Country lanes that meander without a real sense of direction; honey-hued stone cottages lit by a late afternoon sun; sheep-filled meadows in lush valleys framed in the fragrant white blossoms of hawthorn. This is what awaits you in the English Countryside.
With a maximum group size of 15, you will benefit from the customized services of a knowledgeable driver/guide, shared guided tours at places of interest along the way and travel in style in a luxury mini-coach. Take a journey through the heart of England and discover why so many visitors are drawn to this enchanting land. Soak in the mélange of old and new as you explore soaring medieval cathedrals and fortified castles, roam London’s vibrant streets teaming with all-things-modern, and meander through country lanes punctuated by amber colored hamlets and limestone cottages. In the evenings, relax in beautifully-appointed accommodations that boast style and distinction.
This multi-day small group tour (with no more than 16 people per group) will have you visiting some of the biggest highlights the city has to offer. Let loose in London and take a walking tour of some of the biggest highlights the city has to offer. Travel through the glorious English countryside and visit Oxford, the most famous university in the world, and take a cruise along the lovely Thames River. Visit Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon to discover Ye Olde England of the Bard’s birth and his final resting place, Holy Trinity Church. Tour the World Heritage Site of Bath and explore the splendid Georgian city to learn more about Roman life at the restored Roman Baths. In the mood for a little myth and legend? Head to Stonehenge and learn about the amazing feat of engineering, the archaeological significance and possible astronomical role the ancient stone circle plays, then see how “the other half lives” as you wander through magnificent Windsor Castle, the official residence of the Queen herself. You’re sure to have a royally good time on your journey through the heart of England.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Small group tours depart every 2nd Saturday from May 25 - Oct 21, 2013.
Consider adding additional days to your trip with the services of a private guide and/or driver to see more of the country - your time on either side of your small group tour can be customized to suit your needs (and private guided tours can be added throughout your small group experience as desired).
Meet your driver at Heathrow airport, and take a private transfer to your hotel.
A welcome package with your vouchers, a city map, train tickets (if relevant) and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
One of the world's great cities, vibrant London manages to shine in the greyest weather and its diversity defies a simple definition. This sprawling city has drawn people for centuries, looking for something and finding the unexpected. It's one of the world's most international cities and its influences blend to create something uniquely wonderful. Let your Guide know your particular interests and he/she will help you discover the city on your half day walking tour of central London. Learn how to take the "tube", explore the cobblestone streets, gardens, and markets, and be a Londoner for a day. Your Guide will meet you at your hotel. Please note that one should wear comfortable shoes and a hat; suitable for children. (No entrance fees included)
There are some great restaurants in the West End of London.Here are a few suggestions: J Sheekey, an incredibly smart seafood restaurant, Mildred's, London's best veggie restaurant, Sketch, the trendiest place in London, specializing in some of the best french food you'll ever taste, or for those looking for something simple and cheerful, enjoy a nice meal out at Zipangu. Or try the amazingly stylish Corrigan’s Mayfair http://www.corrigansmayfair.co.uk
The Royal Garden Hotel (5*) is a five-star luxury address defined by its location. From the uppermost floors the vista incorporates Kensington Palace, Hyde Park, the Royal Albert Hall, the capitals rooftops and colourful mews houses. The horizon above the trees is punctuated with London's iconic architecture, from St Paul's Cathedral to the Houses of Parliament. The hotel features 396 beautifully appointed bedrooms and suites located over 10 floors, many of which are interconnecting. There are also no-smoking floors. Decor is understated English with an impeccable finish featuring pale creams and classic accents from reds to blues to natural wood furnishing. Dine in their award winning restaurants overlooking Kensington Gradens, then rejuvenate with a treatmant in their spa.
Meet up with your Guide and fellow travellers of your small group tour this morning. The rendezvous is at 08.30am (please be here 30 mins before this) at the Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kendington High Street, London, W8 4PT.
After meeting up with your small group who you will be with for the next 5 days, you can relax as you travel through beautiful English countryside to the most famous university city in the world, Oxford, where we join a cruise along the River Thames. We will pass through two traditional English Locks, including Osney Lock, which was built by the inmates of Oxford Prison in 1790 for the mere sum of £750. Upon return to Oxford, enjoy a walk among the golden-stone buildings and ‘dreaming spires’ to Christ Church, one of Oxford’s grandest colleges. Christ Church’s Great Hall and cloisters were also used in the Harry Potter films.
