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
Thu 19 Jul

9:30 am

The Swan, Lavenham, Suffolk

A famous medieval inn in a famous medieval town. The Swan at Lavenham is an iconic timber-framed building, steeped in centuries of history. Dating back to the 15th century, the building has been adapted and developed into a luxury hotel and spa, while retaining its medieval charm.

Thu 19 Jul

2:15 pm

Earsham Hall Earsham Hall, Nr Bungay, Suffolk

This large, authentic Queen Anne house with medieval origins is home to an enthusiastic extended family and a haunting of ghosts. ‘Butcher’ Cumberland visited and Sir John Soane made improvements; survived years as a boys’ school.

Thu 19 Jul

2:30 pm
£16.00/ £22.00

Brinton Hall Brinton Hall, Melton Constable, Norfolk

C16 house extended in 1822 in gault brick by the Brereton family. Award-winning work includes remodelling of the west front and extensive interior restoration including unbricking five Georgian windows. Staircase reputed to have originated from Merton place, Nelson’s last residence.

Thu 19 Jul

2:30 pm

Nantiago, Knighton, Powys

A borders long house with cruck frames of circa 1540, with later extensions and Regency Gothick windows. In use as local vicarage for 180 years. Attractive grounds with small lake and arboretum. Small collection of classic cars.

Thu 19 Jul

2:30 pm

Old Bowlish House Old Bowlish House, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

Built around 1618, this Grade II* clothier’s house was modernised by the Georgians c.1735. A Palladian frontage and stone mullioned rear windows are two of the external features which enclose finely proportioned rooms, original fireplaces and a magnificent heavily-carved Jacobean openwork scroll oak staircase which winds through all three of its floors.

Fri 20 Jul

2:30 pm

Henstead Exotic Garden, Henstead, Suffolk

The tropics in Suffolk with 100 palms, 20 bananas, 200 bamboos and 30-foot tiered walk leading to a ‘Thai’ pavilion.

Fri 20 Jul

3:30 pm

Clifton House Clifton House, King's Lynn, Norfolk

Probably the finest surviving merchant's town house in England, grade-one listed Clifton House provides 'the most remarkable catalogue of building periods from the middle ages onwards' (Pevsner).

Sat 21 Jul

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.

Sat 21 Jul

2:30 pm

Columbine Hall Columbine Hall, Stowmarket, Suffolk

Dating from 1390, the Grade II* timber-framed house is surrounded by a defensive moat which laps its walls. The owners have transformed the interior and filled it with their eccentric and ever-growing collections. Gardens include vistas of the rolling landscape beyond.

Sun 22 Jul

10:30 am

Glemham Hall Glemham Hall, Woodbridge, Suffolk

The huge 16th-18th century house and its owner, Philip Hope-Cobbold, are equally exuberant – a double wow factor. As is the haunted staircase and fine 200-acre park designed by Repton and known for its ancient oaks. Bought by the Cobbold brewing family in the early C20.

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