Arts and Crafts Tours: A Rich Tapestry of History and Artistry

by GO GlobeHopper

For over three decades, Arts and Crafts Tours has been guiding enthusiasts through the vibrant world of the British Arts and Crafts Movement. Their custom-crafted tours cater to the distinct interests of those passionate about this historical and artistic movement, inviting you to immerse yourself in a fusion of historical richness and artistic brilliance.

Arts and Crafts Tours offer an extraordinary opportunity to explore private homes, gardens, and collections that are rarely open to the public. Each journey is led by a team of experts, including scholars, curators, historians, artists, and writers, who bring the history and artistry of the Arts and Crafts Movement to life.

This dedication to providing an exceptional experience has earned them numerous awards, including the 2024 Award for Arts & Crafts Tours of the Year – USA, multiple recognitions as Leading Providers of Arts & Crafts Tours in 2021 and 2022, and the Best Bespoke Arts & Crafts Tour Operator in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

With a passion for preserving and celebrating the rich heritage of the British Arts and Crafts Movement, this esteemed company has curated a series of extraordinary journeys in the months ahead and the upcoming year.

Dining in Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House,

Tours for 2024

This year, Arts and Crafts Tours is offering guests unique insights into the British Arts and Crafts Movement with two amazing tours to England and Scotland.

In June, the “William Morris and His Influence” tour offers a captivating journey through time, exploring the life and influence of William Morris. It includes visits to significant historic sites, private homes, and gardens, each echoing the profound impact of Morris’s work and legacy. The tour will be enriched with insightful talks from esteemed speakers such as Peter Cormack, who will provide a deeper understanding of Morris’s work and his enduring influence.

The “Houses and Gardens in the Borders and Lake District” tour in August will traverse the Borders of Scotland and England, immersing guests in the beauty of the Lake District. The tour will end in Birmingham, where the city’s Pre-Raphaelite collection is on display for the first time since 2018.

Kelmscott Manor – Cotswolds, England

Exciting Plans for 2025

In 2025, Arts and Crafts Tours is meticulously curating four extraordinary journeys that will transport guests through the heart of the British Arts and Crafts Movement.

The Scottish Culinary Treat

The “Scottish Culinary Treat” tour promises an unforgettable fusion of art, history, and culinary delights. Guests will be housed in the magnificent Naworth Castle in the Scottish Borders, a historic estate dating back to the 14th century. This tour will explore the rich artistic heritage of Scotland, with a particular focus on the Arts and Crafts Movement’s influence on architecture, interior design, and culinary traditions. Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in exquisite locally sourced cuisine, complemented by expert-led discussions and visits to private collections and workshops.

Houses and Gardens in England and Wales

The “Houses and Gardens in England and Wales” tour will take guests on a captivating journey through the stunning landscapes and architectural marvels of these regions. From grand country estates to quaint cottages, this tour will unveil the artistic treasures that have stood the test of time. Participants will have the privilege of exploring private gardens, meticulously curated by renowned horticulturists, and gain insights into the principles of Arts and Crafts garden design.

William Morris and His Influence

The “William Morris and His Influence” tour, a signature offering by Arts and Crafts Tours, will delve into the life and legacy of the movement’s most prominent figure, William Morris. This immersive experience will transport guests to the very locations that inspired Morris’s iconic works, including his beloved Kelmscott Manor. Guests will have the opportunity to engage with leading scholars and experts, who will share their profound knowledge and passion for Morris’s contributions to the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Ireland Tour

Finally, experience the profound impact of the Arts and Crafts Movement’s indelible mark on the Emerald Isle with the “Ireland Tour.”  With exclusive access to private collections and workshops, guests will gain an authentic glimpse into Ireland’s rich cultural heritage. Expert-led discussions and engagement with local artisans further enrich this immersive exploration of the Arts and Crafts Movement’s influence on the Emerald Isle.

In Their Own Words

Arts and Crafts Tours’ guests often share their experiences, reflecting on the unforgettable journeys the company offers. Here are a few testimonials shared with us that reflect unforgettable journeys:

Arts and Crafts Tours provided an experience that was both enlightening and delightful. The attention to detail, the access to private homes and collections, and the knowledge of the guides made this tour a truly unique experience.” – Sarah L., New York

The tour was a perfect blend of history, art, and luxury. The accommodation was top-notch, and the guides were incredibly knowledgeable. I came away with a deeper appreciation for the Arts and Crafts Movement and can’t wait for my next tour!” – John M., California

Pure delight! We did not think you could plan another tour as wonderful as the William Morris one last summer. But you did – our days in Scotland were pure delight. Many, many thanks.” – Jane and Mary D., Minnesota

These testimonials reflect the passion and dedication put into each tour, ensuring guests have an enriching and memorable experience.

