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England, Tours from London

ENGLAND - For such a relatively small country, there is such an amazing array of places to discover. As one of our guides says, "'scratch' England and it 'bleeds' history!" Each region has their distinctive characters, customs, specialty foods and accents! Walk among the rolling green hills and dramatic coastlines of the South West, sample cider in Somerset, wine in Kent, Ale in Cumbria. Taste a real Cornish pastie in Cornwall or nibble local Wensleydale cheese and a Yorkshire pudding in Yorkshire. See a Premier League game Manchester, find the Fab Four in Liverpool, trek the artist trail in East Anglia, wander the antique shops of the Cotswolds. View London’s iconic skyline from the top of Tower Bridge, and visit Britain’s impressive collections of art and antiquities at the city’s world-class museums.

 

Bustling cities, historic towns, cosy villages, traditional pubs, contemporary nightlife, epic national parks and gentle countryside, locally grown food and historic ruins: there are so many things to do across the country. Historic culture meets modern culture in a mix that is as compelling as it is unique. The only question is, where to start?!

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England, UK: SCHEDULED Tours from London
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RHS Chelsea Flower Show, English Gardens of Kent and Cotswolds Tour

May 16th - May 23rd 2018
May 15th - May 22nd 2019

This tour is designed as a brief introduction to the gardens in two of England loveliest counties, Kent, and the Heart of England. There are flower-filled gardens, formal and informal, large and small, planned and wild, all bursting into riots of color and overloading the senses with fragrant smells and sights.

 

Going beyond the usual tourist route in our mini-coach, off the beaten track where those herded on impersonal big buses can’t go, we will introduce you to some local treasures as well as the major sites. Your multi-talented driver/guide will fill in each touring day as time will permit, with visits to some little local gems, participants in the National Gardens Scheme, gardens open for charity. We’ll see properties designed by some of the ‘Best of British,’ Gertrude Jekyll, ‘Capability’ Brown and maybe discover the next ‘Big Thing’ at the Chelsea Flower Show.

 

The highlight of our gardening adventure is sure to be an annual membership in the Royal Horticultural Society. The RHS is the premiere UK gardening organization. Membership offers a host of benefits including a garden magazine full of gardening advice, discounted/complimentary entrances to dozens of gardens throughout the year and priority access to the RHS Flower Shows. Your tour package also includes a full day ticket to a member only day to the Chelsea Flower Show. This delightful tour is sure to please everyone, avid gardeners and beginners alike!

 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show anticipated show dates:

22-26 May, 2018

21-25 May, 2019

19-23 May, 2020

 

This is our most popular scheduled tour itineraries — Book early to avoid disappointment!

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'Week' with Jane Austen: Hampshire, Bath, Cotswolds villages & stately homes of the Peak District

July 16th - July 25th 2018
July 08th - July 17th 2019

OK so we’re taking a big of dramatic license as our tour is a 10 day ‘week!’

 

This is an adventure into the world of Jane Austen, places where the author herself lived or visited and places of inspiration for her novels. Enjoy fragrant gardens, thatched country villages and small parish churches. We’ll explore the regal estates used for recent film versions of her works. We’ll sample local favorite dishes, regionally made wines and ales and have lovely experiences off the beaten track, meeting the locals.

 

Our tour will visit some highlights of the English counties of Hampshire and Heart of England, the region famous for the Cotswolds villages and some of the countries’ best gardens. Both regions offer quite a number of worthy attractions in their own right, our tour adds in the fun bonus of exploring their Jane Austen connections too. Along the way, enjoy literary connections to a few other great British writers and the iconic towns of Stratford-Upon-Avon, Salisbury and Bath. We’ll explore the lesser known area of the Peak District, where we will explore some amazingly regal stately homes and gardens used as film sites for recent film versions of Jane Austen’s works. Imagine yourself in the arms of the BBC’s leading men at Chatsworth (real life home of Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire) and Lyme Park, home to one famed lake!

 

We hope this is an interesting way to explore several lovely regions of Britain while giving you the opportunity to ‘get inside’ some of your beloved novels. All in all, this is simply a well rounded holiday for the Jane Austen fan as well as their companions!

