Category Archives: Beautiful Villages
Staying in London for the New Year’s Celebrations – Looking for New Year’s Day Lunch ideas with a Difference?
How about a Traditional British Lunch with all the trimmings, a great festive atmosphere with like-minded company in a beautiful rural pub.
Every year we get asked the question, what alternatives do we have to give us a Christmas Dinner with a difference.
Well there are a number of tours that leave London for the day to glorious locations and include a lunch stop at a traditional English Country pub, who serve a fabulous lunch with the back drop of a roaring open fire.
Warwick Castle at New Year
One such location we recommend is Stratford-upon-Avon:
For further reading we recommend the official local government tourist site:
Local History of Stratford written by Tim Lambert
Stratford upon Avon was founded by the Saxons when they invaded what is now Warwickshire in the 7th century AD. The name Stratford is made up of Celtic and Saxon words. It was the straet ford that is the ford by the Roman road. Avon is a Celtic word meaning river or water.
At first Stratford Upon Avon was a typical village but in the late 12th century it was transformed into a town. (At that time trade and commerce were growing rapidly and many new towns were founded). In the year 1196 King Richard I granted Stratford the right to hold weekly markets. (In the Middle Ages there were few shops so if you wished to buy or sell anything you had to go to a market).
Soon the town of Stratford Upon Avon was up and running and there were many craftsmen there such as blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, brewers and bakers. Stratford was also known for its malting industry. (Processing barley for brewing).
Medieval Stratford Upon Avon would seem tiny to us. It probably only had a population of between 1,000 and 1,500. However towns were very small in those days. However by the 13th century Stratford had a small grammar school.
Furthermore in the Middle Ages people formed religious communities called guilds. The Guild of the Holy Cross was formed in Stratford in 1269. The guild had its own chapel which still stands.
To continue reading Tim Lamberts excellent work,
You can further helpful information on this lovely area at the official local government site for the Cotswolds:
Follow in the footsteps of Oxford’s famous students, from C.S. Lewis to Bill Clinton, as you stroll the captivating college courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town. Take in the famous ‘dreaming spires’ and see the the Bodleian Library – one of the oldest libraries in Europe – on your travels. You’ll be captivated by the unspoilt narrow alleys and ancient squares of this naturally beautiful town.
Beautiful Cotswold Village – Castle Coombe
A treat for moviegoers of all ages, Christ Church is instantly recognisable as one of the major locations for the Harry Potter films! Marvel at the magical grandeur of the Great Hall, used as the setting for Hogwarts. The Cotswolds
Enjoy views of breathtaking countryside, sleepy villages, and bustling market towns as we drive through the charming scenery of one of England’s most beautiful regions. Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon – Shakespeare’s Birthplace
A market town with a difference, Stratford-upon-Avon is the famous home of arguably the world’s greatest writer, William Shakespeare. Visit the picturesque half-timbered house where the legendary Bard was born to gain fascinating insights into his childhood.
Be part of Britain’s Greatest Medieval Experience! Deep in the heart of Warwick Castle, the Great Hall becomes a hive of activity! Immerse yourself in battle preparations and feel the weight of a medieval sword. Become a soldier – try on a battle helmet for size! Visit the spectacular State Rooms and feast your eyes on Victorian party preparations.
We found this tour and thanks to them; at www.bestvaluetours.co.uk
Are you planning to Visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013? Dont forget the Garden of England – Kent
With 100’s of millions of Garden lovers around the world, it is no wonder the recently celebrated 15o year history – Chelsea Flower show is more popular than ever. With UK and Overseas visitors alike.
Many people travel long distances to see Chelsea and don’t realise in addition to the Show, they are on the doorstep of Kent; ‘The garden of England’ which offer some of the most iconic and spectacular gardens at an array of amazing Staley Homes and other locations.
The Splendour of RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The Chelsea Flower Show: A potted history
Courtesy The Guardian – with thanks. See – The Chelsea Flower Show: A potted history
Over the decades the Chelsea Flower Show has enjoyed a history almost as colourful as its famous displays. Our timeline shows the event’s peaks and troughs:
1862: The UK’s first major national garden event, entitled the Great Spring show, takes place in Kensington, London.
1888: After 26 years of building up a loyal and passionate fan base, the show relocates to Temple, situated between the Embankment and Fleet Street.
