Welbeck Abbey Tours – The Portland collection


Welbeck’s historic Portland Collection of fine and decorative art has been amassed over the centuries by the Dukes of Portland and their families.

“One of the finest aristocratic collections in England”
Martin Bailey, The Art Newspaper

The Portland Collection gallery, which opened in March 2016, was designed by Hugh Broughton Architects and has won numerous awards, including the RIBA East Midlands Building of the Year award for 2016.

Masterpieces on show include Michelangelo’s Madonna del Silenzio (c.1538), a rarely seen Van Dyck painting of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, the pearl earring worn by Charles I at his execution in 1649, The Portland Tiara by Cartier and George Stubbs’s painting of the 3rd Duke of Portland on horseback outside the stables at Welbeck.

We arrive at 11.30am. 14 people go straight on the Abbey tour which takes one and a half hours. The other 14 visit the Portland Collection and the Harley  Gallery. We then all have lunch at 1pm. At 2pm we swop the 14 over and do the same as the morning.

Booking will be opened when the January 2019 newsletter goes out to give everyone an equal  chance of a place so please come back to this page then.



We are also hoping to do an overnight visit to the Auckland Project in Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, home of the Prince bishops. This amazing project is the vision of Jonathan Ruffer, Fund Manager and philanthropist. Auckland Castle is undergoing a multi million pound conservation programme. The State rooms are being returned to the Georgian designs of renowned architect James Wyatt 1746-1813 and the impressive Spanish Zuberon paintings ( currently on tour in the USA ) will be rehung in the long dining room. A new Mining art gallery to rival the Pitmen painters gallery has opened and a Spanish art gallery and tapas bar are opening HOPEFULLY along with the Castle and Palace and new Faith museum towards the back end of 2019. Also the fabulous Auckland tower. I am waiting for the definite opening of the castle – before I confirm dates for this tour. You can understand that as it is GRADE 1 star, the builders are behind. I want to make sure all is available to visit before confirming dates. We shall stay overnight in a hotel local to Bishop Auckland, and we shall also visit the newly renovated Bowes Museum the next day. We intend to take a coach up to Bishop Auckland and this will take us to the Bowes museum the following day and then drive home afterwards. Please look at the Auckland project on line and also the new Bowes Museum pages.

Again details will be in the January newsletter.