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Classic Literary England

July 30th - August 10th 2018
July 22nd - August 02nd 2019

Canterbury, Dover, Chawton, Salisbury, Bath, Cotswolds, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Lake District, York

Shakespeare-Dickens-Jane Austen-Wordsworth-James Herriot-Brontes-Tolkien-Lewis Carroll-Beatrix Potter-’Downton Abbey’-‘Harry Potter’

 

This tour is geared towards visitors who wish to see the classical heritage sites of England. Our goal is to also appeal to fans of classic literature, as we use the country’s rich literary heritage as our theme.

 

You are invited to get off the beaten track, see thatch roofed villages, oast houses and charming market towns as well as the iconic sites, hopefully away from the mad tourist throng. Meander the countryside and enjoy evenings out among the locals.

 

See ‘big day trip’ destinations Canterbury & Dover, Salisbury & Bath, Stratford & Oxford but also Dickens’ Rochester, Jane Austen’s Chawton and Winchester, Vita Sackville-West’s famed Sissinghurst Gardens and then north to the amazing Yorkshire Dales of James Herriot, the sweeping Moors of the Bronte sisters and the stunning Lake District, home of Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. See some Downton Abbey and Harry Potter film sites along the way too.

 

CLASSIC scenery, CLASSIC tradition, CLASSIC history, CLASSIC authors…join us for a real CLASSIC ROUTE tour experience!

 

 

 

LOGISTICAL NOTE: This itinerary is a ‘sampler’ tour visiting several regions of England so involves a bit more driving than the ‘solo region’ itineraries but is still a Small Group Touring Experience, any longer drives are broken up and balanced by ample ‘off the beaten track’ explorations – and NO back and forth daily to London!

 

This itinerary is also available for private groups, modified to your specific wishes, at the date of your choice – subject to vehicle and guide availability. Great for school groups!

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Devon & Cornwall – West Country Writers, the ‘Mystery Writers Trail’

October 07th - October 12th 2018
September 29th - October 04th 2019

This tour is not just for the literary minded, as this is a region with much to offer visitors!

 

The English counties of Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and Somerset, collectively known as ‘The West Country,’ offer a rich tapestry of literary heritage. Here are the brooding settings for the mystery stories of 'Sherlock Holmes' and 'Miss Marple,' the sea side intrigue of Rebecca, mystical King Arthur legends and the still charming landscapes of a time gone by.

 

If you’ve enjoyed the stories of Jane Austen, Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Thomas Hardy and Arthur Conan Doyle then this is the tour for you, taking you through the inspirational landscapes for their novels.

 

For lovers of countryside there are rolling downs, rugged seascapes, atmospheric moorlands and the lush, green country that is so representative of England. Gourmets will die for the cream teas, real Cornish pasties, freshly caught seafood and farmhouse cooking. You’ll never forget the narrow country lanes where the hedgerows grow higher than the cars, the villages where it’s difficult for bicycles to pass let alone other motorized vehicles, the thatched cottage hamlets and small fishing harbors accessible only on foot. This is a true feast for all of the senses!

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Jane Austen Hampshire & Bath

July 16th - July 20th 2018
July 08th - July 12th 2019

Our tour follows the trail of one of the world’s favourite writers. See the places that inspired Jane Austen, where she lived, wrote her most important works and some of the treasure houses captured as settings for recent film versions of her works.

 

You’ll explore Hampshire, where Jane Austen spent most of her life, including the small parish church in Steventon and Chawton Cottage, now a museum dedicated to her life and works. There’s Winchester, her final resting place, Southampton and the popular holiday spot Lyme Regis and the city of Bath, where you can walk along the Georgian streets in Jane’s as well as her some of her character’s footsteps. We’ll see gardens from the Regency period, classic stately homes and discover real life local connections to Jane Austen and a few films sites from recent popular versions her works.

 

This is a lovely homes and gardens tour for both hard core and casual Jane Austen fans!

England, UK: Suggested Tours from London, from Custom Departures
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England Quilts & Antiques: Classic Route

Custom trip - As you please!

While visiting some of England’s most attractive CLASSIC cities, towns and villages, you’ll be taken to a variety of places on our quilts, textiles, tapestries and antiques theme. We’ll see some of England’s iconic sites plus a selection of specialty shops, stately homes, traditional working mills and fine china outlets. This tour features beautiful English countryside, charming market towns and thatch roofed villages. CLASSIC scenery, CLASSIC tradition, CLASSIC history…join us for a real CLASSIC tour!

