Evening and Specialist Group Visits

If your group is looking for something a bit different take a look at the opportunities below.

Christmas Group Tour

All groups who book a private tour during November and December can enhance their visit with a talk from one of the expert House tour guides about how Elizabeth Gaskell and her family celebrated Christmas. Groups will find out which Victorian customs the family took part in and which, as Unitarians, they refrained from; how Elizabeth Gaskell decorated her home and her Christmas tree; and about Elizabeth’s collaboration with Charles Dickens in writing Christmas tales.

Groups will also be offered the opportunity to enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie as part of their visit to the House.

This special Christmas tour is offered at £15 per person* and includes a 45-minute tour of the house, seasonal refreshments and a talk on Elizabeth Gaskell and Christmas. Time is also given for visitors to view the new exhibition ‘Household Commotion’: Elizabeth Gaskell and the ‘awful treasure’ of her servants, 1832-1865 which runs until May 2019.

Private tours are available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and must be pre-booked.

*Minimum group size of 10, maximum 60.

After hours Private Tour of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Enjoy an exclusive after hours tour of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House including a drinks reception and refreshments for just £20 per person.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is delighted to welcome small groups for this unique evening experience. This special after hours tour commences with a drinks reception on arrival in the hall and Morning Room. Expert guides will then take the group through the other beautifully restored period rooms covering the history of the house, Elizabeth’s literary career and the Gaskell’s family life.  After the tour you’ll head down to the Tea Room for a glass of wine or hot drink and a slice of delicious cake served on vintage china, where you’ll have chance to ask the guide questions. Finally, you’ll have time to look around the House independently, take photos or even dress up in our Victorian clothes, hats and bonnets.

The detail;

  • £20 per person
  • Minimum of 10 / Maximum of 18 people
  • Two hours between 6-9pm, Available Monday-Friday.
  • Drinks reception – Glass of Prosecco on arrival served in the entrance Hall.
  • 45-minute tour of the house with an expert guide
  • Glass of wine or hot drink and a slice of cake in the Tea Room. (mulled wine available during Nov and Dec)
  • Guide on hand during refreshments for questions
  • Time to look around independently.
  • After hours tours without Prosecco or wine is £12 per person.

Literary House Creative Writing Workshop

A unique writing workshop in the inspirational surroundings of the beautifully-restored former home of Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell. Participants will have exclusive use of the House and gardens during the morning, for contemplation and inspiration, and will enjoy a freshly-prepared lunch, before resuming writing in the afternoon.

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65) was one of the most important and best loved Victorian writers. Her novels and letters reveal a warm-hearted woman who was a shrewd judge of character, inquisitive, witty and profoundly concerned with social justice. Besides telling a good story her novels often reflect the social and political tensions of the day.  She lived at 84 Plymouth Grove in Manchester with her husband William and their daughters from 1850 until her death in 1865.

Led by an in-house creative writing teacher this exclusive workshop gives you access to the House when its closed to the public, allowing participants to draw on the inspiration of the beautifully restored Victorian rooms and garden.

The detail;

  • £55 per person
  • Minimum of 10 people / maximum of 15 people
  • The workshop is available from – 10am-4pm  and it available Monday, Tuesday or Friday – subject to availability
  • Includes tuition with a creative writing teacher
  • Includes buffet lunch and drinks throughout the day.
  • Participants will also have access to the House throughout the day.

Sketching Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Have you ever wanted to record your memories of a visit using your own sketches and illustrations?

This workshop will show you a variety of ways in which you can capture special places using pen, pencil, watercolour and other simple materials in a sketchbook. From drawing special items like lamps and furniture, to details and features as well as views, this day workshop will give you some tools to get started in the delightful historic setting of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. As well as creating line drawings, textures, and adding creative colour, you will also be able to have some fun recording your visit in a sketchbook, and will take away some tips and tricks for future sketching.

Liz Ackerley is an urban sketcher and reportage illustrator, who loves to convey a sense of place and occasion in her drawings. She runs workshops from her studio and in various venues. She records events and activities as they happen, and loves to record the world around her in sketchbooks. You can check out more of Liz’s work at lizsscribbles.com

The detail

  • £55 per person (trade price)
  • Minimum of 10 people / maximum of 15 people
  • The workshop is available from – 10am-4pm  and it available Monday, Tuesday or Friday – subject to availability
  • Includes tuition with Liz Ackerley
  • Includes buffet lunch and drinks throughout the day.
  • Participants will also have access to the House throughout the day.
  • Participants needs to bring own materials – list supplied

For all of the above contact enquiries@elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk for more information on how to book and to check availability.

Raucous Afternoon Tea Experience

Our raucous afternoon tea experience will see you and your group entertained by our feisty housekeeper as she regales you with stories of Manchester’s most interesting characters: feisty activists, ground-breaking scientists, radical writers – and a few of the city’s more unsavoury characters from its rich history. Gossip, guffaws and goodies guaranteed!

The detail

  • £20 per person
  • Minimum of 10 people / maximum of 24 people
  • The session lasts 1.5-2 hours and is available Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturdays – subject to availability
  • Includes a hot drink and slice of cake per person (wine and beer available to purchase separately) – and entertaining talk from from Suzanne Hindle.

Usual terms and conditions apply

To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood…

Wives and Daughters