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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
Sat 21 Jul

1:00 pm
£18.00

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
£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 22 Jul

10:30 am
£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.

Mon 23 Jul

2:30 pm
£15.00

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 Jul

2:30 pm
£14.00

25-27 Church Street 25-27 Church Street, Saffron Walden, Essex

Douglas Kent, a director of SPAB, put his training into reality when he bought an empty, unmodernised Grade I building in Saffron Walden. It’s famous for two huge pargeted figures and is C14, once part of the Sun Inn. Visitors can see his progress and pick his brains.

Tue 24 Jul

2:30 pm
£17.00

Kirstead Hall, Norwich, Norfolk

A fine Grade I listed Elizabethan manor house circa 1560 of E-shaped plan with stepped Flemish gable ends, brickwork with attractive blue diaper decoration and pin-tiled roof, standing in four acres. The gardens are partly walled with an important Grade II* octagonal dovecote in the grounds.

Wed 25 Jul

2:15 pm
£20.00

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.

Fri 27 Jul

11:30 am
£29.50

Hoses Hall Hoses Hall, Halstead, Essex

Originally a Saxon manor given to Sir Roger Huse (also spelled Husee, Hose or Hosey) in 1312 by John de Buick, hence the name Hoses Hall.

Sat 28 Jul

2:30 pm
£14.00

Rugbourne Farm, Bristol, Somerset

A small, early Renaissance (C17) ex-manor house, farmed until 2002 when the current owners bought it as their home, saving it from imminent collapse. Architect Andy Paterson, with the help of his wife Zanna (lecturer specialising in Renaissance drama), has lovingly repaired it, and work is still being completed on the second floor.

Sun 29 Jul

12:00 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.’

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