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Royal & Ducal Castles: An Inspiring Expedition by Geoffrey Kent

Experience the Life Depicted on Downton Abbey and The Crown

October 12, 2021

The English nobility inhabit an opulent world open to only a select few. Join Abercrombie & Kent founder Geoffrey Kent on Royal & Ducal Castles (May 1-9, 2022) to experience firsthand the life depicted in British historical dramas, from Downton Abbey to The Crown. Enjoy the privilege of being a personal guest on grand country estates, choosing from leisurely pursuits such as archery, fly fishing, clay pigeon shooting, a round of golf and strolling the magnificent gardens.

“We will be welcomed to Cowdray House, a picturesque Tudor estate with beautifully landscaped gardens, by my co-host, His Grace the Duke of Roxburghe. This is the perfect entrée into a thrilling life of fine motorsports and polo (my own sport of choice),” says Kent. “Then we will fly by helicopter to the gem of the Scottish borders, Floors Castle, the Duke’s ancestral seat, surrounded by gentle hills, woodlands and riverscapes. From there we have the chance to enjoy country pursuits including golf, clay pigeon shooting, off-road driving and fly fishing.”

Inspiring Expeditions by Geoffrey Kent are known for the most exclusive insider access and over-the-top experiences. Her Majesty the Queen has graciously given permission for a behind-the-scenes visit to Windsor Castle, led by a member of staff who knows all the castle’s secrets. There will be a memorable day at Goodwood where the motor races in Downton Abbey were filmed, and guests will be invited to get behind the wheel themselves after instruction from professional race car drivers. Guests will also have an opportunity to watch and play polo, a sport that was instrumental in shaping Geoffrey Kent’s life, with a private lesson from professional players at the Cowdray Polo Academy, where Kent once played with His Royal Highness Prince Charles as captain of the Windsor Park Polo Team. Helicopter transfers offer scenic views of the British countryside, as well as avoiding the long drives between the estates.

Visit storied castles as privileged guests of the Ducal families who have resided there for centuries. Privately tour Alnwick Castle, one of Britain’s most iconic castles (and filming location for Hogwarts), and home to the Percy family for over 700 years, including twelve Dukes of Northumberland. Enjoy lunch in the castle’s State Dining Room, hosted by the family, followed by a private tour of the award-winning garden. Fly by helicopter to the Queensberry Estate & Drumlanrig Castle, the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry and explore the 90,000-acre estate’s gardens and heather moorland landscape. The Duke has granted access to his personal art collection, which includes Rembrandt’s An Old Woman Reading, family portraits by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, landscapes by Paul Sandby and the Dutch masters, and cartoons by Georgian-era caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson.

Meals are more than just a chance to dine at the end of the day. Board the fabled HMS ‘Victory,’ flagship from the Battle of Trafalgar, for dinner with Dan Snow, creator of “History Hit,” the most popular history podcast in the UK. Visit the home of Sir Walter Scott for an insightful talk on the life of this famous novelist, poet and playwright, credited with inventing the historical novel. At journey’s end, guests will be provided with traditional Highland attire for a festive Scottish-themed dinner.

Travel With Confidence

Guests travel in confidence knowing that A&K has established enhanced health and safety protocols, and A&K’s local offices fully vet each on-the-ground partner and work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure they meet A&K’s exacting standards. Accommodations in London are at Claridge’s, an Art Deco icon in the heart of Mayfair and a byword for understated elegance. Then travel to the family-owned Cowdray Estate, set in the heart of the South Downs, an area of exceptional beauty in West Sussex with landscaped gardens, a serene lake and sprawling woodlands. Fly by helicopter to Scotland for four nights at Floors Castle, home of the Innes-Ker family since it was built for the first Duke of Roxburghe more than 300 years ago. Just a short walk from the castle are a spectacular Victorian Walled Garden and a formal Millennium Garden, along with woodland and riverside walks and a cycling trail.

For more information on Royal & Ducal Castles: An Inspiring Expedition by Geoffrey Kent ($135,0000 per person, double occupancy) and other Inspiring Expeditions, go to https://www.abercrombiekent.com, call 800.554.7094 to speak with an A&K Travel Consultant or contact your travel professional.

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