For English landowners in the Middle Ages, the need to protect life and property dictated that homes doubled as fortresses. However, in the relative peace and prosperity of the Tudor era, royals and nobles embraced beauty and extravagance, using vast estates to flaunt status and wealth. Later, the austere 18th-century Georgian style toned down the ornamentation, referencing the ancient Greeks and Romans. Discover this rich heritage during a week in the picturesque Southwest of England. On a journey from the ancient Roman spa city of Bath to the rugged, windswept coastlines of Cornwall, visit lavish ancestral properties, from Tudor/Stuart estates to a Jacobean mansion owned by the Earl of Sandwich. Stay in luxurious manors where landed gentry have lived and collected extraordinary works of art for centuries.