1912: The Great Spring show is ditched in favour of the Royal International Horticultural Exhibition and is forced to find a new home. A year later it sets up shop in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where it remains to this day. During the first outing under the new name visitors are introduced to exotic delights such as Japanese dwarf bonsai trees.
1926: For the first time since its conception, the famous flower show is almost a no-show, as organisers decide to postpone due to the general strike. It is eventually held a week later than scheduled.
1953: The celebratory mood of Britain in the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation is captured at a special commemorative Chelsea Flower Show. Several royals attend, but the Queen herself fails to make an appearance.
1972: Influential designer John Brookes shows how to make a little go a long way with his minimalist space-saving designs, and kickstarts a national trend for socialising in the garden.
1987: The show’s blossoming popularity becomes evident when organisers are forced to take the unusual step of restricting tickets due to huge public demand.
1994: Paul Cooper causes a storm in a flowerpot with his ‘Cool and Sexy’ garden, complete with jets that blow air up the skirts of unsuspecting females, and giant pictures of naked, kissing couples.
2002: Prince Charles unveils the Healing Garden, based on ‘sacred geometry’ and ancient religious symbolism. It is designed to help bring together fractured social and religious groups within the UK, and is widely considered a success.
2008: Rebel gardener Diarmuid Gavin wows crowds with an obligatory wacky garden full of giant metal balls and masses of mesh dasies. Meanwhile, the Duke of Edinburgh turns his back on a designer after being politely corrected on the identity of a palm.
2009: There is much speculation about ‘credit crunch Chelsea’, with sponsors pulling out and organisers clipping back budgets. But while the show may not prove quite as extravagant as previous years, additions such as a garden painstakingly crafted from plasticine will surely please the crowds for another year.
For more information see the Official Chelsea Flower Show Site
If you are visiting and want a great value tour that includes Chelsea and all the best of the Kent gardens, we found this 2013 tour:
Day 1: RHS Garden Wisley and Hever Castle
RHS Garden Wisley was gifted to the Royal Horticultural Society in 1903 and since then it has evolved into a world class garden
Explore the beautiful Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden, the picturesque orchard and the huge cathedral-like glass house with its world class tropical plant collection
This afternoon we visit Hever Castle, set in the Kent countryside and once home to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife
Day 2: Sissinghurst and Ightham Mote
Today we travel to Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, created by novelist Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson in the 1930’s
Visit the rose garden, the white garden, the cottage garden and parts of the house open to the public. This afternoon we visit Ightham Mote, deservedly one of the most popular small gardens in the region
Highlights include the Great Hall, the Tudor painted celling and the peaceful garden with an orchard, lake and woodland walks
Day 3: Pashley Manor Gardens, Merriments and Great Dixter House and Gardens
Our first visit today is to Pashley Manor Gardens, described as the very essence of an English garden
Then it’s on to another English icon and the largest half-timbered house in England, The Great Dixter. The arts and crafts style garden features topiary, an orchard and a wild flower meadow
Day 4: Scotney Castle and Chartwell
This morning we visit Scotney Castle, a fourteenth century moated castle surrounded by picturesque gardens and over 770 acres of woodland and parkland
Voted among one of the best gardens in England, it boasts a suburb display of rhododendrons and azaleas
This afternoon we visit Chartwell, once the family home to Winston Churchill. Stroll through the beautiful tranquil garden and discover rooms which remain much as they were when he lived here
Day 5: RHS Chelsea Flower Show – The Centenary Year
Organized by the Royal Horticultural Society, The Chelsea Flower Show is the most prestigious flower shows in the world
See award winning gardens, learn new gardening tips and admire the magnificent flower displays in the Grand Pavilion
Day 6: The Savill Garden and Cliveden
Savill Garden near Windsor is one of Britain’s greatest ornamental gardens, enjoyed by horticulturalists and enthusiasts alike
When then travel to Cliveden House, known particularl for its links with the Astors. Surrounded by 376 acres of magnificent formal gardens and parkland the Cliveden offers wonderful panoramic views over the River Thames
Day 7: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Ham House and Garden
Today we spend much of the morning exploring the world’s most famous garden, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
This afternoon we visit Ham House, one of Europe’s greatest 17th century houses
We found this at and thanks to them – www.bestvaluetours.co.uk
Christmas Markets in the UK were very popular until Oliver Cromwell banned the celebration of Christmas in the fashion people had become used to and this affected the Christmas Markets which died out instantly. There were of course many markets in Britain during the Victorian era which would sell Christmas related products and foodstuffs in the run-up to Christmas but they were not known as Christmas Markets.
