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 Wye Valley
The Wye Valley is arguably the birthplace of the modern tourist industry. In 1745, John Egerton, who later became Bishop of Durham, started taking friends on boat trips down the valley from Ross-on-Wye. In 1782, the Reverend William Gilpin produced Observations on the River Wye, the first illustrated tour guide to be published in Britain. Some of the most famous poets, writers and artists of the day made the pilgrimage to the great sights – among them Coleridge, Thackeray, Wordsworth and Turner.
TINTERN ABBEY, SYMONDS YAT & GOODRICH CASTLE
There can be few more sublime views than those of meandering River Wye from Symonds Yat Rock, as it wends its way through the pastoral landscape of the Wye Gorge. But man-made sights are just as impressive. To the south, where the river marks the line of the Welsh border, are the evocative ruins of Tintern Abbey, originally founded by the Cistercians in the 12th century then plundered by the commissioners of Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries; and the sturdy Goodrich Castle begun in Norman times and a classic example of medieval castle evolution.
ROSS-ON-WYE, MONMOUTH & HEREFORD
Ross-on-Wye is famous for the activities of philanthropist John Kyrle, otherwise known as the ‘Man of Ross’, Hay-on-Wye for its Literary Festival, and Monmouth as the birthplace of Henry V and the home of motoring and aviation pioneer, Charles Rolls. All make potential stopovers on a journey along the river, with the Welsh border and the Black Mountains never far away. The city of Hereford is one of three cathedral cities that hosts the renowned Three Choirs Festival (the others being Worcester and Gloucester), and the impressive cathedral is also the repository for the Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world dating from the 13th century.
Smaller churches also have their treasures, including nearby Kilpeck church with its astonishingly well preserved carvings, and St Mary’s Church at Kempley with its superb 12th-century frescoes. The Arts and Crafts church at nearby Brockhampton is a wonderful fusion of various elements, from its thatched roof to tapestries by Edward Burne-Jones.