Georgian Arcadia - Classical Houses and Landscape Parks of North Yorkshire

Prices from £1,190


9 Jun 2019 - 12 Jun 2019
Duration: 3 nights
Ref: 19YORK
With: Barbara Peacock


Prices from £1,190
Single Supplement: £165
Deposit: £100

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Yorkshire is architecturally the richest of England’s counties and remains the most Georgian part of England with magnificent estates, country houses and landscape parks. York was a fashionable provincial capital and possesses splendid Georgian public buildings in the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House, the Assize Courts and the Assembly Rooms, whilst Fairfax House is the finest Georgian town house in Britain, with an excellent collection of Georgian furniture. Many Georgian terraces survive and a walk on our first afternoon will introduce us to the richness and variety of York’s Georgian inheritance, our base for this tour.

We will have privileged private access to country houses that are some of the finest of their period, and which chart the development of the country house from the bravura of the Baroque to the exquisite late 18th-century Neo- classical interiors of Farnley Hall, and Robert Adam’s Newby Hall. Here we shall see how a new understanding of the legacy of Antiquity revolutionises the contemporary approach to the design of buildings and their interior decoration.

DAY 1:

Independent arrival in York where we settle into our four-star hotel in the heart of the city, just a few minutes’ walk from the Minster. A welcome walk will introduce us to the sights of Georgian York, before a private evening tour with the curator of Fairfax house, the magnificent former winter town house of Lord Fairfax with outstanding plasterwork and fine furniture. Afterwards, we return to our hotel for a group dinner.

DAY 2:

In the morning, a private visit to Castle Howard led by the curator. Castle Howard is one of the most important Baroque country houses in England, the result of collaboration between the great architects, Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor. After coffee, we stroll through part of the magnificent landscape park designed by Vanbrugh, one of the earliest landscape parks in Britain, with views to Hawksmoor’s powerfully evocative mausoleum to the Carlisle family. Our afternoon will be spent at Palladian Hovingham Hall, designed by the owner Sir Thomas Worsley, c.1750. Worsley had a passion for architecture and horses, and Hovingham is an extraordinarily eccentric 18th-century house, where the main rooms on the first floor are situated above the riding school and stables below. Apart from its unique plan, the house has a very competent Palladian façade. Return to York.

DAY 3:

Our morning will be spent at Studley Royal, possibly the most perfect of all surviving Georgian landscape gardens. Here John Aisalbie and his son William created between 1716 and 1781 a beautiful water garden of still canals, cascades, woods, and artfully positioned temples. The contrived view to the ruins of Fountains Abbey, framed by trees and seen across water, is one of the supreme expressions of 18th-century landscape art. Private afternoon visit to Farnley Hall; built for Walter Fawkes 1786-90, the house is the masterpiece of the Yorkshire architect, John Carr, and decorated in exquisite Neo-classical taste. Walter Fawkes’s son, Walter II, was a friend and patron of Turner, and the house is still owned by the Horton-Fawkes family.

DAY 4:

Our final visit will take us to Newby Hall, which has spectacular interiors by Robert Adam, created 1767-1776 for William Weddell, one of the most important 18th - century cognoscenti. Much of the original furniture designed for the house by Adam survives, and the interiors illustrate the unity he sought between the interior decoration and the furnishings. The sculpture gallery is one of the finest surviving examples in the country of the ideal beauty sought after by the classical enthusiast. There will be time to explore the beautiful gardens before returning to York for a farewell lunch in the elegant 18th-century Assembly Rooms. Finally, we return to our hotel, where the tour concludes at c. 3pm.

Please note that at this stage the programme is still provisional. Although we aim at the greatest degree of accuracy from the outset, some details, especially the order of visits, may be subject to change.


Specific fitness requirements for this Study Tour:

The tour involves a lot of walking, with some parts of the gardens being on uneven or sloping ground and stout shoes are recommended. Coach journeys do not generally exceed one hour.

Please note that all our Study Tours involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps and inclines. While we do not have an upper age limit for participants, we require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participents' enjoyment of the holiday and you should be able to walk at a reasonable pace and / or stand for at least thirty minutes without aid or requiring a rest.

If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular tour is suitable for you, please ring us to check before placing your booking.


Twin/double share: £1190 per person
Double room for sole use supplement: £165
Deposit: £100 per person


  • Three nights B&B at the four-star DoubleTree by Hilton York
  • Excursions around Yorkshire by private coach
  • Two dinners and one lunch
  • Services of the lecturer and a tour manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
  • Small group between 12 and 22 participants


  • Travel insurance. We strongly advise you to be covered by adequate travel insurance

DoubleTree by Hilton York****

Enjoy a relaxing stay in the heart of the city at DoubleTree by Hilton York. Our prime location overlooks the historic City Walls and is within walking distance to York Minster and other famous attractions.


  • Air conditioning
  • Flat screen television
  • Free WiFi
  • Work desk
  • Safe