Lincoln in the East of England was the first UK Christmas Market to be revived and from small beginnings is now in its 26th year.
UK Christmas Markets often have continental themes bringing over French, German or Italian traders. There are traditional German markets in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Leeds, London, Glasgow and Oxford..
Christmas Markets in the UK can be found in all sorts of venues ranging from town centres to stately homes. Some happen just over a weekend and others last for six weeks or more.
For full list see – http://www.christmasmarkets.com/christmas-fairs.aspx
Sourse – http://www.christmasmarkets.com
Great Christmas Market Tours:
COTSWOLDS, BATH, STONEHENGE & WINDSOR – See some of the Heart of England’s most iconic attractions at a time when there are fewer visitors, and soak up the seasonal atmosphere at one of the region’s traditional Christmas markets. Visit a traditional working pottery, celebrate ‘Great British Puddings’ at the world famous Pudding Club, walk along the Roman walls at Silchester and enjoy local ale by the log fire of an olde English pub
Oxford Christmas Market Enjoy the festive atmosphere at this beautiful, German-style Christmas Market in the heart of Oxford. A truly magical Christmas experience where choirs and brass bands perform Christmas carols, decorated colourful wooden stalls sell festive treats and gifts including roasted nuts, gourmet fudge, liqueurs, handcrafted Christmas decorations and the aroma of mulled wine and cinnamon drifts through the air. The Oxford Christmas Market is renowned for its magical location and festive atmosphere, this special event has something for everyone. A visit to this market will be included on 4th, 11th and 18th December 2012.
Bath Christmas Market For 18 days, the quaint streets and square between the stunning Bath Abbey and the internationally renowned Roman Baths are transformed into a Christmas shopper’s heaven – the Bath Christmas Market. In the heart of Bath’s main shopping district, more than 130 traditional wooden chalets adorn the streets, each one offering unique, handmade gifts, decorations and delicious food. Sample wines, liqueurs and local cider or treat yourself to homemade chocolates and traditional mince pies. A visit to this market will be included on 22nd and 29th November 2012
• 3 nights in charming accommodation • Driver/guide companion • Mini-coach transportation throughout • Full English breakfast daily • 2 x evening meals • Porterage
Included Entrance Fees: • Christ Church, Oxford • Aston Pottery Demonstration • Anne Hathaway’s Cottage • Lacock Abbey • Roman Baths • Stonehenge • Windsor Castle
DAY 1: LONDON – COTSWOLDS Relax and enjoy the beautiful winter scenery this morning as we travel from London to the village of Turville, better known as Dibley from the BBC TV series The Vicar of Dibley. The village also featured in Pride and Prejudice and the Cobstone Windmill featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Continue to the most famous University City in the world, Oxford. Enjoy a walk among the golden-stone buildings and ‘dreaming spires’ to Christ Church, one of Oxford’s grandest colleges. Christ Church’s Great Hall and cloisters were recently used in the Harry Potter films. We will then drive to the village of Aston to visit a traditional working pottery for a demonstration of their unique stencilling techniques. Finally, we will traverse the gentle, timeless hills of the Cotswolds, stopping at some of the gems on our way to tonight’s accommodation. Tonight we will have dinner together at the world famous Pudding Club. (D) Overnight: Three Ways Hotel, Costwolds or similar.
DAY 2: COTSWOLDS – STRATFORD-UPON-AVON – COTSWOLDS This morning is a feast for literary enthusiasts and history buffs as we visit Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon- Avon to discover Ye Olde England of the Bard’s birth and his final resting place, Holy Trinity Church. A short drive to Shottery, a hamlet within the parish of Stratford-upon-Avon, will take us to a thatched farmhouse where the young William Shakespeare courted his future bride Anne Hathaway. See for yourself many original items dating from Anne’s time before we meander through country lanes and honey coloured villages, littered with atmospheric churches. Quaint villages that you may have the opportunity to visit include Lower Slaughter, known for its unspoilt limestone cottages in the traditional Cotswold style and Broadway, which is often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’. Tonight we return to our delightful Cotswolds base. (B) Overnight: Three Ways Hotel, Costwolds or similar.
