July 17-30, 2023 | Gardens, Literature and Castles of England, Scotland, Wales

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From$2,945
Price
From$2,945
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July 17, 2023
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Beautiful British Isles
Overview

The United Kingdom is one of the world’s most pleasant destinations. There is something about it that just makes it different. Perhaps it is the incredible countryside that seems to be everywhere. Maybe it’s the world changing history that happened in these charming places.  Maybe it’s because it is a part of our heritage and our own family histories. Whatever it is, these are places worth seeing and we would love to show them to you.

Webb Tours has taken many dozens of tours to the British Isles. It is without a doubt among our favorite places in the world. Over the years, we have honed our itineraries to include the places we know you’ll enjoy. In 2019, we directed a “Literary Tour of the British Isles” and it was a hit. We have taken parts of that itinary and added some of our favorite gardens and castles to create this very custom itinerary. 

The tour will be directed by Peter Fagg who lives in England. He is an expert on the places we will be visiting. You’ll appreciate his knowledge and personality. 

Space on this tour is limited to 46 people. You won’t find this itinerary anywhere else. We look forward to sharing it with you.

Highlights

Sightseeing Highlights:

  • Celebration of British Literature and the charming places where their stories unfolded
    • Robert Burns to Sherlock Holmes in Scotland
    • Woordsworth and Beatrix Potter in the Lakes District of England
    • The Bronte sisters in Howarth (complete with an old style steam train to get there)
    • Jane Austen’s Chatsworth house and gardens
    • Shakespeare’s Stratford upon Avon and surrounding areas
    • Roald Dah’s Wye Valley in Wales
    • Churchill’s Blenheim Palace and Highclere Castle from Downton Abbey fame
    • CS Lewis to Harry Potter and everything in between in magnificent Oxford
    • Charles Dickens hometown and the Canterbury Tales
    • Westminster Abbey in London
  • Majestic Castles/Palaces
    • Sterling Castle in Scotland
    • Warwick Castle in England
    • Caerphilly Castle in Wales
    • Chatsworth and Blenheim Palaces
  • Magnificent Gardens:
    • Dawyck Gardens in Scotland
    • Hidcote Manor Gardens in the Cotswolds
    • Ann Hathaway House/Gardens
    • Blenheim and Chatsworth Gardens
    • Peak District National Park and Terraced Gardens

Price Includes

  • Escorted sightseeing by luxury motor coach with safe, professional driver
  • Tour director (Peter Fagg) who is UNIQUELY QUALIFIED to lead this tour. 
  • Accommodations that are carefully chosen and strategically located (combination of 3 and 4 star hotels)
  • Full English Breakfast daily except morning of arrival
    Seven dinners including a “Taste of Scotland” in Edinburgh.

Price per person

  • $2,945 + Airfare –  Based on two in a Room
  • $2,875 + Airfare:   Based on three in a Room
  • $3,695 + Airfare:   Based on one in a Room

Note:

For this tour, we fly into Edinburgh, Scotland and home from London, England. 

We will arrange airfare for the group out of Salt Lake City. If you would like to join us from another city, we can arrange your airfare from there. Of course, if you prefer to arrange you’re own airfare, that is fine too and we can meet you along the way.

Itinerary

July 17/18: Depart USA
Today we meet at the airport to board our flight through the east coast to Edinburgh, Scotland, known as the “Athens of the North” (dinner and breakfast are included on the flight).  Our aim today is twofold. Help you fall in love with Scotland, and keep you awake to adjust to the time change. We begin our afternoon adventure with a visit to Carlton Hill. We see impressive monuments and important government buildings, learn of fire festivals, “Edinburgh’s shame”, and Old Observatories, but best of all we gain a great outlook over Edinburgh, Leith & Firth of Forth. Our travels will take us by Balmoral Castle, which is the queen’s residence in Scotland. This afternoon, we venture out on foot to take our first trip into the Old Town. Weaving in and out of the Royal Mile we begin to get a feel for Scotland and its interesting history. It is also our first taste of Britain’s literary greatness with a brief visit to the Writer’s Museum to view artefacts belonging to the great Scottish writers Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. In this area, we also find the humble beginnings of the Harry Potter phenomena. It’s in interesting place to start our journey. B

July 19: Today we leave the city for the countryside to visit St. Andrews. St. Andrews is known as the birthplace of golf, but it’s much more than that. We’ll walk the beach made famous in Charriots of Fire. We’ll wander along the coast of the North Sea past the castle ruins and ancient cathedral which was once the largest building in Scotland, built in 1160. But “words, sweet words brought it tumbling down.”  We’ll discover Robert Kirk’s fairy folklore and throw in some stories about Star Wars, smallpox, martyrs, Sherlock Holmes and of course William & Kate. We then return back to Edinburgh for a lovely dinner together this evening. For those that are interested, we’ll descend with our costumed guide UNDERNEATH the streets of Edinburgh to find a collection of hidden streets frozen in time since the 17th Century. It is fascinating!  B, D

