Royal & Ducal Castles: An Inspiring Expedition by Geoffrey Kent (2022)

Experience the life of Britain’s great country estates as a privileged guest, sampling a rarefied world of genteel country sports, five-star hospitality and exquisite dining.

Journey Overview

Experience the life of Britain’s great country estates as a privileged guest, sampling a rarefied world of genteel country sports, five-star hospitality and exquisite dining. Go behind the scenes at Windsor Castle and Goodwood Motor Circuit, spend three nights at picturesque Cowdray House, and end with a private stay at Floors Castle in Scotland as the personal guests of its owner, His Grace the Duke of Roxburghe. Join Geoffrey Kent and His Grace to immerse yourself in Britain’s most beautiful landscapes, and experience some of its most storied private residences on a luxury journey you will never forget.

Journey Highlights

  • Visit Windsor Castle, residence of the Royal Family, exploring areas normally closed to the public
  • Get behind the wheel of a BMW racecar for a thrilling track experience at world-renowned Goodwood Motor Circuit
  • Learn the sport of kings at a private polo lesson at Cowdray House, followed by an exhibition match put on just for you
  • Spend four nights at Floors Castle, the private residence of the Duke of Roxburghe, who personally hosts your visit
  • Visit Alnwick Castle and explore the grounds on a private tour guided by a resident family member
  • Enjoy the sporting life with a day to pursue the activities of your choice at Floors Castle, with options including golf, clay pigeon shooting, off-road driving and fly fishing
  • View the art collection of the Duke of Buccleuch at his residence in Drumlanrig Castle
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

May 1, 2022: Arrive London, UK

Arrive in London, where you are met and escorted to your hotel. Set in the heart of Mayfair, Claridge’s is an Art Deco icon and a byword for understated elegance. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon before meeting your fellow guests for a festive welcome dinner in a private room at Annabel’s.
Claridge’s Hotel | Meals: D

May 2: Windsor Castle | A Royal Welcome

After breakfast, head out to world-famous Windsor Castle. This special visit is by kind permission of Her Majesty the Queen and is led by a member of staff who knows all of the castle’s ins and outs. Then continue to Cowdray House, your home for the next three nights. The 16,500-acre, family-owned Cowdray Estate is set in the heart of the South Downs National Park, an area of exceptional beauty in West Sussex. The estate offers a complete range of country sports as well as lavishly tended grounds, with meals prepared from the estate’s own products. The on-site spa is also at your disposal for a relaxing treatment. Gather this evening for cocktails and dinner with your hosts, Geoffrey Kent and His Grace the Duke of Roxburghe.
Cowdray House | Meals: BLD

May 3: Goodwood Motor Circuit | Adrenaline on the Circuit

After breakfast this morning, transfer by luxury car to Goodwood Motor Circuit, England’s greatest sporting estate, for a full day of track activities. Goodwood hosts the internationally famous Festival of Speed, The Qatar Goodwood Festival and Goodwood Revival, three of the largest events in the British sporting and social calendar. The ninth Duke of Richmond was a famous racing driver and turned the Second World War airfield on the Goodwood Estate into the Goodwood Motor Circuit in 1948, which hosted some of the famous racing drivers and iconic cars in thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing. Today, you try your hand at this thrilling sport. After some instruction from professional race car drivers, get behind the wheel of your classic or performance car and take to the track for a racing experience and some stunt driving. After lunch in the Jackie Stewart Pavilion, take to the track again for a BMW performance experience, and then follow a classic Land Rover route back to Goodwood House for a tour followed by afternoon tea.

Tonight, enjoy dinner on HMS ‘Victory,’ Lord Horatio Nelson’s fabled flagship from the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. This 104-gun Royal Navy ship launched in 1765 and is the world’s oldest naval vessel still in commission, with 243 years of distinguished service to its credit. Enjoy a guided tour of the ship’s interior, including the Upper Gun Deck where Lord Nelson kept elegant quarters, followed by a Champagne reception and three-course dinner, accompanied by a string quartet. Your host for the evening is Dan Snow, creator of History Hit, the most popular history podcast in the UK.
Cowdray House | Meals: BLD

