England tours & Ireland tours.
Small group, leisurely guided tours. Lots of history & fun!
BUNRATTY CASTLE, SHANNON.
INCLUDED banquet in this authentic 15c MacNamara castle.
Enjoy an INCLUDED trip along Dublin Bay.
DURTY NELLY'S PUB, SHANNON.
Enjoy INCLUDED drinks in this historic tavern opened in 1620.
INTER-CITY EXPRESS TRAIN.
Enjoy INCLUDED train trips in Scotland & England.
DEVON CREAM TEA.
Enjoy an INCLUDED yummy Devon cream tea in Dartmoor.
BAKER STREET STATION.
Enjoy FREE travel on London Underground trains.
Enjoy INCLUDED dinners in ancient pubs like 800 years old Turf Tavern, Oxford.
THE MERRY PLOUGHBOY PUB, DUBLIN.
Enjoy INCLUDED music nights with dinner in Irish pubs.
IRISH SEA FAST-FERRY.
The Club Class Lounge is INCLUDED on certain routes.
Enjoy INCLUDED porterage at hotels.
THE ROCK OF CASHEL.
Enjoy an INCLUDED guided tour of St. Patrick's spectacular Rock of Cashel.
Enjoy an INCLUDED pint or two or three of Guinness in Ireland.
Enjoy your INCLUDED River Thames cruise.
England tours & Ireland tours : Literary tour – customized example.
England tours & Ireland tours : Customized literary tour example.
This customized literary tour example can be incorporated into our Ireland tours & England tours program if you already have group of literature enthusiasts. It is purely an example for 2013. The itinerary can be shortened or lengthened. Ireland could be added in if required. The tour could start in Manchester. Included visits could be increased or decreased and the tour price allows for a couple of special events that may arise during your chosen dates. In short the itinerary is totally flexible. The tour price is based 30 people in your group. A group of 40 would be slightly cheaper and a group of 20 slightly higher.
STYLE : SPACE-BUS. Based on 30 Tour Buddies.
WHEN : Costing based on any dates outside of mid-July to end of August.
WHERE : Scotland including the Highlands & North, South, East, West & Midlands of England + London.
DURATION : 13 hotel nights, 14 touring days. [Excludes flying day from USA/Canada.]
WHY : Visits lots of writer’s homes, museums etc. & some movie locations.
WHO FOR : Ideal for book clubs, writer’s clubs or any other groups whose interest is literature.
GUIDE TOUR PRICE : US$4,297 twin/double share per person. Guide tour prices exclude airfare & traveler’s insurance.
OVERNIGHT [O/N] STAYS : Number of nights in [ ]. Glasgow , Edinburgh , Kendal , Stratford-upon-Avon , Oxford , South Coast , Torquay/Plymouth , London .
Standard features INCLUDED in the tour price :
- Dinner every night from Day 1 to Day 13. Will be a mix of hotel restaurants, pub dinners, posh places & independent dining.
- Breakfast daily from Day 2 to Day 14.
- 1st class touring coach with seat belts, emergency restroom & a/c..
- Professional & experienced UK Tour Driver.
- Experienced, entertaining & knowledgeable UK Tour Director.
- Experienced & attentive Lady Hostess.
- Accommodation in 3* & 4* hotels, mostly centrally located.
- Tips for porterage of one suitcase per person at hotels.
- Tips to restaurant staff when we dine as a group.
- Group photo.
- For the various individual INCLUDED pre-paid visits & features please refer to the ‘Daily Itinerary’ below.
Items NOT included in the tour price :
- Traveler’s insurance.
- Meals not listed in the itinerary.
- Tips for Tour Driver.
- Tips for Tour Director.
- Tips for city guides & local expert guides. (Suggest US$3 per person.)
- Tips for restaurant staff on independent dining nights.
- Hotel room charges for things like laundry [Avoid! It's cheaper to buy new knickers in Primark.], wifi connections where there are charges [Suggest go to Starbucks etc..], hotel room mini-bar use, telephone calls, all your personal room service.
