Castles, Gardens & Palaces of the United Kingdom | Sisterhood Womens Travel

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Castles, Gardens & Palaces of the United Kingdom

23 Days  |  Departing Monday 22nd May 2023 and returning Tuesday 13th June 2023

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$4300 deposit payable $5000 deposit payable $ deposit payable $ deposit payable

Progress Payment: $ 5900 7000 by 23 Jan 2023
Final Payment: $ 6799 7999 by 21 Feb 2023
Pay by direct deposit, credit card or cheque.

Wow Moment

A visit to the world famous Chelsea Flower Show and an overnight stay in a real Castle!  Click here for details.

Highlights

Full day guided sightseeing of London including Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guards
One Day Entry to the Famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show
A Ride on the Iconic London Eye including a glass of Champagne
Afternoon Tea at iconic Fortnum and Mason
Visit to Wisely Gardens
Visit to Hampton Court Palace
Visit to Chartwell House
Visit to Hever Castle
Visit to Compton Acres Gardens
Visit to Stonehenge  
Visit to Port Isaac - the Picturesque Village of Doc Martin fame!
Visit to Eden Project 
Visit to Hereford Cathedral and the Mappa Mundi
Visit to Bath and the famous Roman Baths 
Visit and Free Time at Pretty Village of Llangollen
Overnight Stay at Ruthin Castle Hotel & Spa in the beautiful Clwydian Ranges 
3 Night Stay in the Beautiful Lakes District
Visit to Hoker Hall Gardens
Visit to Beatrix Potter's Farmhouse - Top Hill
Visit to the Quaint Village of Hawkshead home of William Wordsworth
Cruise on Lake Windermere
Visit to Gretna Green
Visit to Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh
Taste of Scotland Dinner & Show at Prestonfield House
Full Day Guided Sightseeing Tour of Edinburgh
Visit to Rosslyn Chapel as featured in 'The Da Vinci Code'
Visit to Abbotsford House in Melrose
Visit Hadrian's Wall and Housteads Roman Fort
Visit to York Minster and the Shambles
Visit to Castle House and Gardens
Visit to Shakespeares Birthplace in Stratford Upon Avon
Visit to Blenheim Palace & Gardens
Visit to Bicester Shopping Village
Visit to Windsor Castle
Visit to Kew Gardens
Farewell Jazz Dinner on the Thames 
 

Inclusions

Fully Escorted Tour - Your Sisterhood Tour Hostess is on Hand to Assist with Making your Holiday a Memorable One
Return Economy Flights including taxes ex Melbourne (other departure cities and upgrades available upon request) 
All Meals as Described in Itinerary
All Sightseeing as Described in Itinerary
Comfortable Coach Transportation as Detailed in Itinerary
Tour Manager Throughout and Specialist Tour Guides in London, Edinburgh and York
Quality Accommodation as per Itinerary including a Unique Castle Stay
Willing to Share Option for Solo Travellers
Meet and Greet Document Distribution Day (Subject to Minimum Numbers)

**TIPPING**

Local tipping is customary in the United Kingdom.  Sisterhood Womens Travel tipping system on all Group Tours involves passengers contributing to a kitty which is paid to the tour hostess at the beginning of the tour who then distributes it daily to service providers on your behalf. This avoids the need for you to consider individual tipping situations daily throughout your trip. The estimated amount for your tour is GBP140.00 and this will confirmed in your final documentation.

Notice

This is a beautiful itinerary that has been designed to showcase some of the UK's prettiest towns and cities.  With a mix of garden visits including entry into the Chelsea Flower Show, an overnight stay in a real castle, along with visits to some of UK's most loved palaces, this tour is sure to delight travellers who are looking for a more off the beaten track small group experience!
 

CLICK HERE to view our route map.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Monday 22 May 2023

Melbourne-London (Meals in Flight)

Welcome to Sisterhood Womens Travel.  Your tour hostess and fellow travellers will meet you at the designated departure point at Melbourne Airport for your flight to London. Sit back, relax and enjoy your flight.

Day 2 -Tuesday 23 May 2023

Welcome to London (D)

An afternoon arrival into London we'll be met and transferred to our hotel where the remainder of the day will be at leisure. Later this evening we enjoy a welcome drink followed by dinner.

