A journey of a lifetime from the heart of Manchester to the maritime city of Liverpool, creative home of modern arts and music, scenic Welsh borders with a wealth of regional crafts and culture, Shakespeare country, The Cotswolds, Georgian Bath, Oxfords “gleaming spires”, The home of English motoring in England’s midlands, Burton upon Trent where some of the finest English beer is brewed, Derby, home of Rolls Royce, then the glorious Peak District National Park. A veritable abundance of what is great in England.
Manchester, Liverpool, Chester & Shrewsbury
Departing from our central Manchester location we head for the maritime city of Liverpool, where we head to Royal Albert Dock, the vibrant heart of Liverpool’s historic waterfront, where besides enjoying the many exciting sites, we will visit the award winning exhibition, “The Beatles Story”.
We travel south to the Roman city of Chester, one of the best preserved walled cities in Britain with an amphitheatre just outside the city wall. We take a walking tour with one of the excellent local “Roman” guides.
Shrewsbury is our final destination today. The town whose centre is largely unspoilt has the original medieval street plan with over 660 listed buildings, including many timber framed houses from the 15th and 16th centuries. This is a must for all who love English history.
We are happy to send you a program which is adapted to your flight schedule. Please get in touch with us if you would like this.
Overnight stay in Shrewsbury.
Iron Bridge, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cotswolds & Mickleton
We start our day with a short journey to Iron Bridge and the Iron Bridge Gorge. We will stop to visit The Iron Bridge Gorge Museums and ponder the extraordinary developments that have shaped our world today.
Next, we head to William Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon in the county of Warwickshire, passing through the town of Kidderminster and the city of Worcester. We will visit Anne Hathaway’s 500 year old cottage in Shottery, where Ann and William first lived when married, view The Royal Shakespeare Theatre on its idyllic waterside location, before visiting Stratford’s oldest building, Holy Trinity Church.
Later this afternoon we depart for the Cotswolds, one of England’s most picturesque and beautiful regions.
Two overnight stays in the charming village of Mickleton.
Chipping Camden, Broadway Tower, Brodway Village, Bourton-on-the-Water & Mickleton
After a hearty Cotswold breakfast we will spend the day visiting some of the wonderful sights the Cotswolds have to offer. Throughout the day we will visit Chipping Camden, Broadway Tower and the brainchild of Lancelot “Capability” Brown. Nearby is a preserved nuclear command bunker from the “cold war” era. We retreat to the lower ground and the large village of Broadway, where we’ll have lunch.
When ready, we head south, climbing up to the village of Snow Hill, where in the summer and autumn we will visit a fragrant lavender farm, before arriving at Bourton-on-the Water. There is plenty to amuse us over the next two hours, including visits to The Cotswold Motoring Museum, Birdland and The Model Village, which is a scale replica of the village as it was in the 1930’s.
On our way back to Mickleton, we will stop at the enchanting village of Bibury, nestling on the banks of the River Coln, where we could have a mouth-watering Cotswolds cream tea, a treat not to be missed!
Circenster & Bath
Today we focus on the unique and beautiful Georgian city of Bath.
Our journey will take us through the Roman town of Cirencester “Corinium”, the largest town in the Cotswolds. After a short onward journey we arrive at Bath. During our day in Bath, we will visit The Roman Baths complex. You will have the opportunity to taste the sulphurous water, claimed throughout history to have health giving properties (it’s not compulsory!)
The Gothic Abbey, first founded in the 7th century is an exquisite example of perpendicular gothic architecture, notable for its enormous flying buttresses and the 52 windows which occupy 80% of the wall space, is only a few paces from The Roman Baths entrance.
To meet the demand for suitable, elegant accommodation, architects, John D Wood the elder and his son, John D Wood the younger, set about designing some of the most famous, iconic buildings to be found in England today, including the Royal Crescent, Circus and Queen’s Square. None of this construction would have been possible without the help of Ralph Allen, owner of the local quarries.
Other fine buildings, The Grand Pump Room, designed by John Harvey at the request of Beau Nash, Bath’s master of ceremonies,
Pulteney Bridge, designed by Robert Adam, The Theatre Royal, designed by George Dance the younger, in 1805, are notable amongst the many elegant terraces built during this period. We will spend the afternoon visiting all of these fine buildings and many more on a guided walking tour. We will complete our visits today at the Jane Austen Centre in Gay Street, giving us a snapshot of what it was like to live in Regency times.
Two overnight stays in Bath.
A free day to further explore and enjoy Bath, engage in “retail therapy”, or just rest!
Oxford, Oxford University, Blenheim Palace & Banbury
This morning we must leave this great city, to venture on to another, perhaps even better known and famous worldwide, Oxford.
On our way we will stop at the village of Uffington to view the 3000 year old “White Horse”.
The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English speaking world, with its origins traced back to the 12th century. The university comprises of 38 colleges and 6 Permanent Private Halls. The colleges, together with The Radcliffe Camera, The Bodleian Library, The Ashmolean Museum, The Sheldonian Theatre and many other fine buildings, provide the backdrop to this most beautiful of cities.
We will enjoy a guided walking tour around the old city, visiting at least two of the colleges and learn of the many famous people through history who owe their education to Oxford.
After a lunch at one of the cities many fine hostelries, we will depart for the historic market town of Woodstock, where we visit Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Later, we will depart for the historic market town of Banbury.
One overnight stay in Banbury.
Gaydon, Burton-on-Trent, Derby & Manchester
Our last day together takes us north to Gaydon, home of The British Motor Museum, the largest collection of British historic cars in the world. There are over 300 cars on display, of special interest to any “petrol heads” amongst you! Even those of you are not, will enjoy the stylish surroundings, whilst enjoying a nice cup of tea!
We continue north to Burton-on-Trent, home of English beer brewing. No visit would be complete without a guided tour of The National Brewery Centre. The tour explores British brewing, with shire horses, vintage vehicles and of course some beer samples…….hic.
We will depart for our last scheduled visit of this wonderful tour. It could be said that we’ve kept the best till last. We will visit the town of Derby the historic home of Rolls Royce, where we will visit the Roll-Royce Heritage Trust Museum. Here we will learn how Rolls-Royce have since building their first car in 1904 become, preeminent in world auto and aero engineering.
A marketing survey in 1987 showed that only Coca-Cola was a more widely known brand worldwide than Rolls-Royce.
Our route will take us through Stoke-on-Trent, passing The Peak District National Park to our right, finally to arrive in Central Manchester.
We hope you have enjoyed our “The Glory of Middle England” tour and look forward to seeing you again on another of our tours in “England’s Green and Pleasant Land” series.