CHRISTMAS : Early December means traditional pantos, Christmas markets, carols in ancient Cathedrals, seasonally decorated towns & stately homes.
TRAINS : Longer sectors are often by train like this East Coast express on the Durham Viaduct. You arrive @ the destination relaxed & refreshed.
YUMMY : We love to include afternoon tea. Maybe a Devon cream tea; special Women's Institute tea; a stately home tea; or olde-worlde tea shop.
HOTELS : Our focus is centrally located hotels like the Premier Inn beside the canal in Stratford-upon-Avon. It's just a 7 minute walk from William Shakespeare's Birthplace.
UNUSUAL : Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk has lots of history. We like quieter historic houses. You are treated more like a Guest.
ESSENTIAL : Everybody gets an included airport transfer on arrival & departure days. In London we use fast Gatwick & Heathrow expresses & the Tube.
RELAX : Our express train trips are mostly in 1st class. This includes FREE snacks & now mostly FREE wifi too. Breakfast or dinner is included on some services.
SPACIOUS : Our small group tours use MIDI-Coaches. Much more spacious & higher [Better views.] than the usual cramped minibuses.
ACCESSIBLE : Our 'hub' tour style allows more time to explore places like quaint Claddagh, Galway Bay. Usually you only see those pics in the tour brochures!
SIMPLE : In London AT ALL TIMES, Tube & red bus travel is INCLUDED in the tour price with a very easy to use Oyster Card. Just swipe & go.
LOCATION : Downtown hotels make it easier to get to little extras like the original Hogwarts Express in the NRM in York.
PUB DINING : Enjoy Irish music pub dinners & ancient British pub dining like here at the 800 years old Oxford University Turf Tavern pub.
Website revamp for 2016
We are completely revamping our website during June 2015 for our 2016 tours as it has become totally boring & sooooo 1990s. Below is preliminary info for our spring tours which is subject to slight amendments but watch out for our :
11 Days [April], Ireland Tour – “Ireland Start to Finish”.
We will begin at prehistoric Newgrange & finish with the ‘story so far’ in Dublin. Expect the unexpected in a tour that will be jam-packed with around 50 prepaid included features. Loads of history & lots of fun & naturally local Irish pubs with real Irish people – now there is a novelty on a tour! Note – It is NOT compulsory to like Guinness but it will help.
LEISURELY : Average daily road touring mileage 62; Latest hotel ETA 4.45pm; Longest non-stop drive 1 hr 47 mins..
Selection of INCLUDED features : Newgrange where Ireland ‘began’ * Hill of Tara * Clonmacnoise * Galway Bay * Connemara Marble Visitor Centre * Shannon Ferry * Cliffs of Moher * Craggaunowen ‘Celtic’ Lake Village * King John’s Castle * Durty Nelly’s Pub * St. Patrick’s spectacular ‘Rock of Cashel’ which unlike many tours is actually an inside visit with a guided tour * Avoca handweavers * Dublin Bay DART train trip * FREE travel in Dublin * & a whole lot more!
Arrive & Depart : Dublin International Airport.
Overnights : North Dublin County 2, Galway 1, Limerick 3, Waterford 1, Dublin City Centre 3.
12 Days [April], England – “Daffodils Tour”.
This is for literary & history buffs. Once again a tour jam-packed with prepaid features; around 60 in total. This tour will focus on the last 250 years of English literature in England. Members of the literati fraternity covered will be Dickens, the Brontës, de Quincey & a whole lot more including William Wordsworth which brings me to ‘Daffodils’.
We have patiently waited for Easter to be in March as this tour can only be operated when this occurs. Make the most of it because after 2016 the next time Easter will be in March is 2024! Included in the tour will be a cruise on Ullswater in the English Lake District to view the actual daffodils @ Glencoyne Bay [Daffodils apparently last for donkey’s ages.] that inspired William Wordsworth to write his famous ‘Daffodil Poem’. The dafs in the English Lake District are usually at their best the 2nd week of April but the English Lake District is inundated with domestic tourists over Easter. In 2016 when the dafs are at their best Easter will have come & gone! Bliss!!!!!
LEISURELY : Average daily road touring mileage 33; Latest hotel ETA 5.15pm; Longest non-stop drive 1 hr 36 mins..
Selection of INCLUDED features : Liverpool tour * Ferry across the Mersey * Train trip on the oldest passenger railway in the world * Brontë birthplace with morning tea * Brontë Parsonage * William Wordsworth birthplace * Stockport Air Raid Shelters * Manchester literary walking tour * Ancient Chetham’s Library * & a whole lot more!
Arrive & Depart : Manchester International Airport.
Overnights : Manchester Centre 3, Penrith or Kendal 2, Lake District 4, Manchester 2.
13 Days [May], Cornwall, England – “Doc Martin & Poldark Tour”.
Cornwall is ‘a country within itself'; just ask the Cornish! This tour is also for literary & history buffs. In addition to enjoying Doc Martin & Poldark locations we will cover Daphne du Maurier, [Frenchman’s Creek & Jamaica Inn] as well as King Arthur [Tintagel – Dubious connection to a dubious historical character!]
LEISURELY : Average daily road touring mileage 27; Latest hotel ETA 4.50pm; Longest non-stop drive 1 hr 24 mins..
Selection of INCLUDED features : Ancient pub dinner Windsor [The pub is ancient NOT the dinner.] * Inter City Express train 1st class London Paddington to Cornwall * Bodinnick Ferry * Walking tour of Fowey * Quaint Looe with local train to Liskeard * Ancient Tavistock Market * Dine @ Jamaica Inn * Tintagel Castle * Doc Martin’s ‘Port Wenn’ * Wesley’s Gwennap Pit * Poldark’s Levant Tin Mine * Porthcurno Transatlantic Telegraph Cable Station * Trebah Gardens * Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ dine at the Ferryboat Inn * Truro Cathedral cream tea * St Michael’s Mount visit * Inter City Express train 1st class Penzance to London * & a whole lot more.
Arrive & Depart : London Heathrow Airport.
Overnights : Slough/Heathrow 1, Liskeard [Cornwall] 4, Penzance [Cornwall] 5, London 2.
Generally for 2016 look forward to enjoying :
- EZ-2-Budget tours where we include so much in the tour price that it is EZ-2-Budget to spend less than $30 per day on tour.
- Smaller groups as usual either max. 14 Guests or max. 20 Guests.
- Cooked breakfast with healthy options included every day.
- Main meal included every day varying from hotel restaurants, ancient pubs lunches/dinners, special event dinners, ‘High Teas’, dinner on-board trains including Pullman dining.
- Individual airport transfers [Arrival & departure.] in Ireland & the UK so you don’t have to wait for later flight arrivals.
- Immediate hotel room access on arrival day no matter how early your flight arrives. [One or two exceptions to this like Oxford & Brighton – see individual tours for clarity.]
- Most longer journeys by train in 1st class.
- Road touring mostly in larger & higher MIDI-Coaches & new for 2016 some touring days will be in larger coaches with restrooms.
- New for 2016 look out for our ‘1 week’ London based tours that see England too!
- We love Premier Inn hotels in the UK & they are now up to almost 700 hotels so expect lots more non-group dining with steaks & salmon. Yummy!
- More hub-style hotel stays so you are not constantly moving hotels.