Overnight - Tower Hotel (or similar) 

The Tower Hotel is nestled between the River Thames, St Katharine Docks and alongside world Heritage Site The Tower of London, with incredible views of Tower Bridge. The hotel is within easy reach of the financial district, Canary Wharf, the Excel Center, London City Airport, historic Greenwich, the West End and Westfield Shopping Center.

Day 3 - Wednesday 24 May 2023

London Sightseeing (B,AT)

This morning we will be setting off with our Tour Manager for a full day of sightseeing. We will view Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.

Big Ben - After the Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834 it was decided that the new buildings for the Houses of Parliament would include a tower and clock. The home of the proposed clock, the Elizabeth Tower was completed in 1859 and the huge clock was started on the 31st of May that year. While most refer to the tower and the clock as Big Ben, Big Ben was in fact, the name given to the massive brass bell that chimes inside the clock.

The tower housing the clock stands over 96 m tall and 334 steps lead up to the belfry, with an additional 65 steps going all the way op to the Ayrton Light at the top of the tower. Big Ben is one of the most iconic landmarks in London and one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions.

Westminster Abbey - Set in the City of Westminster next to Big Ben, the Westminster Abbey has a history that dates back over a thousand years, being the traditional place of coronation and burial site for kings, queens, statesmen, heroes, soldiers, poets, and priests. 

Buckingham Palace - Located in Westminster, London, Buckingham Palace is the official residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the UK. The palace has a total of 775 rooms which include staterooms, bedrooms for the royals and their guests, staff quarters, offices, and bathrooms. The palace is often used for official events, royal visits, and state occasions, and is visited for State banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions, and parties by more than 50,000 people each year.

We also enjoy an afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason or similar. Then return to our hotel for an evening at our leisure.

Overnight - Tower Hotel (or similar)

Day 4 - Thursday 25 May 2023

Chelsea Flower Show - London Eye (B,D)

After breakfast we will head to the famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the most prestigious flower show in the world showcasing the most up to date and innovative garden designs. 

Chelsea Flower Show - See the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea transformed with stunning horticultural displays for the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

World-renowned garden designers, plant specialists, florists and nurseries come together every year to one of London's most charming and affluent neighborhoods to show off cutting-edge garden designs and inspirational floral exhibits.Stroll through show-stopping and award-winning gardens. Discover rare flowers and plants. Spot emerging gardening trends. See creative floral artworks and unusual displays. And browse the horticultural products on sale, from gardening gadgets to sculptures and plants.

Later we enjoy some evening sightseeing and a ride on the iconic London Eye to admire breathtaking views of London whilst enjoying a glass of Champagne.

London Eye - Located on the South Bank of the Thames River in London, the London Eye is a 135 m high Ferris wheel which was erected in 1999 and was at the time, the tallest in the world. Three other Ferris wheels have held that qualification since, and today the London Eye is the fourth-tallest in the world and still the tallest in Europe. With over 3.75 million visitors annually, it is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK.

Dinner tonight will be enjoyed at a local restaurant. 

Overnight - Tower Hotel (or similar)

Day 5 - Friday 26 May 2023

London Sightseeing (B)

Today we visit Wisley Gardens historic home of the RHS and undoubtedly one of the finest gardens in the world. Continue on to Hampton Court Palace where we will discover the magnificence of Henry VIII's favourite royal residence.

Later we will take a sightseeing cruise on the river Thames to Richmond where we will enjoy a unique view of London.  

This evening is at leisure. 

Overnight - Tower Hotel (or similar)

Day 6 - Saturday 27 May 2023

London - Chartwell - Dorchester (B,D)

Today we head to Chartwell where we will visit Chartwell House once the principal residence of Winston Churchill.  

Later we will get the opportunity to visit Hever Castle the childhood home of Anne Boleyn before continuing on to Poundbury where we will spend the night at the Duchess of Cornwall hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Resting on the banks of the River Frome and located between Bridport and Poole, Dorchester is the county town of Dorset County.  This historic market town boasts a wealth of beautiful attractions, from beautiful gardens to fascinating museums, as well as everything from quad biking to badger watching. Dorchester is filled to the brim with character, rich heritage and architectural treasures. 