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Literary Heritage in Southern England and Wales

Custom trip - As you please!

This is a feast for the bookworm, the literary-minded and simply those who enjoy seeing and learning about a country, not just ‘photographing the sites’ from a bus window. Here’s the plot: our knowledgeable and entertaining guide takes you through some of the UK’s prettiest landscapes, visiting author’s homes, literary museums, towns and villages where stories are set, and places that obviously inspired the artist’s muse. These are lovely areas that many visitors to the UK choose - this tour option gives the 'extra layer' of using the classic literary heritage as a guide, getting more in depth, with the opportunity of meeting like minded locals!

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In Search of That By Wizard: Harry Potter tour

Custom trip - As you please!

What a fantastic opportunity to visit England with the ‘kids’ or ‘grandkids’, introduce them to British culture, history and literature, while at the same time discovering the world of J K Rowling and Harry Potter through visits to film locations and sites and attractions associated with the boy-wizard and friends. Quite unashamedly we’ve designed this tour to capitalize on the appeal of Harry Potter to include many other magical works of children’s literature.

 

Our memorable, fun-filled and magical tour has it all! Yes, there’s 'Hogwarts School' and a taste of riding a ‘Hogwarts Express’. There are Harry’s feathered friends, witches and fairies. There are giants (you!), ghosts, and a flight across London’s rooftops… All this and visits to the historic cities of Gloucester and Oxford. You’ll see fabulous castles, timeless villages and prehistoric temples. You’ll explore beneath the depths of the earth in deep caves and caverns and discover, too, the works of other marvelous, magical writers and their creations. We bring alive, through a selection of visits, Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’, J R R Tolkien’ ‘Lord of the Rings’, C S Lewis ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’, Kenneth Graham’s ‘Wind in the Willows’ and the magic of the Merlin and King Arthur legends.

This is a fun tour where adult and child can share the experience.

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Roman Britain South, Hampshire & South Wales

Custom trip - As you please!

At the time of the Roman invasions of 45 & 55BC, Britain was still in the late Iron Age, inhabited by Celtic tribes whose ancestors had emigrated centuries before from the Danube basin. In July 54BC with 50,000 men General Julius Caesar landed in Southern England unopposed and crossed the River Thames. It was to be the start of 450 years of occupation and settlement.

 

Our tour will visit major sites of Roman occupation in the south of England , to see how they lived, relaxed and what major benefits, including 8,000 miles of road, they brought to the inhabitants to this Roman outpost. You’ll see examples of villas, fortresses, amphitheatres (including the best preserved in the UK) and towns. You’ll visit superb modern interpretative centres and see reconstruction of life under the Romans.

 

To add to your enjoyment, the sites are all set in some of the UK’s prettiest landscape and amidst its oldest cities. There’s plenty more to see and do on this tour for those who are not quite perhaps as enthusiastic about learning of Roman Britain as others may be!

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Roman Britain, England and Wales: A Classic Route

Custom trip - As you please!

The Romans ruled Britain for nearly 400 years. It wasn't an easy task - Queen Boudicea inflicted the heaviest defeat on Imperial Rome but, ultimately, the local Celtic tribes were no match for their organized military precision. Romans settled in, built highly decorated villas resplendent with mosaics, ornate gardens with fine statuary, extensive towns, bathhouses, amphitheaters and temples. They even left us with their language! Despite the intervening 1600 years with Saxon, Viking, Norman and Mediaeval settlements often built on top of Roman buildings, there's still plenty of physical evidence of their occupation to discover.

 

This tour, while focused on historical and ancient Roman remains, visits some of the prettiest parts of the UK. Tour companions who might not be quite as keen on the main theme will find plenty of distractions!

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Brighton & “Bloomsbury in Sussex” Weekend

Custom trip - As you please!

See the seaside towns of Brighton & Rye, meander classic countryside, discover 1066 history, relax in the cottage gardens & inspirational homes of some of England’s greatest writers and artists.

