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Trips
 

ENGLAND
Dates: May 10 – 25, 2018

Cost Per Person: $3,700, based on double occupancy

Cost will include: transfer to/from Philadelphia airport, air transport, hotels with private facilities, Charter bus transport, trains, breakfasts, some admissions


Thursday, 10 May 2018
3:00 PM departure from Elite Coach, 1685 W. Main Street, Ephrata, PA… on own charter bus to Philadelphia (PHL) airport… American Airlines flight #7360 departs PHL airport at 7:20 PM… Meals served.

Friday, 11 May 2018
Arrival at 7:45 AM at London Heathrow (LHR)… visit Blenheim Palace, one of the country’s greatest stately homes, famous as Winston Churchill’s residence…1 hour drive to Stow-on-the-Wold (Stow), located in the heart of the Cotswolds Hills (www.visitcotswolds.co.uk) (www.stowinfo.co.uk) … the Cotswolds are gentle hills containing glorious honey colored villages with beautiful old mansions, thatched cottages, and atmospheric churches…Stow-on-the-Wold is a small town anchored by a large market square surrounded by handsome buildings and steep-walled alleyways, originally used to funnel the sheep into the fair…WE WILL STAY IN STOW FOR 4 NIGHTS… we will stay at the 5-star Porch House Inn (www.porch-house.co.uk)... The Porch House is certified as the oldest Inn in England (circa 947 AD)… it has exposed beams, wooden floors, stone walls and a rabbit warren of corridors and levels and a nice patio…don’t worry, it was extensively renovated since the 10th century.

Saturday, 12 May 2018 to Tuesday, 15 May 2018
though the Cotswolds are very popular, we will do our best to avoid crowds by meandering down deserted country lanes so we can discover our very own bucolic village… we will stick to the backroads and visit places like Guiting Power near Bourton-on-the Water, Broadwell, Maugersbury, Adelstrop, and the Swells and the Slaughters near Stow-on-theWold, Painswick, Blockley near Chipping Campden, Taynton, Sherborne, and the Barringtons near Burford, Ampney St. Mary and Ampney Cruces near Cirencester, or Coln St. Andrews near Bibury… we will have opportunity to walk and explore… I envision optional walking between villages…those who may not want to walk will have opportunity to explore villages and gardens…I hope to use our charter bus as somewhat of a taxi service.

Day trips will include:
*visit to market towns of Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh, and Shipton-under-Wychwood…visits to villages to Bledington and Icomb…visit lovely gardens at Sezincote and Batsford Aboretum
*Banbury and the Eastern Cotswolds…visit villages away from the busy touristed areas,… visit Chastleton House, the Rollright Stones, and Broughton Castle
*Broadway, Bourton-on-the-Water and the Slaughters…these are well known villages in the very heart of the Cotswolds…visit Sudeley Castle and Snowshill Manor and Broadway Tower Country Park
*Attractive market towns and villages in the Windrush River Valley…many of the villages lie off the beaten track…visit quaint town of Northleach…visit attractive town of Burford…visit beautiful Bibury and Coln St. Aldwyns
*More time west of Stowe…highlights will include Winchcombe, Naunton, Guiting Power…this route will also help us spend more time in villages that we may not have had time to enjoy in other days
*Chipping Campden, perhaps the most beautiful town in the Cotswolds…we will see villages and towns, local crafts can be seen in the shops…also visit more gardens

Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Time to move on, but not far… we will visit the following towns and villages on our way to Wells
*Malmesbury Abbey, a wonderful blend of ruin and living church…just below the Abbey are the Abbey House gardens which include a herb garden, river, waterfall and two hectares of colorful blooms
*Castle Combe, often called the “Prettiest Village in England”…it is a picture perfect image of the English countryside…”Doctor Doolittle” was filmed here in 1967
*Lacock, geranium-covered cottages and idyllic location next to a rushing brook…this village is a National Trust historic town… Harry Potter films and BBC series have featured Lacock
WE WILL STAY IN WELLS FOR 3 NIGHTS…we will stay at the 4-star Crown at Wells (www.crownatwells.co.uk)... Our hotel is a 15th century coaching inn in the heart of Wells, very close to its cathedral…William Penn once preached from this hotel.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Wells (www.wellssomerset.com) is England’s smallest city and only qualifies for the “city” title thanks to its magnificent medieval cathedral.... medieval buildings and cobbled streets radiate out from the cathedral green to a market place that has been the bustling heart of Wells for over 9 centuries… Wednesday is market day…Wells’ excellent restaurant and busy shops help make it a good launching pad for exploring the region… we will spend some time in Wells in the morning and then we will have a choice to make… the following 4 choices are all within one hour of Wells
*Shaftesbury is a beautiful hilltop village overlooking a panorama or pastoral meadows with a cobbled slope of chocolate-box cottages…there is a fine Abbey and castle in this town
*Salisbury is known for its majestic cathedral, topped by the tallest spire in England
*Stonehenge, Britain’s most iconic archaeological site
*Glastonbury, famous for its association with the Holy Grail and beautiful little back roads near Wells… Stay in Wells

