Itinerary: August bank holiday weekend in Lincolnshire, Northants & Cambridgeshire

Elton Hall – a very rare bible lives here

Many country houses with otherwise limited opening throw open their doors during bank holidays.

August Bank Holiday is a very good time to visit some of the more ‘private’ houses that open to the public.

This weekend we focused on using our HHA cards – visiting some lesser-known houses.

The itinerary dates from 2010.


0830 depart from Yorkshire

Burghley House

  • 2hrs 15 to Burghley
  • Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 3JY
  • 11am to 5pm, last admission 4.30pm
  • From the North follow the A1 until 30 mins south of Grantham reach Stamford junction ‘Carpenters Lodge’. Follow signs to Stamford.
  • Nice shops and pub in the village.  Plenty of grounds for picnicking – try to avoid visiting when the horse trials are on
  • free with HHA cards
  • see my brief thoughts here

Elton Hall

  • House open 2-5pm
  • Garden Centre open 9am – 5pm
  • 25 mins from Burghley House
  • free with HHA cards

Hotel (Sunday & Monday evening)

  • Travelodge Cambridge Fourwentways, A11, Abington, Cambridgeshire CB21 6AP
  • total cost £18 (i.e. £9 per room per night!)
  • dinner in Cambridge
  • 1 hour from Elton Hall


0930 depart

Kelmarsh Hall, Northampton NN6 9LY

  • 1 hour 15 from hotel
  • gardens open 11am; house open 2-5pm (no guided tours)
  • free with HHA cards
  • when we arrived there was an art open day with the upstairs rooms closed, but with a little sweet-talking were we able to have a quick peek in some of the rooms.  We therefore arrived earlier than 2pm but were still able to see in the house.  We had planned on just doing the gardens.

 Cottesbrook Hall

  • 2-5.30pm
  • Northampton NN6 8PF
  • 45 min guided tour only (max 18) allocated on a ‘first come, first served basis, every 15 minutes. This itinerary needed us to get on the first 2pm tour (it’s a 2pm start on bank holidays, 2.15pm on other open days)
  • 20 mins from Kelmarsh
  • Free with HHA cards
  • Leave 3pm

Lamport Hall

  • House 2-4pm non-guided tour & gardens 2-5pm (arrive 3.30pm – do house first)
  • afternoon tea in Dining Room during opening hours
  • 20 mins from Cottesbrook (Northamptonshire, NN6 9HD)
  • located on the A508 between Northampton and Market Harborough
  • leave 5pm; dinner in country pub on way back



  • Morning in Cambridge, wandering around colleges
  • Granchester Orchard for lunching & lounging in the deckchairs Keats and Byron-style (
  • Depart 2pm


 Knebworth House

  • Open 11am – 5pm
  • 45 mins from Cambridge
  • 4pm guided tour (we were the only ones on it)
  • free with HHA cards
  • Depart 5pm to Stevenage train station for the train to London

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