Testimonials

Client feedback letters, cards and emails, treasured items all, are frankly one of the best reasons why we do what we do!

Here below are a few examples of the unsolicited words of praise from tours over the last couple of seasons. Some of our clients are kind enough to also offer themselves as personal references, allowing us to give you their contact details should you wish to speak directly with them. Contact us for further info if you wish.

Some feedback is listed on the individual itineraries and some more here from a few of our recent guests:

Dear Kate, It's hard to believe that six months have passed since our wonderful trip to England. The happy faces in the photo sum up what we all felt about the entire trip and its culmination at the Chelsea Flower Show…. we spent a lot of time reliving our journey and wishing we could go and do it all again tomorrow. Thank you so much for everything. Of course we realize that two elements that made the trip so memorable were non-replicable and sheer luck--the small size of our group and the impeccable weather. However, all those aspects that were planned and under control went without a hitch: the hotels, the food, the gardens, the transportation and coordination. And John's knowledge, leadership and companionship were the icing on the cake…And that is something you won't find just anywhere…Rest assured that we'll be conspiring to come back again for another itinerary--perhaps ten different gardens! Warm Regards, Jane Solomon

—2010 SGT Chelsea Flower Show tour

Dear Kate, Thank you for arranging a delightful trip for us and securing David to guide us through it with humor and terrific expertise...Thanks...

—Mike and Sigrid, custom Jane Austen/George Eliot tour

Our tour was awesome! It far exceeded our expectations. Mike was a “walking encyclopedia” of knowledge: no matter what question was posed, he knew the answer and then some. The history and culture that he added made all of the sites much more memorable and meaningful. And we sure did travel the back roads! In fact, on several occasions, he had to back up the vehicle to let another pass by. He was very in tuned with our desire to be flexible and he was very efficient in calling ahead for reservations and sites and restaurants. We all really enjoyed his company. The vehicle was comfortable and ideal for viewing the landscape and points of interest. The lodging was also fine.

Kate, you did a great job at putting this together for us. We look forward to connecting with you again on a future trip. I would not hesitate to give you, Mike, and your company the highest of recommendations….Thanks so much for making me look good and providing a great experience for us.

—Anne Klink, Target Training International Ltd, www.ttifamilyfirst.com, custom company group trip in The Midlands, South Wales & Wessex

We wanted to thank you so much for arranging our trip to experience the sights of London and west England. It unfolded without problems or unwanted surprises, but with many wonderful experiences. John was the perfect choice for us – thoughtful and extraordinarily knowledgeable while being flexible and developing a close relationship with the students. Overall, we couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you again for all the work you did to ensure its success.

—Ernie and Sarah, custom high school student literary tour

I wanted to report on the experience we had with the B & B’s and with Michael Smith. Michael did a great job...He did a very good job and a pleasant fellow to be with. Three days with Madeleine and Peter at Mesnieres-en-Bray was wonderful. Perfectly charming hosts who provided much information on my quest for information about the resistance. The meals we had there were very good and we especially enjoyed the company of other guests – at both B & B’s. The Mill at Ste-Beuve-en-Riviere, Duncan and Lynn, was equally enjoyable. The room (actually a suite) was large...It is an old mill in the country with a pleasant outdoor pavilion where we were able to have one dinner in front of a fireplace...Lynn’s cooking was absolutely outstanding, with gooseberry pie desert one evening (the first gooseberries after three years of cultivating!) and then the last night - a gooseberry compote. They grow a lot of the food we ate. At both B & B’s the owners did all the work, but ate with us in the evening just as you would at a neighbor’s home...Thanks for your help...

—Jim & Marlene, custom battlefield tour

Our Cornwall tour with Mike was a full success. He is a wonderful guide and it is a pleasure listening to him. We enjoyed the country and the astonishingly good food. I'm sure you'll see us again for another tour. Many thanks to you for the good organisation.

—Hans, custom Cornwall tour

Just a note and a thank you; I do not fill out evaluation forms as they never cover what I want. Jeremy was very good, I would recommend him to anyone...Your company did great one more time. Again thank you.

—Gilbert, custom family Paris & Normandy Beaches

We just returned from our day of travels. Rod was a wonderful host, as he made our visit both enjoyable and informative. We felt like we were visiting family here. We had the opportunity to visit all of our sites on the wish list and still have a relaxing lunch in St. Mere Eglise. Thank you so much for saving our trip...If you ever plan a trip to Chicago, please let us know and we will be your guides.

—Gary and family, custom D-Day day trip

Ireland was spectacular. All on the tour with Jay gave the trip grand reviews. And that was a very mixed crowd. Jay was great. There wasn't one single place I liked better although I am glad we visited the north with Jay. All our hotel accommodations were great as well. There was a comfortable mix of activities and again Jay made the trip seamless...All was great. I will highly recommend...THANKS a million.

—Pat B, custom family Ireland tour

Dear Kate, A special thanks to you for all your help in making reservations and going out of your way to be sure our travels are wonderful. The hotels in York and Oxford and London have all been fine experiences and our back roads tours special - the places and the people just grand! All the Best, Bob and Emily

—The Steeles, custom England & scheduled Cornwall tour

Thank you...the trip was wonderful...Mark Mahoney, our guide, was excellent. He immediately put us at ease and made sure to give us options throughout the tour...[my grandson] Zander told me on the steam train he wished we could travel more like that on vacations...as far as [my husband] Dave and I are concerned, we loved the ‘backroads’ concept and staying in different places, like the Tor Farm, was a real highlight. This was a vacation I don’t think Zander will ever forget and I know it’s in our great memory book! Thanks for everything

—Van Carson, Harry Potter 9 day tour [excerpt from a 3.5 page thank you letter!]

