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Textile millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld built their 1930s mansion onto the Great Hall of Eltham Palace, the childhood home of Henry VIII creating an Art Deco masterpiece. Meet the Blue Badge Guide at 10.30am at Eltham Palace, for time to buy coffee before a very entertaining morning that takes us from the Tudors to the Twenties.

You tour the house as an invited guest of the Courtaulds. Walk into Ginie’s wardrobe to try on her hats and breathe in her perfume. Take a peek in the golden tiled bathroom and experience the glitz and glamour of the cocktail hour. This is a house full of quirky details: a built-in vacuum cleaner and a suite of rooms for Virginia’s pet lemur. Stephen’s fitted rather menacing PA speakers in every room so that he could bark orders at the servants and page his wife! It’s great fun - Art Deco meets Hollywood with a twist of Cunard Liner.

We’re off to Greenwich for free time for lunch in the buzzy and compact small town by the river.

Hands up who doesn’t enjoy a Thames River Cruise? Choose a one-hour return cruise to the Thames Barrier and back which takes us past the Docklands and the Old Millennium Dome to see the vast new developments. Or take the one hour cruise to Westminster passing the City and West End sights. There’s a skipper’s commentary and a bar on board where your folk can buy hot and cold drinks. You’ll be ready to head home from Greenwich or Westminster by 4.30pm giving you a little head start on the rush hour.

Adults: £36 Seniors: £33

English Heritage Members

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Available Sundays to Fridays

April to October

Price Valid to 31 March 2021

10 miles