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
Sun 28 Oct

2:30 pm

Kelly House Kelly House, Lifton, Devon

Home to the Kelly family for over 900 years, this Grade I Georgian house offers ancestral intrigue and an introduction to the social and architectural history of country houses. The house dates from the 15th century with alterations from every century until 1877. Pevsner compliments its good contemporary features. Unusual brick granary.

Sun 28 Oct

3:00 pm
£16.50/special tours £18.50

Talliston, Great Dunmow, Essex

Once an ordinary house in an ordinary street, Talliston House and Gardens have been transformed into a series of inspiring locations, each set in a different time and place. In 25 years, the project has taken a three-bedroomed, semi-detached ex-council house in Essex and transformed it into what The Sunday Times calls ‘Britain’s most extraordinary home.’

Thu 08 Nov

10:30 am

Warner Textile Archive Warner Textile Archive, Braintree, Essex

Situated in part of the original mid-nineteenth century mill buildings, the archive has nearly 100,000 samples, designs and documents showing the history of Warner & Sons.

Sat 10 Nov

12:00 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.

Tue 13 Nov

2:00 pm

Bridwell Park, Uffculme, Devon

This elegant Georgian house set in 100 acres of parkland boasts magnificent views across the Culm Valley in Devon, and is the much-loved family home of Lord Ivar Mountbatten.

Tue 13 Nov

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 13 Nov

2:30 pm

Queen Alexandra’s House, Kensington Gore, London

Queen Anne/Jacobean revival-style building having many original features. It has been in continuous use since 1884 as a purpose-built hostel for female students of music and science.

Wed 14 Nov

2:30 pm

Voewood Voewood, High Kelling, Norfolk

One of the finest Arts and Crafts houses in Britain, built by E.S. Prior for Percy Lloyd, 1903-5. 'By far the most interesting building in this part of Norfolk... a violently idiosyncratic house reminiscent of Gaudi,' says Pevsner.

Thu 15 Nov

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.

Fri 16 Nov

3:00 pm

Island Hall Island Hall, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall is an important mid 18th century mansion, owned and restored by an award-winning interior designer. Located on the banks of the Great Ouse in the centre of Godmanchester, this family home has Georgian rooms with fine period detail and interesting possessions relating to the owners' ancestors since their first occupation of the house in 1800.

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