In the afternoon you will traverse the gentle, timeless hills of the Cotswold towards beautiful Chipping Campden with a couple of stops along the way to see some of the gems en route.
The Kings Hotel is a charming 18th century town house boasting distinctive and stylish accommodation. Sympathetic and careful renovation means guests can enjoy all the modern day comforts they need yet still soak up the character and history of a Cotswold stone building. Nestled in the heart of picturesque Chipping Campden, it is the perfect location to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds. The Kings combines traditional character with contemporary style to create a relaxed and welcoming home away from home for every guest. The dedicated team at Kings draw on a wealth of experience to ensure your stay will be memorable and comfortable.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
This morning is a feast for literary enthusiasts and history buffs as you visit Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon to discover Ye Olde England of the Bard’s birth and his final resting place, Holy Trinity Church. A short drive to Shottery, a hamlet within the parish of Stratford-upon-Avon, will take you to a thatched farmhouse where the young William Shakespeare courted his future bride Anne Hathaway. See for yourself many original items dating from Anne’s time before meandering through country lanes and honey coloured hamlets, littered with atmospheric churches. Time allowing, there may be the option to visit a number of quaint villages including Lower Slaughter, known for its unspoilt limestone cottages in the traditional Cotswold style and Broadway, which is often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’. Late afternoon sees you returning to your delightful Cotswolds base.
This morning you'll get to visit the picture-perfect village of Lacock. Both the timeless village and its abbey have been used in countless television and movie productions including Pride and Prejudice, The Other Boleyn Girl and Harry Potter. You will have time to wander the historic village streets, see the exhibitions in the museum and visit the Abbey, then continue to Dick Willows, a traditional cider maker. Dick himself will show you around his cider pressing and fermenting rooms and share with us his extensive knowledge of all things cider. After the tour Dick will serve some of the ciders from his barrels, accompanied by a selection of delicious locally produced cheese, crusty bread and pickles. For those who would like to indulge in a little bit of British tradition for themselves, a stop will be made where you can enjoy a traditional cream tea, before you continue to tonight’s accommodation in Bath, a vibrant city with a great choice of bars and restaurants.
The evening is yours to enjoy the city as you wish.
Located in the oldest part of the city, the Bath Abbey Hotel has the Roman Baths, Thermae Spa, Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, Parade Gardens, the main shopping centre and great restaurants all on its doorstep. The hotel has 60 comfortable bedrooms of varying sizes, as well as a beautifully-designed contemporary lounge and bar. The new Allium Brasserie is arguably one of the best places to eat in Bath, and their Terrace Cafe offers the best people-watching in town.
Listed as a World Heritage Site, Bath is truly one of Europe’s most attractive cities, with the highest concentration of listed buildings anywhere in the British Isles. This morning you'll get to explore the splendid Georgian city to learn more about Roman life at the restored Roman Baths and see the towering 15th century Abbey and fascinating Pulteney Bridge.
This afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. Literary enthusiasts might choose to visit the Jane Austen Centre, which offers a snapshot of life during Regency times and explores how living in this magnificent city affected her life and writing, whilst others may choose to explore the myriad of small independent shops, stylish boutiques and familiar high street stores.
Enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers this evening created from the freshest ingredients in a seasonally changing menu.
Leaving Bath behind, look forward to yet more spectacular sights as you travel across Salisbury Plain to visit the great mystical construction at Stonehenge.
Dating back to 3100 BC there are many lively debates as how this stone circle was built and why. Learn more about these theories and make up your own as you enjoy the walking commentary tour.
From here, continue onwards to the glorious city of Salisbury to admire the tallest cathedral spire in Britain and view the original Magna Carta in its Chapter House.
The final destination for today before returning to London is a regal discovery of the world’s largest occupied and oldest garrisoned fortress, Windsor Castle –official residence of the Queen. Windsor Castle dates back to William the Conqueror and has been expanded and fortified under each successive monarch to the grand construction you see today. Wander through the magnificent State Apartments and St George’s Chapel, the burial place of ten monarchs, and admire the rooms that were recently restored to their former glory.
Your Small Group Tour ends this afternoon upon arrival at The Royal Garden Hotel at approximately 5.30pm. Bid farewell to your Guide and fellow travellers as you close the chapter on this part of your travels.
Meet your driver at your hotel and be taken to Heathrow Airport by a private transfer.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of England for the most up to date visa information.
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