10.30am arrive Heathrow
11.30am follow A308 to Runnymede, site of the signing of Magna Carta. Continue to Windsor with tour of Windsor Castle including State Apartments and St George's Chapel.
1.30pm light lunch in Windsor
2.15pm depart Windsor for scenic drive through Chilterns to Oxford (via Henley, Wallingford and Dorchester)
3.30pm arrive Oxford; check in at hotel
4pm 90-minute tour of Oxford
9.00am depart Oxford for Blenheim Palace
9.30am arrive Blenheim for 45 minutes in park.
10.15am depart for Burford
11am arrive Burford, stop for 30 mins
11.30am depart for Stow-on-the-Wold
2pm. Stratford with immediate visit of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage for 1-hour tour.
3pm Drive to Ringo car park.
4.30pm depart Stratford heading south into the Cotswolds via Mickleton and Chipping Campden to Broadway. If time include a short walk on Dover’s Hill for stunning views of Vale of Evesham
Arrive Broadway 6.45pm
9am depart Broadway for tour of North Cotswolds with idyllic villages of Stanton and Stanway then continue to Broadway Tower (with short walk weather permitting)
10am continue southeast to Stow-on-the-Wold at the centre of the Cotswolds. Tearoom visit.
11.15am head southwest towards Cheltenham then south along the idyllic Coln Valley to Bibury. Lunch in Bibury. Alternative: visit to Chedworth Roman villa (with lunch) followed by shorter visit to Bibury.
2.15pm head from Bibury across the southern Cotswolds via Tetbury to Bath
Arrive Bath 3.45pm, for initial 30-minute minibus tour of this World Heritage Site city famous for its Georgian architecture and amazing Roman Baths.
4.15pm check into hotel
5.30pm early evening visit to the Roman Baths (museum; not for swimming!)
Sun 4th August 2019
8.30am Early start along A36 to Stonehenge
9.30am arrive Stonehenge for tour of the monument followed by refreshments
11.15am depart Stonehenge
12am latest arrive Salisbury for visit to the Cathedral with lunch in the cathedral cafe
1.30am depart Salisbury for Southampton
DESTINATIONS & TOURS
DESTINATIONS & TOURS
The Banbury Gullivers
JONATHAN SWIFT'S INSPIRATION
Tony Gulliver's ancestors came from Banbury and were buried in St Mary’s churchyard. In the early 18th century, Jonathan Swift would sometimes stay in the town when travelling between his native Dublin and Oxford or London. Of course he probably wouldn't have come on a private guided tour, and even then Banbury may not have ranked as one of England's top tourist destinations. Nevertheless, he stayed at a lovely hotel, the Whately Hall Hotel, which is still there right opposite the church. Swift refers to the Gulliver tombs in the preface of his great fictional satire (1726):
Although Mr. Gulliver was born in Nottinghamshire, where his father dwelt, yet I have heard him say his family came from Oxfordshire; to confirm which, I have observed in the churchyard at Banbury in that county, several tombs and monuments of the Gullivers.
So the tombs in Banbury, commemorated today by a plaque, inspired Swift to the name of his famous protagonist in Gulliver's Travels. The church was rebuilt in 1790 and just one Gulliver tomb remains, that of Tony Gulliver's great great great grandparents, Samuel and Mary.