Turrets, Castles & Royal Heritage

Home to England’s monarchy for centuries, it is not surprising that the South East region boasts a high concentration of grand residences with past and present royal connections.

The Queen’s favourite weekend home, Windsor Castle, is the jewel in this Royal Borough’s crown and stands majestically on the hill overlooking the town. It also hails as the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, the original castle being built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. Spend your time exploring the impressive castle, including the State Apartments, St George’s Chapel where several members of the royal family have made their wedding vows and Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the most famous dolls’ house in the world!

Within the county of Kent, there are grand residences and royal connections in abundance. The 14th century Penshurst Place and Gardens, a former hunting lodge of King Henry VIII and where Elizabeth I was a frequent visitor is a glorious place to visit and has a fascinating past. The romantic double-moated Hever Castle, renowned for being the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, has 125 acres of award-winning gardens to explore with its maze and fascinating collection of Miniature Model Houses, boating lake, Japanese Tea House and the fragrant quintessential English Rose Garden.

The magnificence of Henry VIII’s favourite royal residence located south west of London, Hampton Court Palace, must be seen to be believed. There are many things to see including Henry VIII’s Great Hall – England’s last and greatest medieval hall, the beautiful Chapel Royal, which has been in continuous use for over 450 years, Henry VIII’s kitchens, William III’s apartments, the Kitchen Garden, the beautiful Hampton Court Gardens and the only surviving royal Chocolate Kitchens, which lay hidden for years before now being open to the public for the first time in almost 300 years! The Palace is the dramatic setting for music festivals, open air summer concerts and traditional Tudor themed jousting events.

Sound Escapes did a fantastic job on arrangements for our tour . Would thoroughly recommend Jo to any choir looking to travel . All feedback has been positive from everyone who travelled . The extra care at meeting us at the coach and check in to ensure things ran smoothly went above and beyond .
Don OakleyMalmesbury ChoirOxford 2023
One of the best tours we have ever undertaken – musically, socially and geographically. Would heartily recommend Sound Escapes to any group considering a tour.
Carole Lindsay-DouglasAmici SingersWeston-Super-Mare 2023
Jo and her team came up with a fantastic itinerary for our choir and planned everything to the last detail. We always felt we were in safe hands and that they were on the end of a phone to help us with anything we needed. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
Rosie SayersChairperson for Sing It Loud Community Choir
As a Chorister, and eventually Head Chorister in our local church choir for eleven years, Jo was talented, dedicated and could always be relied on to work to the utmost of her undoubted abilities. I would expect that she would apply the same attributes to her professional life
P BuckmasterChoral Director

In May 2020 we were due to tour the Stirling area in Scotland and due to the current coronavirus pandemic we took the difficult decision to call off the tour. I’d like to give our thanks and praise to Jo and her team for all the planning and preparation she had done to put the itinerary together – she was able to provide us with an excellent range of stunning concert venues, plus some great suggestions for our leisure time, and we look forward to working with her again soon.

Sally ColesSecretary, Cantamici
From cathedrals and abbeys, churches and stately homes, all steeped in centuries of history, some in Roman Towns others in quintessential English ‘picture postcard’ villages, every choir and musical ensemble should spend a tour exploring the United Kingdom and Ireland. Whatever part of the country you to choose to visit, by working with a knowledgeable team of people who know the regions inside out from both a tourism and musical perspective, you will be guaranteed the richest of touring experiences
Tim KnightBritish composer and Choral Director
Fantastic tour in Bonnie Scotland, enjoyed by all who went, singing and non-singing. Brilliant organisation from Jo who really made it all look so easy.
Kate HymansTour organiser for Masterworks Chorale
Brilliant tour, expertly organised. Kindness and compassion. Nothing was too much trouble. Colin, our driver, was a complete gem and so knowledgeable about the isle. Lovely hotel staff where nothing was too much trouble
Felicity CourageChoir Director, Courage Choir
Care and attention to detail of the highest degree. The planning with Jo Porter was detailed and meticulous, with nothing being missed, and although she was not involved in the accommodation arrangements, she nevertheless checked it out and acted as an intermediary.
Robin SpencerChoir Secretary, Phoenix Choir
You’ve been patient and kind all the way through this, Jo – especially with it being the first international tour I’ve done, and with all the unforeseen changes to the travel arrangements, so thank you to you and the team.
Sarah MonteithChoir DirectorResound ChoirParis 2023