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Tours and Itineraries

Tours from London

Tours from London

 

You might like a half-day or full-day tour to the outskirts of London or to less well-known parts of London. Here are some examples.
Click on the link for further information.

Half day tours

Greenwich
Windsor Castle
Hampton Court Palace
Kew Gardens
Specialist highlight tours of a museum or gallery

Full Day tours

Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace
Chelsea and Kew Gardens
Specialist highlight tours of museums & galleries

For a day trip outside London, here are some popular combinations

Windsor and Oxford
Oxford and Stratford
Oxford and Blenheim Palace
The Cotswolds
Stratford and Warwick Castle
Salisbury, Winchester and Stonehenge
Stonehenge and Bath
Cambridge and Constable Country
Canterbury and Leeds Castle or Dover
Hever Castle and Chartwell (Winston Churchill's home)

All these locations are within reach of London for day trips. There are plenty of interesting places further afield.


What you will see there

 

WINDSOR CASTLE

The largest inhabited castle in England and home to English Monarchs since the time of William the Conqueror 1000 years ago.  Windsor Castle is still the favourite residence of our present Queen.  She may well be in residence when you arrive!

Visit the incomparable 15th century St George's Chapel - royal mausoleum and gothic masterpiece, see the banners of the Knights of the Order of the Garter, including Margaret Thatcher, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands. 

Take in the State Apartments, used for Royal receptions and housing some of the Royal Collection of paintings, tapestries, furniture and porcelain and so much more.


List of tours

HAMPTON COURT
Hampton Court could be described as a more intimate version of Versailles, at once a sumptuous Palace and a comfortable home.
Henry VIII was one of the more famous residents of the Palace and each one of his six wives would have spent time here. He ‘inherited’ the sumptuous Palace from his former chancellor Cardinal Wolsey who had already created apartments of  unparalleled luxury. Henry went on to upstage his old chancellor and added extraordinary gardens, tennis courts (still in use) and a Maze. After Henry,  William and Mary (joint Monarchs) invited Christopher Wren (architect of St Paul’s Cathedral and Kensington Palace) to create elegant, light and airy apartments for their use. Today the apartments house part of the Royal Collection of paintings and furniture collected throughout the ages by various Kings and Queens. No visit is complete without seeing the spectacular gardens.    


List of tours

STONEHENGE
This mystical prehistoric stone circle remains an enigma to this day
. The monument dates back to about 3000 BC and was created in stages over a period of nearly 2000 years. Little is known about its builders or indeed, why and how they built such an ambitious monument. They took their secrets with them in death to the extraordinary ‘tumuli’, or hillock shaped turfed mounds that surround the monument for miles around. Your guide will explain some of the theories propounded by the experts as to the reason for building such a monument – some of the stones weight up to 50 tonnes! Stonehenge is a relatively short visit of about 1 hour. Your group can walk around the stones though not touch them. This is a great thought provoking visit, great for educational trips and adults alike. Its mystery has appeal for everyone.

List of tours

BATH 
If you only see one city outside London during your stay in Great Britain, then make it the city of Bath. On a sunny day, you might be forgiven for thinking you had stepped into a graceful Mediterranean city, for Bath, like Rome was built in a valley on seven hills. The stone which created this great city was quarried locally and is a soft, honey-coloured limestone. Before its renaissance in the 18th century, Bath was already renowned  as a spa town, first discovered by the Romans.  In addition to the historical fascination of the city, Bath is equally an enchanting city to simply discover on foot. The centre is really very small, and its streets vary from wide elegant Boulevards to narrow flower-lined walkways.  There are chic shops, antiques bazaars and stylish cafés and restaurants.  You can visit the Museum of Costume, the Spa or take tea at the scene of the 18th century Royal Cotillians as made famous by the likes of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer.You might also consider combining this visit with a view of Stonehenge - the ancient prehistoric stone circle.

List of tours

OXFORD

“the City of Dreaming Spires”
A guided walking tour will take you through the old heart of this world-famous University City. This is where you find the oldest colleges, some going back to the Mediaeval period and a wonderful medley of architectural styles, each adding its own character to Oxford’s unique atmosphere. We will also pass the University Library, the Bodleian, the Sheldonian Theatre used for the university’s ceremonies and Oxford’s cathedral, which doubles as the chapel of one of the most illustrious colleges, Christchurch, and much more.  Learn about  the Oxbridge system, which has an amazing number of world leaders, Nobel Prize winners and authors - such as J R R Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), Iris Murdoch, Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US president William J Clinton. We will see where many of these old alumni studied.  You can even visit one of the colleges such as  Christchurch, which recently (and not surprisingly) provided one of the more particular locations for the new Harry Potter film.  

 

List of tours

 

COTSWOLDS VILLAGES
Even Hollywood couldn’t recreate the feel of ‘Olde Englande’ like these villages! Many have changed little in centuries and are about as picturesque as you can get – particularly in spring and summer when the front gardens are a riot of colour and scent. We stop in a couple of villages depending on our timetable, to browse antique shops or sit in the local pub and listen to the gossip whilst sipping a pint of local bitter.


