Day 1: Arriving early afternoon at Syon House and its 200-acre park, which belongs to the Duke of Northumberland and is now his family's London residence. You will have time to eat on arrival as there is a Wyevale Garden Centre on site.
The house was built in the sixteenth century on the site of the Medieval Syon Abbey. The great Abbey at Syon was the only Bridgettine house in England, a joint communities of nuns and priests with close links to the Tudor dynasty.
A guided tour will explain the houses turbulent history, particularly in the sixteenth century when Henry V’s monastery was dissolved and destroyed by Henry VIII, with one of the priests brutally executed.
You will then go to your hotel for the evening.
Day 2: You will go to Kenwood House, a former 17th century stately home, on the edge of Hampstead Heath. It served as a seat for the aristocratic Murray and Guinness families before being left to the care of English Heritage.
A guided tour will explain the history and some residents of the house including ‘Dido’ Elizabeth Belle a mixed-race woman, who was raised as part of an aristocratic family in Georgian Britain at the height of the transatlantic slave trade. Her great uncle Lord Mansfield was the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales the most powerful judge in England and presided over landmark court cases in the history of slavery and the slave trade.
There will be time for lunch at Kenwood House.
Then in the afternoon as we make our way home we visit the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, at Neasden, a masterpiece of traditional Hindu design and exquisite workmanship that rises serenely amid London's iconic skyline. The guided tour will explain the history and building of this temple was achieved. Using 5,000 tonnes of Italian Carrara and Indian Ambaji marble and the finest Bulgarian limestone, which was hand-carved in India before being assembled in London.
Leave for home around 3:30pm
Please note that a strict dress code operates within the complex. Specifically, tops must cover the shoulders, chest, navel, and upper arms. Leg-wear must be at least below knee-length. Only small bags are allowed in.
Price includes: Coach, Hotel, Breakfast, entrance to Syon and Kenwood houses with guided tours.