Overnight - Duchess of Cornwall Country House (or similar)

For over 235 years the Woodhouse family have brewed award-winning Badger ales in the heart of Dorset and offered hospitality and a warm welcome in public houses across the South of England. The Duchess of Cornwall Inn reflects the locations, characters and enthusiasms that have shaped this very English family. It conveys their dedication to the craft of brewing, the kindness of genuine hospitality and an ambition to push the boundaries of both with just a pinch of British eccentricity.

Day 7 - Sunday 28 May 2023

Poole - Stonehenge - Dorchester (B,D)

After breakfast today we'll head to Poole to visit Compton Acres Gardens.  This will be followed by a visit to mystical Stonehenge. 

Stonehenge - Managed by English Heritage, Stonehenge is located near Amesbury in Wiltshire, England. The prehistoric monument consists of a circle of standing stone slabs with a history spanning 4,500 years. Stonehenge has many different meanings to people today. It is a wonder of the world, a spiritual place and a source of inspiration. The visitor centre contains nearly 300 archaeological objects, finds from Stonehenge and other nearby monuments, now displayed on the site. 

Returning to our hotel for dinner.

Overnight - Duchess of Cornwall Country House (or similar)

Day 8 - Monday 29 May 2023

Port Isaac - Cornwall (B,D)

This morning we will enjoy a walk around Port Isaac, the picturesque village where Doc Martin was filmed. Port Isaac has been an attractive fishing village since the early fourteenth century. Its narrow, winding streets are lined with old white-washed cottages and traditional granite, slate-fronted Cornish houses, many of which are listed as of architectural or historic importance.  With time to enjoy lunch in Port Isaac before heading to the Eden Project for the afternoon.  The Eden Project is an impressive set of biodomes housing plants from all over the world. 

Afterwards we'll continue on to our hotel with check in late afternoon at the beautiful Llawnroc Hotel a stunning bespoke property with spacious rooms and stunning seaviews.

Dinner tonight at our hotel

Overnight - The Llawnroc Hotel, St Austel (or similar)

Day 9 - Tuesday 30 May 2023

Cornwall - Bath - Hereford (B,D)

Today we'll visit Bath for a tour of the ancient Roman baths before continuing on through Bristol to view the impressive Clifton Suspension Bridge spanning the picturesque Avon Gorge. We'll continue onto to Hereford where tonight we'll be staying in a Georgian Manor set between Hereford and the picturesque Ross on Wye.  A 3 course dinner tonight is included.  

The Roman Baths is located in the heart of Bath in the west of England. The thermal springs flow with natural hot spring water reaching around 46°c, every day. You will also discover an interactive museum, visual snippets of the Roman times, lives of the Aquae Sulis civilization, ancient pavements and visitors can explore the ancient chambers historically housing changing rooms and tepid plunge pools.

Overnight -  The Green Dragon Hotel (or similar)

Day 10 - Wednesday 31 May 2023

Hereford - Llangollen - Clywydian Range (B,D)

This morning we travel to Hereford to enjoy a guided tour of Hereford Cathedral. We'll then continue through the Shropshire Hills and make a stop in Llangollen with free time to explore this pretty little town.  We'll then travel over the picturesque Horseshoe Pass before arriving at our destination - Ruthin. Ruthin is a delightful village where the locals embrace their visitors. 

Tonight a real treat we'll be staying in a 'real' castle!

Overnight - Ruthin Castle & Spa (or similar). This is a beautiful retreat, steeped in history and nestled in acres of parkland beside the Clwydian Range in North Wales. 

Dinner tonight will be held at a local restaurant.

Day 11 - Thursday 1 June 20223

Chester - Lake District (B,D)

Following our full English Breakfast, we will travel to Chester for a panoramic sightseeing tour and some free time for shopping.  Later we'll continue onto Penrith, located in the Lake District. The spectacularly scenic Lake District is a popular holiday destination in Cumbria, North West England, attracting countless visitors with its exquisite lakes and its lush, forest-clad mountains. The area is protected by the nation’s largest national park and is a hiker’s dream with many excellent hiking trails available. History enthusiasts will be equally well sated with more than 200 ancient monuments. There are numerous charming towns and villages to explore, discover local castles and historic houses, cruise by wooded islands on the magnificent lake Derwentwater, ascending the thrilling fell walk of Striding Edge, or catching a glimpse of the life of Wordsworth at Dove Cottage on the outskirts of the picturesque village of Grasmere.  Arriving at our property with time for check in and dinner.

