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DateVisit
23 April 20194 day Visit to Shropshire,
10 December 2018Visit to Strawberry Hill House, and Chiswick House
16 May 2018Visit to Berkeley Castle and Spetchley Park Gardens

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4 day Visit to Shropshire,
Tuesday 23 April 2019

4 day VISIT TO SHROPSHIRE

Tuesday 23rd to 26th April 2019


Overview
Shropshire is perhaps the most enchanting of all the English counties with it’s medieval market towns, an impressive and intriguing history and cultural heritage. Of England’s 186 castles, 32 are found here, its role during the Industrial Revolution is marked by numerous museums and the county boasts a number of private houses including Weston Park, Pitchford Hall and Stokesay Court. Our tour will highlight the very best of Shropshire to uncover the wealth of history and natural beauty in this area.
 

Itinerary
We travel by coach to Bewdley where we will board the Severn Valley Railway, to travel by steam train to Bridgnorth where we will re-join our coach and continue our journey to Shifnal for a visit to Weston Park.
There will be free time for lunch on arrival prior to a guided visit of Weston Park with the Head of Curatorial, Gareth Williams. The house boasts a remarkable collection of paintings including works by van Dyck, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Constable and Stubbs. Its decorative art collections are of equal measure to its paintings with Chippendale furniture, outstanding silver from the 17th to the 20th centuries, Oriental and European ceramics and Gobelin tapestries.
We will continue our journey to Telford, where we will check into the 3 star Best Western Valley Hotel for 3 nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation.

WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL 2019
After breakfast, we will travel by coach to Ironbridge Gorge. The Gorge was one of the most important centres of the Industrial Revolution but today it has been restored as a complex of industrial archaeology. A tour with the resident guide will start with the Museum of the Gorge, and continue on a short scenic walk along the wharfage to the Iron Bridge. The morning will conclude with a visit to the Coalport China Museum.
Lunch which may be taken at Blists Hill Victorian Town, a recreation of a late 19th century town with many cafés, restaurants and tea rooms.
In the afternoon we will rejoin our guide for a visit to the Jackfield Tile Museum which records the products of the once largest tile manufacturing area in the world and consists of some of the very best examples of the local products, displayed in galleries and recreated rooms including a pub, tube station and church.
THURSDAY 25 APRIL 2019
After breakfast we will visit Attingham Park (National Trust), an elegant neo-classical house dating from 1785. It was built for the first Lord Berwick and is a fine setting for French and Italian furniture, an extensive picture collection and the Ambassadorial silver used by members of the Berwick family serving in Italy. The house is set in a 250-acre deer park landscaped by Repton. On arrival we will have a private guided tour, followed by some free time to explore the house and gardens independently. There will be free time for lunch.
In the afternoon we shall have a guided walking tour of Shrewsbury, the county town with it’s wealth of timber framed and Georgian houses, steep narrow streets and little alleys gathered for protection within a great loop of the River Severn. Our tour, led by a local guide, will include Shrewsbury's principal buildings and provide an overview of this historical town.
We will continue to Pitchford Hall, Britain’s finest half timbered house, for a private guided visit. The Hall was owned by the Colthurst family for more than 500 years before being sold in 1992. The house has now returned to the Colthurst family, who are embarking on a massive task of saving it, following 25 years of neglect. Our tour will include many rooms on the ground floor, that include historical highlights, from the Civil War to Victoria’s visits at a child. Following the tour refreshments will be served.
FRIDAY 26 APRIL 2019
After checking out we shall visit Stokesay Castle. The Castle is a perfectly preserved example of a 13th century fortified manor house built to impress the local gentry. From the outside, the castle forms part of a picturesque grouping of castle, parish church and timber-framed Jacobean gatehouse set in the rolling Shropshire countryside.
Following free time for lunch, we will visit Stokesay Court for a private guided tour. The present house dates from the late 1800s and was built for a wealthy Victorian merchant and was then at the cutting edge of technology. During the First World War it was used as an auxiliary hospital. It was sold in 1992. In 2006 it was featured in the film ‘Atonement’, which has greatly helped its revival.
Following the visit we will re-join our coach for the return journey to our original pick up point, arriving in the evening.
The cost of this 4 day visit is £535/p with a Single Supplement of £60. Application closes on 5th February. To apply please contact Christopher Lewis, Barley Brook House, Green Lane, Butcombe, BRISTOL, BS40 7US (Tel. 01761 462269). Booking will be directly with the tour company, Heritage Group Travel.