England is a wondrous dichotomy. In one sense, it is a country determined to keep its traditions and revere its own millennial history. In another, it is a nation on the cutting edge of art, fashion and all things culturally significant.
From soaring medieval cathedrals to the latest postmodern structures, from prehistoric Stonehenge to Regency Bath, from one-pub Cotswold villages to London's buzzing eateries, your time in Southern England will have you experiencing both sides of this captivating land. In the evenings you’ll relax in well-appointed accommodations that offer all the comforts of home.
Tour dynamic London and visit its most famous attractions such as Big Ben, The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Set out for the gloriously pretty English countryside and experience Warwick Castle, England’s finest medieval Castle. Travel through the rolling Warwickshire hills to Stratford-upon-Avon and visit the Tudor-style birthplace of William Shakespeare. Roam the cobbled streets of Oxford and see the famous colleges where Bill Clinton, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein and Lewis Carroll learned a thing or two. You may have a spiritual experience touring mysterious Stonehenge, and a literary experience touring The Waggon and Horses Inn frequented by Charles Dickens. This trip will have you so immersed in all things English, you may start craving bangers and mash and afternoon tea!
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.
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.
The Grosvenor (formerly the Thistle Victoria) Hotel London (4*) is adjacent to Victoria mainline railway station. This London hotel is also within walking distance of many of Londons famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. This elegant and spacious Victorian hotel has 357 bedrooms including nine deluxe king rooms and three suites. All bedrooms have Thistle Connect high speed internet access. The Grosvenor Hotel London has a restaurant, lounge and bar which serve a variety of drinks, light refreshments and meals. Car parking is available nearby at an additional charge. The Grosvenor Hotel London has seven meeting rooms, the largest of which seats 200 theatre style. Thistle Connect is available in meeting rooms offering high speed internet access.
Depart for your Magic of London tour with Champagne tea at Harrods, plus Thames River Cruise. Following your coach drive past some of London's most famous landmarks including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, arrive at the Tower of London where you will be met on the middle drawbridge by a Yeoman Warder. You will be led into this world heritage site before it opens to the public and taken on a private guided tour explaining the history behind this fortress of imprisonment. You will be the first group to see the Crown Jewels before enjoying some free time to explore on your own. Why not visit Traitors Gate, the armouries or the Bloody Tower and keep an eye out for the famous Ravens. Departing from the Tower, head to The Mall to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony as one of the Queen's Household Regiments march from St. James Palace to Buckingham Palace, dressed in their world famous tunics and busbies.Next, take a short cruise on the River Thames, enjoying excellent views of St. Paul's Cathedral and Shakespeare's Globe, before heading for a traditional pub lunch in Whitehall, close to Downing Street, the residence of the Prime Minister (lunch/drink not included). After lunch, there is opportunity for a photo stop at Westminster Abbey.The afternoon part of the tour begins with a visit to St Paul's Cathedral. Explore the masterpiece designed by Wren in 1673 with a professional guide, taking time to listen to the 1695 organ that Mendelssohn once played and visit the tombs of Nelson and Wellington. There will also be a chance to test the unique acoustics of the Whispering Gallery (not normally visited by other tour groups.). On Sundays when there is restricted viewing at the Cathedral, there will be an opportunity to enter and enjoy one of the services. Then, head through Knightsbridge to one of the world's most famous stores: Harrods, where you finish your day with a Champagne tea served on the fourth floor Georgian Restaurant. Relax and enjoy the 5 star service while listening to the live pianist (performs on Saturdays and Sundays only). The tour ends at Harrods, leaving you with free time to explore the store at your leisure.
As of December 1, 2013 the champagne tea will be moved to the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.
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
A full day discovering the treasures of Kent – Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Greenwich and the White Cliffs of Dover. Admission to Leeds Castle and Canterbury Cathedral are included in the tour price. Lunch not included.
Transfer using a local taxi. Please note that this is not included in trip price and is payable locally.
Enjoy a relaxing train ride from London Paddington Station to Bath.
Enjoy a private walking tour of Bath - visit the Royal Crescent, the Circus and the Georgian streets of Bath. Stroll along the river, visit the Abbey and learn the history of the Roman Baths. The Royal Crescent is a residential road of 30 houses, laid out in a crescent and was built starting 1767 and completed 1774. With its half Colosseum shape, it has been compared to the beautiful Versailles just outside of Paris. The Circus is an example of Georgian architecture in the city of Bath, completed in 1768. The name comes from the Latin 'circus', which means a ring, oval or circle. Divided into three segments of equal length, the Circus is a circular space surrounded by large townhouses. Each of the curved segments faces one of the three entrances, ensuring that whichever way a visitor enters there is a classical facade straight ahead.
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.
Meet your mini coach at the Best Western Abbey Hotel at 8:30am, 1 minute walk from Bath Abbey. We drive through the beautiful countryside to Stonehenge. This monument has aroused awe and curiosity since the Norman Conquest We stop at the Stonehenge for one hour so you can explore this ancient monument. We travel further along to the Avebury Stone Circles which is a lesser known megalithic monument, and nearly 1000 years older. This monument is a bit more untouched by other tourists, and you are free to take in the magical charm of these stones as you wish. We continue on through Silbury Hill (the largest manmade object in prehistoric Europe); the Cherhill White Horse (nearly 300 years old and among the landscape in this area outside of Bath); Waggon and Horses (traditional thatched inn, frequently visited by Charles Dickens); and finishing up at the Lacock National Trust Village. This wonderful village consists of properties which date from the 13th and 18th centuries. It was once a prosperous woolen town, but now seems like a village trapped in time. We usually make a stop here as there is a wonderful country pub offering good home cooked food and real ale! Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice have filmed scenes here. We return back to Central Bath by 4:30PM.
Just a short walk away from your Central Bath Hotel, the Roman Baths Museum awaits. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the ancient Roman Baths from the period when Rome controlled much of England. They are below the modern street level and have four main features, the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman bath house and finds from Roman Bath; the Georgian Pump Room is on the ground level.
Entrance is approximately 12GBP per adult and 7.50GBP per child (6-16yrs). Children 5 years and under are free of charge.
Open daily, the museum is one of England's most popular attractions. Spend an hour here to fully appreciate the museum.
Back outside, at the end of Bath Street, stands the Cross Bath where Mary of Modena, wife of James II, erected a cross in gratitude for her pregnancy in 1688. Opposite is the hot bath, the third bath built over Bath's Hot Springs. These two historic sites have been restored, and together with the Hetling Pump room, are now part of the Thermae Bath Spa, a privately run and superbly designed complex where you can relax in the thermal waters of the roof-top spa pool (17GBP pp).
Enjoy a relaxing train ride from Bath to London Paddington Station (approximately 2 hours).
Meet your driver at your hotel and be taken to Heathrow Airport by a private transfer.
Depart from London Heathrow airport - end of itinerary.
February 19, 2014
"Lynne Pettit is a particularly good tour planner and contact person because she is knowledgeable, patient, and thorough. She makes sure she understands exactly what you want to get from your trip and plans the tours accordingly. In my case, she was right on the mark!"
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."
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