DAY 3: COTSWOLDS – BATH – COTSWOLDS This morning we visit first the picture-perfect village of Lacock. Both the village and its Abbey have been used in countless television and movie productions including Pride and Prejudice, The Other Boleyn Girl and Harry Potter. We then reach the splendid Georgian city of Bath, listed as a World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s most attractive cities. Spend the afternoon exploring the city, learn more about Roman life at the restored Roman Baths, and see the towering 15th century Abbey, the imposing Georgian Royal Crescent and fascinating Pulteney Bridge. Literary enthusiasts might choose to visit the Jane Austen Centre, which offers a snapshot of life during Regency times, or perhaps enjoy afternoon tea in the famous Sally Lunn teashop. This evening enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in the Cotswolds. (B,D) Overnight: Three Ways Hotel, Costwolds or similar.
DAY 4: COTSWOLDS – STONEHENGE – WINDSOR CASTLE – LONDON Leaving the Cotswolds behind we look forward to yet more spectacular sights as we travel across the Salisbury Plain to visit the great mystical construction at Stonehenge. Dating back to 3100 BC there are many lively debates as to how this stone circle was built and why. Learn more about these theories as we enjoy our walking tour. We then proceed to Silchester, which was first occupied by the Romans in around AD 45, and has what is considered to be the best-preserved Roman Wall in Great Britain. Our final destination today brings royalty alive as we visit the world’s largest occupied fortress, Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle dates back to William the Conqueror and has been expanded and fortified under each successive monarch to become the grand construction you see today. Wander through the magnificent State Apartments and St George’s Chapel, the burial place of ten monarchs, and admire the myriad of rooms that have recently been painstakingly restored to their former glory.
20 Nov 201223 Nov 2012
27 Nov 201230 Nov 2012
4 Dec 20127 Dec 2012
11 Dec 201214 Dec 2012
18 Dec 201221 Dec 2012
8 Jan 201311 Jan 2013
22 Jan 201325 Jan 2013
Best value sightseeing Tours – www.sightseeingtours.co.uk
The Peak District has been voted among the top three favourite British holiday locations in a prestigious national awards scheme.
Only Cornwall proved a more popular choice for expert judges and readers in that category in this year’s Countryfile Magazine Awards.
The Peak District fought off stiff opposition from eight other destinations, including the Cotswolds and the Yorkshire Dales, to scoop second spot ahead of the Lake District in third – and tourism bosses are delighted.
“We are thrilled that Countryfile magazine’s panel of expert judges, backed by its readers, have recognised the special qualities and characteristics that put this location among the cream of UK holiday spots,” said David James, chief executive of tourist board Visit Peak District and Derbyshire.
“To come second in popularity only to Cornwall, one of the country’s key tourism destinations, and ahead of the likes of the Lake District, the Cotswolds and the Yorkshire Dales, is a huge achievement.
“We’ve been working hard over the past seven years to establish the area as a leading British destination – most recently to overseas and domestic journalists, while the Olympic spotlight shone so brightly on London 2012 – and this is welcome recognition for our efforts.”
Tony Favell, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, added: “It’s a place where you can have it all – a national park, protected for its beauty, wildlife, heritage and tranquillity, with healthy activities all year round – yet within an hour of big cities with all the entertainment they can offer.”
The Countryfile Magazine Awards 2012 features 12 categories, ranging from the nation’s favourite dish and Britain’s best market town to Britain’s best heritage attraction and Britain’s favourite nature reserve.
Full details of winners and runners-up are published in the September issue of the magazine, on sale now, price £3.95.
