This is another nice bundle of guidebooks relating to places with textile and needlework related collections. The first is from Towneley Hall - a gorgeous mansion within a ston'es throw of Burnley, yest in beautiful countryside. If you are visiting the Rachel Kay Shuttleworth collection at Gawthorpe Hall, then Towneley Hall is just across the M65 and should not be missed on your tour. Reason enough is to see the Opus Anglicanum Whalley Abbey Vestments of around 1390-1420.
Further north is the Bowes Museum which has a wonderful costume collection - as well as samplers. There are many other wonders to enjoy there - including the articulated silver swan which performs every hour....
Abbey House is just outside Leeds at Kirkstall - across the road from the ruins of the Cistercian monastery. There is a themed shopping street, many childhood artefacts including samplers and again another costume collection.
Stott Park Bobbin Mill is situated on the eastern bank of Lake Windermere in the Lake District and has a fascinating display of all things to do with bobbins and their manufacture. It worked continuously until 1971 when it became a museum.
Near Macclesfield at Styal is Quarry Bank Mill - home to the Gregg family cotton magnates. There is so much more to Styal than the mill though - there is a whole community of houses, school and chapel
to help you submerse yourself in the lives that were lived at the turn of the 18th century and throughout the 19th.
The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is like many other such museums around the world - an expansive site where buildings which otherwise would have been left to dilapidation have been moved and conserved. There are a number of events and reenactments held here so do look on the internet and choose a day when there is something special happening. I love the buildings for themselves - particularly the old school. This is a beautifully illustrated guide.
Parham House has a wealth of Stuart embroideries as well as one of the most beautifully decorated long galleries in the whole of England. Again look out for special events to make your visit special.
I've also tucked in 3 vintage National Trust Guides to East Riddlesden Hall - not far from Towneley if you are doing a tour - there are a number of embroidered Stuart panels there. Also a guide to Montacute House - home of the Goodhart Samplers - a third of the collection is displayed every year. And finally, Oxburgh Hall - home to needlework by Mary Queen of Scots. If you can't make a trip to the UK, then maybe you can enjoy these guides by your fireside....