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Live like a Duchess

Enjoy exclusive access to a collection of Britain’s historic stately homes, castles, and palaces. Following the success of the popular podcast Duchess, of which A&K is the official travel partner, we are inviting you to live like a Duchess and stay in some of the historic estates featured in the series.

You can follow in the footsteps of the Duchess of Rutland who provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of these magnificent country properties. The Duchess, who resides at Belvoir Castle with her husband the 11th Duke of Rutland, shines the spotlight on the inspiring women who shape Knowsley Hall, Inveraray Castle, Scone Palace, Carlton Towers and Glin Castle.

We have been given the key to a selection of these remarkable estates and would like to invite you to step inside. Spend the day among a priceless art collection, stroll through an Elizabethan rose garden, fish in a private lake, or take afternoon tea in a lodge favoured by royalty. 

Spend time with the custodians and explore hidden corridors, learn about treasured heirlooms, and hear epic tales of romance. If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey or The Crown, discover what it’s really like to be the ‘lady of the manor’ with a bespoke luxury tailor-made tour of these majestic homes.

To discover which houses from the podcast series are available to visit, please speak to a member of the team.

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Sample experiences

Knowsley Hall

By invitation of The Earl and Countess of Derby, guests of A&K can enjoy exclusive use of their Knowsley Estate. The quintessential walled estate, which covers more than 1,000 hectares, has been in the continuous ownership of the Stanley family since 1385. 

Stay in one of 17 beautiful guest bedrooms, personally designed by the 19th Countess of Derby, and enjoy access to the adventures on offer in the house and park. You can take part in traditional country pursuits, wine and gin tasting, tour the exquisitely curated private collection of artworks and leaf through first edition books that would not be out of place in a National Museum.

Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle is an icon of Scotland. The seat of the historic Campbell clan, this property stands proudly on the picturesque shores of Loch Fyne in Argyll and was famously featured as the home of Lady Rose Aldridge in popular period drama Downton Abbey.

The perfect setting for a Highlands retreat, you can now book it for exclusive use. During your stay, the Duke and Duchess of Argyll can take you on a private history tour of the castle and gardens, treat you to a tasting of their whisky collection or arrange afternoon tea in Queen Victoria’s lodge, a favourite spot of the royal during her frequent visits.

Belvoir Castle

Visit the splendours of Belvoir Castle, the grand ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland. You may recognise the spectacular Leicestershire grounds from its starring role in The Crown, when it stood in for Windsor Castle. 

The estate, which dates to the 11th century, is steeped in history reflected in its many royal connections. As the names suggest, the lavish splendour of the Kings Rooms once hosted George IV, while the Wellington suite, adorned with exquisite Chinese wallpaper, provided a bed for the Duke of Wellington. 

During your visit, allow your hosts to share some of the secrets of this stately home as you tour the majestic State Dining Room, military splendour of the Guardroom and view priceless artworks from Gainsborough to Holbein. 

Scone Palace

Scone Palace was the crowning Place of Scottish kings and home of the Stone of Destiny. Get a glimpse behind the historic stone walls at the invitation of the Earl of Mansfield, whose ancestral family has lived here for more than 400 years.

Explore the 8,000-hectare private estate which nestles on the southern edge of the Highlands. You can take part in a mini Highland Games, enjoy a day’s fishing on the River Tay, indulge in whisky tasting, and sample the local Scottish salmon in the State Dining Room which once hosted Queen Victoria.

The vast gardens and landscaped lawns include the Murray Star Maze and Pinetum, where you will find the first Douglas Fir Tree grown outside of North America. 

Carlton Towers

A warm welcome awaits when you cross the threshold of Carlton Towers, a hidden gem deep in the heart of Yorkshire. The home of Lord and Lady Gerald Fitzalan Howard, the grand estate, set in rolling parkland, can be traced back to the Domesday Book in 1086.

Join your hosts for a tour of the estate and learn some of the secrets of the house before tasting sparkling wine from the Walled Garden Vineyard. During your visit, take part in a day’s fishing on the lake - renowned for its tench - or take part in clay pigeon shoot. After the fresh air of country pursuits, enjoy a fine dining experience in The Duchess’s Dining Room and wonder through the corridors and bedrooms personally designed by Lady Gerald. These include The Baronesses’ Tower, Clock Tower, and The Priest’s Hiding Hole.   

It was the dream of the 9th Lord Beaumont to create the greatest of all Victorian country houses. You will discover how he achieved this when you set eyes on the imposing turrets, gargoyles, and battlements of this towering estate.

Glin Castle

Step into the historic home of the Knights of Glin. Explore the turrets of Glin Castle, which lies on the banks of the River Shannon in Ireland, home to the FitzGerald family, hereditary knights of Glin, for 800 years.

Set in the stunning countryside of County Limerick surrounded by gardens and parkland, the castle features beautiful Georgian interiors filled with the fascinating history of the Fitzgerald family.

Walk in the beautiful grounds which has been shaped by generations and is now curated by landscape gardener Catherine FitzGerald, who is the wife of Hollywood actor Dominic West and chatelaine of Glin Castle.

Experience Ireland’s famous hospitality eating fresh food from the estate in the breath-taking dining room surrounded by paintings of the Fitzgerald family ancestors. 

You will receive a warm welcome from the FitzGerald family and discover more about Glin Castle’s dramatic history of changing fortunes. The Knights were colourful characters and had unusual nicknames which included ‘The Knight of the Women’ and the ‘Cracked Knight’.

Enjoy some of Irelands finest golf courses which are all within an hour of the castle.