We’ll be taking a breather this year and next…

I promise to share our wonderful week together as soon as I’ve uploaded photos and welcomed a new little one into the world. We did have a marvelous group (I truly believe we have the best tour group members!), and we thoroughly enjoyed our time exploring Cheshire, Yorkshire, Nottingham, Haworth, Warwick, and Bath.

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New Stops on the 2016 Tour!

Due to one of our museum collections going “offline” for a season of restoration and another temporary closure, we have swapped this year’s itinerary around a little bit and added three new destinations!

silkmuseumFirst, we will travel to Macclesfield in Cheshire to see the Silk Museum, which includes a working mill from the Victorian Era. After our guided tour, we will depart for Tabley House, one of the finest Palladian mansions in England with a stunning collection of 18th-century portraiture. (If you enjoyed the Jeremy Brett “Sherlock Holmes” TV series, you will probably recognize Tabley House as one of the locations used in filming!) We’ll enjoy luncheon together in the tea room and take part in a private tour before departing via train for York.

Tabley House, Cheshire

Tabley House, Cheshire

newsteadabbeyNext, because the Bowes Museum has closed its private store to study groups while a special display is in the main part of the museum, we are now going to enjoy the delights of Newstead Abbey, which boasts the Nottingham historical costume collection from the mid-16th century forward. Our group will have private access to the collection and the opportunity to study specific garments up close. We’ll close our visit with a group luncheon in this stunning stately home with its exquisite gardens.

We do still have two slots open for this year’s tour, so if you’d like to jump in before we close the group on May 31st, please contact me at the link above.

Day Six: Last Morning in Bath

Front entrance to the Pump Room and Roman Baths.

I awoke Sunday early, in spite of my determination to sleep in after the ball. Somehow the body clock was convinced I must get up. Oh, well. I packed up and went down to breakfast, then took a last stroll around the Abbey yard and surrounding streets. I do love Bath. It never grows old, and I always look forward to returning!

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Introducing York!

The awe-inspiring sight of the cathedral's side entrance with the famous rose window at the top.

Being introduced to a new city is like being handed a Christmas present. You have no idea what’s inside and whether you’ll like it or just be polite about it and say things like Emma Woodhouse would: “When pressed, I say she’s elegant!” Well, I didn’t have to force politeness after my introduction to York by my friends Suzi and Keith, who absolutely adore the place and visit each year.

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Chatsworth’s Masqued Ball (or “Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice!”)

I stepped upstairs to get a shot of The Painted Hall from above. Beautiful space for a soiree!

When my husband first surprised me with this special trip, it was early enough that I’d have time to put together my costume for the masquerade ball at the end … but, naturally, grandiose schemes were the first to cross my mind! I could totally see making a 1780s take on the White Queen, from panniers to a towering powdered wig! Then common sense (and the deadline and my actual suitcase space) reined me in, and I decided to go for something far less ambitious but still fun.

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Off to Nottingham!

Looking down from the station toward the hotel.

I repacked my suitcases Friday night to squeeze in all the fabric I’d gotten on an outing with Suzi on Wednesday (I wish I’d taken photos — SUCH a fabulous shop!). The next morning, Keith drove Cathy, the baby, and me to St. Pancras Station, which I’d never seen before. Goodness! It is an absolutely jaw-dropping example of Victorian Gothic architecture.

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