List of tours

 

STRATFORD UPON AVON
Birthplace of William Shakespeare and his home for many years. The house of his birth is open to the public and has become a place of pilgrimage for many who love his writing. You can see ancient manuscripts, portraits of Shakespeare, and even the bed, they say, he was born in. Your guide will fill you in on the life story of Shakespeare and you will have a short panoramic tour of the small town before alighting near the birthplace for a visit if you so wish. 
Time permitting, you can visit the cottage of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s long-suffering wife, on the outskirts of Stratford. Usually covered in roses in summer (be warned – long lines to get into the house .. sometimes it’s worth just doing a quick photo stop and moving on!) the visit is of a charming rustic house where it is said, Anne and William did their courting … 
Hopefully there will be free time to wander the mediaeval streets of Stratford, maybe a walk down to the river or browsing in gift shops. Stratford is a lively,small market town.

List of tours

CANTERBURY  
It takes about 1 hour 40 minutes to get to the lovely old Cathedral city of Canterbury. Your route from London will take you along much the same path as mediaeval pilgrims would have travelled as they made their way to the noble city of Canterbury. They went for centuries to see the bejewelled and mystical tomb of Thomas Beckett. Once Archbishop of Canterbury (the highest ecclesiastical rank after the monarch), Thomas Beckett was cruelly murdered by assailants in the transept of the cathedral whilst at prayer. His crime was to have displeased the King, Henry II. Once great friends, the two became enemies when Thomas became Archbishop and his policies often clashed with those of his former friend, Henry. One day at Court, Henry having been angered more than usual by the Archbishop, could control his rage no longer and uttered in a moment of rage ‘Shall no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?’.Some who were present and heard those words and who bore a grudge against the Archbishop, chose to take the king at his word. They made plans and then carried out the cruel murder on the Archbishop.
The mediaeval world was scandalized! Not just a man of the church, but an Archbishop! And in his own hallowed cathedral! Within a very short time, the Pope canonized Thomas Beckett and he is now known as St Thomas Beckett. Soon after his canonization, pilgrims flocked to see the beautiful tomb (destroyed in the 16th century) and so the Cathedral and its city, grew in prosperity. 
Canterbury is still a site for pilgrimages. It is not only the site of the martyrdom of St Thomas, but also where St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory in the 6th century, first converted the heathen Saxons. He was created first Archbishop of Canterbury and the City has always been considered the place of the birth of Christianity in this country.  
A group visit consists normally, of a visit to the Cathedral, a short walk around the town and free time to explore the narrow pedestrian streets which still maintain their mediaeval layout. The visit to the Cathedral has to be booked in advance if
you require a guided tour by the cathedral guides. 

List of tours

DOVER CASTLE
Conjuring up images of swashbuckling knights in armour, jousting tournaments and mediaeval life, DoverCastle has possibly the most spectacular setting of any English castle. Perched atop the white cliffs of Dover, one can see the coast of France on a clear day. For DoverCastle was built on the piece of English coastline which is closest to that of France – only 23 miles.
Recognised by the Romans as a strategically valuable site, successive castles have been built on the same site. The current one dates to the time of Henry II (he of Thomas Beckett fame) whose famous sons, John Lackland and Richard the Lionheart, possibly overshadowed their father in deed and misdeed.
Dover castle is probably the best and most complete early military building that you are likely to see in England. Its interior is empty of all decoration (and so would it have been in its own time)  and can seem a little austere. However it is for the grandeur and imposing  face that one sees from the outside that makes this castle so important. It has all the defensive gadgets a castle should have – moat, drawbridge, ramparts, castellations, even an 11th century toilet!

List of tours

CAMBRIDGE 
Famous university town, with the long held belief that ‘everything worth knowing was known at Cambridge’.  This city is a perfect slice of England.  As with Oxford, it has breathtaking buildings and the sure knowledge that God is an Englishman!  With the river Cam running along the backs of the colleges, home to famous rowing races and Cambridge blues, this market town has plenty to offer the enquiring visitor, it is rich in Museums, ancient churches and historical tradition.  See the Fitzwilliam Museum with its magnificent picture collection, The Sedgewick Museum or the Round Church, one of only four in Britain.  For horticulturalists, or lovers of natural beauty, the University College gardens are one of the secret delights of this city – Emmanuel’s, Newnham’s and Clare’s are particularly lovely, whereas Kings is famous for its chapel and its choral singers.  One of the two most prestigious universities in England – Oxbridge – it  has an outstanding record of scientific and artistic achievements – Newton, Darwin, Wordsworth, Milton, Sir Ian McKellan were all educated here.  It is the home of the Cambridge footlights, starting point for many famous actors, comedians, writers etc. Cambridge has a very important role to play in England’s most popular sport, the first football rules were drawn up at the university in 1848 and were first played at Parker’s piece. 

List of tours

 

 

 
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