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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
Wed 04 Jul

2:00 pm
£18.00

Coombe Trenchard Coombe Trenchard, Okehampton, Devon

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon with Sarah Marsh, the owner of Coombe Trenchard, who will share her passion for restoring these beautiful Edwardian gardens. Your guided tour will then take you into Coombe Trenchard, a fine example of an Arts & Crafts country house.

Wed 04 Jul

2:30 pm
£23.00

Belle Grove Belle Grove, Westhall, Suffolk

Extraordinary, memorable house which won the 2011 Homebuilding and Renovating award. ‘Out of a fairy tale,’ said Daily Telegraph spying a 20-foot fierce metal dragon poised on the chimney.

Wed 04 Jul

2:30 pm
£18.50

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.

Thu 05 Jul

2:00 pm
£18.00

South Elmham Hall South Elmham Hall, Harleston, Suffolk

South Elmham Hall is a 13th century former bishop's palace standing within a four-acre moated site. The 16th century exterior of the Grade I-listed house hides a medieval hall, and traces of the bishop’s private chambers. Many features survive including probably the earliest domestic wall paintings in Suffolk

Thu 05 Jul

2:30 pm
£15.00

Old Hall Old Hall, South Burlingham, Norfolk

Old Hall is an Elizabethan lawyer’s country house, with a decorated porch, wallpaintings of hunting scenes and many original features; the present owners rescued it from dereliction and have filled it with colour and a hugger-mugger of books and pictures . A house included in Simon Jenkins’ Thousand Best Houses

Fri 06 Jul

11:00 am
£18.00

The Abbey The Abbey, Coggeshall, Essex

The Abbey was founded in 1142 on land given by Stephen and Matilda. The recently restored Abbot’s stew pond was a feature when Edward II held court here in 1325; in 1293 the local vicar was gaoled for illegal fishing. The tour includes the abbot’s house and chapel, guest house, cloister, riverside courtyard with knot garden and hall of the manor house.

Fri 06 Jul

2:30 pm
£15.50, December tour £17.00

Otley Hall Otley Hall, Ipswich, Suffolk

Grade I, C16 moated hall, still a family home, is a perfect example of unspoilt late medieval architecture. According to Farrer (Old Suffolk Houses, Vol. 6), the impressive great hall and linenfold parlour, which look out onto the rose garden, are unequalled in Suffolk.

Sat 07 Jul

2:30 pm
£12.00

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.

Sat 07 Jul

2:30 pm
£17.00

Thorn House & Garden, Plymouth, Devon

Thorn sits on the south-east facing bank of the River Yealm in South Devon. The historical gardens principally created by William Arkwright have breathtaking views and hold an exotic collection of trees from around the globe. The architecture and vegetation have been heavily influenced over the years by an eclectic and eccentric mix of owners.

Sun 08 Jul

2:30 pm
£16.00

Haughley House Haughley House, Stowmarket, Suffolk

Late medieval manor, with C18 additions, adjacent to outer bailey of ruined Norman castle, destroyed 1173. Manor of Haughley was one of the foremost in England, previous lords included Henry II and Mary Tudor (present owner is the current lord).

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