Elite VIP Downton Tour, July 2014

The girls had a brilliant time. They loved it and Natalie was fabulous with them. Thank you so much.

Annette, England

Bespoke Pemberley and the Peaks, June 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed the Lizzie’s Peak District bespoke tour that I did with you on 22 June this year.  I had a fabulous day with glorious weather and excellent commentary & company (& a great lunch).

Judy, USA

P&P 4 day tour 2015

Mr Bennet

Our world exclusive 4 day tour to the P&P 1995 production locations runs 9th to 12th June and 22nd to 25th September in 205. You can join us at the Jane Austen festival in Bath after the September tour too. Bookings now being taken.

What women today can learn from Jane Eyre

jane eyreJane Eyre is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was first published on 16 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England, under the pen name “Currer Bell. Here at P&P tours we are serious fans of any Victorian literature and run dedicated Jane Eyre Tours.

For those that don’t know, Jane Eyre is a coming of age type story. Jane isn’t that beautiful, rather plain looking really and basically the underdog.  She overcomes her troubled and impoverished past.  She is the epitome of a strong woman which at that time was quite ground breaking and shocking.  If you are a women and you haven’t read this book, we seriously recommend you do.  Women of today can take a lot from this book and learn a great deal. And when reading it remember it was first published in 1847.

What can we learn from Jane Eyre?

Plenty.  She teaches us that you can overcome your past regardless of how bad it was. Jane was an orphan and had a miserable childhood and was tortured by her nasty relatives. Grab a tissue for the first half of the book as it is quite sad and distressing. The way her family treated her was horrendous.  When she leaves for boarding school she essentially cuts her family out of her life. She soon learns that holding grudges and animosity will not do her any favors.

“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” – Charlotte Brontë

The next lesson we learn from Jane is that we can do anything we want in life as long as we remain positive.  She has complete belief in herself despite having no money or family.  She finds a good job and lives quite well.  The key to independence is loving,  respecting and believing in yourself. I have always liked the following quote:

“To accomplish great things, WE must not only ACT, but also DREAM not only plan but also BELIEVE.”

As a young girl Jane had the tendency to feel sorry for herself which you couldn’t blame her for, anyone going through such a miserable upbringing would feel the same.  But she grows up and learns how to be happy and that every cloud has a silver lining.

Another important lesson Jane teaches us is that just because you’re a woman it doesn’t mean you can’t do something and you are much stronger than you think.  They say that you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.  Well that was certainly true for Jane.  Us humans are very resilient, no matter what happens to you we can and will bounce back.

In today’s world of glossy magazine and celebrities, looking good is more important than ever or so we are led to believe.  Thanks to photoshop it is harder than ever to follow the beautiful women in these glossy mags or on the TV.  But we shouldn’t be trying.  Remember it is a not real world, even the most beautiful women in the world will look plain without makeup and photoshop.   Jane teaches us that we would be far happier if we stopped caring about how we look. Jane is an amazing and beautiful person even though her actually physical looks are pretty plain. Everyone on this planet is beautiful.  Life itself is beautiful and we should all try to remember this.

Take risks and never be afraid to speak your mind.  We only live once, so be brave, take risks and say what you want.  If your childhood was horrendous and your family caused you nothing but pain, move forward, be positive, take risks and don’t look back.  This is exactly what Jane did. Jane was not scared to voice her opinions when needed. She even turned down a proposal of marriage because she knew it wasn’t right for her.  Sometimes the key to letting go is to confront the situation. It is far better to talk things through rather than hold resentment.

Below are some inspiring quotes from Jane Eyre:

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

“I am not an angel,’ I asserted; ‘and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me – for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.”

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”

“Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.”

If you want to learn more about Jane Eyre and the writer Charlotte Brontë why not join us and our experts on a Jane Eyre Tour.

 

 

 

 

Downton Abbey 2015 group tour dates

Downton AbbeyItinerary is on the itineraries page.

Our one day tour runs on 4th Pril, 6th April, 3rd August, 1st September at £95 per person. Click on the booking tab at the top of this page.

Belle, Another great Period Drama

belle tourBelle: another great period drama

Belle is the latest period drama to be laid before us and it has caused something of a furore.

The film is based on the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate, mixed race daughter of the nephew of Lord Mansfield, Britain’s Lord Chief Justice at the time. The film, which has received a very warm critical response, is inspired by a painting of Dido and her cousin, Lady Elizabeth Murray at Kenwood House, the home of Mansfield.

