The Music & Art of Secret


Devised for Knole DFAS by Peter Medhurst who

will accompany the tour throughout

6th – 11th May 2016 – 5 nights/six days

£1445 per person (cost based on 20 travelling members)

& £1645 per person (cost based on 15 travelling members)

Based on two sharing a twin room, single supplements will apply

Press play to hear Arnold Bax’s Tintagel (1919) inspired by Tintagel Castle



Day 1

A private coach will meet us in the morning in Sevenoaks to take us to the Carlyon Bay Hotel near St Austell, Cornwall.  This wonderful 4* hotel overlooks St Austell Bay and is set in stunning gardens. En route we will visit Montecute House right (NT) one of the finest Elizaethan Houses in England, built in 1598. Montecute is admired for its the Long Gallery, which is the longest of its kind in England. The gallery houses over 60 Tudor and Elizabethan portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, in London.  Lunch will be at leisure in Somerset, after which we continue our journey to Cornwall. After check-in at the hotel, we will be given an introductory lecture to Cornwall by Peter Medhurst.  This is followed by welcome drinks and dinner at hotel (included).

Day 2

After the morning lecture which explores the theme of 16th century music commisioned by Cornish Catholic families, we will visit the Convent at St Mawgan in Pydar.  The enchanting Tudor building was originally the home of the Arundells of Lanherne, who lived here from the 13th to 18th centuries.  At the same time we will take a tour of the very fine Parish church, which dates from the 13th century and is one of the finest of its type in Cornwall.  This is followed by lunch at a local restaurant (included). In the afternoon we will explore the villages of St Eval and Probus where Peter Medhurst will give a recital of English 16th and 17th century organ music.  Probus possesses the tallest church tower in Cornwall (left), and the richly carved ediface is said to have been commissioned and financed by the local Tregian family who had links with the composer, William Byrd.

Dinner at hotel included.

Day 3

The morning lecture by Peter Medhurst is on the history of Lanhydrock House.  The first part of today’s tour will be spent at Lanhydrock (NT) a country house that dates frrom the Jacobean period.  After a devastating fire in 1881 the house was refurbished in high-Victorian style, with the best in country house design and planning and with all the latest mod-cons. Not only are the main rooms on view to visitors, but also the servants quarters, kitchen and attics.  We then travel on to Lostwithiel for lunch (included).  This remarkable ancient stannary town dates back to the 12th century and was later developed by the Earls of Cornwall to become the County Capital. John Betjeman famously said of it ‘there is history in every stone in Lostwithiel’.  After an exploration of the town (today the antiques centre of Cornwall) we leave Lostwithial by boat and sail up the Fowey river to the town of Fowey. Despite the beauty and quaintness of Fowey it is a fully working harbour and attracts cruise ships, commercial vessels and pleasure boats. We return by coach to the hotel where dinner is included.

Day 4

Morning lecture by Peter Medhurst.  Today we head west to Penzance, which for many visitors is the most ‘Cornish’ town in the county.  But before we visit the actual centre of Penzance we will pay a visit to St Michael’s Mount right (NT)  the home of the St Aubyn family since c1650.  Historically, St Michael’s Mount is a Cornish counterpart of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy (which shares the same tidal island characteristics). It is said to have been given by Edward the Confessor in the 11th century to the Benedictines, the religious order of Mont Saint-Michel.  Today it is one of the best loved and most visited of all Cornish houses and while there we will be given a private tour of the castle.  Lunch will be at a restaurant in Penzance (included).  We then make a visit to the Penlee Art Gallery, which has a permanent collection of paintings devoted to the Newlyn School.  Here we will see works painted by Stanhope Forbes, Laura Knight,  Frank Bramley, Percy Craft and Elizabeth Forbes. The coach will then take us along the B3306 coastal road where we will stop at Zennor to meet the ‘mermaid’ (left)and have a short recital by Peter Medhurst.  We then travel further west for afternoon tea and a private viewing of Helen McCabe’s spectacular gardens near Land’s End. Dinner at hotel included.

Day 5

We spend the morning in Truro today in order to visit the Cathedral, which was designed by John Loughborough Pearson between 1880 and 1910.  Apart from a tour of the building, we will be given a private organ recital by one of the organists of Truro Cathedral (right). We leave Truro in the late morning to visit the extraordinary and atmospheric Come-to-Good Quaker Meeting House.  The thatched building is made in cob, on a stone rubble base and was completed in 1710 (below).  Our visit is followed by lunch (included) before a crossing on the famous King Harry Ferry to the Roseland peninsular. There are two buildings that will interest us here, one is the Church of St Just-in-Roseland, which is said to have been built at the place where Christ landed in England with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathaea.  The other is the fairytale Castle of Caerhays designed by John Nash at the beginning of the 19th century and which nestles in rich Cornish Landscape overlooking the sea.  Here we will have a specialist guided tour of the building and enjoy a leisurely walk through the magnificent gardens.  Dinner at the hotel is included.

Day 6

After check out at the Carlyon Bay Hotel, we depart St Austell and make our way to Plympton St Maurice for a brief visit to the village that was the birthplace of Sir Joshua Reynolds. This is followed by a tour of near by Saltram House (NT) which is famous for its magnificent collection of Reynolds portraits of the Parker family. The Georgian building is also famous for possessing an outstanding saloon (right) and dining room designed by Robert Adam, and excellent Rococo ceiling plasterwork in the Entrance Hall, Morning Room and Velvet Drawing Room.  We then make our way to Boringdon Hall, a splendid Tudor house and the orginal home of the Parkers.  After a checkered history, which left the house in ruins by 1980, the Hall was completely refurbished and is now a luxury hotel.  There will be time to have lunch here (not included) before making our way back in the afternoon to Sevenoaks and the end of the tour.


Press play to hear Peter Dawson singing The Floral Dance by Katie Moss



Carlyon Bay Hotel, St Austell – this wonderful 4* hotel overlooks St Austell Bay and is set in stunning gardens.

Rooms are Inland facing. Facilities included: restaurant, brasserie, 3 bars, luxury spa, outdoor & indoor heated swimming pools, private sandy beach, tennis, golf course and croquet lawn. Visit for more details.


Return coach from Sevenoaks, 5 nights’ accommodation on bed & breakfast basis, 5 Dinners, 4 lunches, tour itinerary and entrance fees, gratuities, accompanied by Peter Medhurst

Not included

Holiday insurance, single supplement (£175.00 per person), meals not specified, personal items & porterage

How to book

The tour is for members of Knole DFAS only until 15th September 2015, thereafter it is open to the general public.  A deposit of £150 per person (plus insurance premium, if applicable) is required to secure your booking. Please contact Travel Editions quoting: Knole DFAS Cornwall on Tel: 020-7251-0045 (Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm)