England & Wales

From the undulating hillsof Oxfordshire to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, England is beauty and history combined. It’s also the perfect destination for adventure and activity, whether you’re cycling in Norfolk, surfing off Newquay or rock climbing in the Peak District. London, England’s capital, is a melting pot of people and has some of the richest culture in Europe. Visit the Tower of London, wander along the Thames, marvel at Big Bed, take a black cab or a red double decker bus ride – all quintessential British experiences.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

London Explorer

The Union Jack waves its greeting as you amble through London’s avenues and lush green spaces, tracing centuries of heritage and historical landmarks from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace. Marvel at castles, cathedrals and palaces, see the picturesque Cotswolds and indulge in a traditional English cream tea.

Itinerary   
Day 1: Arrive London

Welcome to London, capital of Great Britain. Relax after check-in at your centrally located hotel or take a stroll down Oxford Street - one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception.

Day 2: London

This morning after a leisurely start, your Travel Director takes you on an included half-day morning sightseeing tour featuring Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. See the Changing of the Guard before the sightseeing tour finishes in central London. You may decide to go shopping in some of the most famous department stores or take a leisurely walk through picturesque Hyde Park. Alternatively join an Optional Experience to the Tower of London to see the magnificent Crown Jewels and meet the Yeoman Warders of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress popularly known as Beefeaters. This evening enjoy a delicious meal at Heddon Street Kitchen in the heart of the West End - one of Chef Gordon Ramsay's newest London eateries.

Day 3: London

Today enjoy a full-day excursion from London. Visit Windsor Castle - one of the homes of the Queen and a working royal residence with a proud history. Visit the State Apartments and St. George's Chapel before free time for lunch in this picturesque town. Later discover the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe - the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge. Admire the stones and visit the world-class exhibition and visitors centre before returning to London.

Day 4: London

Utilise your 3-day London Oyster card Pass. Your Travel Director will give you suggestions and recommendations on how to spend your day. Call in at Madame Tussauds or browse through the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Department stores line Oxford Street and Regent Street. Famous fashion houses are to be found on Bond Street and Sloane Street. Knightsbridge is home to Harrods and many other stylish shops and boutiques. Antiques and curiosities can be found on Portobello Road, Kings Road in Chelsea and at Camden Market. Alternatively you may consider a full-day Optional Experience to the enchanting Cotswolds visiting Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon with a stop in the university town of Oxford for a walk through the cobbled streets.

Day 5: London

This morning visit one of the most important churches in London and in the country on a guided visit with a Local Specialist. Westminster Abbey has been the traditional location of the coronation of kings and queens and the burial site for the English, and later, the British monarchs. Find out why this church lost its cathedral status and pay your respects at the Tomb to the Unknown Soldier. Later visit Kensington Palace for for Cultural Insight into the lives of the Royal Family. Tour the Royal Palace that was once home to Diana, Princess of Wales, and now housing the private apartments of her son Prince William and his wife Kate. Enjoy a delicious English cream tea in the orangery before returning to your hotel.

Day 6: London

Borough Market is London's most renowned food market; a source of exceptional British and international produce. Your Travel Director will take you on a walk for a Cultural Insight into the daily lives of Londoners and the market traditions which have been passed down for generations. It is a haven for anybody who cares about the quality and provenance of the food they eat - chefs, restaurateurs, passionate amateur cooks and people who just happen to love eating and drinking. This afternoon you may wish to visit one of the iconic museums which are free to visit. The Imperial War Museum or the British Museum are two recommendations. Otherwise you may wish to explore the South Bank of the city and use your Oyster card to explore on your own.

Day 7: London

Your last full day in London is yours to enjoy. Do last-minute shopping or take a trip up the Shard - Europe's tallest building - for spectacular views out over the city. This evening meet with your Travel Director and travel companions for a cruise down the Thames to Greenwich. Sail under the famous Tower Bridge before enjoying a Farewell Dinner at a historic pub with a toast to your unforgettable week.

Day 8: Depart London

After breakfast, say farewell to London and your newfound friends as you prepare to return home after a fabulous week in one of the world's greatest cities.

Inclusions 
Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 cream tea, 3 dinners
Transport: Luxury air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 7 nights
Guide: An expert Travel Director & separate Driver
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary


England’s Castles, Manors & Gardens

Admire the vivid colours and delicious scents of Britain’s blooms as you ramble through manicured gardens and untamed natural landscapes. See the world-famous Kew Gardens, the luscious rose buds at RHS Garden Wisley and the maze at Hampton Court Palace before enjoying a ride on the Bluebell Railway and visiting the award-winning gardens of Hever Castle.

Itinerary   
Day 1: Arrive London

After checking in at your hotel, why not explore the city of London? Whether you stroll through one of the Royal Parks, shop in the vibrant West End or visit one of the world-famous historical attractions, London has plenty to keep you entertained. Later meet with your Travel Director and fellow companions for a traditional English pub Welcome Reception.

Day 2: London

See Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace on your half-day introductory sightseeing tour with your Local Specialist. This afternoon enjoy an included visit to the Kew Gardens. This botanical garden is known as the world's most famous - a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising centuries of royal history. Explore inside the vast Victorian glasshouses and see the indoor galleries. Here you will take an included 40-minute bus tour around part of the garden. Tonight consider joining your Travel Director for dinner at a lively restaurant or perhaps take in a West End show.

Day 3: London

This morning travel to the pleasant RHS Garden Wisley. Renowned as the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley captures the imagination with richly planted borders, luscious rose gardens and the state-of-the-art glasshouse. Here you will enjoy a Small Group Sightseeing guided walking tour in parts of the garden. You will then have free time for lunch in one of the restaurants in the grounds. This afternoon visit Hampton Court Palace, the most modern, sophisticated and magnificent palace of its age. See the vast Tudor kitchens and the tapestries in the Great Hall with a Local Specialist. Lose yourself in the most famous Maze and visit the Privy Garden.

Day 4: London – Sheffield Park and Gardens – Bluebell Railway – Eastbourne

This morning travel south and visit Sheffield Park and Gardens. The National Trust acquired this property in 1954 and the garden comprises four large lakes and a variety of rare trees and shrubs. The magnificent landscaping of the garden was laid out in the 18th century by Capability Brown. From Sheffield Park enjoy a ride on one of England's most famous steam trains - the Bluebell Railway. Later arrive in Eastbourne for a two night stay, and enjoy a Regional Meal at a local restaurant.

Day 5: Eastbourne

After a leisurely start enjoy a drive along the coast to Brighton. Thanks to the Prince Regent the town has always enjoyed a reputation for elegance, fun and architecture. You may decide to visit the impressive Brighton Pavilion or shop for interesting items in "The Lanes" which form a retail, leisure and residential area near the seafront, characterised by narrow alleyways following the street pattern of the original fishing village. Perhaps enjoy fish and chips for lunch before returning to your hotel. This evening is free to dine at one of the local restaurants.

Day 6: Eastbourne – Dover – Canterbury – Mount Ephraim Country House – County Towns of Kent

Travel to Dover for a Cultural Insight into the history of the White Cliffs of Dover. Learn about the significance of the cliffs and the conservation thereof. Later visit Canterbury which is a historic English cathedral city. Parts of the city have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thomas Becket's murder at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 led to the Cathedral becoming a place of pilgrimage for Christians worldwide and this pilgrimage later provided the theme for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th century literary classic 'The Canterbury Tales'. You will have free time to explore the city before enjoying a delicious Be My Guest cream tea at Mount Ephraim Country House later this afternoon. Then it is on to your hotel in Kent for a two-night stay.

Day 7: County Towns of Kent

After a leisurely start this morning, visit the beautiful gardens at Sissinghurst. This garden was created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West, poet and gardening writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. Sissinghurst's garden is one of the best-loved in the whole of the United Kingdom, drawing visitors from all over the world. The garden itself is designed as a series of "rooms", each with a different character of colour and/or theme, divided by high clipped hedges and pink brick walls.

Day 8: County Towns of Kent – Hever Castle – Chartwell – London

Enjoy a visit to Hever Castle for a guided tour of these award-winning formal gardens. Each garden has its own style and character, from the giant topiary chess set and herb collection of the Tudor Garden to the magnificent Pompeiian Wall and collection of classical statuary in the Italian Garden. The celebrated Rose Garden contains over 4,000 roses within its walls, and there's an impressive herbaceous border stretching over 100 metres. You will also have an included ticket to see inside the castle itself at your own pace. The oldest part of the castle dates to 1270 and it has become well known as the childhood home of its most famous inhabitant, Anne Boleyn - wife of Henry VIII. Later travel a short distance to visit Chartwell, where Sir Winston Churchill lived with his wife until his death in 1965. Now owned by the National Trust, the house and gardens have been beautifully preserved. Return to London this evening where you will enjoy a Farewell Dinner.

Day 9: Depart London

Say goodbye to your fellow travellers at the end of your holiday.

Inclusions 
Meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 cream tea, 4 dinners
Transport: Luxury air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 8 nights
Guide: An expert Travel Director & separate Driver
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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