'.

Burnley & Gawthorpe Hall
Sunday 18th May - 9.00am from Northwich
Other pick-up points available - see below.
£24.00 - book online at www.danarts.co.uk or call 07932927694

We start the day visiting The Queen Street Mill, the last surviving 19th century steam powered weaving mill in the world. See the mighty steam engine 'Peace' and the coal fired boilers, learn about pirn winding and drawing in and visit the weaving shed, which still contains 308 Lancashire looms.

After lunchtime spent in Burnley Town Centre we visit Gawthorpe Hall (NT). Gawthorpe Hall is an Elizabethan gem in the heart of industrial Lancashire. It was redesigned in the 1850s by Sir Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament and Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey was set.

The Hall's beautiful interiors show life as it was in the Victorian era for the Kay-Shuttleworth family who resided at Gawthorpe for almost 400 years. Discover the history of the house, the family and famous visitors such as writers Charlotte Bronte and Elizabeth Gaskell. The Hall and family also inspired contemporary author, Stacey Halls, who set her 2019 bestselling novel The Familiars at Gawthorpe. The Hall is home to one of the finest hand-crafted textile collections in Europe. It was established in the first half of the 1900s for the local community to learn hand-made textile skills such as embroidery and lace-making. With views across to Pendle Hill, gardens for play and woodland for adventure, it’s a wonderful place to visit.

Wrest Park
Saturday 15th June - 8.30am from Northwich
Other pick-up points available - see below.
£30.00 - book online at www.danarts.co.uk or call 07932927694

We spend the day at Wrest Park (EH). Wrest Park belonged to the powerful de Grey family, Earls of Kent, from 1280 into the 19th century. The present house here was built in 1834 and is the third on this site. It is a rare example in England of the French chateau style of architecture - built, not surprisingly, by a French architect.

The house was used in the early 19th century as a residence for the US Ambassador, but it is now used by the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering.with the state rooms open to visitors. Discover over 90 acres of beautiful gardens showcasing French, Dutch, Italian and English styles side by side. Fancy French curves and bold Italian geometry provide an opportunity for contrast through our dynamic bedding displays.

Keep an eye out for hidden gems in the "Capability" Brown designed gardens. These include an ornate marble fountain, the 18th century Bowling Green House, a Chinese Temple and Bridge and over 40 statues dotted around the grounds. The Chinese Temple and Bridge originally formed part of a tableau imitating scenes found on Chinese willow pattern plates. The Long Water is encased on either side by walkways leading to the spectacular Archer Pavilion. Built by Thomas Archer between 1709-11, this baroque pavilion, with its stunning interior, is the focal point of the gardens. The dairy which used to supply butter and cream for the de Grey family, was converted into an gallery, bringing together precious garden statues too fragile to remain outside. Look out for a magnificent Portland Stone Neptune and an elegant bronze sundial from 1682.

Leominster & Hampton Court Castle
Sunday 21st July - 8.30am from Northwich
Other pick-up points available - see below.
£28.00 - book online at www.danarts.co.uk or call 07932927694

Leominster is situated in the rolling countryside of North Herefordshire and lies in the beautiful and historic borderlands of England and Wales known as the “Marches”. The town itself is an ancient one, having established itself around the great Anglo-Saxon abbey, founded in 660 AD. Much of the town centre still retains its medieval and Tudor flavour. Attractions include the Leominster Museum, Leominster Priory and Grange Court.

After lunch we visit Hampton Court Castle. The Castle has been through an immense journey over the centuries. The oldest parts, including the Chapel, date back to 1427. It remained in the Coningsby family, a prominent noble Herefordshire family, until the early 19th Century when the estate was purchased by Richard Arkwright, the son of the famous inventor. It was rescued in the 1990s by the American millionaire, Robert Van Kampen, who extensively restored the Castle and added his own influence to the existing furnishings.

Surrounded by original Victorian walls, the ornamental Kitchen Garden is one of the first areas you’ll come to on arrival. The Rose Garden is adorned with sweet-smelling and colourful blooms,. The Dutch Garden has beautiful symmetry and a striking water feature. You’ll also notice the gothic tower at the centre of the maze of 1,000 yew trees, and the Sunken Garden can be reached by wandering down a path of cascading stepping stones.

Leamington Spa & Compton Verney
Saturday 17th August - 8.30am from Northwich
Other pick-up points available - see below.
£29.00 - book online at www.danarts.co.uk or call 07932927694

Royal Leamington Spa has wide boulevards, stunning architecture and award-winning parks provide a sophisticated backdrop to this Regency town. The value of the mineral springs was known in the middle ages, but it was not until 1784 that the small village began rediscovering its saline springs and started building baths around some of them. In July 1814 ‘The Royal Pump Room and Baths’, designed and built by C.S. Smith of Warwick at a cost of £30,000, were officially opened. They now house a museum, art gallery and information centre. Also don’t miss the magnificent Jephson Gardens or the Street Art Trail.

After lunch we visit Compton Verney, home to six diverse collections of nationally and internationally significant art from around the world, including British Folk Art, Chinese bronzes, British Portraits and works from Northern Europe and Naples. You can also find objects of inspiration and original textile designs by Enid Marx in our Marx-Lambert Collection. The gallery is set within 120 acres of Grade II listed park, landscaped by Capability Brown, the most eminent landscape architect of the eighteenth-century. Today the grounds still reflect his ‘pleasure grounds’ of sweeping grassland, ornamental lake and Cedars of Lebanon for which Brown is famous.

Exhibitions include new work by Gayle Chong Kwan alongside Compton Verney’s internationally renowned collection of Neolithic Chinese Bronzes plus “A Spirit Inside” bringing together a selection of works spanning over 100 years exploring how women and non-binary artists have grappled with the notion and sense of ‘spirit’, with themes ranging from mythology and internal contemplation to external, often political, expression. For the first time in thirty years, you will be able to see a rare masterpiece reunited. Bringing together the central panel from The National Gallery of Scotland’s collection, with the original wings in Compton Verney’s collection, the magnificent Lamentation Altarpiece will take centre stage in our Northern European collection.

Download gallery guides for British Folk Art Collection, Chinese Bronze Collection, British Portrait Gallery and the Marx Lambert Collection.

Skipton, Bolton Abbey & Grassington
Saturday 7th September - 8.00am from Northwich
Other pick-up points available - see below.
£28.00 - book online at www.danarts.co.uk or call 07932927694

Skipton is derived from the Anglo Saxon words ‘sceap’ (sheep) and ‘tun’ (town) and is recorded in the Doomesday Book as Scepeton and has been the economic centre for the Craven and Southern Dales from this time. The strategic location of the castle enabled the town to grow in importance and in 1204 a Charter was granted allowing a weekly market trading in sheep and woollen goods. Visitor attractions include the Craven Museum and the Canal Basin.

After lunch we visit Bolton Abbey in Wharfedale, the ruins of the 12th-century Augustinian monastery with spectacular views and a tea room. Founded by Augustinian monks who moved to the region from Embsay in 1154, the priory took around a century to take form and was one the largest monasteries in England. Building work on the site was still taking place up until the Dissolution of the Monasteries 1540.

We finish the day in the pretty town of Grassington, the lively centre of Wharfedale with shops and caf├ęs, as well as now being the location of the fictional market town Darrowby in Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small.