 July 20: Our day trip today takes us north to visit Stirling Castle. Its striking location was the constant battle ground between England and Scotland for centuries. Learn of the exploits of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce in the Battle of Stirling Bridge and the Battle of Bannockburn. This is the stuff of legends. Witness how James V changed the Royal Palace into a public relations masterpiece with carvings and the Stirling Heads showing his divine right to rule. Next we visit Roslyn Chapel – a “medieval treasure in stone”. Founded in 1446 this quaint little church, with intricate carvings and intriguing legends, came to the mass public’s attention due to Dan Brown’s book – The Da Vinci Code. The mystery of what is in those sealed crypts continues to create speculation, but the pure skill of these master masons is what keeps people coming back. For dinner this evening we will enjoy a Taste of Scotland – an unmissable evening of Scottish music, costume, bagpipes, fiddles and dance in the magically historic setting of Prestonfield House. Enjoy exceptional entertainment with a gourmet dinner served by kilted waiters. Try some Angus beef or Orkney Salmon or even a wee taste of Haggis, neeps and tatties. B, D

July 21: We’ll get an early start today as we make our way south. We’ll make a morning stop at beautiful Dawyck Botanic Gardens showcasing pristine, Scottish gardens and manor house. Before we leave Scotland we briefly stop at the infamous Gretna Green – used in many novels as the place to elope and get married by the blacksmith. Then we are welcomed to England with a day of scenery and inspiration driving through the famous Lake District. Our first English stop is Dove Cottage where Britain’s best loved poet William Wordsworth began his married life, where three of his children were born, and where some of his best poetry was written. We stroll into Grasmere and sample some famous gingerbread. After lunch, our next stop is Hawkshead, a charming village with links to Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. We then worm our way through narrow lanes to Hill Top Farm – the home of Beatrix Potter. This tiny farm house (with its splendid location and views) is a delightful time capsule particularly when you start to match the drawings from her stories with actual locations. Fall in love with Peter Rabbit and his friends all over again. We stay in the charming town of Skipton tonight.  B

July 22: Today, we drive through the moors of the Yorkshire Dales National Park to explore a few northern towns and villages and discover where beauty and grit combine. We arrive in style on a steam train aboard the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Ten movies have used this railway line to capture a bygone age, most famously in The Railway Children (1970), then North and South (2004), and many more. One of today’s main highlights will be our visit to Haworth – the home and inspiration to the Bronte sisters. The ascent from the train station along the cobbled street to the parish church and parsonage is a delightful flashback. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre were conceived here and the home and countryside home now hosts thousands of visitors to celebrate their masterpieces of literature. We stay in Bakewell tonight. B, D

July 23: Bakewell hosted the very famous Jane Austen who captured these areas so perfectly in her books. We’ll visit the Chatsworth House which is a wonderful introduction to the stately homes of her era. This was also the setting of her most famous book – Pride and Prejudice. This afternoon we visit nearby Haddon Hall – described as “the most perfect house to survive from the middle ages”. Set in the heart of the beautiful Peak District National Park, parts of the house date from the 12th Century, sitting like a jewel in its Elizabethan terraced gardens, and overlooking the River Wye. The house and grounds have played host to no less than three versions of “Jane Eyre”. Screen credits also include “Elizabeth”, “Pride & Prejudice”, “The Other Boleyn Girl” and “The Princess Bride”. It is an idyllic place in England that will delight you! We then continue 92 miles to Stratford Upon Avon where we will spend 2 nights.  B

 July 24: You can’t appreciate England if you don’t explore the beautiful Midlands, starting with Stratford upon Avon, birth place of the bard himself, William Shakespeare. We start with a meander through the town which is still thriving because of his contribution. We stroll along the River Avon, find two statues of him and visit the parish church where he was both christened and buried. We see his daughter’s home, his birthplace, his school, and New Place, where he died. We then drive out to Ann Hathaway’s Cottage to walk in the gardens and thatched cottage where his heart was captured. This afternoon, we’ll take a short drive (15 minutes) over to Warwick Castle, one of England’s best preserved medieval fortresses. The grounds, the castle, and the setting are simply stunning. We then return back to Stratford. Those who wish can take in a dinner and play this evening. There is nothing quite like seeing a Shakespeare play in his hometown. B

