THE EAST OF ENGLAND GROUP TRAVEL ITINERARY
Journey through thousands of years of East Anglia's past with this four-day group itinerary.
DAY ONE - GLORIOUS GARDENS
Morning: Begin your group's journey with a visit to Wrest Park, home to 90-acre gardens holding 200 years of charming architecture, statues, woodland, lakes and unexpected vistas. The grounds were developed over three centuries by the aristocratic De Grey family, whose story is told in an interactive exhibition. Allow at least 4 hours to explore the house and gardens.
Lunch: Take a picnic in the grounds or enjoy a light lunch in the café at Wrest Park.
Afternoon: Take a short drive to visit Wardown Park Museum or Stockwood Discovery Centre.
DAY TWO - UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS
Morning: Head 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 three - Two Henrys
Morning: Drive to the lovely Suffolk Coast for a visit to Orford Castle, Henry II's unique 12th-century polygonal castle keep. Take your group on a journey into the past with an audio tour and hear the tale of Orford Mermen - a legendary wild man of the sea who was imprisoned in the castle before escaping.
Lunch: Enjoy lunch in charming Orford village.
Afternoon: Continue to Framlingham Castle. Built in the late 1100s, the magnificent castle dominates its beautiful surroundings. The castle became home to the Howard family - which gave Henry VIII two wives, both of whom he beheaded.
Visit the exhibition space where you can discover the history of Framlingham Castle and its former residents, including Mary Tudor who was proclaimed Queen of England at the castle in 1553.
Driving: Framlingham is half an hour's drive from Orford.
DAY FOUR - DEEP HISTORY
Morning: Start your morning at Great Yarmouth Row Houses. Step back in time and experience the sights and sounds of Great Yarmouth of yesteryear wth the fascinating collection of artefacts rescued from the Rows after the Second World War.
Lunch: Stop off in Norwich for lunch.
Afternoon: Next up is Castle Acre Priory, Britain's best preserved Cluniac priory. Explore the gigantic 24-seater monks' toilet and a recreated herb garden.
Before travelling home, visit the Stone Age flint mine at Grime's Graves. Your group can venture down the 30 foot (9m) descent into Britain's only accessible prehistoric mine.
Driving: Great Yarmouth Row Houses are a 29 minute drive from Norwich. You'll get to Castle Acre Priory after another 43 minute drive and to Grime's Graves after a further 23 minutes.
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