For further reading see –
Tours of Britain
Day 1 – London – Cambridge – York – Darlington Meet your Tour Director early this morning and head northwards to the gracious university town of Cambridge, fierce rival to Oxford. A glimpse here of the age-old tradition of learning as you stroll by some of the colleges,including the magnificent King’s College. Continue through the heart of ‘Robin Hood Country’ (although little now remains of the leafy glades of Sherwood Forest) to reach historic York. Inside the ancient city walls, you approach the magnificent York Minster, England’s largest medieval cathedral. Then walk through the narrow cobbled streets to the Tudor ‘Shambles’, where the houses lean so far they almost touch! After some free time to shop, move on to your Darlington hotel for a Welcome Drink before dinner. Hotel: Hotel 53 (D)
Day 2 – Darlington – Edinburgh Cross the wild Northumberland Moors and go past the romantic ruins of Jedburgh Abbey, cross the Borders and head on to Scotland’s elegant capital, Edinburgh. On a guided city tour, drive down the stately Royal Mile, past St Giles’ Cathedral to Holyroodhouse Palace – the Queen’s residence in Edinburgh – and on to the 18th century New Town. Visit Edinburgh Castle, housing the Honours of Scotland, the nation’s crown jewels. Why not spend the evening eating haggis and listening to the sound of bagpipes? Hotel: Hilton Grosvenor (B)
Day 3 – Edinburgh – Liverpool Drive through the Southern Uplands via Gretna Green, where many an eloping English couple have been married, then cross the border back into England. Enjoy a drive through the Lake District, a region so beautiful it inspired a host of English poets. Visit the grave of William Wordsworth before continuing to lively Liverpool, home of the Beatles! Your hotel is adjacent to the iconic Liver Building and overlooking the Dock Front World Heritage Site. Hotel: Atlantic Tower (B,D)
Day 4 – Liverpool – Chester – Stratford – London First stop today is at the former Roman fortress town of Chester. Walk with your Tour Director along part of the well preserved city walls. See the Eastgate Clock, Cathedral, the unique black and white ‘Rows’ (shopping arcades) and the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre. Continue to the pretty market town of Stratford-upon-Avon where you visit the half-timbered birthplace of William Shakespeare. Return to London through the flower-trimmed villages of the Cotswolds, one of the most beautiful parts of England. (B)
Best Value Tours – www.sightseeingtours.co.uk
Myths and legends
King Arthur and his knights regularly appear in our mythology and folklore. Sites throughout Wales are connected with this mighty king and his magician Merlin.
Today we are still a leading source of Arthurian literature. The County Library at Mold is home to the world’s largest collection of books on Arthur, comprising nearly 2,000 volumes.
In Wales, Arthur’s fame lives on in our everyday place names. Caerfyrddin is believed to be Merlin’s birthplace, and is named after him. There’s Maes-y-Camlan or Camlan Field; Bryn y Cleifion (Hill of the Wounded) marks the area where the casualties may have been laid and Nant-y-Saeson (Stream of the Saxons) suggests where Arthur’s enemies pitched camp.
These place names are not devised to try and prove a point – they are real names, centuries old, part of a community memory which is still alive. The name Arthur comes from the same stem as the Welsh word ‘arth’, meaning bear.
He is also supposed to have fought his last battle at Bwlch y Saethau – the Pass of Arrows – which is below Snowdon’s summit and Llyn Llydaw is the lake where Arthur’s sword Excalibur was thrown.
On the Gower peninsula stands Arthur’s Stone which is said to be the ‘pebble’ that he removed from his boot on his way to the battle of Camlann in AD 539. He threw the stone over his shoulder and it landed seven miles away on Cefn Bryn Common near Reynoldston.
For more reading viist the Welsh government website:
~ Shakespeare country ~ Stratford on Avon ~ Ironbridge ~ Chester ~ Snowdonian Mountains in Wales ~ Conwy Castle ~ Peak District ~ Chatsworth House
3 Days exploring the heart of England, Shakespeare country, the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge, the mountains and Crusader castles of northern Wales and the refined elegance of Chester and Chatsworth House in the heart of the Peak District.
Stay 2 nights in the historic medieval city of Chester.
Day 1 Takes you to William Shakespeare’s birthplace Stratford on Avon, home to the Tudor thatched cottage and gardens of his wife, Anne Hathaway. Following lunch in Stratford you will have the opportunity to explore the stunning gorge and World Heritage site of Ironbridge on the River Severn, before staying in the beautiful medieval/Roman town of Chester for 2 nights.
Day 2 is a day of contrasts as you are free to spend the morning exploring Chester’s ancient walls and cathedral, before travelling west to the fairytale medieval Castle of Conwy for a visit and lunch. The afternoon is spent exploring the wild mountains of Snowdonia in Wales’s most beautiful National Park.
Day 3 takes you through the rolling hills of the Peak District and the Victorian Spa town of Buxton, before visiting UK’s favourite country house, Chatsworth, owned by the Duke of Devonshire, and famous for its house and gardens. Your return to London takes you through Robin Hood country.
Departure Point All our London departures leave from Stance 3, Greenline Coach Terminal, Bulleid Way, Victoria, SW1W 9SH. If coming on foot access is through the building at 4 Fountain Square, 123-151 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9SH. See Map.
