From Morris to Mackintosh
Discover the fin de siècle Arts and Crafts Movement through the interior design and architectural legacies of William Morris and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Begin in London with a visit to Red House, the Tudor Gothic home designed by Morris. Travel to England’s Cotswolds, where formal estates display the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement and explore Morris’s country estate of Kelmscott Manor. Continue to the Lake District, famous for its 18th and 19th century poets and writers, and admire Baillie Scott’s Blackwell House, perched above Windermere and still furnished with its original late 19th century decorative features.
Journey over the border into Glasgow, birthplace of architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at Mackintosh’s Willow Tea Rooms, and explore Queen’s Cross Church and Hill House, Mackintosh’s finest residential commission.
Depart Australia or New Zealand on suggested Emirates flights to London via Dubai. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.
Arrive in London and make your way to the hotel.
In the evening, join Robert and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing followed by a special welcome dinner.
Begin the morning with a talk by Robert, then visit the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s largest decorative arts museum. Discover the William Morris collection with a guided tour of Morris’s textiles, wallpapers, book covers and tapestries from his early designs through to the design patterns now synonymous with his name. Afterwards, enjoy lunch in the museum’s Morris Room, decorated by Morris as an unknown young artist, where the room’s plasterwork and wallpaper show hints of the type of designs that would later make him famous.
In the afternoon, travel to Leighton House for a private tour through the former studio home of Victorian artist Frederic Leighton. Considered a ‘private palace of art’, paintings and sculptures by Leighton and his contemporaries are hung throughout the elaborate home, which is embellished with Islamic tiles, a golden dome and intricate mosaics. Later, visit the Holy Trinity Church, known as ‘the Cathedral of the Arts and Crafts Movement’, for its impressive interiors, which includes a large stained-glass window designed by Morris and painter Edward Burne-Jones.
Return to the hotel in the late afternoon for an evening at leisure.
This morning, depart for Red House, the home of Morris and his family located on the outskirts of London. Tudor Gothic in design, the house was created by Morris’s long-time collaborator architect Philip Webb, with the interior furnishings designed by Morris and Burne-Jones. Enjoy a guided tour of the house, one of the meeting places of the Pre-Raphaelite artists, followed by a light lunch in the former kitchens of Morris’s home.
Afterwards, visit the William Morris Gallery with a curator-led tour. Explore the gallery’s comprehensive collection, from Morris’s work as a designer to his environmental and social activism.
The evening is at leisure.
Check out of the hotel and drive to Oxford.
On arrival in Oxford, enjoy time at leisure for lunch followed by a guided walking tour of the University and Colleges. See Exeter College, founded in the 14th century, where Morris and Burne-Jones were once resident students, and which now displays their original The Adoration of the Magi tapestry. Visit the Oxford University Union library, where murals designed by the Pre-Raphaelites, including Morris, Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, depict scenes from the Arthurian legends.
The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the gentle delights of early autumn in Oxford at your own pace, with a suggestion to visit the Ashmolean Museum, the world’s first university museum, and its fine Pre-Raphaelite collection.
Start the morning with a talk by Robert. Then, travel out of Oxford to Kelmscott Manor, the summer home of Morris and his family. Enjoy time to explore the home, followed by lunch. Walk to the village of Kelsmcott and visit the Mediaeval St George’s Church, saved from Victorian ‘restoration’ by Morris’s passionate activism. The churchyard is home to the final resting place of Morris, his wife and two daughters.
Next, visit Buscot Park, the family home of Lord Faringdon. Previously owned by Australian tycoon Robert Tertius Campbell in the mid-19th century, the 18th century house is surrounded by an Italianate water garden, designed by Harold Peto. Explore the interiors and furnishings of the home with a guided tour. Amongst the artworks of the Faringdon Collection is Rossetti’s Pandora, Burne-Jones’s series The Legend of Briar Rose and Rembrandt’s Pieter Six.
Return to Oxford for an evening at leisure, with a suggestion to attend the Evensong service at Christ Church Cathedral at 18:00.
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and journey through the English Cotswolds to Cheltenham. Arrive at Cheltenham’s renowned Art Gallery and Museum for a guided tour through its collection of ‘Arts and Crafts jewellery, pottery, embroideries and silver. After, explore Cheltenham at leisure with free time for lunch.