May 4: Easebourne | A Day of Polo

Cowdray House was home to the estate’s original polo field, commonly referred to as the House Ground. Geoffrey himself played here with His Royal Highness Prince Charles, leading the Windsor Park Polo Team to victory. This morning, meet with the professionals from the Cowdray Polo Academy and learn about this exciting traditional sport. Those who wish to try their hand at it may take some instruction from on-hand experts. Then, after a gourmet picnic lunch at the fields, enjoy a match put on especially for you. If you prefer, you may enjoy a round of golf at the Cowdray Golf Club. Enjoy cocktails and dinner at Cowdray House this evening.
Cowdray House | Meals: BLD

May 5: Roxburghshire, Scotland | The Ducal Estate

Transfer by helicopter to Floors Castle in southeastern Scotland, the largest inhabited home in all of Scotland and the seat of the Duke of Roxburghe. Home of the Innes-Ker family since it was built for the first Duke of Roxburghe 300 years ago in 1721, Floors is a constantly evolving estate that bears the mark of each successive generation of inhabitants. To commemorate the castle’s third centennial, view a special exhibition on the estate along with a new portrait of the Duke by Jamie Coreth, found in the main hall of the castle. After lunch, enjoy some time at leisure and explore the castle and grounds. Just a short walk from the castle are the spectacular Victorian Walled Garden and a formal Millennium Garden, and with the woodland and riverside walks and a delightful cycle trail, there is much for you to discover. Dine this evening at the castle.
Floors Castle | Meals: BLD

May 6: Alnwick Castle | Private Garden Visit

Today, head out in a fleet of chauffeured vehicles for the drive to Alnwick Castle. One of Britain’s most iconic castles and the second-largest inhabited castle in the United Kingdom, Alnwick dates back to the Norman period and, since 1309, its story has been intertwined with that of the Percy family, whose history is as illustrious as the castle’s own. Alnwick has served as a military outpost, a teaching college, a refuge for evacuees and the filming location for Hogwarts, as well as the Percy family home. Explore the castle and learn about its history from one the family members. After your private tour, you may opt to have a go at archery and test your abilities with a bow or learn to fly a broomstick in the spot where Harry Potter first took flight. Have lunch in the State Dining Room at the castle, hosted by the family, followed by a private tour of the award-winning Alnwick Garden, a modern delight combining sculpture, water features and beautiful plants.

Return to Floors Castle for some time at leisure, followed by a whiskey tasting and dinner.
Floors Castle | Meals: BLD

May 7: Floors Castle | Design Your Day

The day is yours to choose from a variety of Duke’s activities. Take your pick from fly fishing, a simulated game drive with clay pigeon shooting, an eagle and falconry experience, an off-road excursion on the castle grounds or a relaxing 18 holes of golf. Plenty of other options such as tennis, yoga or a pampering massage are also on hand. Enjoy a butler-served lunch at one of the charming private fishing huts on the bank of the River Tweed. For dinner this evening, travel to Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott. Over drinks and dinner, your host provides a unique insight into the life of the famous novelist, poet and playwright.
Floors Castle | Meals: BLD

May 8: Galloway | Drumlanrig Castle

Fly by helicopter to visit the Queensberry Estate & Drumlanrig Castle, owned by the Duke of Buccleuch. The castle is the stunning seat of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry, and its 90,000-acre estate boasts miles of beautiful walks and acres of gardens. Your visit includes a chance to experience the beautiful heather moorland landscape as well as viewing the Duke’s art collection, which includes Rembrandt’s An Old Woman Reading, family portraits by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, landscapes by Paul Sandby and the Dutch masters, and cartoons by Georgian-era caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson. If you want to test your aim, the team can stage a simulated game drive, where coveys of clay targets are used to simulate a real country shooting experience.

Celebrate your extraordinary royal castles experience tonight at a gala farewell dinner at Floors this evening. Don traditional Highland attire and gather for a Scottish themed dinner, featuring a private mass pipe band.
Floors Castle | Meals: BLD

May 9: Depart Edinburgh

Transfer by private car to the airport in Edinburgh in time to board your homebound flight.
Meals: B

Show Full Itinerary
Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

May 1, 2022 - May 9, 2022
Price AU$182,430pp Single Supplement AU$17,560 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire