This new tour focuses on historic highlights of Southern England. The itinerary includes six UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Greenwich, Canterbury, Cornwall, Stonehenge, Bath, and Blenheim Palace. In addition to these fascinating sites, we will tour the site of the Battle of Hastings; the port of Plymouth during this the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' voyage to North America; several picturesque villages in the Cotswolds; and Tintagel, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur. We hope you can join us this autumn!
Day 1: Tuesday, September 29
Individual departures from the U.S. for London.
(Note: we will reserve a block of rooms for September 28 & 29 for those who wish to arrive one or two days early in London. We will organize an optional excursion to Hampton Court on September 30, one of only two surviving palaces out of the many owned by King Henry VIII.)
Day 2: Wednesday, September 30 (R, D)
Individual arrivals in London. Join staff and fellow travelers at this evening’s welcome dinner.
Overnight Westminster Bridge Park Plaza Hotel, London
Day 3: Thursday, October 1, (B, D)
Today we will tour Greenwich, the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian
Continue south to Canterbury where we will tour the historic Canterbury Cathedral, a one of England’s most important churches and site of the murder of Thomas Becket. We will check into the lodge situated on the Cathedral grounds for our two night stay. Overnight Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, Canterbury
Day 4: Friday, October 2 (B)
We will pay our respects at the Battle of Britain Memorial situated atop the White Cliffs of Dover. At Dover Castle, we will tour England’s largest castle and the secret tunnels used during WWII as an air raid shelter, an underground hospital, and a military command center where the Dunkirk evacuation was masterminded in May 1940. We will spend the balance of afternoon touring the town of Canterbury. Overnight Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, Canterbury
Day 5: Saturday, October 3 (B, D)
This morning, we will learn about 13th century wool smugglers and the Cinque Ports initially formed in the 11th century as we visit the villages of Romney Marsh and Rye. We will tour the site of the Battle of Hastings where William the Conqueror defeated King Harold in 1066. O/N Woodlands Park Hotel, Cobham
Day 6: Sunday, October 4 (B, D)
We begin the day with a private guided tour of Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Followed by a private talk on Winston Churchill at Blenheim. After lunch on our own at one of four eateries at Blenheim, we will depart for the Cotswolds. En route to our hotel, we will stop at two iconic villages, Burford and Bibury. Overnight The Bear of Rodborough, Stroud
Day 7: Monday, October 5 (B, D)
We will spend a full day exploring the charming market villages of the Cotswolds, including Bourton-on-the-Water, the “Venice of the Cotswolds;” Upper and Lower Slaughter; and Moreton-in-Marsh. During the middle ages, the wool from Cotswold’s sheep earned a reputation as the finest in Europe. The wool trade became the backbone of the English economy. Wealthy Cotswolds wool merchants built grand homes and “wool churches” which grace many of the villages today. O/N The Bear of Rodborough, Stroud
Day 8: Tuesday, October 6 (B, D)
We leave the Cotswolds for the city of Bath famous for its Georgian Architecture and ancient Roman Baths. We will have a private guided tour the ancient Roman Baths and take a walking/driving tour of this beautiful city. Overnight at The Devon Hotel, Matford
Day 9: Wednesday, October 7 (B, D)
2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim’s voyage. We will visit the harbor of Plymouth where the Mayflower set sail for North America. We will continue to the beautiful peninsula of Cornwall where we’ll visit the quaint fishing village of Polperro and the historic port of Charlestown used as a location for films including Poldark and Hornblower. Overnight Lanhydrock Hotel and Golf Club, Cornwall
Day 10: Thursday, October 8 (B, D)
We will spend a full day exploring Cornwall including charming seaside villages of St. Ives and Port Isaac of Doc Martin fame; a tin mine; and Tintagel, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur. Overnight Lanhydrock Hotel and Golf Club, Cornwall Cornwall
Day 11: Friday, October 9 (B, D)
Today we will enjoy stunning vistas of the rugged moors and craggy “tors” (granite outcroppings) of Dartmoor National Park. As we drive through one of the UK’s first National Parks, we’ll make stops at Tavistock, the home of Sir Frances Drake, the National Park Visitor Center, and a 13th century stone clapper bridge. Overnight The Hollies Hotel, Martock
Day 12: Saturday, October 10 (B, farewell luncheon)
Today we will tour Stonehenge, one of the world’s best known prehistoric sites and Old Sarum, an Iron Age hill fort and site of the original Salisbury Cathedral. We’ll toast our adventure at our farewell luncheon this afternoon.We’ll have time forsome free time in the town of Salisbury before driving to Heathrow International Airport. Overnight Holiday Inn, Heathrow Airport
Day 13: Sunday, October 11
Individual departures from London Heathrow for the USA.
BLUE BADGE GUIDES: Dawn Blee (Sept 30-Oct 3) and Sally Martin (Oct 4-10)
Blue Badge Tourist Guides are trained under the auspices of The Institute of Tourist Guiding which accredits training courses; each region requires up to two years study and examinations before successful candidates are awarded the coveted Blue Badge. We are pleased to announce that two expert Blue Badge Guides will accompany our tour. Dawn Blee (Blue Badge Qualified for London & South East England) will be our guide for the optional tour of Hampton Court Palace on September 30 and October 1, 2 & 3 of our tour. Sally Martin (Blue Badge Qualified for South East England and South West England) will accompany us for the balance of our trip. In addition, we will arrange private guided tours at every site that offers this as an option.
TOUR INCLUDES (13 days/11 nights):
* An expert Blue Badge Guide will accompany us throughout the tour
* Services of a professional tour director: Marty Gane is scheduled for this tour
* Private guided tours of sites including Blenheim and the Roman Baths in Bath
* 11 nights hotel accommodations
* Private, air-conditioned, motor coach for all sightseeing
* 2 wine/beer receptions, 10 breakfasts, 1 farewell luncheon, and 9 dinners
* All admissions, tours and excursions as described in the itinerary
* All taxes, baggage handling (one bag per person), & gratuities
* Pre-trip notes, reading list and map book
What is Not Included:
Airfare; transfers between airport and hotel; trip insurance; personal items such as wines, liquors, a la carte orders, room service, laundry charges; and meals and other items not specifically mentioned as included.
Prices do not include airfare, however, we are happy to assist you with flight arrangements. We will post staff flight details shortly in case you would like to book seats on the same flights as Tour Manager Marty Gane.
COST: 13 DAYS/11 NIGHTS
Double Occupancy: $5,695 per person
Single Occupancy: $6,295
NOTE: Prices are based on a minimum of 25 participants.