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 16, 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 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 Monday from March 24 - Oct 20, 2014.
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).
For your added comfort, we will have a Meet & Greet assistant for you upon your arrival. A representative will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall after you pass through customs to assist. If a private airport transfer has been arranged, this representative will help to co-ordinate meeting up with your private chauffeur at the airport. You will then be escorted to the vehicle and onto the hotel to assist with check in.
Meet your driver at Heathrow airport, and take a private transfer to your hotel.
A welcome package with 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.
Transfer to the small group meeting point using a local taxi. Please note that this is not included in trip price and is payable locally.
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 Grange Wellington Hotel, 71-72 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PA
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. Here, 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.
This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner together with your small group tour.
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.
Leaving the Cotswolds behind, this morning you will journey south towards Somerset, a beautiful and varied county in the west of England. Your first visit is to the picture-perfect village of Lacock, which has been used in countless television and movie productions including Pride and Prejudice, The Other Boleyn Girl and Harry Potter. After some time here to wander the historic village streets, see the exhibitions in the museum and visit the Abbey, we drive to Worley’s Cider who produce award-winning Somerset ciders from locally sourced cider apples using traditional techniques. After a short tour you will try some of the ciders accompanied by a selection of delicious locally produced cheese, crusty bread and pickles.
Your final destination today is Bath, where you spend the next two nights. Listed as a UNESCO 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. The evening is free to enjoy the city as you wish.
The evening is yours to enjoy the city as you wish.
The Francis Hotel has been restored to its former glory following a £6 million refurbishment. In the heart of the historic city of Bath, this historic Regency style townhouse hotel, a member of the MGallery collection boasts 98 individually-designed bedrooms, many with four poster beds and views over the city. The stylish bar and lounge offer a haven of tranquillity after a day exploring the many attractions of this World Heritage city. Enjoy Dining in Brasserie Blanc that adjoins the hotel.
Today, you will explore this splendid Georgian city to learn more about Roman life at the restored Roman Baths and see the towering 15th century Abbey, the imposing Georgian Royal Crescent and fascinating Pulteney Bridge. You will also visit No.1 Royal Crescent, a magnificent town-house that creates a wonderfully vivid picture of life in 18th century Bath.
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.
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 one of the best places to eat in Bath. And their Terrace Cafe offers the best people-watching in town.
From Bath, drive to Longleat, an English stately home, currently the seat of the Marquess of Bath. After a behind the scenes tour of the house, which will incorporate some of Lord Bath’s personal murals, continue to the village of Avebury to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Standing Stones, which rival Stonehenge as the largest and most complex prehistoric site in Britain. Whilst Stonehenge attracts tourists fromall around the world and security prevents you from getting anywhere near the stones, at Avebury visitors can walk freely amongst the stones in relative peace and quiet, away from the tourist crowds.
Later in the day, you will take a leisurely drive back to London where the tour ends.
Your small group tour ends this afternoon upon arrival at The Grange Wellington Hotel at approximately 5:30pm. Bid farewell to your Guide and fellow travellers as you close the chapter on this part of your travels.
Transfer to your hotel using a local taxi. Please note that this is not included in trip price and is payable locally.
Meet your driver at your hotel and be taken to Heathrow Airport by a private transfer.
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Edwards Family ,
November 28, 2013
"People do not know what they are missing by not going to Romania. The landscape: beautiful, clean, untouched. The people: People exceeded friendly! Super safe. Wherever we went, we received the reception of "Welcome, welcome! You are our guest", by everyone. Food & Drink: Everything had such incredible flavor! They use only the freshest ingredients and everything is organic. Every meal was a new, exciting experience to our palettes. Architecture: The beauty, intricacy, history. One cannot help but appreciate the abundance of castles, churches and buildings boasting such incredible architecture. Experience Romania sooner than later! You’ll be so glad you did! Once again, Kensington Tours, and special thank you to Claudia.
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Mike Mikkelsen ,
November 15, 2013
"Lianne Kim did a great job for us (on our tour of Spain). Most enjoyable - thanks for all you did."
November 09, 2013
"My trip to Holland and Belgium was a lifelong dream and Kensington Tours made it greater than my dream. I was treated like royalty, even when I missed some of my connections. They quickly solved any problems that U had. All the drivers were courteous and helpful. My accommodations were top notch. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a better tour experience. Thanks to Richard Racicot for booking the best fo me."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery lWestlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bend over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangement made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Our time in Dubrovnik and Split were awesome, in hind sight we both wished we would have went back to Split from Plitvice Lakes rather than carry on to Zagreb. We both found Split much more appealing and would have definitely preferred to spend another night there rather than Zagreb. We’ll know for next time! Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
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