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Itinerary

Day 1

We will be based at the 4-star Cambridge Belfry Hotel at Cambourne, 10 miles outside Cambridge, for four nights on a halfboard basis. On the way there, we will visit Hughenden Manor (NT) in Buckinghamshire. The late 18C house, set in 1500 acres of park and woodland, was occupied by Disraeli who had it remodelled by Edward Lamb. As well as Disraeli artefacts, the house contains the WW2 rooms that were used by the Air Ministry for turning photoreconnaissance into maps for bombing, including the Dambusters’ raid.

Day 2

In the morning there will be a guided tour of Cambridge and some of its colleges. After lunch, we will visit Anglesey Abbey (NT). Originally a mediaeval priory, the house was bought and restored by Huttleston Broughton in 1926. He was a wealthy guards officer, with a passion for art and garden design, and his gardens are well known; Lanning Roper wrote a book about them. There are collections of furniture, art, and statuary.

Day 3

In the morning we travel to Ely, built on a hill 85 feet above the surrounding fens. As well as the renowned cathedral with its stained glass museum, the town contains 182 listed buildings including Oliver Cromwell’s house, and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. After lunch, we will return to Cambridge to explore for ourselves. The Fitzwilliam Museum may be considered unavoidable, but we will provide additional suggestions.

Day 4

The morning will be spent free in Bury St Edmunds, which describes itself as a “dazzling and historic gem”. After lunch, we will visit neoclassical Ickworth Manor (NT). Designed by the Italian architect Asprucci who built the Villa Borghese, it was the home of the Marquesses of Bristol, but death duties required the sale of part of it to the NT. There are many paintings and portraits by old masters, and a collection of Georgian silver, as well as features of life in the 1930s.

Day 5

We return to Sidmouth via Dorney Court in Buckinghamshire, home of the Palmer family since 1624 and familiar to viewers of Midsomer Murders. There will be a guided tour of the house and gardens. The site dates from 1086, but the Tudor house dates from 1440. Victorian remodelling used some of the original bricks. The interior is said to be little changed from the 1500s, and contains antique panelling and portraits. There is a Victorian kitchen garden.

NB: Please note we reserve the right to alter the above itinerary if required for operational reasons. Given the historic nature of the places visited, a certain degree of walking will be involved, and this holiday may not be suitable for those with mobility problems.Price based on twin share. Minimum numbers required. Normal booking conditions apply.

Featuring

4* hotel

Half board accommodation

All excursions & guided tours included

Blue Badge guide on morning of Day 2

Private coach throughout

Hughenden Manor

Cambridge – guided tour

Anglesey Abbey

Ely

Bury St Edmunds

Ickworth Manor

Dorney Court – guided tour

Hotel

We stay four nights on half board basis at the 4* Cambridge Belfry Hotel (www.qhotels.co.uk) located on the outskirts of Cambridge. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, bar, gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, spa pool, sauna, and a steam room. All rooms are en suite and feature television, telephone, hairdryer, and tea & coffee making facilities.

Extras

Insurance £20

Single room supplement £89

Entrance fees to places visited as part of this itinerary (NT properties free to NT members)

Gratuities

Optional Excursions

All excursions & guided tours included