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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
Fri 11 May

2:30 pm
£17.00/£21.00/£40.00

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.

Sun 13 May

11:00 am
£22.00

Spencers Spencers Garden, Great Yeldham, Essex

Spencers' Garden is set in a traditional English country estate. Lady Anne Spencer, granddaughter of the first Duke of Marlborough, a forebear of Princess Diana, built the house in the mid-18th century. It is surrounded by 100 acres of parkland, grounds and woodland with fine, mature trees and romantic gardens which were renovated by top garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith.

Sun 13 May

2:30 pm
£18.00

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 13 May

2:30 pm
£15.00

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.

Mon 14 May

11:00 am
£18.00

Braxted Park Braxted Park, Witham, Essex

Mid 18th Century red brick house with earlier features built by Sir Robert Taylor for the cloth merchant, Peter DuCane who lived there 1751-1803. Brick wall of four and a half miles surrounds 500 acres of parkland, lakes, parish church and hermitage.

Mon 14 May

2:00 pm
£18.00

Boconnoc Boconnoc, Lostwithiel, Cornwall

Winner of the 2012 HHA/Sotheby’s Award for Restoration, bought with the proceeds of the Pitt Diamond in 1717. Three prime ministers, a history of duals and the architect Sir John Soane play a part in the story of this unique estate. Beautiful woodland garden.

Mon 14 May

2:15 pm
£20.50/£30.00

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.

Mon 14 May

2:30 pm
£17.00

Belchamp Hall, Sudbury, Suffolk

Queen Anne house with family portraits by Thomas Gainsborough. Widely known as 'Felsham Hall' in the TV series 'Lovejoy'.

Tue 15 May

12:00 pm
£25.00

Talboys, Keevil, Wiltshire

Talboys is one of the oldest properties in Wiltshire. Dating from 1420 in part, the house is timber framed with wattle and daub panels on a dressed limestone plinth. The interiors are interesting and unusual with a fine vaulted hall, wall paintings and much wood carving. Many fabulous old stained glass lead lined windows.

Tue 15 May

2:00 pm
£18.00

Shilstone Shilstone House, Modbury, Devon

Shilstone is a lovingly restored Georgian house in the heart of the Devon countryside, overlooking an important historical landscape, which includes the only known and nationally important C17 water theatre in the UK.

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