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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October 11

Historic City – Walking Tour

Tourism Hamilton

28 James St N, Hamilton,

2:00 p.m. Pre-registration required

Now thru October 5

Rock Climbing

One Axe Pursuits

7200 Appleby Line, Milton, ON, L9T 2Y1

Rattlesnake Point from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, $200 + HST

Now thru November 3

Cook the Trout Survival Challenge

Grand River Rafting Company

31 Mechanic Street, Paris, ON, N3L 1L1

Now thru May 1

MacNab’s Kitchen at Dundurn Enhanced Experience

Dundurn National Historic Site

610 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON, L8R 3H1

2 hour experience. Available year-round, mornings only. Minimum 15 persons.

September 27

Sip and Paint

Art Gallery of Burlington

1333 Lakeshore Road Burlington, ON L7S 1A9

6:30 - 9:30 pm , Cost: $73.45 includes HST

November 29 - January 1

Brantford Lights at Glenhyrst

Tourism Brantford

20 Ava Rd., Brantford, N3T 5G9

Now thru October 1

Rose Garden and Hendrie Park Experience

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON, L7T 4H4

Duration of Experience: 1.5 to 2 hours. Hours are 10am to 5pm; not hours are...

Now thru September 28

MacNab’s Kitchen

Dundurn National Historic Site

610 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON, L8R 3H1

SATURDAYS Only, May 25, June 22, July 27, August 24, September 28, 2019 Time: 10:00 AM...

November 14 - 25

12 Days of Christmas

Robert Hall Originals

138 Sugar Maple Road St. George, N0E 1N0

Nov-14-2019 to Nov-25-2019 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day | Closed on Sundays|...

Now thru October 20

Canoe Trips on the Grand River

Grand River Rafting Company

31 Mechanic Street, Paris, ON, N3L 1L1

Now thru November 18

Grand Voyageur

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street N Paris, N3L 2M4

Available daily Between: Apr 2, 2019 and Nov 18, 2019 $80.00 + taxes

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