Quilts, Textiles and Antiques Tours
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England Quilts & Antiques: Classic Route
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!
Welsh Quilts & Malvern Quilts UK Quilting Show
The ‘green and pleasant land’ of Wales is quite a source of inspiration for many art forms, from the poetry of Dylan Thomas, to the talented singers in the male voice choirs to the local crafts people of woodwork and textiles. Quilting has been a part of the Welsh culture since at least the 18thCentury. In recent years, interest has been rekindled by local women and we will have the opportunity to meet some of these remarkable ladies. No Welsh Quilts tour would be complete without time in the Jen Jones Centre or visiting with members of the Welsh Quilts Guild.
While visiting a variety of attractions on our quilting theme, we’ll enjoy some of the highlights of this magical country, the scenic countryside of Pembroke National Park and the Gower Coast, Dylan Thomas’ Laugharne, ancient Pentre Ifan and the charming towns of St David’s and Hay-on-Wye. Our grand finale is a full day at the Autumn Quilts UK Show in Malvern, certain to be a treat for quilt lovers!
London Antique Markets and Globe Theatre FRIDAY Day Trip
London Escapes with a Difference! Small Group Touring, from 2 to 16 guests
Special Themes: Gardens, Literary Heritage, Downton Abbey, Antiques, Tudors, Britain at War...
What makes us different? SGT strives to get you off the beaten track so you can have an authentic experience, the opportunity to mingle with the locals. We do not like 'whistle stops' and it is our goal to have guests off of the vehicle exploring as much as possible.
Your SMALL GROUP day trip accommodates from a minimum of 2 guests to a max of just 16 guests per departure. Travel in (dependant on participant numbers) a standard car, MPV/SUV or mini-coach.
DEPARTURE POINT: Sandell Street coach bay, between Wellington Pub and Union Jack Club Waterloo, opposite Waterloo Station; Exit Waterloo station via Exit #2, cross Waterloo Road, you will see the Wellington Pub on your left. Look for your guide holding a SGT sign a few steps down Sandell Street.
DEPARTURE TIME: 08:00 - approx 17:00, with the option of staying independently at Alfie's market post tour
PLEASE NOTE that this particular day trip involves ample walking.
All scheduled day trips go out weekly with a minimum of 2 guests per travel date. Also available any day/date for private departures, subject to vehicle and driver/guide availability. Private departures cost will depend on how many in your party/size of vehicle.
SGT DAY TRIPS Year Round Departures (Saturdays, as noted)
MONDAYS Shakespeare Country: Stratford-Upon-Avon & Cotswolds Villages...including Downton Abbey villages
TUESDAYS Jane Austen’s Hampshire: Chawton & Winchester
WEDNESDAYS Jane Austen’s Bath & Lacock
THURSDAYS Cambridge & IWM Duxford RAF Aviation Museum
FRIDAYS London Antiques Markets & Globe Theatre
SATURDAYS ‘Garden of England’ Sampler: Sissinghurst & Great Dixter (April - September)
SATURDAYS Heroes of WWII: Royal Air Force & Codebreakers of Bletchley Park (October - March)
SUNDAYS Royal Gardens/Winter Hothouse Gardens: Kew & RHS Wisley
Jane Austen’s Family Heritage in Northern Ireland & Donegal
This tour is written for joining special tour leaders/guides, subject to availability. Tour Leaders Richard Mulholland, descendant of the Austen family, and Dr Sophia Hillan, author of "May, Lou & Cass, Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland," on this special adventure into the cultural landscapes of Donegal and Northern Ireland.
Fans of Jane Austen might not immediately think of Ireland as a destination associated with her life or novels but all the elements are here, waiting for you to discover. Using the real life paths of three of Jane Austen’s beloved nieces, delve into the fascinating history of this area. 'Meet' three of Edward Austen Knight’s children, Marianne (May,) Cassandra (Cass) and Louisa (Lou.) See family homes, places connected to their husbands and children; explore lace, linen, knitting and tweed crafts, visit stately homes, a national park, lovely coastal villages, romantic country estates with sumptuous interiors, meander breathtaking countryside, local parish churches, picturesque harbours; see Belfast and iconic Giant's Causeway. Uncover what life was like in early 19th Century, both ‘upstairs and downstairs.’
As a special treat, again subject to availability, your tour can include a private "Regency style" luncheon at Ballyscullion Park hosted by driver/guide Richard, Jane Austen's seven times grand-nephew, and his wife Rosalind.
MORE ABOUT YOUR TOUR LEADER: “Belfast writer and academic Dr Sophia Hillan, formerly associate director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University, has researched the life and times of May, Lou and Cass, their relationship with their famous aunt, how they came to reside in Donegal and, most interestingly, the way their lives came to uncannily resonate with the plots & themes of Austen’s fiction…” Read Joanne Savage’s full article here: http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/article.aspx?art_id=4532
"This is a book that keeps on giving and one which I feel Jane Austen herself would have dearly loved to read." Maggie Lane, Jane Austen Society Newsletter (Oct 2012)
"May Lou and Cass, what a marvellous book. It's a wonderful addition to Jane Austen studies. I knew nothing of any of this and I am really grateful for being enlightened." - Patricia Craig
"An intriguing story, invitingly told." - Hermione Lee
Austen Only Book Review: http://austenonly.com/category/lou-and-cassjane-austens-nieces-in-ireland/
BUY YOUR COPY of “May, Lou & Cass” here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/may-lou-and-cass-sophia-hillan/1110785369?ean=9780856408687
Tudor Day Out: Hampton Court Palace & Hever Castle Day Trip
Henry VIII’s masterpiece Hampton Court Palace is set in over 60 acres of gardens and parklands along the scenic River Thames. Another "Tudor gem" is the double moated Hever Castle but it actually dates back to about 1270. It is most famously known as Anne Boleyn's childhood home.
Enjoy a fabulous day out from the capital!
Celebrating Shakespeare & Tudor England: London, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Heart of England
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.