Overnight - The George Hotel (or similar) - Something of a local treasure, situated in the pretty market town of Penrith, perfectly located to explore Eden and Ullswater and the Lake District.  This 300 year old property is one of the finest hotels in Penrith.
 

Day 12 - Friday 2 June 2023

Lake District - Sightseeing (B,L)

This morning we'll be visiting Holker Hall and Gardens where lunch is also included at a local restaurant.

Holker Hall is the home of the Cavendish family who happily welcome their visitors to one of the best-loved stately homes in Britain. Magnificently situated only a short distance from Grange-over-Sands and the expanse of Morecambe Bay, Holker Hall is set in exceptionally beautiful countryside with gardens that merge into Parkland framed by the Lakeland Hills. 

This afternoon is ours to spend at leisure.  

Overnight - The George Hotel (or similar)

Day 13 - Saturday 3 June 2023

Lake District - Sightseeing (B,D)

Today we will visit Hill Top – Beatrix Potter farmhouse before continuing on to Hawkshead where we will have some free time to explore the town.  The prettiest village set in the magnificent vale of Esthwaite, In the heart of the English Lake District, Hawkshead is a truly historic and wonderfully picturesque village characterised by its cluster of whitewashed houses, archways and alleyways, courtyards and squares. Hawkshead has flourished since its beginnings as a medieval market town. Today, with its car-free village centre, it's the perfect place for the visitor to experience the 'real' Lake District. The cobbled streets, squares and courtyards and the beautiful whitewashed cottages, topped with local Lakeland slate, give this little place a magical feel.  The village is steeped in history and heritage, from the ruins of Hawkshead Hall (built by medieval monks) and the 15th-century St Michael's parish church and court house, to later buildings such as the grammar school (1855) which the poet William Wordsworth attended. Take a walk in William Wordworth’s path and then transfer to Bowness on Windermere where we will enjoy a lovely lake cruise.

The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner is included at our hotel tonight.  

Overnight - The George Hotel (or similar)

Day 14 - Sunday 4 June 2023

Lake District - Edinburgh (B,D)

Today we farewell the gorgeous Lake District and head north to the famous town of Gretna Green, where we will stop to enjoy the main sites, enroute to Edinburgh. Gretna Green is one of the world's most popular wedding destinations due to its romantic wedding traditions dating back over centuries, which originated from cross-border elopements stemming from differences between Scottish marriage laws and those in neighbouring countries.

From here we'll continue on through the Low Lands to Edinburgh where we enjoy a vist to the Botanical Gardens before transfering to our hotel.

Tonight we'll enjoy a Taste of Scotland Dinner and Show at Prestonfield House.

Overnight - Novotel Edinburgh Centre (or similar)

Day 15 - Monday 5 June 2023

Edinburgh Sightseeing (B)

Today we'll enjoy a half day sightseeing tour of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is an architectural treasure trove with enough neoclassical terraces, Georgian grandeur, and late-medieval monuments to thrill even the most avid architecture enthusiast. On our tour we'll view the Victorian Gothic Monument to Sir Walter Scott, The New Town and The Old Town and walk the Royal Mile. Entrance to Edinburgh Castle is also included.

The afternoon and evening is at our leisure, with an array of excellent pubs to choose for dinner.  

Overnight - Novotel Edinburgh Centre (or similar)

Day 16 - Tuesday 6 June 2023

Edinburgh - Harrogate (B,D)

Heading south today after breakfast we'll make a stop at Rosslyn Chapel (Da Vinci Code Film) to enjoy a guided tour. One of Scotland’s most remarkable buildings, Rosslyn Chapel has been in the ownership of the Earl & Countess of Rosslyn since its foundation in 1446 and is still used today as a place of worship. We then continue on to Melrose where we have arranged a guided tour of Abbotsford House home of Sir Walter Scott. We'll explore the historic house and discover a treasure trove of intriguing objects and unusual artefacts which inspired Scott’s greatest poems and novels.

Later we'll stop to view Hadrian’s Wall before visiting Housesteads Roman Fort – UNESCO heritage site.

Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant tonight.  

Overnight - White Hart Hotel (or similar)

Day 17 - Wednesday 7 June 2023

Harrogate - York (B,D)

After breakfast we will drive to York where we will visit York Minster and the Shambles.   York’s world-class cathedral with its medieval stained glass and stone masterpieces and foundations rooted in the nation's earliest history. York Minster’s vast spaces come alive with the sanctity and tradition of worship and heavenly music, but you can also find quiet corners revealing great treasures, unexpected stories and human inspiration.  ‘The Shambles’ is sometimes used as a general term for the maze of twisting, narrow lanes which make York so charming.  At its heart is the lane actually called the Shambles, arguably the best preserved medieval street in the world.  It was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of William the Conqueror in 1086.  Many of the buildings on the street today date back to the late fourteenth and fifteenth century (around 1350-1475).
 

This afternoon we will also visit Castle Howard including the beautiful house and gardens. With 1,000 acres to explore, Castle Howard is a haven of peace and tranquility with extensive woodland walks, temples, lakes and fountains.  The monumental landscape offers breathtaking views at every turn, taking in the countryside of the Howardian Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Dinner tonight is included at our hotel.  

Overnight - White Hart Hotel (or similar)

Day 18 - Thursday 8 June 2023

Harrogate - Oxford (B)

Today we depart Harrogate and head south to Stratford Upon Avon where we'll view the main sights of this gorgeous hamlet town.  Stratford-upon-Avon is steeped in the history of its most famous resident, William Shakespeare. This Warwickshire country town contains the home where Shakespeare was born, the cottage where Anne Hathaway resided before their marriage and the church where the couple is buried. Entrance to Shakespeare’s birthplace is included. We'll continue on through the pretty villages of the Cotswalds, making a stop in Bourton-on-the-water. A visit to Blenheim Palace and Gardens is included. The palace, one of England's largest houses, was built between 1705 and circa 1722 and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

We'll arrive into Oxford our last stop for the day with dinner at leisure.

Overnight -  De vere Oxford Thames (or similar)

Day 19 - Friday 9 June 2023

Oxford - London (B)

This morning after breakfest we travel to Bicester where we will enjoy some shopping time in the village which is home to more than 130 fashion and lifestyle boutiques. Continuing on to Windsor, where we will visit the Iconic Windsor Castle.

Windsor Castle, located in Windsor the English county of Berkshire dates back to the time of William the Conqueror, is the oldest in continuous occupation. The castle's floor area is approximately 484000 square feet. It is one of the principal official residences of the British monarch. Queen Elizabeth II spends many weekends of the year at the castle, using it for both state and private entertaining.

Most of the Kings and Queens of England, later Kings and Queens of Great Britain, and later still kings and queens of the Commonwealth realms, have had a direct influence on the construction and evolution of the castle, which has been their garrison fortress, home, official palace, and sometimes their prison.

The castle's history and that of the British monarchy are inextricably linked. Chronologically the history of the castle can be traced through the reigns of the monarchs who have occupied it. When the country has been at peace, the castle has been expanded by the addition of large and grand apartments. When the country has been at war, the castle has been more heavily fortified. This pattern has continued to the present day.

Later, we'll continue on to London and enjoy an evening at leisure.

Overnight - Tower Hotel London (or similar)

Day 20 - Saturday 10 June 2023

London (B,D)

This morning after breakfast, we will visit Kew Gardens, home to the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world.  The remainder of the day may be spent at our leisure.

Tonight we bid farewell to London with a dinner cruise on the Thames where we will enjoy a welcome drink and  be entertained with some Jazz music. (Jazz Cruise - Dress Code - Smart casual, no jeans, runners, t-shirts or shorts)

Overnight - Tower Hotel London (or similar)

Day 21 - Sunday 11 June 2023

London - Melbourne (B) Meals in Flight

Our final day in London to explore at leisure until our transfer to the airport for our flight home.

Sit back, relax and reminise about great times shared with new friends.  

Day 22 - Monday 12 June 2023

In flight (meals inflight)

In flight.

Day 23 - Tuesday 13 June 2023

Welcome Home.

Thank you for joining us for your lartest adventure and we look forward to welcoming you back. 

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