In the morning we visit the gardens of Iford Manor and also the house itself, which is rarely open to the public. In the afternoon we have lunch at Badminton House followed by a tour of both house and garden.
The day begins at 10.00 when we assemble for coffee/tea at Iford Manor, Bradford-on-Avon, delightfully situated on the banks of the River Avon. We split into two groups, to tour the house and grounds.
The most famous part of the garden is the Italianate garden with its statuary and formal planting by its Edwardian designer Sir Harold Peto. It was his own garden, where he indulged his passion for the classical. Each tour will last about one hour and the group as a whole will assemble for coffee/tea and cakes before taking their second tour.
Visitors to the house will see evidence of the house’s fifteenth century origins and its architectural progression from Tudor times to Georgian and the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when Sir Harold owned the property.
Our next destination is Badminton House, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. A special two-course lunch will be prepared for us, to be taken at 13.00.
This famous house needs no introduction but visitors are surprised by the situation of the vast house, which is on one side virtually part of the village itself but on the other there are spacious grounds, the site of the famous horse trials. The Great Hall was where the modern game of badminton was invented. We will see this on our private tour and many of the artifacts brought to Badminton by members of the family who went on the Grand Tour.
After a good hour touring the house our senses will be refreshed by tea before setting off to see the Walled Garden. We depart at around 17.00.