Just wanted to follow up with you after the tour! We just got home on Sunday from our holiday, and the London portion of our trip was definitely one of the highlights!! I really, REALLY enjoyed our Clash/Joe tour of London. Damon was great, and really tried to help us see everything we wanted to see...he definitely tried to get us to all of our most important sites (and even threw in a few Jimi Hendrix and Beatles spots for good measure!) Thanks for all of your help in setting this up! I had a BLAST.

—Heather Mendoza, custom Clash/Joe Strummer’s London day tour

David Wood sends his regards. He is far and away the best guide we have used. He’s a great gentleman with a marvelous sense of humor – which is what anyone traveling with me must have. All of our accommodations were excellent. We saw a lot of Wales and traveled on roads I doubt the large tour buses ever use. Our trip to Scotland [booked elsewhere] was almost anti-climatic after seeing so much beautiful scenery in Wales...

—Lewis Ripps, custom Wales tour

I booked directly with Kate, who was perfect

—Ellen, Cream Teas tour

Thanks for everything and especially for your really excellent individual service

—Christine, Ireland tour

We just wanted to thank you for the most fabulous vacation and honeymoon ever. My husband and I did not want to do the ‘lie on the beach’ type honeymoon. With our tour of Ireland and Scotland, we were able to explore our family heritage as well as have an adventure. A highlight was definitely the haunted castle in Scotland! This trip has given us memories and photographs to treasure for a lifetime. PS – yes, the Guinness DOES taste better in Ireland!

—Barb and Steve Mc Donnell, Ireland & Scotland Tours

Just a quick note to say thanks for a great trip in France. After a fantastic time on a London day trip to Bath/Stonehenge and the Rock n Roll London tour last year, I was ready to take the plunge onto my first longer tour. I enjoyed having some structured time as well as freedom to explore at my leisure - a great balance. The Jazz cafes in Paris were a personal favorite. The guide was really fantastic. Thanks again!

—Kathy Covone, France tour

I took the tour this past weekend and wanted to tell you...the guide from Philly (Kate) who I believe knows everything about rock & roll there is to know did a fantastic job. Absolutely the most knowledgable guide I have had in my many tours in London!!!

—Pete Jensen, Rock & Roll London

Kate was good to work with - very pleasant

—Ann Leeds, North Country tour

…amazing to see settings of favorite novels come alive and also the places where the artists lived and worked! I gained some new perspectives for books that I already loved. It was also very interesting to see such the diversity of culture in a relatively small area. I had a wonderful time and hope to tour with your company again next year.

—Jessica Sherman, Literary England & Italy tours

I just had to write to let you know (and all of the people associated with your office) that we had the most wonderful experiences of our lives thanks to the two trips we took...

—Arlys Krech, Ireland & Scotland tours

I wanted to write and thank you for a wonderful tour in London on September 28th. I was really impressed with our tour guide (Kate.) This was the tour my husband and I were looking forward to the most as we are both music fanatics...I am very interested in taking more of your tours on our next visit. Thank you again for having such awesome tours.

—Christine Hannon, Rock & Roll London

We had a great time! Andy Steel was absolutely great. We bonded extremely well...The hotels were great and the weather was a good as it could have been...Thanks again.

—Steve & friends, custom Battle of the Bulge + Normandy battlefield tour

We are back in the US and I just wanted to share with you our experience on the Sinister Tour. I must say, it was one of the highlights of our trip. Bruce was VERY knowledgeable, entertaining and accommodating and we had a great time… I would gladly encourage anyone I know to take this tour and we were able to see parts of London we never would have known existed…

—Charlie C, private SInister London tour; Sept 2013

I wanted to let you know how much [we] enjoyed our recent Canadian Battlefield tour with Jeff Cormack. It was everything and more than we had hoped for. Your choices for our accommodation and meals was great... We appreciated Jeff's knowledge of the subject matter and his willingness to accommodate our requests...recommend Special Group Tours to anyone that is looking for an above average travelling experience. Thank you so much for a truly great trip!

—Tammy & Wayne, 9 day Canadian Battlefields; Sept 2013

Just to let you to know how much I enjoyed my experience of touring the spiritual sites of the Welsh countryside, all under the umbrella of your capable and expert direction. I had no idea that an organized tour could be so assuredly structured yet so comfortably personalized at the same time.
I cannot say enough for the perfect fit of Mary Baker as our driver and tour guide. She was incredibly knowledgeable, capable, down-to-earth, nurturing, and fun. She didn't just "guide" us but was a catalyst with the group in forming our experience. In short, her performance was superb.
Thank you, Kate, for your very large part in formulating what was, for me, an experience of a lifetime. Be assured, the next time I travel this part of the world, or when friends travel it, Special Group Tours will be my one and only recommendation for expert travel development and guidance. I can't imagine having a better experience anywhere.

—Margy V, custom/private Spiritual Wales tour, Sept 2013