A&K's New Itinerary Takes Guests to U.K.'s Iconic Castles

Abercrombie & Kent founder Geoffrey Kent is offering travelers a chance to experience firsthand the life depicted in British historical dramas, from “Downton Abbey to “The Crown. The Royal & Ducal Castles experience from May 1-9, 2022, will offer travelers an opportunity to be personal guests 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),” said Kent in a press note. “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 exclusive insider access and over-the-top experiences. The Royal & Ducal Castles experience will offer 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 day at Goodwood where the motor races in Downton Abbey were filmed, and guests will be invited to get behind the wheel themselves after instructions from professional racecar drivers. Guests will also have an opportunity to watch and play polo with a private lesson from professional players at the Cowdray Polo Academy, where Kent once played with 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.

Travelers will also get to visit storied castles as privileged guests of the Ducal families who have resided there for centuries. Another notable inclusion is a private tour of 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 12 Dukes of Northumberland. The family will host lunch in the castle’s State Dining Room, and it will be followed by a private tour of the award-winning garden. 

Another highlight will be a helicopter ride to the Queensberry Estate & Drumlanrig Castle, the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry, where guests can 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.

Guests will also board the fabled HMS Victory, flagship from the Battle of Trafalgar, for dinner with Dan Snow, creator of History Hit,” a popular history podcast in the UK, and visit the home of Sir Walter Scott for an insightful talk on the life of this famous novelist, poet and playwright. At journey’s end, guests will be provided with traditional Highland attire for a festive Scottish-themed dinner.

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