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Kent & Sussex Literary Landscapes: Dickens, 'Bloomsbury Group,' 'James Bond' & Jane Austen

Custom trip - As you please!

The county of Kent is known as ‘The Garden of England’ and we will see a variety of properties connected to some well known British writers including Virginia Woolf, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, James Bond's Ian Fleming and some film locations for recent Jane Austen films. See a place or two with a real life connection to our Ms Austen too!

 

In addition to gardens and the marvelously scenic countryside, dotted with oast houses and sometimes lavender fields, this region offers opulent stately homes, historic castles and a rich history dating from the time England began. This tour is designed to hopefully be a fun twist on the usual stately homes and country gardens tour, to satisfy the literary minded and general interest alike!

 

All this, plus if you choose a June departure date, the opportunity to meet the locals at the annual Broadstairs Dickens Festival. Note that the Dickens Festival is held annually 3rd week of June, subject to schedules and availability.

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Spires, Steeples and Spiritual Britain: A Classic Route

Custom trip - As you please!

Britain is truly blessed with the sort of ecclesiastical architectural and cultural heritage you don't have to be religious to appreciate! There are the magnificent gothic cathedrals towering above their surrounds, exquisite early Saxon structures from 6th and 7th century. There are quaint parish churches, breathtaking ruined abbeys, their remains still testifying to their past glories and many Christian sites built upon ancient places of worship.

 

There are the simple chapels of Methodism and the sumptuous hidden chapels sited inside the great stately homes, each with treasures to discover and countless stories to unfold. Great works of art, splendid stained glass, memorable tomb architecture, carvings and memorials to long forgotten battles. Travel amid stunning countryside, a cathedral of nature waiting to be discovered.

 

The UK offers a host of churches, synagogues, mosques and temples which illustrate not only an incredible religious history but also multicultural diversity. Simply steeped in heritage! Explore the UK from the perspective of its religious houses. This itinerary focuses on Christian heritage but there is a wealth of Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh faith connections to also investigate. You tell us your priority and focus (on a specific faith or an overview of all) and SGT will create an itinerary to especially suit your specific interests.

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Celebrating Shakespeare & Tudor England: London, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Heart of England

Custom trip - As you please!

Our explorations follow the haunts of William Shakespeare in and around his home town of Stratford-Upon-Avon and London. This is a theatre tour, a literary heritage adventure, a garden sampler and a general interest focus on London and the Midlands. The tour will feature quaint villages, beautiful stately homes, a castle and gardens throughout the Heart of England and around the capital, all stunningly beautiful in their own right and many of which have Tudor connections, some which would have been known to the Bard. Go backstage to 3 of the UK's top theatres, experience a theatre workshop and have opportunity to attend a variety of performances.

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Downton Abbey and Jane Austen: Stately Homes and Country Villages

Custom trip - As you please!

On this adventure into the 'World of Downton Abbey' we will visit film sites, places immediately recognizable from the show, but also highlight places that would have been a part of the world of the Crawley family. See stately homes, stunning gardens, classical British sites like Oxford and Winchester. Explore what life was like in the time period of Downton, through the Great War, the Suffragette Movement, the rise of 'new American money' families and the emerging art and writing communities like The Bloomsbury group. Along the way, see 'Jane Austen Country' in the lovely county of Hampshire, enjoy sumptuous afternoon teas, country pub meals and time in the ever evolving capital city of London, a favourite of every age!

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'World of Downton Abbey' Stately Homes & Country Villages Weekend

Custom trip - As you please!

On this adventure into the ‘World of Downton Abbey’ we will visit film sites, places immediately recognizable from the show, but also highlight some places that would have been a part of the world of the Crawley family. See stately homes, stunning gardens, quaint country villages – classical British sites all!

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England's West Country Gardens, Devon and Cornwall

Custom trip - As you please!

The south-west corner of England enjoys a more temperate climate than the remainder of the country. Here, the warm Gulf Stream washes the coast and the soft undulations of the hills and high hedgerows shield gardens from the ravages of the worst weather. It’s not surprising, then, to find a concentration of England’s finest gardens all gathered here. First time visitors do gasp at the profusion of species, even finding palm trees totally unexpected!

 

Our tour features a diverse selection of the best gardens - large and small, public and private, formal, wild and tropical. All of these stunning horticultural landscapes along with the charming local sites, quaint harbors, rugged coastline, ancient stone circles, freshly caught seafood, local specialties of pasties and cream teas to sample and last but not least, the friendliness of the local people. According to the Cornwall Gardens Guide, “Cornwall is often described as the 'garden capital of the world' as the lush vegetation and colour give garden lovers a feast for the eyes all year round.”

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UK Rock Weekend Tour: Led Zeppelin Trail

Custom trip - As you please!

A fantastic journey of discovery for all Led Zep fans, through the West Country, Wales and the English Midlands. This is a wonderful opportunity of seeing some pretty and historic parts of England and Wales while indulging our passion for the World’s Greatest Rock Band!

 

You’ve found London’s original and founding rock tour company (since 1986). Let us share our passion with you: choose your itinerary from one of the many DAILY tours we run; half-day morning or afternoon or the full-day rock heritage tour, or choose one of our special band or genre tours. You’ll find full description for each tour on this site; just send an email to check the date and book. Whichever one you take, we’re looking forward to meeting our fellow rock fans.

 

Your record collection will never sound the same again: We will rock you!

 

 

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Ian Fleming, the 'Birth' of James Bond and the Battle for Dieppe

Custom trip - As you please!

For decades, the Raid on Dieppe was considered to be nothing but a general rehearsal for the real thing to come in Normandy. But was that really the only objective to off-set the immense loss of lives? Join us and explore the possibility of the Dieppe raid being a cover for a “pinch” by the Commando’s to steal the German Enigma code machine. Find out about Ian Fleming’s involvement, from the Whitehall offices where he encountered the real life 'characters' that inspired the James Bond stories to the double agents from the XX-Committee that would provide him with the 00-moniker used in the naval department.

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Wartime Kent & Ian Fleming/James Bond Weekend...including Dover & Canterbury

Custom trip - As you please!

Mr Churchill passed away at age 90 on 24 January, 1965. Personal items from Churchill's family including the last photograph of the wartime leader are now on display for the first time in his home of Chartwell. Explore the life and times of this great leader, the man who led Britain through its darkest hours.

 

On this short tour, see Britain’s Homefront during WWII, amazing countryside, Churchill’s beloved home and gardens of Chartwell, places of Ian Fleming’s inspiration, some James Bond film sites, historic Dover Castle and the charming town of Canterbury with its famed cathedral.

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Victorian 'Christmas Carol' - London and Dickens' Kent

Custom trip - As you please!

London acquires a special sparkle around Christmas time. The weather is frosty, the Christmas lights are twinkling, store fronts glisten and shoppers line the streets. One seasonal highlight is the giant pine tree that beautifully adorns Trafalgar Square each year, a gift from the people of Norway. Many traditional markets are on around the capital. Hyde Park is transformed into a ‘Winter Wonderland.’ There’s ice skating, carol services, Nutcracker Suites, pantomimes, mulled wine, hot cider, some ‘wassailing’ to be done!

 

Each year, early December brings Victorian festivities to Rochester, a ‘real’ Dickensian Christmas where you can experience the entertainments taking place around the charming town, its cathedral and castle.

 

Get into the Holiday spirit at some well known historical attractions, decked out in the winter finery - Hampton Court Palace, Canterbury Cathedral and Hever Castle. Surely this tour will be a lovely start to a wonderful Holiday season!

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The Friendly Invasion: The Mighty Eighth & Dambusters 9 day Tour

Custom trip - As you please!

"The Friendly Invasion" of US Airmen in East Anglia, Cambridge; "Dambusters" in Lincolnshire & Peak District

 

East Anglia, just a stone's throw from the capital of London, yet an area largely undiscovered by visitors. Here you can walk in the footsteps of the pilgrims fathers, Romans, Viking, Queen Boudicca, Anglo Saxons and Normans. It was here in the ancient corner, amid this history, that the US Air Force servicemen, those who fought and died defending our freedom and democracy, settled and fought the Nazis during WW II. Discover a rich, green land so indicative of England, a rural paradise of 'higgledy-piggledy' villages and market towns largely unchanged since Gainsbourough painted them or since the brave of the Mighty Eighth flew over them.

 

"The U.S. military presence in the United Kingdom during World War II was immense. Between 1941 and 1945, three million U.S. servicemen and women flowed through Great Britain (with the Yanks taking 50,000 British war brides and a few war grooms in passing). By itself, the U.S. Army Air Forces contributed 500,000 personnel to this “friendly invasion,” with 350,000 of those in the Eighth Air Force alone. Compared with U.S. service personnel in other regions of England, the Eighth Air Force arrived earlier, stayed later, and settled more heavily in East Anglia. In 1944, one in seven residents of Suffolk County was American." - by John Fleischman, AIR & SPACE MAGAZINE

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The Friendly Invasion, Masters of the Air, The Mighty Eighth 4 day Tour

Custom trip - As you please!

East Anglia, just a stone's throw from the capital of London, yet an area largely undiscovered by visitors. Here you can walk in the footsteps of the pilgrims fathers, Romans, Viking, Queen Boudicca, Anglo Saxons and Normans. It was here in the ancient corner, amid this history, that the US Air Force servicemen, those who fought and died defending our freedom and democracy, settled and fought the Nazis during WW II. Discover a rich, green land so indicative of England, a rural paradise of 'higgledy-piggledy' villages and market towns largely unchanged since Gainsbourough painted them or since the brave of the Mighty Eighth flew over them.

 

"The U.S. military presence in the United Kingdom during World War II was immense. Between 1941 and 1945, three million U.S. servicemen and women flowed through Great Britain (with the Yanks taking 50,000 British war brides and a few war grooms in passing). By itself, the U.S. Army Air Forces contributed 500,000 personnel to this “friendly invasion,” with 350,000 of those in the Eighth Air Force alone. Compared with U.S. service personnel in other regions of England, the Eighth Air Force arrived earlier, stayed later, and settled more heavily in East Anglia. In 1944, one in seven residents of Suffolk County was American." - by John Fleischman, AIR & SPACE MAGAZINE

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Footsteps of a Queen, Tudor England

Custom trip - As you please!

Before radio, TV or internet, how was an English Monarch to stay in touch with the people?

 

Queen Elizabeth I went on tour each summer. During this Golden Age of England, Elizabeth’s reign brought wealth and stability to the nation and she enjoyed a special relationship of adoration and respect from her subjects. Each summer, Elizabeth went on her tours, or ‘progresses,’ to stay in tune with the needs and wants of the people. One of her more famous trips took place in 1575 and we will loosely follow in the “footsteps of the Queen” to discover some of the rich heritage of Tudor England.

 

Our explorations will feature the quaint villages, beautiful stately homes/castles and gardens throughout the Heart of England and around the capital, all stunningly beautiful in their own right and many of which have Tudor connections. See Stratford-Upon-Avon, Hampton Court Palace, Oxford, Windsor Castle and charming villages around the Heart of England. The Highlights of Tudor England. This is an itinerary we hope is a fun twist to the usual ‘homes and gardens’ tour!

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The Great West Way Tour – Icons and Scenic Countryside

Custom trip - As you please!

"The Great West Way" is based on the first road commissioned by the Kings of England. Visitors do not have to travel far out of London to delve deeper into the countryside, the lush green landscapes that hold a wealth of treasures, both the world famous and soon-to-be-discovered hidden gems. Along The Great West Way you will find extrodinary ancient momuments, quaint traditional villages, 'olde worlde' pubs and inns; World Heritage Sites rub shoulders with friendly local communities. Explore Royal Windsor, Roman Bath, Regal Salisbury, timeless Stonehenge and historic Oxford. It is all here waiting for you to discover!

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A Ladies Adventure Around Cornwall

Custom trip - As you please!

The south-west corner of England enjoys a more temperate climate than the remainder of the country. Our tour features a diverse selection activities along with the charming local sites, quaint harbors, beautiful coastline, ancient stone circles, freshly caught seafood, local specialties sample and last but not least, the friendliness of the local people.

