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/tour leader, 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.
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 23 - Oct 12, 2015.
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 grayest 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 they 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.
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 the beautiful Chilterns to the most famous university city in the world, Oxford. Here, enjoy a walk among the golden-stone buildings and ‘dreaming spires’ and visit one of the university's iconic colleges.
In the afternoon you will traverse the gentle, timeless hills of the Cotswolds 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.
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 Snowshill, Bidford 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, continue to Castle Coombe, a small village in Wiltshire, also frequently used as a backdrop for period television and cinema dramas. Here, enjoy a delicious cream tea, something that has been a tradition of British high society as far back as the early 19th century when Anna, the 7th Dutchess of Bedford, started to enjoy a pot a tea and a light snack privately in her boudoir during the afternoon.
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 yours to enjoy the city as you wish.
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.
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.
The Royal Garden Hotel 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 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 Gardens, and then rejuvenate with a treatment in their spa.
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.
The Best Western Abbey Hotel, is one of the best-located hotels in the centre of Bath, and moments away from the famous Pump Rooms, Roman Baths, Thermae Spa, Bath Abbey, and the city’s brilliant shopping area. The Hotel is independently owned, with 60 comfortable bedrooms, and a relaxing ArtBar and Lounge for cocktails or a Bath afternoon tea. The Allium Brasserie, under the acclaimed chef Chris Staines, is open all day, and is already one of the best places to eat in Bath. And the Terrace Cafe offers the best people-watching in town.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
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."
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."
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 Westlund ,
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 bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements 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. 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. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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