The final episode of Downton Abbey is behind us, leaving scores of fans of the beloved period drama in mourning. If you’re among them, why not choose to see the tea cup half full? Planning a Great Canadian Day Trip to some of these close-to-home historic sites will make you feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of your favourite show.

Dundurn National Historic Site

This 40-room Italianate-style villa that was built in the 1830’s was home to Sir Allan Napier MacNab, railway magnate, lawyer and Premier of the United Canadas and his family. Downton fans will love exploring this Hamilton landmark and discovering the Canadian perspective of the family who lived above stairs and the servants who lived and worked below. The Monarchy obsessed will also be interested to learn the castle’s connection to British royalty: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is the museum’s Patron and the great, great, great granddaughter of Sir Allan MacNab.

Costumed garden staff will share informative stories and historic gardening knowledge about the two hundred varieties of heirloom fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers grown in the garden for Dundurn’s kitchen. The tours are complimentary with admission.

If you were a fan of Downton’s Miss Patmore, Dundurn’s Historic Cooking Workshops will be right up your alley. Start off with a tour of the Kitchen Garden, where you’ll help the gardener select the ingredients for what’s being cooked that day. Then, you’ll take a seat in the outstanding historic kitchen below stairs and watch the cooks work their culinary magic on the cast iron range.

Myrtleville House Museum

If you were captivated by the stories of the hard-working farm hands, like Timothy Drewe, who helped Downton farm the land, you must pay a visit to Myrtleville House Museum in Brantford. Built in 1837 for Allen and Eliza Good, the house tells the story of four generations of the Good family and their remarkable influence on development, politics and agriculture in this part of Ontario. The magnificent wood frame farmstead is a focal point of the site, which also features period gardens, a workshop with a blacksmith forge and icehouse, a smoke house and a bake oven.

 

Whitehern Historic House & Garden National Historic Site

If you enjoyed Downton Abbey for its never-ending family drama, plan a trip to Whitehern Historic House & Garden. The McQuesten family was an enterprising Scottish-Irish clan that occupied this downtown Hamilton mansion from 1852-1968. With bankruptcy, legal battles between family members and struggles with mental illness and addiction, their story, which spans three generations, is filled with Downton-grade drama.

Erchless Estate, Oakville

For a chance at actually encountering some characters from days gone by, add Erchless Estate to your itinerary. Mysterious sightings of at least nine ghosts have been reported at the property, which was built in 1858 by Colonel William Chisholm, a merchant and ship builder and the founder of the Town of Oakville. Named after the Chisholm clan’s seat in Invernesshire, Scotland, six generations of the Chisholm family lived at Erchless Estate over a period of 130 years. Rumour has it that some of them have never left. Rebecca, who was the wife of William Chisholm, dropped dead at the Estate’s gate one day and there have been reported sightings from time to time at the gate and in the gardens ever since. Other reported spirit sightings include Christopher Columbus Lee, a former butler, and survivor of the Underground Railroad, who has been seen walking up the steps and throughout the property and Colonel Chisholm’s son, Robert, inside the adjacent Custom House.

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May 1 - October 18

Private Boat Shuttles on the Grand River

Grand River Rafting Company

31 Mechanic Street, Paris, ON, N3L 1L1

7 days a week. Reservations are a must by phone or email.

Now thru October 30

Friends & Family Float on the Grand (Rafting)

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Daily departures, check for availability.

Now thru October 8

The Grand Canoe Camping Experience

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

2-Day Package

Now thru March 31

An Authentic Taste of Italy – Cooking Class

Berkeley North

31 King William St, Hamilton, ON L8R 1A1

Now thru February 17

Winter Wagon Rides

Conservation Halton

2259 Milburough Line Campbellville, ON L0P 1B0

* Available daily December 26th, 2019 until January 5, 2020 and weekends and holidays January...

February 8

Letterpress Card Making

Centre3

173 James St. North, Hamilton, ON

Registration Required; 12 - 5pm; Full price - $85; Member price - $60

Now thru October 26

5 Day Bruce Trail Waterfall Walking Tour

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Waterfall Exclusive

Now thru May 1

The Collection: A Hands-On Experience

Art Gallery of Hamilton

123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4S8

Duration of Experience: 3.5 hours Availability: Year-Round, Afternoons Only Minimum Person: 12

Now thru October 30

Weekend in Paris Adventure

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

March 28 - May 18

Nith River – Experiential Learning Adventure

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Check for available dates.

Now thru November 15

Cambridge to Paris Grand River Day Trip

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Route Running

March 14 - 21

Beat the Clock at Fieldcote

Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum

64 Sulphur Springs Rd. Ancaster

This activity is for All Ages Runs 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on March 14...

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