Winter Heart of England 4 day Small Group Tour
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 some December dates
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 some November dates
• 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. (B) Schedule:
Pick Up/Drop off details This tour departs 8.30am from: Lancaster Gate, London
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