THE MIDLANDS GROUP ITINERARY
Discover the history of the heart of England with this itinerary for groups.
DAY ONE - UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS
Morning: Begin your day in style with a visit to Audley End House and Gardens, one of England's finest stately homes. Explore life above stairs in the house and its nursery before meeting the servants 'below stairs' in the Victorian service wing. There's also the chance to take a guided tour through the vast gardens (pre-booking required). Leave at least 4 hours to take it all in.
Lunch: Have lunch at Audley End House in the Servants' Hall tearoom or the Cart Yard Café.
Afternoon: Round off your day with a trip to Audley End Miniature Railway or Bridge End Garden, both under a 10 minute drive from Audley End.
DAY TWO - THE EAST MIDLANDS
Morning: Journey to the East Midlands and visit Kirby Hall, one of the most outstanding stone-built Elizabethan mansions in England.
Lunch: Make the short journey to Corby for a spot of lunch.
Afternoon: Continue on to the late medieval bishops' palace, Lyddington Bede House, set beside a church in a picturesque ironstone village.
If there's still time, round off the day with a trip to Rushton Triangular Lodge. This remarkable 16th century building has three sides, three floors, trefoil windows and three triangular gables on each side to symbolise the Holy Trinity.
Driving: The journey from Kirby Hall to Lyddington Bede House will take roughly 14 minutes. It's then 20 minutes to Rushton Triangular Lodge.
DAY THREE - IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF A QUEEN
Morning: Spend your day exploring Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden. One of England's largest ruined castles, Kenilworth is famous as the setting for the rumoured royal romance between Queen Elizabeth I and her favourite Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
Your group can follow in the footsteps of the Queen as they tour the castle, and climb to the top of the tower Leicester built for Elizabeth for a 'Queen's eye-view' of the surrounding countryside. You'll need just over 2 hours to tour the castle and recreated garden.
Lunch: The Stables tearoom at Kenilworth Castle is the ideal place for lunch. Pre-booking is required.
Afternoon: Spend the rest of the day in Birmingham. This diverse and dynamic city has the second largest population in England. It's full of culture, spectacular shopping (most well-known is the Bullring) and award-winning restaurants.
Driving: Birmingham is a 30 minute drive from Kenilworth Castle.
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