July 25: Today is our day to explore the Cotswolds, my favorite part of England. We’ll start with some time in nearby Evesham on the River Avon. We then enjoy a day of “Cotswold hopping” as we go from town to town to show you some of these GEMS. We’ll visit Bourton on the Water and Broadway spending time in each. These are tidy, well preserved villages made of the famous Cotswold stone giving them their iconic look and feel. This is England as you’ve pictured it and it is some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. You’ll have time for a delightful lunch in Bourton on the Water. On our way south, we’ll enjoy the famous Hidcote Manor Gardens in Chippen Camden, a great example of Cotswold gardens.  On route to Wales we pass near Gloucester where we find trolls in the bathroom, mice sewing waistcoats, a stingy old man, a touch of fairy dust, a formidable pirate, and an American tune which turns out to be not so American! A delightful mixture of literary connections that we’ll explore in route. We cross over the border into Wales taking in the beautiful Wye Valley. We stay in Swansea tonight and enjoy an included dinner. B, D

July 26: Today we experience beautiful Welsh valleys, silent coal mines and a walk through centuries of Welsh history. Blackened faces, powerful singing voices, non conformist chapels, hardy miners and tough rugby players have all inspired pen to paper. This was the backdrop for the classic book “How Green Was my Valley”. And you’ll see how green they are! Famous author, Roald Dahl (James & the Giant Peach, Matilda) was from here. We have lunch today at an old Norwegian church with a long maritime history, a great view of Cardiff Bay. This afternoon, we visit the imposing Caerphilly Castle, a great example of the numerous Welsh castles that protected this part of Britain.  We stay near Bath, England tonight. B, L

 July 27: Bath is special. It’s a place where history, literature and nature have combined to create a masterpiece. The Romans were here in the 1st century BC, and we’ll be able to see what they left behind.  We’ve included entrance into the Roman Baths that are well preserved. You’ll marvel at the surrounding countryside and sweeping views. Bath also has some of the country’s best preserved Georgian architecture which means we get to see the city landscape seen by notable authors like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. The period dramas we enjoy often use the same street scenes where these authors conjured up their characters. We then visit Lacock – another charming village which you have seen in film many times before as it is the village backdrop to many movies including Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, the Hollow Crown, Wolf Hall, Robin Hood, and more. We then journey to Downton Abbey to visit Highclere Castle – and walk through the film set where so many engaging story lines kept us wanting more. These stately homes experienced dramatic overhauls as society shifted. We have interesting stories to tell here. We continue to our hotel in the Oxford area tonight. B, D

July 28: This morning we visit Blenheim Palace. This home is the absolute pinnacle of an English stately home and includes an exhibition on Winston Churchill who was born here, and helps us understand the roots of this prolific writer who galvanized a nation in its time of need. Our visit includes a stroll in their magnificent gardens to see where Winston proposed to Clementine. In the afternoon we stop in Oxford where we wind our way through the narrow streets, stately colleges and grassy meadows, to discover some of the Noble and Great Ones. We track the history back to the beginnings of Oxford, to the time of the miraculous Frideswide, and then build layer upon layer of famous name after famous names including Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, C.S. Lewis, John Ruskin, J.R. Tolkien, Thomas More, Samuel Johnson and many more. We discover the influential John Wycliffe and his nemesis Richard Fleming, the tragic ending of the Oxford Martyrs, and the founding of Wesley’s Holy Club. Throw in some Hobbits and Orcs, Lions and Wardrobes, Green Eggs and Ham, and tons of pilchard; mix in a plethora of Prime Ministers, a remarkable balloon flight, a penicillin breakthrough, a four minute mile, the King James Bible, Halley’s Comet, My Fair Lady and you have the beginnings of a splendid stroll through this city! Harry Potter fans will delight in discovering parts of Hogwarts in different parts of the city. It is an incredible journey in a very special place. We stay in the town of Rochester tonight, near London. We are here for two nights. B, D

July 29: Few authors have created so many universally loved characters as those penned by Charles Dickens. We start with a walking tour of the streets of Rochester to find streets, buildings and characters who were given eternal stardom in his novels. He loved this town with its ancient castle and cathedral overlooking the River Medway. This is where he wished to be buried (didn’t work out that way). On route to Canterbury we drive by charming Chatham, where he had fond childhood memories, and then by his last home at Gads Hill, where he died. Canterbury is most famous for its fabulous cathedral, which we visit, but there is lots more to discover in the surrounding streets such as the Kings School, St Augustine, Queen Bertha, the Mayflower and a little bear. This is truly a Dickens day as we find a number of his characters walking these charming streets. We also pay tribute to Geoffrey Chaucer. His Canterbury Tales collection is revered as one of the most important stepping stones for English Literature. Farewell dinner together (we’ve still got another day together, but tomorrow eve the group will be scattered all over London). B, D