Thursday, 17 May 2018
Short drive to Bath… with its grand Georgian terraces, Palladian parades and lofty townhouses, Bath boasts so many listed buildings that the whole city has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO… it is most famous for its healing thermal springs founded by the Romans 2,008 years ago…the most famous landmarks are the Roman Baths and Pump Room… Bath Abbey is the last great medieval church built in England… we will visit the Royal Crescent, a semi-circular terrace of majestic houses overlooking a private lawn…we will have a 2 hour guided walking tour…we will also have a cruise up and down the River Avon… Stay in Wells

Friday, 18, May 2018
Today is our longest drive…we have at least 4 hours on the bus, but we will stop several times… among our stops will be:
*Bradford-On-Avon, is a beautiful amber colored town on the river
*Devizes, a busy market town famous for its grand semi-circular market place, the largest in England
*Avebury, a massive ring of stones, arguably much more rewarding than Stonehenge… it is bigger, older (dating from 2500-2200 BC) and more quiet
WE WILL STAY IN BURY ST. EDMUNDS FOR 4 NIGHTS at the 4-star Angel Hotel (www.theangel.co.uk) …this 15th century, award winning hotel is located on one of the prettiest squares in England, across from the Abbey Gardens…this hotel offers traditional Georgian elegance and charm… Kings and Queens and Charles Dickens have stayed here…Dickens mentioned this hotel in his novel, “Pickwick Papers”

Saturday, 19 May 2018 to Tuesday, 22 May 2018
Bury St. Edmunds, in East Anglia (www.visit-burystedmunds.co.uk),has long attracted travelers for its powerful history, handsome Georgian architecture, and bustling markets…it is a genteel place with tranquil gardens, a newly completed cathedral and a lively atmosphere…Bury has a train station offering good connections to the region…the next few days will include:

* Day trip to Cambridge – the world famous university town, home to old buildings, wobbly punters on its river and glorious chapels…there is a fantastic Imperial War Museum at nearby Duxford and a large US Military Cemetery honoring WWII heroes

*Day trips to picturesque villages and pretty market towns that remain testament to the enormous wealth amassed during medieval times when the wool and the weaving industries flourished… we will see the gentle hills and placid valleys featuring the slow-flowing rivers and bucolic scenes that once inspired Constable and Gainsborough…villages we will see will include: Lavenham, Long Melford, Claire, Sudbury, Kersey, and Hadleigh…we will see Constable country villages in the Dedham Vale such as East Bergholt and Flatford.

*Superb cathedrals in Ely, Peterborough, and Norwich … all these small cities have fantastic pedestrianized walking zones

Tuesday, 22 May 2018 to Friday, 25 May 2018
2 hour drive to St. Albans (www.enjoystalbans.com)... WE WILL STAY IN ST. ALBANS FOR 3 NIGHTS… we will stay at the 4 star St. Michaels Manor Hotel (www.stmichaelsmanor.com) … our hotel is set in 5 acres of beautiful gardens with a lake on the premises… it is a 5 minute walk to the center of town… St. Albans is an historic town with elegant Georgian streets and roman remains, and home to Hatfield House, a spectacular stately home well worth the visit… many people staying in London make a day trip to visit St. Albans for its cathedral and Roman Museum… Shaws Corner, was home to George Bernard Shaw.
Day trips will include:

*London is only 30 minute train ride away… we could have a walking day tour of London for 1 or 2 days…we could include Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied fortress in the world.

*Day trip to villages and towns along the Rives Thames… Henley-On-Thames is world famous for its rowing competitions… Goring, Pangbourne, and Dorchester are pretty river villages… Wantage is a medieval market town worth visiting

Friday, 25 May 2018
30 minute drive to LHR … American airlines flight #7370 departs LHR at 2:25 PM and arrives at PHL at 5:35PM… Meals served… drive to Ephrata.

This itinerary is subject to change. Thank you.

Sources:
Lonely Planet- Guide to England
Cotswolds Car Tours – Ordnance Survey Travelmaster Guide…John Brooks…Jarrold Publishing
 

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