Spring Antiques Holiday  

April 12th - 17th  2015 



* Levens Hall
A guided tour of this celebrated Lakeland house. Of ancient origin, and still the family home of the Bagot family. We shall have the opportunity to see the unique interior and its contents ahead of the general public.
Free time to visit the truly spectacular gardens of the house with their world-famous topiary, underplanted with spring bulbs. Lunch (not included) available at your leisure.

* Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite.

Located next to Bassenthwaite Lake, an 1850’s Victorian Model Farm has bee
n extensively renovated to be the new home of The Lakes Distillery. Model farms were designed to be beautiful as well as functional – each building has been carefully and sympathetically adapted, preserving the character and history of the old, stone-built barns and sheds.  Production is on a small artisan scale and the visit will be followed by lunch (included) in the adjacent Bistro.

* The Gardens of Thomas Mawson.
Born in 1861 in Lancashire this garden designer achieved world-wide fame with gardens created firstly largely within the Lake District for local patrons and increasingly for patrons all over the country. His greatest patron was Lord Leverhulme, for whom he created several gardens

* Pencil Museum in Keswick.
A unique museum where you will learn all there is to know about something we all take for granted.

*  The Jewellry of René Lalique

No 20th century jeweller created pieces of such imagination and allure as those created by this man. Made for the rich, bored society of the “Gay Nineties”, the jewels are the epitome of Art Nouveau. Their particular style did not survive the horrors of the First World War

*  Sèvres Porcelain in the Collection of the Queen


The most sumptuous and costly porcelain in the world made for the Ancien Régime in France was avariciously acquired by our own Prince Regent as the great collections were dispersed in the aftermath of 1789. The British Royal Collection is thus the finest in the world, unrivaled even in France itself.

John Ruskin, The Eye and The Pencil.
Dr David Cross makes a welcome return to Rothay to give us an overview of John Ruskin and his works in anticipation of this afternoon’s expedition.

 * Sailing of the Gondola.
A trip around the whole of Lake Coniston in this beautiful 19th century steam launch.  

  * The Marking of the Quiz

A diverse range of subjects which, allied with the comforts of the Rothay Manor, will ensure a thoroughly rewarding and stimulating break.

The Host

Nicholas Merchant's career has mirrored his abiding interest in antiques, and embraces architecture, particularly country houses, their Collections and Gardens. Through his work at Sothebys and Phillips, Auctioneers in London and Leeds, he has acquired a wide general knowledge of Antiques.

He is a member of the Furniture History Society, the National Trust, and the Chippendale Society. In addition to conducting travel groups, he is an accredited lecturer with the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts, and has lectured extensively including at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He divides his time between lecturing, valuation work, and his book business specialising in Reference Works on Decorative and Fine Arts. Notes will accompany each talk, and Nicholas will be present and available throughout the course. Items for discussion are welcomed from course members.


The 5-night holiday
runs from Sunday evening through to Friday morning, and the price is per person and includes full English breakfast, morning coffee, 3 course dinner and VAT @ 20% for the 5 night stay.


Non-participating partners are welcome, and the cost for them is £50 less than above.


We ask for a deposit of £150 per person for the 5-night holiday, which can be made by cheque or credit card. This is non-refundable unless the room is subsequently relet, and cancellation insurance is available.