Invitation to View tours

In most cases, Invitation to View visitors are shown around by a member of the family or a guide with personal knowledge of the place. House owners aim to treat visitors as guests and, unlike traditional guided tours, there are no rope barriers and officious rules. The tours not only cover the property’s history, but also that of the families who have shaped the buildings and the landscape surrounding them. Owners will reveal secrets, ghosts and the skeletons in the family cupboards. Tours are usually followed by refreshments and a chance to chat.

For fast-track tour booking click the green ‘Go to tour booking’ button on the right-hand sidebar.

Tour dates

Select a tour from the list below or the calendar on the right, or by entering the date(s) in the Search boxes. You can also choose a tour by region, particular features or historical period using the ‘advanced search’ function.

Date/Time Property tour
Sat 21 Apr

1:00 pm

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey, Essex

Described by Historic England as the ‘most important site for the history of explosives in Europe’ this remarkable and beautiful landscape chronicles the development of explosives, propellants and finally rocket motors and fuels from the Civil War to the Cold War, including rare surviving WW1 factory buildings, and intriguing structures and earthworks.

Mon 23 Apr

2:30 pm

Coughton Court Coughton Court North Wing, Alcester, Warwickshire

Tour of the private north wing of Coughton Court, which is not normally open to the public. The Throckmortons, Britain's oldest Roman Catholic family, have lived here for 600 years. Tours include the fine, award-winning gardens.

Tue 24 Apr

2:30 pm

Bressingham Hall Bressingham Hall, Bressingham, Diss, Norfolk

Grade II-listed country mansion and its companion High Barn, lovingly restored to their elegant Regency origins by the Bloom family, which has just celebrated seven decades there. Surrounded by 17 acres of world famous gardens.

Tue 24 Apr

2:30 pm

Butley Priory, Butley, Suffolk

The Grade I-listed gatehouse of Butley Priory and the arch that once led out of the south transept of the church are virtually all that remains of the Augustinian Priory founded here in 1171. Unique features are the extensive armorial frieze on the north side and exuberant flushwork decoration.

Tue 24 Apr

2:30 pm

Crow's Hall Crow’s Hall, Stowmarket, Suffolk

An avenue of double oaks leads to a mellow Tudor building with fine detailing, surrounded by a large, fish-filled moat with two outer moats. The site dates from the Anglo-Saxon period.

Tue 24 Apr

3:00 pm

St Peter’s Hall, Bungay, Suffolk

Dating from 1280, St. Peter's Hall is nestled in unspoilt Suffolk countryside adjacent to the famous St. Peter's Brewery. It is a unique, romantic and historic half-moated former manor farmhouse.

Wed 25 Apr

10:30 am

Raynham Hall, Fakenham, Norfolk

Grade I* early C17th house by Sir Roger Townshend with interiors redesigned by William Kent dating from 1725, these were carried out for the second Viscount Townshend, an important political figure at the court of Queen Anne and King George I.

Wed 25 Apr

2:00 pm

Mercury Theatre, Colchester, Essex

See behind the scenes of a leading producing theatre. Visit includes a talk on its history and plans for the future. Tour of set-building workshop, costume and props department and set for current show (see below for details), will show how a production is staged.

Wed 25 Apr

2:15 pm

Hardwick Hall, Ellesmere, Shropshire

Hardwick Hall (Grade II*) was built on a fresh site in 1720 by John Kynaston, moving from Hordley Hall, birthplace of the Shropshire Highwaymen, Wild Humphrey Kynaston, second son of Sir Roger Kynaston and still lived in by direct Kynaston family descendants today.

Wed 25 Apr

2:30 pm

Aldenham Park Aldenham Park, Bridgnorth, Shropshire

Grade II* Palladian house. It has strong links with Charles I who took refuge here in a priest hole from Oliver Cromwell (leaving his coat behind) and, later, Charles II presented the Acton family with a fine Van Dyck portrait of his father, which still hangs in the saloon.

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