Return as above
Inclusions: Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour. We believe a small group tour with a maximum of 16 passengers really does make a big difference to your trip. It allows us to give you a more personal service and remain the only 5 Star operator to offer this personal guarantee. Touring with a maximum of 16 passengers you get more for your money, more personal attention, more time with the locals, more time off the bus, more time on the back-roads and just more of an authentic, friendly experience. The smaller groups allow you to meet people from all over the world and make friends for life. Air Conditioning as standard. Services of a professional Rabbie’s driver/guide
Exclusions: Meals and refreshments. All Visitor Attractions.
Accommodation Your tour does not include accommodation in the price. By giving you a choice of accommodation it allows you to choose your budget, stay in smaller places and get closer to the local people. This also means you help to sustain the communities you visit in the long term. Choose a hotel, B&B or a hostel and we will book it for you. For more information on accommodation and prices click here
Important Information Because we believe in time off the bus and give you opportunities to take nature walks we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Accommodation on this tour is dispersed around Chester. If you have mobility problems or special requirements please let us know when booking
In part source – http://www.wales.com
Best Value Sightseeing Tours – www.sightseeingtours.co.uk
The Lake District is located in Cumbria on the Western side of England, an area of natural beauty, well known for its Lakes, Waters and Tarns, the Lake District is also known as Lakeland or The Lakes. The Lake District has some splendid Archeological sites including Stone Circles. On average 15 million people visit this area
The Lake District was home to Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth who are known worldwide for their roles in Lakeland history. The areas stunning beauty is widely thought to have been inspiration for their works.
The area is split into Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Lakes, all are very popular tourist destinations almost all year round.
The Lake District is 2,292 square kilometers in size and has a population of just over 42,000, one third of the population are dependent upon tourism for their livelihood.
Lake District National Park
England’s largest National Park includes Scafell Pike – its highest mountain, Wastwater – its deepest lake and thriving communities like Keswick and Bowness-on-Windermere.
We’ve information about this unique corner of England. Find out how we work caring for this stunning area. And our 42,400 residents can find out all about planning.
For more information see link below for:
Enjoy two nights stay at Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel located close to Lake Windermere. This comfortable hotel, formerly owned by Beatrix Potter is set in 6 acres of mature gardens and offers superb accommodation and fine dinning in it’s award winning restaurant. Views over the lake and to the fells are spectacular anytime of the year. .. Departs from: Windermere Railway Station
3-day tour of England’s Lake District in Cumbria Two nights at Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel near Lake Windermere Enjoy the beautiful countryside and lake views Includes the Ten Lakes Spectacular Tour, with a cruise on Ullswater Two breakfasts and two dinners included
On Day 2 you will join the Ten Lakes Spectacular to Ullswater, Borrowdale, Buttermere and Beyond tour which covers Ten Lakes, three mountain passes and an extended lake cruise from the mountains to moorland on Ullswater – “Queen of the English Lakes”, a beautiful waterfall, Castlerigg Stone Circle and the ancient township of Keswick for lunch. Certainly the most comprehensive, popular and satisfying tour in the Lake District, visiting central, north, north-west and north-east parts of Cumbria with so many stops for photographs and short walks.
Departure Point: From Windermere Railway Station, or hotels/guest houses/youth hostels in Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere or Ambleside. Departure Time: 9:25am Duration: 3 days (approx.) Returns to original departure point
Inclusions: Lake cruise Hotel pickup and drop off Luxury mini-coach transport Ten Lakes Spectacular tour Two breakfasts and two dinners Two nights accommodation at Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel Exclusions: Entrance fees Gratuities (optional) Food and drinks, unless specified Additional Info: Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability Maximum tour group size is 16 Not recommended for child aged 16 and under Adult pricing applies to all travelers
Itinerary:Day One: Arrival transfer to accommodation and free time Day Two: Ten Lakes Spectacular tour Day Three: Free time and departure transfer from accommodation
Tour Highlights Troutbeck Village and Valley Kirkstone Pass – Lakeland’s highest mountain pass Ullswater – lake cruise Castlerigg Stone Circle – 4,000 year old stone circle Ashness Bridge and Surprise View Keswick – stopover in town center for lunch Borrowdale Honister Mountain Pass Buttermere Valley and Crummock Water Newland Pass Moss Force Waterfall Thirlmere Grasmere Voucher Info: You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity. What’s this? Local Operator Information: Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.