 

For lovers of countryside there are rolling downs, rugged seascapes and atmospheric moorlands. For those who enjoy history there are castles, King Arthur connections, the prehistoric and Roman sites. Literature lovers will be thrilled to see the lands of Jane Austen, Agatha Cristie and Daphne Du Maurier. Gourmets will die for the cream teas, real Cornish pasties and farmhouse cooking. It is doubtful that you will ever forget the narrow country lanes where the hedgerows grow higher than the cars, the villages where it's difficult for bicycles to pass let alone motorized vehicles, the thatched cottage hamlets and small fishing harbours accessible only on foot.

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Thank You Mrs Pankhurst, A Ladies Adventure Celebrating Pioneers of Women’s Rights

Custom trip - As you please!

"Walk past St Paul’s Cathedral and you can’t shake the weight of history that hovers in its midst – the Great Fire, Lord Nelson’s funeral, the bombs raining down in the Blitz. In Manchester, there’s no surer way of hammering home the city’s industrial past than a quick canal-side stroll. But when it comes to women’s fight for equality, the markers of that chapter of history are hidden. Every day we unknowingly walk past the places that witnessed the history of equality unfold. We don’t give them a second glance but the history is everywhere...In various spots across the two cities...Women risked their livelihoods and reputations for the cause, and it even split the movement, going on hunger strike in jail and being force-fed by their jailers. In fact, it’s easy to gloss over the sacrifice they made, which is why their full history deserves to be retraced now. Consider this your guide to following in the steps of the women to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. After all it’s said you can’t fully understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. So, what are you waiting for?" - Stylist Magazine, Suffragette Cities article

 

Come and celebrate the strong women who paved the way for us today. 2018 marks 100 years since women partially won the right to vote in the UK, the Representation of the People Act extended the vote to all men over 21, and to some groups of women over 30.

 

The movement to gain votes for women had two arms: the suffragists and the suffragettes. In 1897, the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies was formed under the leadership of Millicent Fawcett. The NUWSS wanted the vote for middle class property-owning women. They used peaceful tactics to campaign - non-violent demonstrations, petitions and the lobbying of MPs. Born out of this suffragist movement, came the more militant 'suffragettes' led by Emmeline Pankhurst, she decided to break with the NUWSS in 1903 and set up a separate society that included younger and working class women. Their motto was "deeds not words" and violence, hunger strikes and law-breaking became part of their campaign tactics. Their goal was to make noise, make an impact that would get the attention of the public.

 

'Vote 100' centenary exhibition, June - September 2018 - a major exhibition in Westminster Hall covering the growth of the male franchise, the campaign for votes for women, and the representation of women in the House of Commons and House of Lords

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Maritime Britain

Custom trip - As you please!

"Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves..."  This sceptred isle, set in a silver sea, has long depended upon its prowess as a maritime power. History records that, in the context of its time, it was the greatest maritime power ever. But in addition to the great fighting ships and traditions established by Nelson, Penn and Jellicoe, Britain's maritime past is rich with other seafaring traditions. It has been a nation of sea going explorers - Cabot, Raleigh, Drake and Cook.  It has been a nation of pirates and privateers, real and imaginary - Captain Kidd, Henry Morgan and Long John Silver.  It's also been home to unnamed smugglers and 'wreckers'.  It once boasted the world's largest commercial marine fleet.  It was, and still to some extent is, a nation of fishermen plying their trade from a hundred ports and harbours. 

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In Search of The Pilgrim Fathers, The Mayflower 400, 1620 - 2020

Custom trip - As you please!

A drive through New England USA bears witness to the origins of the earliest European settlers of America. The names of “the pilgrim fathers” are remembered, as are the towns and villages of “the olde world.” This tour is a voyage to discover the circumstances that drove those people who left England for an uncertain future in a far-off land, in search of freedom, and what they left behind.

 

This is an opportunity to introduce visitors to the lovely yet often overlooked corner of Eastern England. We will discover Tudor heritage, some beautiful stately homes and some timeless country villages. Join this trip through the shires of Suffolk, Cambridge, Essex and Lincolnshire.

 

For some Americans it's a journey into their own past, their personal heritage. For others, it’s a chance to seek out the real history underneath the fairytales, the truths not explored in the textbooks.

 

We invite guests to also consider taking this Mayflower tour’s companion trip, Celebrating Native American Tribes of New England. There is also the 6 day Maritime Britain tour to consider, which features time in England's Southwest region including Plymouth, where the Mayflower set sail for America.