Open: Tours that have availability and are open to the general public
Limited Availability: Tours with 5 or fewer places still available
Wait list only: Tours that are at capacity and only have wait list availability
Treasure Houses Of Southern England: Behind the Scenes of the stately homes of england
May 5th-14th, 2019 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open
This spring, join Discover Europe and like-minded friends for a look at the history of English aristocracy in the 20th century. Spanning from the Norman invasion to the Victorian era, we will try to understand how the English class system came about and still exists in the legacy that it has bequeathed the nation. With visits to Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn; Oxford, with its treasured buildings dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries; Waddesdon Manor, the home of Lord Rothschild; Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill; and other stately homes of historic significance, we will gain a deeper understanding of Royalty and its history. With time to stop for a pint in a cozy pub, and picturesque landscapes along the way, we will journey into the tales and traditions housed in the stately homes of England.
The Best of English Gardens: Including the chelsea flower show
May 14th-23rd, 2019 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open
This spring, join other garden lovers for a stroll through The Best of English Gardens. At a relaxed pace, with wonderful meals, first-class hotels, and a panorama of magnificent blooms unfolding before us, we will explore the most famous gardens from Vita Sackville-West’s crowning achievement at Sissinghurst Castle to magnificent Stourhead Gardens. We’ll visit Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship gardens at Wisley; Mottisfont Abbey, Kiftsgate and Hidcote Manore, along with visits to the Georgian city of Bath, the enigmatic Stonehenge, concluding with a full day visit to Chelsea Flower Show. A quintessential celebration of springtime, this tour will plant colorful memories for years to come.
One Stop Tour:
Let's Unpack in the peaks
May 31st-June 1st, 2019 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open
The Peak District National Park covers 555 square miles right in the center of Britain straddling the Pennine Mountain range, known as the “Backbone of England.” This tour will introduce you to the Peak District and the surrounding areas with a special, members only entry to the Chatsworth Flower Show. We have included a fascinating array of visits, from a variety of stately homes spanning several centuries, to one of the country’s foremost industrial heritage sites, the Quarry Bank Mill at Styal.
The Cotswold Hills: Exploring the by-ways & hidden corners of the Cotswold Hills
June 27th-July 6th, 2019 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open
Dreamy spires and picturesque villages capture the romance and gentle beauty of the Cotswolds, a corner of England where lush, rolling hillsides meet the horizon. From the soaring towers of Oxford University where we will take a walking tour, to the quaint, tumbling thatched roofed cottages, along the riverside, to the gorgeous Georgian architecture of ancient Bath, we will slow down, stay a while, and dream. We begin and end our tour in Royal Windsor, convenient for meeting the various arriving flights of our group members. From here we will wend our way with stops at Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, to the beautiful gardens of Sudeley Castle and the romantic ruins of Kenilworth. Come experience the gentle scenery in the full glory of an English summer and be transfixed by the Captivating Cotswolds!
West Country Gardens
June 2nd-11th, 2019 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open
Visit masterpieces of garden design on a tour that highlights both the scope of influence and the depth of history in the gardens of England’s West Country. We begin with the intimate and quintessentially English garden of Ridleys Cheer and end with the 376 acres of Grade I listed formal gardens and woodlands at Cliveden. Throughout, we a variety of gardens and how they complement the great Manors, Abbeys, Castles, and Houses of the West Country including the finest gardens in Wales. We start our adventure in Taunton with day trips to Cothay Manor, featured in the Daily Telegraph’s “20 Best Gardens in Britain”; Ford Abbey Gardens, originally a Cistercian Monastery; and Montacute House, a beautiful Elizabethan country home featured in the BBC production of Wolf Hall. We then head north and cross the Severn Bridge into the Principality of Wales. In Llanelli we venture out to Aberglasney House, spectacularly set in the beautiful Tywi valley; excursions to St. David’s Peninsula to see Picton Castle, and north through Pembrokeshire to see Caer Hir, a “Dutch garden in the heart of Wales”. From the grandiose to the “off the beaten track” at a relaxed pace and from the comfort of first-class English hotels, we invite you to explore West Country Gardens.