The Experts Behind the Passion

Elaine Hirschl Ellis, the President, founded Arts & Crafts Tours in 1992 to explore the roots of the Arts & Crafts Movement, which began in Britain. With a background in arts and crafts dating back to 1981, Elaine has significantly contributed to the re-evaluation of the work of America’s foremost Arts and Crafts designer, Gustav Stickley. She has been instrumental in preserving Craftsman Farms, Stickley’s home, and has overseen the design of arts and crafts features at the nationally acclaimed Hotel Pattee. Elaine’s extensive knowledge and passion for the Arts and Crafts Movement are reflected in her words: “The Arts and Crafts Movement is not just about design and craftsmanship, it’s about the philosophy of creating beauty in everyday objects and spaces, making art a part of our daily lives.”

Gail Ettinger, the Program Director at Arts and Crafts Tours, brings a unique perspective to our tours. With a background in curating 20th-century British painting exhibitions and a deep fascination with the decorative arts movement, Gail emphasizes the immersive and personalized nature of our tours. As Gail states, “The exclusive access to private collections and workshops that our tours provide is truly valuable. What makes our tours stand out is the camaraderie that forms among passionate individuals who share a love for art and architecture. This creates a truly enriching travel experience, making Arts and Crafts Tours far more than a typical vacation.”

Peyton Skipwith, the Associate Director, is a renowned authority on British arts from the 1870–1940 period. With a distinguished career spanning over four decades at The Fine Art Society, Peyton has authored several books, including A is for Ashbee: An Arts and Crafts Alphabet and Holy Trinity Sloane Street. His deep understanding of the Arts and Crafts Movement, encompassing its historical context, key figures, and distinctive design principles, greatly enriches our tours, providing visitors with a comprehensive and insightful experience that highlights the movement’s significance and enduring influence. As Peyton often says, “The beauty of the Arts and Crafts Movement lies not just in its aesthetic appeal but in its celebration of craftsmanship and the unity of fine and decorative arts.”

Khalid Latif, the esteemed Logistics Director and coach driver for over six years, brings a wealth of experience from running his own transport business and a BA in Travel and Tourism. His passion for history, architecture, and photography has been a cornerstone of our tours, offering guests unique insights and cherished memories. As Khalid himself puts it, “The journey is just as important as the destination. My aim is to ensure a seamless experience that begins the moment our guests arrive, setting the stage for the extraordinary exploration that lies ahead.”

Arts and Crafts Tours: A Journey Beyond the Ordinary

From the moment you arrive, Arts and Crafts Tours ensures a seamless and luxurious experience. They provide luxury transportation and arrange stays in lavish country manors, immersing you in the elegance and charm of the Arts and Crafts era. Their tours also include delightful meals, often in historic settings, adding to the overall immersive experience.

But what truly sets Arts and Crafts Tours apart is their commitment to providing tailored experiences that go beyond the ordinary. The tours are not just about visiting places; they are about experiencing the history, artistry, and philosophy of the Arts and Crafts Movement. They offer unique insights, exclusive access, and engaging discussions that deepen your understanding and appreciation of the movement.

All tours are led by experts in the field, including scholars, curators, historians, artists, and writers. Their knowledge and passion bring the history and artistry of the Arts and Crafts Movement to life, making each tour a truly enriching experience.

So, why choose Arts and Crafts Tours? Because they stand as a testament to the enduring legacy of the British Arts and Crafts Movement, offering a gateway to explore its influence on various aspects of art, architecture, and design. With their unwavering commitment to excellence and a team of esteemed experts at the helm, these tours are more than just excursions; they are immersive experiences that honor the movement’s philosophy of creating beauty in everyday life. Embark on these carefully crafted journeys and allow yourself to be transported to a world where art, history, and craftsmanship intertwine, leaving an indelible mark on your soul.  Join them on their upcoming tours and discover the magic of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

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