Best Value Sightseeing Tours – www.sightseeingtours.co.uk
The new Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio tour has proved a massive hit and has become one of the most popular out-of-London tours; however there is so much more to see than just the studi film set. Many families are choosing to spend their summer hols touring Britain on a complete Harry Potter experience.
Other sites well worth a visit that incorporated in a family holiday make great areas for a sightseeing visit with lot’s more to see in addition to potter film locations.
Perhaps historic Oxford, a 900 year old university City where you will find Christchurch famous as the dining room in Harry Potter. Or maybe Lacock, famous for many period dramas, here you will find the famous cloisters seen in Potter. Your tour can then be completed with a visit to the North east of England to magnificent Northumberland and home of Hogwart; Alnwick castle.
Location found at Christchurch Oxford
For further local information see the following links for official tourist information:
Harry Potter Tours to Lacock & Oxford
Tour Harry Potter sites used for Hogwarts and walk in the footsteps of the boy wizard himself
Visit the inspiration for the Hogwarts dining room
See the house used as the home of James and Lily Potter in Godric’s Hollow, where they were murdered by Lord Voldemort Enter the Harry Potter locations used as Professor Snape’s potion room and the Hogwarts corridors Walk up the same stairs where Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) first greeted Harry and other new Hogwarts students Stand in the same room where Professor Quirrell taught his Defence
All aboard as we take you on a Harry Potter Tour of locations in Oxford and Lacock. On this magical adventure to some of England’s most historic places and scenic countryside, you will see Harry Potter locations including sites which were either used in actual scenes from Hogwarts School or served as an inspiration to the film makers.
On the Harry Potter tour you will get to experience one of the most beautiful villages in England and get a guided tour around the ancient streets and its local Abbey. Here you can have a pub lunch or eat from one of the local bakeries, stretch your legs and soak up the history of this picturesque village.
Then we’ll take you to the City of Dreaming Spires, Oxford, where you will get a chance to visit the University Colleges which doubled as Hogwarts School.*
Learn how the films were made, discuss the books and hear trivia about the magical world of Harry Potter. During the trip you’ll have the chance to get off the bus and walk around the locations we visit, take pictures and re-create some of the scenes from the films. Please note that as there will be walking involved in the tour it may not be suitable for those with mobility problems.
Feel free to dress up as Harry or any other character in the series (only if you want to). On the tour Harry Potter trivia questions will be asked so keep your spell book handy as we want to test you knowledge of spells and see how well you know Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Best Value Sightseeing Tours – www.sightseeingtours.co.uk
Easy to overlook?
With numerous fantastic out-of-London sightseeing opportunities – Bath, Stonehenge, Windsor, Cotswolds … the list is endless; it can be easy to forget the wealth of rich history and historic sites and castles, in the beautiful ‘Garden of England’ – Kent
How about a visit to Leeds, Dover Bodiam or Rochester castle?
The historic dockyards at Chatham or Canterbury Cathedral.
Maybe Homes of Churchill or Rudyard Kipling?
Or just enjoy touring the magnificent rural countryside, beautiful villages and traditional Oast Houses. Not forgetting the Sand dunes of Sandwich, famous for the links British Open Gold Tournament and sandwich famous for Lord sandwich, eventer of…. the sandwich.
Dover is not just a port gateway to Britain, its also home the Famous Dover Castle
Highlights Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover & Greenwich Plus cruise on the River Thames with sparkling wine and scones! Private viewing of Leeds castle – ‘The loveliest castle in the world!’ See the Castle before it opens to the public –
Lunch in Dover during summer (food and drink not included) Entrance to Canterbury Cathedral Walking tour of historic Greenwich Tea/sparkling wine and muffins served on a cruise along the River Thames Leeds Castle…private tour before the Castle opens to the public… Description: Leeds Castle Described as the “loveliest castle in the world”, Leeds Castle was once a Royal residence for six of Englands medieval queens, a palace of Henry VIII, and a retreat for the rich and powerful. The setting is simply idyllic. The Norman castle was built on two small islands, in the middle of a lake, and is surrounded by a vast estate. Our day begins with a private viewing prior to the castle opening to the public. We will explore the chapel, galleries, courtyards and banqueting hall before taking time to enjoy the setting and wildlife, which includes wildfowl and black swans. Dover
You’ve heard of the famous white cliffs of Dover? This is your chance to see them. Following our scenic drive along the old coastal road, we take lunch* in Dover, on a clear day you can even see France. Dover itself is an historic port with a magnificent 12th century castle. *(Food and drinks not included in the price). Canterbury
The ancient city of Canterbury has been the centre of Christian worship for almost 1,700 years. Its greatest treasure is the cathedral, infamous as the setting for the brutal murder of Thomas Beckett in 1170. When Henry II snapped “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?”, four of his knights rode to the Cathedral and sliced Becketts head off. Canterbury became the centre of one of the most important medieval pilgrimages in Europe, immortalised by Geoffrey Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales. Your ticket includes entrance to the Cathedral and also allows some free time to explore the atmospheric old town.
