Availability Key

Open: Tours available to the general public.
Full: Tours that only have wait list availability.
Sponsored: Tours designed for a private group with possible availability.  
Private: Tours designed for a private group that are not available to the general public.


St. Michael's Mount

The West Country

June 8th-17th, 2017 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Sponsored

The southwest peninsula of England, made up of the counties of Cornwall, Devon, and Somerset, is known as “The West Country.” It is an ancient land, rife with myth and legend, and staunchly independent from the “mainland” of England. Washed by the warming currents of the Gulf Stream, the peninsula enjoys its own microclimate enjoyed by many during the summer season. From the Vale of Avalon and Arthur’s (alleged) grave site in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey to his birthplace in Tintagel, the Arthurian legends will keep cropping up on our travels through this beautiful part of England. 


Mapperton Garden, Dorset, England

West Country Gardens

June 13th-23rd, 2017 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Full

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. We will see the evolution of garden design and how it complements the great Manors, Abbeys, Castles, and Houses of the West Country. From the grandiose to the “off the beaten track”, at a relaxed pace with the comfort of first-class English hotels of charm and character, we will enjoy the full spectrum of England’s West Country Gardens.


Cotswold Village

Captivating Cotswolds: A Week exploring the by-ways & Hidden corners of the cotswold hills

June 30th-July 9th, 2017 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Full

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 Come experience the gentle scenery in the full glory of an English summer and be transfixed by the Captivating Cotswolds!


Kings College, England

Discovering East Anglia: hidden Treasures with Gavin Miller

July 21st-29th, 2017 | 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.


Rousham Garden, England

The Passionate Gardener: Late Summer Gardens of Southern England

September 7th-16th, 2017 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open

This September, join garden blogger, Michael Gordon, (thegardenerseye.blogspot.com) for a stroll through the best that English gardens have to offer. Experience the expression of Britain’s top garden designers who have set the standard for the rest of the world in horticulture for centuries. Our tour will show that a well-designed garden is one that continues to delight through a variety of seasons. From William Kent’s masterpiece landscape garden, Rousham, to Christopher Lloyd’s innovative garden at Great Dixter, to the contemporary private garden at Pettifers, we will see English garden design from the traditional to the cutting edge. With first class hotels and wonderful meals, this trip is designed for the passionate gardener.


Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University

Unitarian England: Exploring the origins of the nonconformist church

September 21st-October 1st, 2017 | Maximum Group Size: 20 Participants | Availability: Sponsored

British Unitarianism enjoys a rich history of almost 350 years, and its churches are amongst the country’s finest examples of nonconformist architecture. Beginning in London, with visits to John Wesley’s house and chapel, Bunhill Fields. We then continue to Oxford, city of dreaming spires and ancient seat of learning with a special visit to Harris Manchester College, one of England’s two Unitarian training colleges. We wend our way through the Cotswold Hills to ancient Glastonbury with stays in Bath and Salisbury. This trip is packed with learning about ancient, religious and cultural history of England with plenty of time for lively discussions over a good ale at the local pub with the Reverend Dr. David Usher, your tour guide, a graduate of Oxford University who has spent 35 years as a UU minister in England and United States.


Kent, England

Kent: The Garden of England: Adventures in Southwest England

October 5th-14th, 2017 | 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.


Poldark.jpg

Poldarks Cornwall

April 23rd-May 2nd, 2018 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open

The first BBC television production of Poldark was aired in 1975. Alexandra Messervy, who has designed and will lead this tour, first read the books at the age of 8 during her annual family holidays to Cornwall, whilst staying on the Lizard Peninsula, and was captivated by the stories and the history behind them. Each year she and her father collected the books, sharing the stories and locations as they holidayed in the area over many years. We very much hope this tour will whet the appetite not only to read the whole series, but to watch more episodes if the BBC can be persuaded to make them! Alexandra was formerly a member of the Royal Household of Her Majesty The Queen and was part of the team which organized private family occasions such as the Royal Wedding. She latterly served as Private Secretary to a member of the Royal Family. Come explore Cornwall regarding this beloved series with Alexandra and her deep appreciation of this area.


Treasure Houses of Southern England.jpg

Treasure Houses Of Southern England

May 6th-15th, 2018 | 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.


Mottisfont Abbey, England

The Best of English Gardens: Including the chelsea flower show

May 15th-24th, 2018 | 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, Kifsgate 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.


Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University

Unitarian England

May 24th-June 3rd, 2018 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open

British Unitarianism enjoys a rich history of almost 350 years, and its churches are amongst the country’s finest examples of nonconformist architecture. Beginning in London, with visits to John Wesley’s house and chapel, Bunhill Fields. We then continue to Oxford, city of dreaming spires and ancient seat of learning with a special visit to Harris Manchester College, one of England’s two Unitarian training colleges. We wend our way through the Cotswold Hills to ancient Glastonbury with stays in Bath and Salisbury. This trip is packed with learning about ancient, religious and cultural history of England with plenty of time for lively discussions over a good ale at the local pub with the Reverend Dr. David Usher, your tour guide, a graduate of Oxford University who has spent 35 years as a UU minister in England and United States.


Wales

Wales & The Lake District

May 26th-June 8th, 2018 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Open

Castle ruins, meandering medieval streets, and magnificent Celtic heritage bring the beauty of Wales to life against a backdrop of rolling green hills and dramatic sea cliffs. Past and present coexist in this distinctive part of the world- the Romans mined for gold, the Tudors founded a dynasty, and the Normans built castles whose ancient remains are scattered along windy hilltops throughout the countryside. Our stay takes in several literary locales, Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage and Beatrix Potter’s charming habitat, and will give you an indication why Lakeland poets (Coleridge, Southey as well) decided to make this area their home. This tour, designed and led by Alexandra Messervy, a former member of The Royal Household of Her Majesty The Queen, starts in Windsor and winds its way up to the beautiful Lake District. Castles, manor houses, high teas and botanical gardens fill in the mystery of this magical land. Topped off with a bit of royalty, who could go wrong?


Gardens of the north

June 1st-10th, 2018 | Maximum Group Size: 15 Participants | Availability: Sponsored

Description coming soon! 


Cotswold Streetscape

A Cotswold Spring

June 7th-16th, 2018 | 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!