With a first-class honours degree in Ancient and Modern History from Oxford University and PhD in Art History from the University of Sussex, Lucy Worsley OBE is one of Britain's leading historians. Worsley currently acts as chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces and is well known for presenting historical BBC Television series, including A Very British Romance (2015), Lucy Worsley: Mozart's London Odyssey (2016) and British History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley (2017) - which debunked historical views of the Wars of the Roses, the Glorious Revolution and the British occupation of India. Lucy has also written a number of books, including a children's novel, teen history book and a biography of Jane Austen.
Country houses fit for a royal with Lucy Worsley
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Magnificent houses rich with royal history dot the midland counties. Elizabeth I's courtier William Cecil spent a fortune on the architectural treasure that is Burghley House. Sir Christopher Hatton, one of the monarch's 'comely young men', built Holdenby House just to impress her.
These are just two of the houses that your tour will visit, with a private dinner and a talk by historian Lucy Worsley at Holdenby House. Explore Deene Park and Grimsthorpe Castle, whose previous owners include Charles Brandon, Henry VIII's brother-in-law.
Meet Lucy Worsley
The brilliant historian, author and television presenter will join you at Holdenby House in Northamptonshire for a wonderful evening in a historic home that was once one of the great houses of Elizabethan England. After a tour of the house and a welcome drink, Lucy Worsley will give a lecture on the rich history of the stately homes that you will see on your visit to this remarkable part of the English countryside. There will be an opportunity to pose your own questions after the talk.
The treasures you will visit include the lofty arcades of the hall at Grimsthorpe, designed by the architect and dramatist John Vanbrugh and the baroque suite at Burghley House, with carvings by Grinling Gibbons, master carver to Charles II.
Private dinner at Holdenby House
Another highlight is the elegant dining room at Holdenby House. Adorned with opulent silk wall hangings, the room hosts two renowned portraits of Charles I including Clouded Majesty, a much remarked upon portrait of Charles I and his son. You will hear Lucy Worsley's fascinating insights during a private talk, before a delicious dinner in this sumptuous setting.
Reasons to book
Special appearance by Lucy Worsley
Magnificent stately homes
Your expert guides
- Exclusive talk and Q&A with Lucy Worsley
- Three nights' accommodation
- Visits and tours of Deene Park, Holdenby House, Burghley House, Grimsthorpe Castle and Belvoir Castle
- Breakfast every day
- Meals as detailed, including dinner at Holdenby House and two dinners at Barnsdale Lodge
- Dedicated Travel Editions tour manager
- £100 per couple saving for Telegraph subscribers
Day1Arrive at Barnsdale LodgeOakham, United Kingdom
You'll arrive at Barnsdale Lodge, on the shore of Rutland Water, near the English market town of Oakham, in Rutland, where you'll be staying for the next three nights. On arrival you will have time to settle in before enjoying afternoon tea and a talk from our country house and antiques expert, Nicholas Merchant, followed by a delicious welcome drink and dinner with wine.
Day2Deene Park and Holdenby HouseDeene, United Kingdom
After breakfast, enjoy a private visit to Deene Park, an interesting house occupied by the Brudenell family since 1514. The family developed Deene Park from a medieval manor house into the Tudor and Georgian mansion you see today, and it very much remains a family home.
The afternoon is free to relax before you leave for Holdenby House in Northamptonshire for a tour, welcome drink, and a lecture from historian Lucy Worsley with Q&A, followed by dinner with wine. Holdenby House was originally a "prodigy house" - built to impress Queen Elizabeth - and considered by some to have been the greatest palace of Elizabethan England, later owned by James I. It was where Charles I was imprisoned after the English Civil War. This is the perfect house to feel history all around you, and to hear from Dr Lucy Worsley, who has broadcast popular shows about Queen Elizabeth herself.
Day3Burghley HousePeterborough, United Kingdom
Today, you will make a full day visit to magnificent Burghley House in Cambridgeshire, a contemporary rival to Holdenby House, that is now even more extensively preserved, with rich state apartments and an art collection that includes famous portraits of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Oliver Cromwell. On arrival, there will be lunch and a welcome talk from knowledgeable curator Jon Culverhouse. Afterwards, there will be time to explore the house, which was originally built in the shape of a letter E to represent Queen Elizabeth, including the wonderful chapel with its altarpiece painted by Veronese and the beautiful grounds. After lunch, you will head to nearby Stamford, a delightful Georgian town used as a setting for period dramas such as Middlemarch and Pride & Prejudice. Enjoy a delicious dinner at Barnsdale Lodge.
Day4Grimsthorpe Castle and Belvoir CastleGrimesthorpe, United Kingdom
After breakfast this morning, you will go on a morning visit to Grimsthorpe Castle, which retains elements of a 12th-century castle, that once belonged to a prominent supporter of Richard III during the Wars of the Roses. Your next stop is Belvoir Castle, which doubles for Windsor Castle in the Netflix drama The Crown. Dating back to the 11th century, the land the castle is built upon at Belvoir was a gift to Robert de Todeni from William the Conqueror. You'll explore the castle and gardens of the ancestral home of the Duke of Rutland before returning to the hotel where your tour will end.
Barnsdale Lodge Hotel
Steeped in over 250 years of history, Barnsdale Lodge Hotel offers a taste of country living in the heart of beautiful Rutland
Barnsdale Lodge's charming, individually-furnished rooms, suites and retreats overlook the beautiful Rutland landscape or the picturesque hotel courtyard, and the kitchen uses ingredients sourced from the wealth of fine produce found in the area, and from their own vegetable and herb gardens.
Encircled by idyllic surroundings on the north shore of Rutland Water, the hotel is the perfect place for a relaxing break in the heart of the rolling English countryside. The charming market towns of Oakham and Uppingham are also nearby.
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