Greenwich and Thames Cruise
Packed with exquisite parks, gardens, and architecture, Greenwich has strong connections with the sea, science, sovereigns and time. We will have time to take a look at the Cutty Sark, the fastest sailing ship of its time. As the early evening approaches we enjoy an exclusive reception of tea/sparkling wine and muffins, as we gently cruise back to the centre of London. We will pass by historic sights such as the Tower of London, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, before arriving at Westminster pier where our tour ends.
Please note: No hotel pickup or drop off services available between 25th July and 14th August inclusive due to the 2012 London Olympics. Due to the limited access to Greenwich area, the tour does not visit Greenwich and does not include cruise, muffin and drink between 25th July and 14th August inclusive due to the 2012 London Olympics. Tour departs from Victoria Coach Station Gate 4.
Best Value Sightseeing Tours – www.sightseeingtours.co.uk
Perhaps Bilbury in the beautiful Cotswolds?
William Morris once described Bibury as “the most beautiful village in England”. Many people return to Bibury time and time again breathing in the beauty and tranquility of the river meandering through the Coln valley, with the enchanting Cotswold stone cottages and old mills.
Come and discover the beauty of the rural Cotswolds
Throughout these pages you will find: accommodation choices in the Cotswolds (B&Bs, guesthouses, hotels, pubs and country inns, farms and farmhouses plus a collection of self-catering (holiday-rentals) cottages and holiday camps with camping and caravaning facilities as well as private houses).
Official Tourism Sites for the Cotswolds
ToursGuided walking tour of Oxford Visit to Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold and to the charming twins of Upper and Lower Slaughter in the Cotswolds Entrance to Shakespeare’s Birthplace Guided tour of Stratford-upon-Avon All travel in comfortable purpose-built minibus from Central London
In a little over an hours time our journey to the University city of Oxford will be complete. Heading west over the Chiltern Hills we descend down to the Thames valley to this ‘city of dreaming spires’ and take a walking tour amongst the cloisters and quadrangles of Britain’s oldest University, founded in 1167. Ivy clad medieval college buildings compete for space with Georgian shops and ancient churches around busy streets which both ‘Town and Gown’ call home. Our guided walking tour will take you into the heart of this land of hallowed academia, to the Bodleian Library, to the Radcliffe Camera, Sheldonian Theatre and selected colleges.
After a break we head out to the nearby Cotswold hills. Here we can find the little back roads taking us away from the busy highways. We meander down country lanes, through villages of honey coloured stone, to Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold and to the charming twins of Upper and Lower Slaughter. A stop for a leisurely lunch is made in one of these places then we set off to Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire.
Known the world over as the birthplace of the great poet William Shakespeare we, quite rightly, take you to the house where he was born (entry included) and to Holy Trinity church where he was both baptised and buried. Many other centuries-old houses survive, some of these have associations with the writer. After a guided tour of the town and some free time we continue for a photo stop at Anne Hathaway’s cottage, a beautiful timber-framed thatched farmhouse that was Shakespeare’s wife’s childhood home before we finally continue on our journey south to London.
Why choose this tour?
On this tour you will be travelling with no more than 16 other people – guaranteed! Our purpose-built minibuses have large windows, good air circulation and clear PA systems so that your professional guide can escort you comfortably through our wonderful country. Our itineraries are carefullly planned (with many years of experience) so that you discover as much as possible, without spending too much time on the road.
As we travel in smaller vehicles, we normally use the most scenic routes, where large coach are prohibited from travelling. Additionally, as our group sizes are smaller we are able to more time out of the vehicle. We also employ a the very best driver/guides.
Friendly and Professional Guides – Small Groups – More Scenic Routes – More Time Sightseeing- No Time Wasted Travelling around London- Great Value for Money
Best Value Sightseeing Tours – www.sightseeingtours.co.uk