Princess Diana, Queen Victoria & Famous Women of the Realm

6 Nights | Expert Guided Heritage Journey

Includes Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace,  Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Kensington Palace, Althorp, Chatsworth, Haddon Hall, Hardwick, Bakewell, Peak District National Park

Women of the Realm – Heritage Guided Tour

This two centre vacation is an encounter with some of the most charming sites in English history. Each castle, palace or country house builds our story of women and power written across the ages. We find a history of taste, charm, fashion and celebrity. We uncover extraordinary intrigue, romance, triumph and betrayal.

Our tour is brought to life by your expert guide close to the heart of the nation in the gentle landscapes to the west of London. We leave the capital for the exquisite parklands of the English Peak District, finding an unrivalled grouping of stately homes, with gardens and parklands to match. On our way, we visit Althorp – childhood home and final resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Dinner, bed and breakfast is included throughout your tour. Your first 3 nights will be spent at the Mitre Hotel, on the banks of the River Thames and alongside Hampton Court Palace. 3 further nights are spent at the Peak Edge Hotel, close to Chatsworth House in the English Peak District .

Vacation Package Features

  • 6-Night British Heritage Vacation
  • Includes 3 Nights west of London
  • Plus 3 Nights in the Derbyshire Peak District
  • Luxury Coach Travel, maximum 25 persons
  • Airport Transfers with London Heathrow
  • All Entrance Fees
  • Expert Guiding
  • 4 Star Hotels
  • 6 breakfasts, 6 dinners
  • From £2,120 pp

Women of the Realm Guided Tour Highlights

  • Windsor Castle – ancient and romantic Royal residence
  • Hampton Court Palace – the Royal Court in splendid flamboyance
  • Kensington Palace – birthplace of Victoria, home of Diana
  • Chatsworth House – Palace of the Peaks, home of Duchess Georgiana
  • Althorp – childhood home of Spencer girls and fashion icons from across the centuries: Duchess Georgiana & Princess Diana
  • Haddon Hall – almost impossibly romantic, scene of a famous and celebrated elopement
  • Hardwick Hall – extraordinary English Renaissance, still exuding the presence of its maker, Bess of Hardwick, across four centuries of history
  • Picturesque Bakewell – home of the famous pudding

women of the realm

Guided Tour Itinerary

Hampton Court Palace

Arrival - Thursday

You are met at Heathrow Airport for convenient transfer to your hotel, ideally located for our tour, fronting onto the River Thames, and adjacent to Hampton Court Palace, 12 miles upstream of central London. In the evening your tour leader will meet you for a welcome drink, with opportunity for our group to meet up for the first time. Your first dinner will be a hosted one in the hotel restaurant, where we will all start to get to know each other.

Trams and industrial revolution at Beamish the North of England Open Air Museum. Part of Pelago Travel Great British Explorer Tour to the Ancient Kingdom of Northumberland

Day Two - Friday

We travel the short distance to the ancient royal residence of Windsor Castle. The original castle was built after the Norman Conquest in 1066 by William the Conqueror. It is the longest occupied royal residence in Europe, and the principle home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Victoria retreated to Windsor after the death of her beloved Albert, from 1861 to 1901. Windsor has been the principal weekend residence of Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 to the present day. In the afternoon, we change our pace: wandering through the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, we come across the modest royal palace charms of the Dutch House.

Hadrian's Wall, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Part of Pelago Travel Great British Explorer Tour to the Ancient Kingdom of Northumberland

Day Three - Saturday

We visit Hampton Court, where Catherine Howard, pleaded in vain for her life to her husband, Henry VIII. The Palace was used by Henry’s daughters, Mary I and Elizabeth I. It provides the template for all English ‘Stately Homes’, with its sequence of State Rooms for king and queen. Later, in central London, we visit the fabulous Albert Memorial, then walk the short way to Kensington Palace, former residence of Queen Mary II, Queen Anne and Princess Diana. It is home today to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and family, as well as Prince Harry. Along the visitor route we reach the room where Queen Victoria was born in 1819.

Cragside, home of Lord and Lady Armstrong, Northumberland. Part of Pelago Travel Great British Explorer Tour to the Ancient Kingdom of Northumberland

Day Four - Sunday

We journey northwards, reaching Althorp, home of the Spencer family since 1508. The current owner and resident Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, spent his childhood here with his sister, Diana, later to become Princess of Wales. Diana’s final resting place is on a small island in the middle of Althorp’s ornamental lake. Two centuries before Diana, Althorp was the childhood home of Georgiana Spencer, who married the 5th Duke of Devonshire and became the 18th century’s ‘Empress of Fashion’. She is perhaps best known in our own age for her depiction by Kiera Knightly in The Duchess (2008). We continue our journey to the upland beauty of the Derbyshire Peak District, Britain’s first National Park. 

Lindisfarne, Holy Island, Northumberland. Part of Pelago Travel Great British Explorer Tour to the Ancient Kingdom of Northumberland

Day Five - Monday

To Chatsworth House, Garden and Park, ancestral home to the Dukes of Devonshire. This is simply one of the most impressive and enjoyable stately homes in England, and a house of remarkable women. The tone is set by its co-founder, Bess of Hardwick in the 1550s, and continues with our original Spencer girl, Duchess Georgiana. The role call of Cavendish women continues with Adele Astaire, Catherine (Kick) Kennedy and Duchess Deborah (Debbo), youngest of the socialite Mitford sisters who made Chatsworth what it is today after the Second World War. Later we visit the Peak District village of Eyam – a quaint setting that belies a famous story of Plague, fortitude and self-sacrifice in the 17th century.

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, home of the Percys, Dukes of Northumberland - and Hogwarts. Part of Pelago Travel Great British Explorer Tour to the Ancient Kingdom of Northumberland

Day Six - Tuesday

We begin our day at Haddon Hall and gardens, a wonderful, romantic, family-owned country house. Almost impossibly beautiful and dramatic – but 100% authentic, this is a house where English medieval gives way to some very quirky Tudor flair. There are two historic dynasties in the long histroy of Haddon, with the house changing hands through the elopement of Protestant, Dorothy Vernon with Catholic Thomas Manners in 1563. The story became a best selling romance in 1902, and a silent movie in 1924. A short journey from Haddon, we visit the traditional market town of Bakewell. You can sample the famous Bakewell Pudding, enjoy a river-side walk or visit the town’s many historic sites.

Day Seven - Wednesday

Our last highlight is Hardwick Hall, the remarkable Elizabethan creation of Bess of Hardwick and her architect, Robert Smythson. Bess’s personality runs through the house and across the centuries. Hardwick contains some of England’s most important historic textiles, including many pieces worked on together by Bess herself with Mary Queen of Scots. In Hardwick’s Great Chamber we find the strange and beautiful giant frieze of Diana the huntress – symbol of Queen Elizabeth, and one of the many female mythical role models for Bess herself. We leave Hardwick and return you to Heathrow where our guided journey ends.

The Mitre 4-Star Hotel

The Mitre Hotel, Hampton Court is situated right by the River Thames. Hampton Court Palace is only a short stroll away.

The Peak Edge 4-Star Hotel

The Peak Edge Hotel, a family owned 4 star, modern boutique hotel nestled on the edge of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park.

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Princess Diana, Queen Victoria & Famous Women of the Realm

A Great British Explorer Tour™ from Pelago Travel

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