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The history of Scotland and the area known as the Borders is one intricately connected to battles and confrontation. Within Arts and Crafts traditions, this can best be examined in the architecture which for many means the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It is also rich in the work of many other talented designers – all of which you were explored on this leisurely paced tour.

Beginning in Glasgow we spent days seeing Mackintosh’s greatest works – the Mackintosh House, the Glasgow School of Art, the controversial House for an Art Lover, and several schools and churches. Of course no examination of Mackintosh is complete without a visit to Helensbourgh and The Hill House, surely his domestic masterpiece. Along the way were receptions at the Mackintosh Society, dinner at the Glasgow Art Club, an exploration of nineteenth century Glasgow, and tea at the Willow Tea Room.

Going further afield to the northwest is the windswept Loch Fyne. Here are two glorious private homes by Robert Lorimer – Dunderave and Ardkinglas – which we visited.

The romantic Isle of Bute, reached by ferry, is the site of the most fantastic home, Mount Stuart, designed by Robert Rowan Anderson for the Third Marquess of Bute. The exceptional craftsmanship inside the house includes much by William Burges (who designed Cardiff Castle and Castel Coch for the Marquess) and is equally matched by the sumptuous and extensive gardens.

Driving through the rugged Borders we arrived in Brampton, a small village with a large body of work, by Philip Webb, including his only church, all built for the Howard family, whose main home is Castle Howard. Naworth Castle comes to them as the Earls of Carlisle and was a special place to spend a night. From here we journeyed to Lindisfarne designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Situated on an island reached by a causeway, it is one of the most romantic of buildings, with its breathtaking views out to the brutal and beautiful North Sea.

Returning to Scotland, we stayed overnight at Greywalls, Lutyens’ only building in Scotland, with a wonderful garden by Gertrude Jekyll. Back in Glasgow, the trip concluded with a festive banquet.

We are delighted to be offering this tour again in September 2016.

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