Medieval Tudor manor houses don’t come any more spectacular than this. Twelfth century chapel? Check. Walled gardens? Check. Prehistoric stone circle and 220 acres of estate, roamed by one of the most ancient fallow deer herds in Britain? Check.
Owned by the Stonor family for 850 years (they still live here, but are more than happy to share their home with us), book a guided tour for an insight into how the family built up the house and chapel between the 13th and 17th centuries, despite hardships and the rigid penal laws of anti-Catholicism.
The GTW magazine team, including Emma Parkes and Harley Denham, were here for an exclusive Travel World Association (TWA) Buyer Showcase in May. Joined by TWA members keen to explore all the attraction has to offer groups, here’s just a taste of what they had to say.
“Stoner is unique as it’s very much a ‘lived in’ country house,” say Richard and Daphne Preston of The Valentine Club. “The setting is second to none and the history provides a wonderful story. The pies for lunch are exceptional too…”
“The house and its history are fascinating,” says Laraine of Gemmaway Travel. “We’ve visited many stately homes, but never one where the family have always been of the Catholic faith – and our excellent guide vividly described the hardships of being Catholic over the centuries.”
“A beautiful family house, fabulous garden and incredible guide; what knowledge she had with a touch of humour thrown in,” adds Liz Dickins of Wantage WI.
And we’ll leave the final word to Harley Denham, who runs TWA: “What a great turn out from TWA members; it was great to meet so many of you. And a big shout out to our wonderful guide, Karen Townsend, who really brought the history of the house and its family to life.”
- Groups heading to Stonor should contact groups co-ordinator
Becky Hogan, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Reed, A word from our TWA Champion…
“The first ever TWA Buyer Showcase left the starting blocks running! Stonor proved a brilliant attraction and one that showed it could look after groups. All of our TWA club tour planners enjoyed the day, and no doubt this will help Stonor attract even more group bookings. The plan is to have many such business-generating events right across the country: watch this space for details or go to travelworldassociation.com”
New TWA members – Welcome this month to…
- Severn Valley Railway – this much-loved heritage attraction runs regular (mostly steam-hauled) passenger trains between Kidderminster in Worcestershire and Bridgnorth in Shropshire, see svr.co.uk
- The Rendezvous Hotel – hailed as the ‘Yorkshire hotel by the canal’, this Skipton treasure sits alongside the Leeds Liverpool Canal at the gateway to the Dales. Run by husband and wife team Malcolm and Karen Weaving, expect a warm Yorkshire welcome, and go to rendezvous-skipton.co.uk for a taste of what’s on offer.
- Travel Editions – the group holiday specialists have been offering escorted tours across the world, and whether you want to explore by rail, air, road or sea, the expert team has the answer. Your journey starts at traveleditions.co.uk
- MADE tourism – specialists in tourism marketing and event organisation, the talented MADE team can also turn their hand to whipping up the ideal travel itinerary for both individuals and groups. Read more at made.travel