July 30: We’re 30 miles from London and we’ll spend our last day here. Of course, it can’t be done in a day (or in two weeks, really), but our focus has been the countryside away from the masses. But we’ll see some important things starting with a late morning visit to Westminster  Abbey where the Noble and Great ones of all aspects of British society are remembered. We’ll see the final resting places of many figures that we have discussed on our journey. A local guide will take us on a stroll through St. James Park by Buckingham Palace and a few other gems along the way. You’ll have some free time in the evening to do what’s most important to you. Perhaps you’d like to see a Broadway show which is an option. B

July 31:  After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flights home. B

Please Note

Registration Information:

To make a reservation, simply fill out the attached reservation form and send it to us with a deposit of $400 per person.  When we receive your deposit, we will mail you a receipt confirming that you are registered for the tour.  A letter with instructions, hotel itinerary flight information (if applicable) and luggage tags will be sent roughly 75 days prior to departure at which time the balance will be due.  You do not need to pay the balance until after you receive that packet.  We require final payments in the form of a check.  If that is not possible, arrangements can be made to use a credit card.  Webb Tours accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. A 3% fee applies to final payments made by credit card.

Cancellation Penalties

We understand that you may need to cancel your trip for whatever reason.  If it is 75 days or more before departure, all money will be refunded.  If airline tickets are purchased prior to that time (with your permission), they become the property of the traveler and are not refundable.  All other funds will be returned if cancellation occurs outside of 90 days.  If it is within 90 days, we will charge you only what Webb Tours cannot recover.  In some cases, we can recover all of it.  In others, we cannot.  Cruise lines, airlines, hotels and other service providers require funds in advance and have their own rules about what will be refunded once paid.  We must follow their guidelines.  For airlines, specifically, tickets are generally non refundable when purchased.  However, most airlines will allow the value of the canceled tickets to be reused for future travel, though a penalty may be assessed to reuse the tickets.  If you have to cancel, Webb Tours will work with other providers to obtain as much refund as possible for our travelers.  Our travelers know us to be very fair in this regard.

Cancellation Insurance: 

Cancellation insurance is also available should you be interested.  The insurance provider that we us is Travelex Insurance.  You can learn about them at www.travelexinsurance.com.  With this insurance, most of your money will be returned to you in case you have to cancel for covered reasons (illness or death of an immediate family member) at the last minute.  The price for the insurance varies based on the price of the trip and the age of the participant (at the time the insurance is purchased). 

If you are interested in the insurance, you can purchase it through Webb Tours at any time. The insurance goes into effect once purchased.  If you have any pre-existing conditions, it is best to purchase the insurance within 14 days of making your initial deposit as that will cover an illness that may result from a pre-existing condition. If you don’t have pre-existing conditions, you can purchase the insurance any time between now and the time you make your final payment.  Insurance cannot be purchased after your final payment is made.  Webb Tours is not the insurer and acts as agent for Travelex.  To activate your insurance, we need your premium and your birth date.  Insurance also includes the following items:

Trip interruption up to 150% of the cost of the trip (if you have to leave in the middle of the trip)

  • Trip delay: $750
  • Missed Connection: $750
  • Baggage & Personal Effects (for lost luggage): $1,000
  • Baggage Delay: $200
  • Emergency medical/dental expenses: $50,000
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation: $500,000
  • Accidental death/dismemberment during travel: $25,000

Per person prices are as follows:

Trip Cost

Ages 35-59

Ages 60-69

Ages 70-74

Ages 75-79

Ages 80-84

$1,000-$1,500

$103

$140

$198

$245

$348

$1,501-$2,000

$135

$181

$248

$306

$428

$2,001-$2,500

$168

$227

$306

$377

$522

$2,501-$3,000

$190

$256

$342

$421

$581

$3,001-$3,500

$217

$293

$389

$478

$656

$3,501-$4,000

$241

$326

$430

$529

$723

Currency Fluctuation: 

Webb Tours reserves the right to adjust the rates if necessary in order to reflect currency fluctuations larger than 10% from those used in our tour price.  This is not likely to happen, but we must protect against it.  A shift of that magnitude would quickly erase our tour profits.  Of course, if the fluctuation moves in the opposite direction, we will reduce your tour price.

Mail deposit and enclosed reservation form to:

WEBB TOURS

2378 Evergreen Avenue

Salt Lake City, UT  84109

Tel. (801) 278-3101

or Toll Free 1-800-658-8519

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