Discover Norfolk's grand estates and cruise the Broads
The golden fields and tranquil waterways of East Anglia are quintessential English countryside, with pretty cottages, flower-filled hedgerows, iconic windmills and antique pubs around every corner. Norfolk is also home to historic estates such as Blickling Hall, Holkham Hall and Sandringham Estate, which you'll visit on this four-night tour.
VISIT SANDRINGHAM ESTATE
You'll see the house, gardens and museum of the Queen's favourite country retreat. Built in 1870, it has been home to four generations of the royal family, and this noble history is reflected in its grand rooms.
Corridors are lined with weaponry and suits of armour, while the walls are hung with family portraits from some of Britain's most celebrated painters. The beautiful gardens include woodland, rockeries, sweeping lawns, lakes and streams, and the museum holds collections of royal vehicles, rare ceramics and memorabilia.
TOUR HISTORIC HALLS
You'll also visit four impressive manor houses steeped in British history. The 15th-century moated Oxburgh Hall is filled with interesting quirks, including a priest's hole used by Catholics facing persecution and intricate embroidery sewn by Mary Queen of Scots while she was in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury.
At Felbrigg Hall, you can admire the sumptuous furniture, ornate plasterwork and William Wyndham II's painting collection, gathered on his Grand Tour of Europe, while the extensive parkland outside is some of the finest in the country.
You'll also take a tour of Jacobean Blickling Hall, with its Long Gallery, said to be haunted by Anne Boleyn's headless ghost, and 18th-century Palladian mansion Holkham Hall. Set in a vast landscaped park, Holkham is home to the Eighth Earl of Leicester, and features the Marble Hall, with a splendid colonnade and 50-foot domed ceiling inspired by the Temple of Fortuna Virilis and the Pantheon in Rome.
CRUISE THE BROADS
A trip to the village of Horning will see you board the traditional Mississippi paddle steamer for a leisurely cruise down the River Bure, taking in picturesque lakes and tributaries across the Norfolk Broads. Market towns and quaint villages line the shores on either side, while the water is sure to attract plenty of birdlife to the banks.
Reasons to book
Tour Sandringham Estate
Explore the Norfolk Broads
Discover historic houses
- Four nights' DB&B at Dunston Hall Hotel, near Norwich
- Porterage and welcome drink
- After-dinner tea and coffee at hotel
- Coach transfers to and from excursions
- Visits to Sandringham Estate, Oxburgh Hall, Felbrigg Hall, Blickling Hall and Holkham Hall
- Mississippi paddle steamer cruise on the Norfolk Broads
- Guided tour of Blickling Hall
- Services of a tour manager
Exclusive discount of £50 per person (plus extra £20pp discount for National Trust, Historic Houses and English Heritage members)
Day1Arrive at Dunston Hall HotelDunston, United Kingdom
Arrive at Dunston Hall Hotel, a charming Victorian-era country manor set in 150 acres of wooded parkland. Check-in and enjoy a welcome drink before dinner in the hotel's impressive restaurant.
Day2Sandringham Estate and Oxburgh HallSandringham, United Kingdom
Today begins with a visit to the house, gardens and museum of the Sandringham Estate, the country retreat of Her Majesty the Queen. Built in 1870, Sandringham has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs, and the interiors are home to astonishing exhibits that they have acquired over the centuries. These include an important collection of oriental arms and armour, and family portraits by leading court painters.
The mostly informal gardens include woodland walks, rockeries, magnificent sweeping lawns, lakes and streams, as well as the more formal North Garden. The museum, housed in the former coach houses and stable block, holds extraordinary collections of Royal vehicles, rare ceramics, photographs and memorabilia.
In the afternoon, continue on to Oxburgh Hall, with its picturesque moat and majestic swans. This romantic house has been home to the Catholic Bedingfield family since the 15th century. Discover the secret priest's hole, and the intricate embroidery crafted by Mary Queen of Scots while she was in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury. Other fascinating features include Catholic High Victorian interiors - some of the best remaining examples in the country.
Day3Norfolk Broads Cruise and Felbrigg HallFelbrigg, United Kingdom
Today begins in the picturesque village of Horning, where you'll embark on a cruise through the iconic Norfolk Broads on the Mississippi paddle steamer. A unique and beautiful landscape of shallow lakes and rivers, these spectacular waterways are scattered with pretty market towns and villages along their shores. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife from the top deck of the steamer as it carries us on a leisurely journey down the tranquil River Bure.
You'll then travel to Felbrigg Hall, one of East Anglia's finest country houses, set in extensive parkland. Felbrigg's interior is a lavish blend of sumptuous furniture, ornate plasterwork and William Wyndham II's painting collection, gathered on his Grand Tour of Europe. The rolling landscape park with a lake, woods and miles of way-marked trails is a great place to explore nature and spot wildlife.
In the evening, return to Dunston Hall for another delicious dinner in the hotel's restaurant.
Day4Blickling Hall and Holkham HallBlickling,
Blickling Hall is one of our finest Jacobean houses, set at the heart of a magnificent garden and historic park. It's a wonderful house to explore because of its decorative plasterwork and superb Long Gallery. However, there's little doubt that Blickling's Boleyn connections (not least tales of Anne Boleyn's headless ghost) add hugely to the atmosphere here. Join an expert guide here for a fascinating tour of this magnificent hall.
Afterwards, pay a visit to Holkham Hall, an elegant 18th-century country mansion constructed in the Palladian style for Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester. Set in a vast landscaped park, the hall is currently home to the Eighth Earl of Leicester and his family. The spectacular Marble Hall, with its splendid colonnade and breathtaking 50ft domed ceiling, was inspired by the Temple of Fortuna Virilis and the Pantheon in Rome, while the magnificent state rooms boast superb collections of ancient statuary, original furniture and tapestries plus works of art from the likes of Rubens, Van Dyck and Gainsborough.
Day5DepartureDunston, United Kingdom
After breakfast, say farewell to the beautiful Norfolk scenery and your magnificent hotel, and make your onward journey home.
Dunston Hall Hotel
Grand Victorian manor house set in 150 acres of wooded parkland
Set amidst 150 acres of wooded parkland, the Dunston Hall Hotel is situated four miles south of Norwich. The hotel combines Victorian and Elizabethan styles and offers spacious rooms with satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and a well-equipped health club with indoor pool, sauna and spa. Dunston Hall is also home to an 18-hole golf course.