Historic Coventry, Boughton House and Upton House and Gardens. Non-members welcome.

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Date(s) - 19th May 2022 - 21st May 2022
All Day


Tour organised by Harry Shaw Group Travel on behalf of the Friends of The Wilson

Non-members welcome

Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 May 2022 (3 days / 2 nights)

This tour has been arranged specifically for the Friends of The Wilson with a focus on history and art. Coventry is celebrating being named as UK City of Culture and we have been able to secure a very good value tour for Friends, looking at aspects of historic Coventry as well as treasures in two historic houses.

Day 1 – Depart Cheltenham by coach and travel to Boughton House near Kettering. Boughton House is one of Britain’s grandest and best-preserved stately homes, containing outstanding collections of fine art, furniture, tapestries, porcelain and carpets. Only accessible to organised groups, Friends can view a magnificent range of paintings by great artists, including The Adoration of the Shepherds by El Greco, Thomas Gainsborough’s Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Montagu, Breaking Cover by John Wootton and several grisailles and portraits by Anthony van Dyck. Boughton also has some of the best-preserved baroque state rooms in the country.

A set lunch is included, followed by a comprehensive ‘King’s Tour’ that covers over two floors and approximately 20 rooms, including an ascent of the grand entrance staircase to view the High Pavilion and State Apartments created for the visit of William III. We then depart for the recently opened Telegraph Hotel, which is situated in the centre of Coventry. Accommodation is reserved for two nights on a half board basis.

Day 2 – After breakfast, the group will walk to St. Mary’s Guildhall, which is near Coventry Cathedral. Dating back to 1352, The Guildhall has recently gone through a £5.6 million restoration and is home to the significant Coventry Tapestry. Mary Queen of Scots was held here in 1569, it was a theatre for Shakespeare and an inspiration to George Eliot, and it miraculously survived the Blitz of 1940, standing as a monument to the power and wealth of medieval Coventry. With magnificent interiors, collections of armour, historic furniture, artworks and internationally important tapestries, the Guildhall offers a window into Coventry’s glorious past. Entrance and guided tour are included. After the visit we shall have free time to visit some of Coventry’s many places of interest including the Cathedral, the Coventry Transport Museum and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. Later in the afternoon, the coach will transfer us to Charterhouse, a unique Grade I listed fourteenth-century Carthusian monastery, one of only nine ever built in Britain. The precinct walls and the Priors’ House and refectory survive, together with an outstanding fourteenth-century wall painting of the Crucifixion which originally decorated one wall of the double-height refectory. Group entrance and guided tour are included.

Day 3 – Following breakfast, we board the coach for travel on to Upton House and Gardens near Banbury. As this is a National Trust property, please see the booking form if you are a member. Tea and coffee will be included upon arrival, after which there will be free time to explore at leisure the honey-coloured country house, as well as its dramatic terraced gardens and world-renowned art collection. The 1930s home of Lord and Lady Bearsted, the house also holds a vast collection of tapestries, paintings and porcelain. The vast paintings collection contains works by George Stubbs, Pieter Saenredam, William Hogarth, Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco and Thomas Gainsborough. We depart the house by coach to arrive back in Cheltenham late afternoon.


For our Study Tours we book through a recognised tour company and liaise with them in choosing a venue.  We request what we would like to see and where we would like to visit in the area and then get a brochure printed.  Single rooms are always in great demand and we really do strive to get the best allocation we can. We process the bookings on a strictly first come, first served basis.

Harry Shaw Group Travel has agreed to undertake all booking arrangements for this tour on our behalf. We anticipate that there will be a high demand for places and so encourage early booking, especially for single rooms. Please note that NO money will be taken until we have reached the minimum number of bookings to operate the tour.

Before booking a Friends of the Wilson Study Tour please read the important notes for tours including overnight stays here and also Harry Shaw terms and conditions here.

HOW TO BOOK: Full details of costs, booking arrangements (including terms and conditions) and details of our hotel are available here. To make a booking, please print out and complete the booking form and send it to Martha Alleguen, 7 Sydenham Road South, Cheltenham GL52 6EF. Your booking will be acknowledged by email or post.

If you have any questions, please phone Martha on 01242 526601 or email events@friendsofthewilson.org.uk.