- All other personal expenses. As a rough guide US$50 should be enough per person per day spending money for things like tea, coffee, lunch, postcards, postage and a few souvenirs but obviously depends on your personal spending habits.
DAILY ITINERARY – Brief details.
For your guidance we indicate in the daily itinerary the expected arrival time at the end of day destination (EOD) :
INCLUDED indicates a pre-paid feature that is included in the tour price.
[GTA] below means ‘with guided tour if available at the venue at the time of visit’.
- You arrive at Glasgow Airport.
- We transfer you to your hotel in Glasgow by your INCLUDED transfer.
- This evening we have our INCLUDED informal ‘Welcome Drinks’ get-together before dinner.
O/N : Glasgow. EOD : Depends on flight [s].
- We travel into the Scottish Highlands for breathtaking views of the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond then for an INCLUDED boat cruise [GTA] on the loch to take in William Wordsworth’s ‘To a Highland Girl”.
- Now we head down the Ayrshire Coast for an INCLUDED visit into Robbie Burns Cottage with its wonderful new visitor’s centre.
O/N : Glasgow. EOD : 4.22pm.
- Now we head to Loch Leven for views of Loch Leven Castle. (Subject to Scottish mist!) This is the beginning of our association with Mary Queen of Scots as we follow her doomed overnight dash for freedom.
- Next we cross the mighty Forth Road Bridge & stop in South Queensferry for photos of the unique Forth Railway Bridge made famous in the Hitchcock film of John Buchan’s book “The Thirty Nine Steps”.
- Then a short drive around the south of Edinburgh for an INCLUDED visit into the mysterious Rosslyn Chapel [GTA] with its associations with the Da Vinci Code.
- Now we are about to enter one of the greatest cities in the world, Edinburgh. On arrival we have an orientation tour.
O/N : Edinburgh. EOD : 2.33pm.
- After our INCLUDED visit into magnificent Edinburgh Castle your day is at leisure.
O/N : Edinburgh.
- Our INCLUDED visit into Abbotsford House [GTA] the home of Sir Walter Scott is first on the list this morning in the beautiful borders of Scotland. Brand new visitor centre about to open. Note that the library at Abbotsford House is AWESOME – you can almost smell Sir Walter Scott’s socks.
- We drive through the lush borders to Gretna Green to hear about those famous but mysterious wedding ceremonies.
- Down to England now and into the Lake District for an INCLUDED visit into Rydal Mount [GTA] the home of William Wordsworth. Evocative – you had better believe it! Personally I had an encounter with Dora Wordsworth in her bedroom at Rydal Mount about 20 years ago!
O/N : Kendal/Grasmere/Windermere. EOD : 3.17pm.
- We drive down through the bleak Lancashire & Yorkshire Moors for an INCLUDED visit into the atmospheric Bronte Parsonage [GTA] where the Bronte sisters wrote most of their famous stories. This is bleak so we hope for pouring rain or swirling mist his morning.
- We now drive to Stratford-upon-Avon via a brief convenience motorway service station stop for an INCLUDED visit into Anne Hathaway’s Cottage [GTA] – not the film star but William Shakespeare’s wife!
O/N : Stratford-upon-Avon. EOD : 3.49pm .
- Today we tour the delightful Cotswolds area and stop in one of the most charming villages in England, Bourton-on-the-Water.
- Now join me on an extended walking tour amongst the ancient Oxford University buildings going back 800 years exploring the ancient passageways and lanes. Oxford truly is an amazing place and who could forget the wonderful Inspector Morse.
- There is just so much in terms of literature in Oxford so we will arrive mid to late morning giving you quite a few hours to do whatever takes your fancy Colin Dexter, Dorothy Sayers, Lewis Carroll, etc. etc. etc..
- This evening we will enjoy an INCLUDED dinner in one of the ancient university pubs.
O/N : Oxford. EOD : 11.13am.
- Today begins with an INCLUDED visit into Jane Austen’s home at Chawton [GTA].
