Hidden in the Hudson Valley lies a stony, storybook castle with sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. Wings Castle is a fantasy created by two artists who grew up on the adjacent dairy farm which is now the Millbrook Winery (within walking distance!).
This dream construction began in 1970 and to this day is still not completed, making it a “live in art project” filled with fanciful fun and wonder. With intricate surprises everywhere, it’s mindboggling to experience their use of found objects creating dragons, spires and even a stone Buddha fireplace, with the entire castle comprising 80% recycled material.
Choose from four castle themed rooms each with truly magical features from medieval décor to patios with incredible views. If the castle fills up or isn’t your vibe, no worries! Nearby is the lovely Millbrook Country House surrounded by gracious gardens in a relaxing and peaceful setting that epitomizes country living.
From either spot we call home for the next two nights we’ll explore this alluring area with its secret gardens, charming villages, and delightful nature trails. Get ready for a wonderous adventure of whimsy!
This will be one of our intimate Van Adventures!
Day One: Mills Mansion
The elegant Mills Mansion, a place where time stands still from the glorious Gilded Age sits majestically along the banks of the Hudson River against a Catskill Mountain backdrop. Once an exclusive country home for a wealthy Industrialist, this 1896 Beaux-Arts beauty now welcomes all.
Our tour will take us inside this magnificent creation as we learn the history of its architecture along with the lives of Ogden Mills and his wife Ruth who made this elegant mansion their home.
Enjoy an included picnic style lunch at the riverside pavilion where you can just sit and relax and take in the views or take a stroll along the Hudson River trail.
Onto the much-anticipated Wings Castle where you can choose from The Annex Suite with 2 private levels and balcony overlooking the courtyard, The medieval style Dungeon Room with arched stone hallways and secret tunnel to the Annex Suite, The Chamber Room filled with exquisite stained glass and carvings, or The Fairy Tale Cottage overlooking protected wetlands, set across the street from the castle with 2 separate bedrooms and lovely sunroom.
Relax in the Buddha Room by the fireplace or lounge inside a cave tucked away in a secret location on the property but don’t get too comfy …..
because the Millbrook Winery is within walking distance. We’ll take a leisurely walk for a 6 wine tasting, then perhaps grab a bottle to enjoy back at the castle or inn.
Millbrook Country House:
Choose from four sophisticated and relaxing rooms at the 1808 Milbrook Country House and enjoy the surrounding grounds and gardens or relax in one of the many parlors at your leisure.
After our wine delight, we’ll stop by the quaint village of Millbrook for dinner downtown on your own.
Day Two: Innisfree Garden
A secret Asian inspired garden filled with streams, waterfalls and terraces connected in an Alice in Wonderland fashion leaving every next moment a surprise awaits exploration. Innisfree Garden, a dramatic creation of self-sustainable wonders focuses on the individual experience in nature that you will feel the moment you set foot inside its beauty. It’s no wonder it has been named one of the Worlds 10 Best Gardens and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wander where your mind and spirit take you, whether that be crossing bridges, meandering along streams, or simply sitting and appreciating all the beauty surrounding you.
Now we’ll cross the border into the scenic Litchfield Hills of Connecticut to the cute town of Kent that you’ll find is a superb balance of old and new, quaint and chic, old fashioned and avant garde.
Take some time to stroll the streets, find some lunch on your own, and browse the locally owned shops with stylish and eclectic goods from home and abroad.
While we’re here, let’s get up in those mountains where we’ll find the scenic, cascading Kent Falls. Wander across the covered bridge, hike the ¼ mile up along the stair pathway and feel the mist on your face as water rushes 250 feet down into a reflecting pool that joins the Housatonic River.
The trail may be steep but there are many stops along the way for amazing views from several scenic vantage points.
Dover Stone Church:
Another dazzling hidden spot is found after a picturesque walk through a nature preserve leading to a stunning rock formation and waterfall in a cave. The Dover Stone Church, named after the rock cavern’s church cathedral window shape, was once used by Native Americans as a hideout in the 17th century and is still an amazing sight to see!
Let’s enjoy our last night with an included Castle Party Dinner at our home, Wings Castle.
Day Three: Wethersfield Estate
One more secret, special garden to see at the Wethersfield Estate will allow us to experience the perfection of nature from three different perspectives. Situated at the top of a hill with spectacular mountain views the home and its grounds include a three-acre formal garden, a seven-acre wilderness garden studded with interesting sculptures, a working farm, a carriage house and museum, and miles of woodland trails.
Let’s spend the day exploring this wonderful place at your leisure and enjoy an included picnic style lunch whenever the mood strikes you.
Pricing & Departures:
Departs South Plainfield High School at the end of Lane Avenue at 7:30 AM and returns at approximately 6:15 PM
Departs Madison’s Kings Road Parking Lot, 62 Kings Rd. at 8:15 AM and returns at approximately 5:45 PM
Departs Ridgewood’s Graydon Pool at the corner of Linwood Ave & Northern Parkway at 9:00 AM and returns at approximately 5:00 PM
Price per person is $1,195 Twin & $1,525 Single. No reservations accepted without a deposit of $150 per person. Make checks payable to Group Tours & Travel and mail to the above address. Final payment is due June 1, 2023. Deposits are fully refundable if cancellation occurs on or before June 1, 2023. There are no refunds if cancellation occurs after June 1, 2023. Travel protection/cancellation coverage is available and highly recommended (cost is approximately 10% of the total cost of the tour) but not included. One piece of luggage per person and one small carry-on is permitted. Group Tours is not responsible for any delays, cancellations, injuries or circumstances beyond its control and reserves the right to change this itinerary. All trip components are subject to change in accordance with Government, State and Local guidelines and/or mandates. This tour will run rain or shine.
The Educated Wanderer
Group Tours & Travel
PO Box 632 Berwyn, PA 19312