Althorp has been owned by the Spencer family for more than 500 years, and is still very much a family home.  But each summer, for a limited number of days, it is open for the public to visit.  The house contains a fascinating array of pictures, furniture, ceramics and fine interiors.  The roll-call of names – Rubens, Van Dyck, Reynolds, Gainsborough – will be familiar to everyone, but there are numerous other beautiful paintings and furnishings by lesser known artists, which reflect the enthusiasms of their Spencer collectors over the centuries.  Guided house tours leave at regular intervals from the front hall, last entry at 3pm.

The grounds are also splendid, including gardens and a deer park.  Features of interest include an oak tree planted in 2002 by Nelson Mandela and, of course, the temple overlooking a lake which is dedicated to the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales. The Stables, once home to 100 horses and 40 grooms, now house the small café, gift shop and a public exhibition - in 2019 Animals of Althorp, to include work by artists such as George Stubbs, as well as family diaries and photographs. 

The Spencer family has a long association with St Albans and its Cathedral.  To mention just two examples: the cedar tree in Sumpter Yard was planted by Dowager Countess Spencer, when she lived at Holywell House, in 1803; and the rose window in the North Transept, associated with Diana, Princess of Wales, who attended its dedication ceremony in 1989. 

Our coach will leave Westminster Lodge at 12.30pm, to ensure we have a full three hours to enjoy the many pleasures of Althorp.  We will set off home when the estate closes at 5pm.  All members of our group will be issued with a cream tea voucher, which can be redeemed at the Stables Café at any time during their visit.

Tickets:  £40 (includes coach travel, entry to Althorp, cream tea voucher).  

32 tickets available.

Any queries, please email: [email protected]


Non-members of the Friends are encouraged to join us in supporting the Cathedral by making an additional voluntary contribution of £4. 


For more information about the Friends please click here.

Closing date for purchasing tickets June 10th 2019