Holiday cheer abounds at Larkfield Manor as the Bourne family prepares their Christmas celebration, but the mood is tempered by youngest daughter Victoria, overwrought at the announcement that she must continue her education abroad.
Elizabeth meets Dr. Cropper's handsome young associate Dr. Brian Harrington, and the two grow closer as they share their mutual interest in medicine. However, Elizabeth is dismayed to learn a secret regarding Brian's private life.
Frank Chapman, head dairyman for the Bourne family, confides to Arthur that his son Alan has gotten his girlfriend Peggy into trouble. When Arthur and Helen intercede, Arthur finds himself threatened by Mr. Wickham, the local headmaster who misinterprets his motives.
Against all odds, Anne enters a competition with her beloved mare Tallulah, while Elizabeth continues to pursue a seemingly futile relationship with Brian. Later, the Bourne family faces a crisis when Anne is seriously injured while competing.
Recuperating from the accident, Anne invites handsome but conceited actor Gerald Hope Langley to spend Easter with her at Larkfield Manor. Gerald's transparent interest in Phyllis appalls Helen and incites Anne's jealousy.
Following an embarrassing incident with Anne, Helen bans spoiled, boisterous Rex Burton-Smith from associating with the family. However, Victoria senses a quiet, very different side to Rex and makes plans to join him in a secret adventure.
Elizabeth befriends newcomer Rachel Earnshaw who has moved to the village from London following a public divorce. The two share the bond of falling in love with the wrong person, but their friendship is threatened when Nanny reveals Mrs. Earnshaw 's scandalous past to Arthur.
When Mrs. Earnshaw suffers another nervous collapse requiring Elizabeth to look after her, Arthur invites her to the Bourne home, where she soon reveals more about her life than Elizabeth cares to hear.
With Arthur and Helen on holiday in Scotland, Victoria finds it unwise to invite a visiting Klaus for the weekend, until the girls decide to hold a house party with a London acquaintance of Anne acting as a chaperon.
The weekend doesn't unfold as planned for the Bourne sisters when Anne is a slave to the kitchen, chaperon Mrs. Walden attempts to seduce Klaus, and Elizabeth must dodge the undesirable attention of Mrs. Walden's deadly dull companion.
Lady Alice sulks after she's offered the honor of opening the annual village fête, but is subsequently displaced by Earl Mulligan, a popular American film star from Hollywood. On the eve of the fête, Mulligan is involved in a highly publicized pub brawl.
Brian and Anne fail to understand Elizabeth's sudden reticence to accept a future with Brian. When Elizabeth suggests Brian would give up his Catholic faith if he really loved her, Anne counters that Elizabeth might not love really love him at all.
Helen entertains wealthy new neighbors the Cartlands but is unnerved when she discovers that Arthur and Rosemary Cartland share a past association. Meanwhile, in London visiting Aunt Phyllis, Anne experiences headaches and double vision.
A jealous Helen wonders if Arthur once had an affair with Rosemary. Arthur hires petty thief Jim Tapper to help Gates with the estate. Phyllis returns Anne to Larkfield Manor early and worries the Bournes with news that Anne's optical problems could be a symptom of serious illness.
Elizabeth returns from Wales, has a startling encounter with Jim Tapper, and learns that Anne is undergoing medical tests in London. An anxious Helen must wait as Dr. Cropper confers with Arthur regarding the results of Anne's tests.