In the afternoon, travel northwards to Wolverhampton, stopping en route at Chipping Campden, another village central to the Arts and Crafts Movement. Arrive in Wolverhampton in the early evening with dinner at the hotel.
This morning, check out of the hotel and enjoy a visit and guided tour of the nearby Wightwick Manor, a Victorian home decorated with Morris designs and over 150 works of Pre-Raphaelite art, including a portrait of Morris’s wife Jane by Rossetti.
Afterwards, depart Wolverhampton and venture into the Lake District to Windermere, with lunch en route. Travel past some of England’s largest lakes and mountains, through the romantic wilderness that provided inspiration to writers and poets including Beatrix Potter, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. Arrive at the hotel in the early evening in time for dinner.
Begin the day with a visit to Brantwood, the home of 19th century critic John Ruskin, overlooking Lake Coniston, travelling across the lake on a Victorian-styled steam yacht gondola. Enjoy an introductory talk to the house, followed by time to view the estate’s gardens and interiors. Next, travel to Broad Leys, an Arts and Crafts home constructed by Charles Voysey. Explore the house with an exclusive private tour, followed by lunch in the dining room.
In the afternoon, visit Blackwell House, a masterpiece of 20th century design with sweeping views of Windermere. Built by architect Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott, the home retains many of its original decorative features with tiles, stained-glass windows, metalwork and furniture created by leading designers of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Today, check out of the hotel for a drive across the border into Scotland. Stop south of the border at Carlisle, a city with over 2,000 years of settlement history. Enjoy a guided tour of the 900-year-old Carlisle Cathedral, famous for its East Window, the largest and most complex stained-glass window in England of the English Gothic style. Visit Carlisle Castle, built in the 11th century during the reign of King William II, and the scene of many wars and invasions over the centuries. Explore the castle and grounds at leisure, followed by free time for lunch in Carlisle.
In the afternoon, journey into Scotland and arrive at the hotel in Glasgow in the early evening. The remainder of the evening is at leisure.
Begin with a morning talk by Robert. Then, discover the ‘Glasgow Style’ gallery at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery Museum, featuring the works of Glasgow architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his contemporaries, with a guided tour. After a light lunch, visit the Hunterian Art Gallery, the oldest public museum in Scotland where the Mackintosh House exhibition allows a look into the meticulously reassembled interiors of the architect’s Glasgow home.
Later, enjoy afternoon tea in the Willow Tea Rooms, a recreation of the most famous of Glasgow’s ‘turn of the century’ tearooms. Commissioned by Miss Cranston during the Temperance Movement, almost all aspects of the interior were designed by Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald, from the wall panelling, to the cutlery, menus and even the waitresses’ uniforms.
The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.
After breakfast, depart for the Mackintosh Queen’s Cross, the only church designed by Mackintosh, with Gothic-inspired windows and Art Nouveau detailing. Next, travel north to Hill House, considered Mackintosh’s finest domestic architectural work built for Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie in 1902. In addition to the architecture, the furniture and fittings of the home were also designed by Mackintosh and Macdonald, with Mackintosh’s signature ‘Glasgow Rose’ stencilled throughout the interiors.
In the afternoon, spend time at leisure in the town of Helensburgh on the edge of Gare Loch, before returning to Glasgow. In the evening, celebrate the conclusion of the tour with a special farewell dinner with Robert and fellow travellers.
Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast.
For those returning home today, suggested flights to Australia or New Zealand with Emirates via Dubai. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements, including any additional nights’ accommodation, either before or after the tour.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Final payment due
19 July 2019
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.
Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit the United Kingdom.
Tour price includes
- Accommodation in centrally-located 4 star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
- Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner, T = afternoon tea), including wine with dinners
- Lectures and talks by your tour leader, Robert Reason
- Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- International flights (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
- Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
- Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service, etc.
- Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
London – The Rembrandt Hotel ****
Oxford – Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel ****
Wolverhampton – The Mount Hotel ****
Windermere – Waterhead Hotel ****
Glasgow – The Principal Grand Central Hotel ****
NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted. As some of the hotels have retained their historical features, some rooms are accessible by stairs only. Ground floor and lift-accessible rooms have been requested where possible.