There’s no doubt that the film is an excellent costume drama with a superb script  and excellent performances by Tom Wilkinson as Lord Mansfield, Emily Watson as his wife, Miranda Richardson as lady Ashford (although you can’t help waiting for her to transform into full Queenie mode) but moist notably Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the title role.

The film depicts Belle’s integration to aristocratic life in London with Lady Elizabeth and the Mansfields, her relationship with a young lawyer John Davinier and the supposed affect of her relationship with Lord Mansfield on his legal career, most notably the famous Zong massacre case. Whilst charting these events the film explores the themes of social class, racial integration, love and social revolution with the move towards the end of the slave trade.

Although the film has been well received by critics and cinema goers the artistic licence shown by the writers has, to one degree or another, annoyed some historians. As very few details of Belle’s life are known the writers were liberated by the lack of facts to the degree that they were able to construct an intelligent, thoughtful but most importantly, entertaining film. A film that is built around accepted historical record, but not one which reflects every last detail.

So what? I hear you cry.

Mansfield may not have been the humanist reformer, positively influenced by his relationship with Belle, as portrayed in the film, but he is still regarded as a great legal moderniser and the cases he oversaw did spell the beginning of end of slavery, particularly his verdict in the Somersett case where he set out that slavery had no legal basis in Britain.

However, let’s not forget this is a movie, a piece of art. It is intended to stimulate thought and conversation and entertain in equal measure. It is a testament to all involved that it does this so well. It’s obviously not as dark as last year’s great success Twelve Years a Slave, but it can be viewed as a lighter companion piece.

The most interesting element of the film as far as I’m concerned is the subtle reflections of how social attitudes were changing. Belle, a mixed race aristocrat could eat with the Mansfield family unless they had company. She was black but Mansfield considered her suitor, the white lawyer Davinier, as beneath her, due to her social status and despite her illegitimacy, something still very much frowned upon at that time.

The painting of Belle and her cousin, the inspiration for the film, is also an important indicator of a time of great change. It is the first painting to depict a white and black woman as near equals. It was the norm at that time for social inferiors to be shown sitting or lying down in the presence of their betters. In the painting and in the film Belle is all but her cousin’s equal and the affection between the two is obvious.

The other star of the film is Kenwood House itself, where large parts of the movie were filmed. The house, which is on the edge of Hampstead Heath, is now owned and operated by English Heritage and is open to the public after being renovated last year. It is well worth a visit.

The film Belle shows once more how much history there is in this great country of ours and how much of it is accessible to the public. I’ve said it many times that I’m really lucky, as the owner of PandP Tours, to be able to visit so many interesting and historically important places. I take great pride that my job is to share this with people.

Here at P and P Tours we offer bespoke, private, luxury tours, tailored to meet your own personal needs. We provide chauffeur driven cars if required and have excellent working relationships with many of the country’s best boutique hotels.

So, if the idea of following in Belle’s footsteps at Kenwood House and other notable London landmarks contact us at P and P Tours. We’re here to make your holiday special.

Tour of Downton village June 2014

Thanks again for sharing your local knowledge about everything Downton and Bampton.  You made it all so interesting with your genuine style and behind-the-scenes insights.  It was better than any old speil from a glorified bus driver. We had the chance to hear one of the “industrial” tour guides as he led a group through the village – It served as a reminder that we made a good choice with P&P Tours.  Thanks again for sharing your time and talents with us today.  We will speak highly about you to other Downton enthusiasts in the States.

Dan, Cathy & Kelsey, USA

‘Belle’ Tour 2015

‘Belle’ Tour 2015

Dido Elizabeth BelleVisit some of the filming locations from the 2013 British drama film  ‘Belle’.  On the two day Belle tour you get an insight into the making of the movie, and also into the slave trade. Also available on request is a visit to see the Dido Elizabeth Belle painting at Scone Palace.

2015 dates coming soon.

 

Private Gems of Downton June 2014

We had such  pleasant time with Natalie yesterday. Thank you for helping us to have a grand day in the countryside.

Susan, USA

4 day P&P tour June 2014

Thank you for helping me to ‘live the dream’ – it’s been one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. I loved every minute and don’t feel it could have been bettered.

Sue, England