Discovering East Anglia: Hidden Treasures with Gavin Miller
July 19th-27th, 2019 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open
Windmills and waterfowl, tiny stone churches, rambling country mansions, and vast gentle fens that stretch to the sky. East Anglia is an area of England often overlooked by visitors and it is truly worth discovering. Our guide, Gavin Miller, has designed this itinerary to showcase the hidden treasures of the region where he grew up. Along the way, we’ll explore the cities of Norwich with it’s beautiful cathedrals (possibly in time for Evensong); and Cambridge for a walking tour of the ancient university with 800 years of architecture and tradition. For the duration of the visit Gavin has chosen a wonderful, four-star country house hotel that is also recognized locally for its excellent restaurant. This summer, come join Gavin, in this special place and share his love of what he once called home.
The Channel Islands: A tribute to the guernsey literary & potato peel pie society
September 12th-21st, 2019 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open
Inspired by the wonderful, best-selling novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, here is a tour of the Channel Islands. These lovely islands offer a range of experiences, from wildlife sanctuaries to military museums to breathtaking scenery. We’ll see the vestiges of the occupation during the Second World War, in the underground hospital and the old concrete gun emplacements that still dot the cliff tops. It is, however, hard to really imagine the deprivation of those times when surrounded by such incredible natural scenery. And then there are the gardens. There are four Royal Horticultural Society gardens on Guernsey alone! We divide our stay between the two largest islands – Jersey & Guernsey – and take a short ferry ride from one to the other. For logistical reasons and to get our feet on the ground after the transatlantic flight, we’ll begin our tour in London. Join us on an exploration of the history and culture of these unique islands. Gorey Castle, Jersey, The Channel Islands, Covent Garden - The Royal Opera House, and much more!
Treasure Houses Of Northern England: Exploring Yorkshire And The Lake District
September 13th-22nd, 2019 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open
From the ancient city walls of York, a living history book spanning from the time of the Romans, The Viking invasion and its Victorian heyday; to the Lake District, an endless inspiration for the Romantic poets; here is an adventure in Northern England that takes you behind the usual tourist façade. We meander past ruined abbeys, country mansions, and breathtaking scenery, traversing form one side of the country to the other. We will take in several literary locales including Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage and Beatrix Potter’s charming cottage and understand why other Lakeland poets (Coleridge, Southey, et al.) decided to make this area their home. From Castle Howard, immediately recognizable from the BBC television series, Brideshead Revisited, to Fountains Abbey, Britain’s largest and most beautiful monastic ruin, this trip promises to take you back in time exploring the wonderful Treasure Houses of Northern England.
Dorset & the Isle of Wight
October 10th-19th, 2019 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open
Originally derived from the “West Saxons,” who lived here after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the name of “Wessex” for this region of south central England was popularized by the late Victorian novelist, Thomas Hardy. Though technically not a part of the region, the Isle of Wight is so close, that it would be a shame to miss this opportunity to pay it a visit. A favorite haunt of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s, their patronage turned the island into a popular destination for English holidaymakers for many decades. Nowadays, of course, the English tend to forsake their own seaside for warmer Mediterranean shores, leaving the island a very tranquil place, even in the summer – and one that not many American visitors get the chance to explore. Our tour of the region encompasses all its varied aspects; from the ancient to the modern, from the historical to the literary, country pubs to stately homes, charming village churches to great gothic cathedrals, but throughout run the gentle green rolling hills that are the hallmark of this beautiful area. Please come and join us this spring and enjoy some Tales of Wessex.
Kent: The Garden of England: Adventures in Southeast England
October 18th-27th, 2019 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open
The County of Kent takes up most of the southeastern tip of England, the closest point to the continental mainland. The gentle slopes of its chalk hills and the rich clay soils of its central valleys, combined with the mild climate of the south of England have provided such a fertile environment that the area has been known for centuries as the Garden of England. From the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle; to Chartwell, the home of Sir Winston Churchill; with stays in ancient Canterbury and Battle, named for the Battle of Hastings, we have opted for a mixture of sites, ranging from the historic to the scenic, from the literary to the whimsical, that we hope will give an accurate flavor of the region.