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  • Hampton Court Castle

  • Eastnor Castle

    Image from Picturesque Views of Seats of Great Britain and Ireland Project via CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

  • Hampton Court Castle Gardens

    Image by Elliot Brown on Flickr via CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

  • Hampton Court Castle

    Image from Picturesque Views of Seats of Great Britain and Ireland Project via CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

Fitness / Practicalities
Tour Director

  • Visit an array of houses from different periods, including many not usually open to the public

  • Enjoy private guided tours at Hellens Manor and Llanvihangel Court

  • Be immersed in wonderful gardens, including those at High Glanau and The Laskett, and take in the delightful landscape of the county

“[Oliver] gave fascinating and well illustrated talks as well as enjoyable insights into the houses and families”

- ACE customer on a previous country houses tour led by Oliver Gerrish

Along the Welsh Border lies one of the most beautiful landscapes to be found in Britain, with small, hedgerow-lined fields interspersed with wooded areas. It is populated with many fine houses and gardens dating from the 16th century onwards, which will be the focus of our tour.


The charming manor at Hellens is one of the oldest dwellings in England; with foundations dating back to the 12th century, the property also features later Tudor, Jacobean and Georgian architecture. It contains artworks ranging from full-length portraits by Anthony van Dyck to exquisite miniatures by Nicholas Hilliard. Meanwhile, the oldest parts of the delightful Hampton Court Castle date back to the 15th century.


Llanvihangel Court, meanwhile, is a Tudor country house with medieval origins set in beautiful surroundings near the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons. It is close to Llanover, where an elegant neoclassical house is surrounded by a listed historical garden with exquisite herbaceous borders.

Moving into the Victorian era, the remote countryside near Brecon is home to the Gothic Revival Treberfydd, while the magnificent Eastnor is a 19th century revival castle built for the 2nd Baron Somers and still inhabited by his descendants today.
The region also features some beautiful but contrasting 20th century gardens. High Glanau was created before the First World War by H Avray Tipping, Architectural Editor of Country Life and highly adept garden designer whose work also includes the garden at Chequers. Sir Roy Strong bequeathed his innovative, complex and entertaining garden at The Laskett to the horticultural charity Perennial, who now care for this spectacular site.


Several of the houses will welcome us privately, courtesy of their owners, some of whom will join us for guided tours or refreshments.


We will stay throughout at the comfortable Green Dragon Hotel, located in the heart of Hereford within a 17th century former coaching inn.


The first half of this tour will be led by Oliver Gerrish, MSt, an architectural historian who studied at the University of Cambridge. Oliver is an experienced tour leader who has written for Country Life and appeared in a number of BBC and ITV television series on architecture. He is the former chairman of The Young Georgians, the youth chapter of the Georgian Group, which he re-founded, and is also a trustee of the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust. Oliver has close family links with High Glanau in Herefordshire, and looks forward to introducing an ACE group to the area’s fine houses in summer 2024.


The second half of this tour will be led by Andrew Taylor, BD, MA, a lecturer and experienced tour leader with expertise in the architecture and art collections of the English country house. He studied at the University of St Andrews, UEA and Birkbeck, University of London, and also works as a rare book dealer, researcher and cataloguer at Voewood House in Norfolk. Andrew will be with the tour throughout.

Tour Code

Fully booked - please contact us on 01223 841055 to be added to the waiting list.

Included: accommodation based on sharing a classic twin or double bedded room, four breakfasts, three lunches, three dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.

Not Included: travel insurance, classic double room for single use supplement £295.

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