- We head to Portsmouth for an INCLUDED visit into the ‘Conan Doyle Collection’.
O/N : Poole area. EOD : 4.07pm.
- Our first port of call is near Dorchester for our INCLUDED visit into Max Gate [GTA] the home of Thomas Hardy
- Next is the is the Cobb (the pier/jetty) in Lyme Regis where you can do your impression of Meryl Streep (or at least her stand-in), in the ‘French Lieutenant’s Woman‘. This is where the famous scene was filmed. We will provide you with a black/grey cloak to wear which will either be made by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Convent in Limerick or my daughter in Cornwall, whoever is the cheapest.
- From here we travel along the Jurassic Coast to bleak Dartmoor and stop in Widecombe-in-the-Moor where we listen out for the blood curdling sound of the Hound of the Baskervilles the most famous of all Sherlock Holmes stories. Is that its anguished howls carried through the swirling mist or is it the coach driver moaning about the coach parking fees going up again? A yummy Devon cream tea is INCLUDED whilst we are here provided the hound doesn’t beat us to it. This is also War Horse country.
- Now its off to the great naval port of Plymouth.
O/N : Plymouth. EOD : 5.57pm.
- Today is Daphne du Maurier day! It will involve touring around King Arthur’s Celtic Cornwall. It will INCLUDE refreshments at the Ferryboat Inn***, Helford Passage (Frenchman’s Creek) & a stop on wild windswept Bodmin Moor. In the heart of the moor we visit one of the most haunted inns in England, Jamaica Inn. This was the home of blaggards, smugglers, wreckers & highwaymen in days gone by. Sit in this ancient inn & think of all the dastardly plots hatched within these walls. Stand on the very spot where Joss Merlyn was murdered. Gruesome! ***It would be very difficult to include the Ferryboat Inn during a tour in July or August or at the weekend generally.
O/N : Plymouth. EOD : 5.47pm.
- Today is Agatha Christie day! We head to Torquay & then to her home, Greenway House [GTA] overlooking the River Dart.
- The afternoon is free in Plymouth to explore the Mayflower Steps where the Pilgrim Fathers walked as they boarded the Mayflower in 1620. There’s Capn. Jaspers famous grill bar on the quay. Explore the Hoe where Sir Francis Drake played bowls.
O/N : Plymouth. EOD : 12.23pm.
- We jump on our INCLUDED Inter-City Express train from Plymouth to London to arrive in one of the greatest cities in the world mid to late morning.
- On arrival we hop onto our INCLUDED open top double deck bus tour of London. Afterwards we enjoy our INCLUDED River Thames cruise from Westminster to Tower Bridge.
- This evening we enjoy our INCLUDED theatre evening with dinner. You also have FREE travel INCLUDED on the London Underground today.
O/N : Central London. EOD : Mid to late morning; depends on train time.
- INCLUDED is FREE London Underground train travel all day. Don’t forget that you can easily get to Harry Potter’s at King’s X Station using your travel pass. Have fun today.
- Also INCLUDED is a visit into Charles Dickens’s house in Doughty Street but note in 2012 it is closed for a major ‘re-fit’ but should re-open early 2013.
- Add an exciting extra day in London for just US$249 p.p. twin/double or US$323 single : INCLUDES breakfast, dinner & FREE travel all day on the London Underground. Ground crew around all day to assist you. INCLUDED dinner can be enjoyed with the group or independently.
O/N : London.
Day 14. Sunday 23rd June.
- After breakfast you board your INCLUDED Gatwick Express train or Heathrow Express/Connect train to the airport. Note that your breakfast arrangement will depend on your flight time. Any very early flights that require a transfer before the trains run will be undertaken by road but it is Sunday morning so it shouldn’t be a problem.
This tour is ideal for all ages from about 14 upwards although any guys under the age of 18 should have a major interest in literature as it may be a ‘bit too specialized’. There will be lots of living history like standing on the Mayflower Steps where the Pilgrim Fathers boarded the Mayflower in 1620 as well as shed loads of INCLUDED literary visits.