Hidcote Manor Gardens, the Cotswolds
Blenheim Palace, Cotswolds
The Cotswolds
Afternoon Tea
Cliveden House
Image by Sebastian Coman Photography

Britain in Bloom 2021: 
Gardens, Palaces, & Stately Homes

 Spend six nights in the charming Cotswolds, exploring quaint villages, beautiful palaces, and fragrant gardens. The final three nights are spent in delightful St. James, the true heart of London. As on all our tours, you will enjoy the Louisa White Difference – slower travel, later starts, a positive impact on the communities you visit, and a chance to go beyond the postcards and explore the authentic Britain.

 

Want to learn more about the Louisa White Difference? Click here to know more.

Reserved for private departure

Highlights

  • Private afternoon tea at Cliveden House

  • Highclere Castle (filming location of Downton Abbey)

  • Private tour of Blenheim Palace's State Rooms when it is closed to the public for the day

  • Hidcote Manor's world famous Arts & Crafts style gardens

  • The Prince of Wales' gardens at his country home

What's Included:

  • Accommodation in hand selected 4* and 5* hotels

  • All sightseeing and touring as listed in itinerary

  • Meals including daily breakfasts in hotels, five afternoon teas, six dinners, and one lunch

  • Transportation on an exclusive private coach 

Here's what you have to look forward to!

Day 1: Welcome to Britain!
After arrival at Heathrow, pass though customs and immigration, collect your bags, and meet the group outside customs. Grab a coffee and some breakfast while we wait for everyone to arrive. We will be met at Heathrow by the coach and will be whisked away to Cliveden House in the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside. Enjoy a leisurely stroll amongst the extensive gardens before a tour of the stunning house itself. Cliveden is famous not just for being a beautiful house and garden, but there has been a long a fascinating history of scandal and intrigue which you will hear all about during your visit! After our tour we will be in for quite a treat with a private afternoon tea overlooking the grounds. Following tea we will head further into the countryside to the charming village of Woodstock where we will be staying for the next 6 nights. Get settled in to your room before joining the group for dinner.
Included Meals: Afternoon Tea, Dinner

Day 2: Waddesdon Manor
After breakfast we will make our way to a famous treasure house of the Rothschilds – Waddesdon Manor – where we will have a tour of the beautiful walled gardens and a visit to see the impressive house and it's extensive art collection. Waddesdon features the only intact Rothschild collection in the world, and as such is a remarkable glimpse into the passions and interests of the family. Never intended as a full time home, the house was built for entertaining and to display the vast art collection - many of the beautiful paintings you will see were saved from the bonfires during the French Revolution. After our tour we will enjoy afternoon tea. Relax in Woodstock with some free time this afternoon before dinner with the group.
Included meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner

 

Day 3: Blenheim Palace
Today we will be visiting the State Rooms of Blenheim Palace on a private tour when the palace is closed to the public. Enjoy a talk with a specialist about the Capability Brown-designed gardens and a private afternoon tea overlooking the Water Terraces. Afterwards you may explore Blenheim at your leisure - take a tour of the Downstairs or the private family apartments, stroll the grounds, and browse for souvenirs in the gift shop. Following tea we will visit some charming Cotswold villages with free time to explore. This evening we will have dinner in a delightful Cotswold restaurant before returning to the hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner

 

Day 4: Downton Abbey
This morning we will visit Bampton, a village you likely haven’t heard of but will certainly recognize since it features in the village scenes of Downton Abbey. See the church where Lady Mary’s wedding took place, the cottage hospital, and more. After exploring the town we will continue down to Highclere Castle, or as you may know it, Downton Abbey. You will have plenty of time to explore the castle, grounds, and Tutankhamen exhibition before we drive back to Woodstock and enjoy a dinner together in the village.  Does a Tutankhamen exhibition sound a little unexpected to you? Well did you know Highclere Castle is the home of the Earls of Carnarvon and that it was the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who funded the search for the tomb of King Tutankhamen?
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Highgrove House
Today we will visit Highgrove House, the country home of Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. The Prince is immensely fond of Highgrove and has spent over 30 years turning it into the beautiful garden you will see here today. Keep an eye out for the striking blue delphiniums - Charles' favorite flower! A specialist will give us a tour of the gardens before we enjoy lunch in the Orchard Room. After some time for shopping in the gift shop, we will visit the nearby village of Tetbury for some free time to explore the many shops and galleries that make the town so special.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 6: Hidcote Gardens
With this being our last day in the countryside, we had better make the most of it! We will visit the famous Hidcote Manor gardens where a specialist will give us an introductory talk before we explore the beautiful ‘rooms’ that Hidcote is so famous for. After Hidcote we will drive to the delightful village of Burford for afternoon tea and free time to explore the boutiques lining this charming village's High Street.
Included meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea

Day 7: London Calling
After breakfast, check out from your room and board the coach for our drive to London. Our home for the next three nights is the charming area of London known as St. James’. Only a short walk to the finest sites, restaurants, and shopping that London has to offer, yet in a haven of calm and quiet, you are sure to to love St. James’. After checking in we will enjoy afternoon tea together and then you will have the afternoon free to explore before dinner with the group.
Included meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner

Day 8: Exploring London
Our first day in London is sure to be a treat - whether this is your first time or you visit every year! You have the option to choose your activity today based on your interests:

Option #1: London in a Day (7 1/2 hours) 

Start the morning with a walking tour around Westminster, where you will see the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Whitehall, Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, and St. James’ Park. Watch the famous Changing of the Guard (schedule permitting) before heading down Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden. In the afternoon you will travel east to see St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and the Roman ruins of Londinium before finishing the tour by the Tower of London.

Option#2: London Foodie Tour (3 hours)

On this food tour you will be led by a local expert and have the opportunity to meet shop owners, taste artisanal products, and learn how London as become the culinary mecca that it is today. Taste the Queen’s favorite chocolates, a number of regional cheeses from across the British Isles, delicious cured meats and fresh pasta, along with rare and exotic spirits, coffees, teas…and so much more! Whether you are a serious foodie or just enjoy eating, you are sure to enjoy this tour of the secret culinary corners of London.


Included meals: Breakfast and samples for those on the food tour

Day 9: London at Leisure
Today you have a whole day at leisure to explore London. Need some inspiration? Not to worry, we have ideas aplenty to get you excited. Tonight, meet the group for our farewell dinner to raise a toast to new friends, memories made, and safe travels.
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 10: Homeward Bound
After breakfast check out of your room and you will be transferred to Heathrow for your flight home.
Included meal: Breakfast

Price: $5,575 per person/double occupancy, airfare not included. 

A very limited number of twin rooms (rooms with two beds) are available. 

Single Supplement: $1,500

Details

Accommodation in Woodstock
Tucked in amongst boutiques and galleries, the 4* Macdonald Bear Hotel is a delightful 13th century coaching inn set on one of the prettiest streets in Woodstock. Expanded over the years, the inn has expanded into their converted stables as well as a former glove workshop – all adding to the charm. Rooms are spread along a warren of meandering corridors decorated with antique dressers and paintings. Amenities include a restaurant, lounge with bar, and a peaceful terrace for afternoon tea.

Accommodation in London
A true hidden gem in St. James’s, the heart of London, Duke’s Hotel is traditional and welcoming with a top-notch cocktail bar whose martinis were a firm favorite of Ian Fleming. In the immediate area you will find St. James’s Palace, built by Henry VIII in 1536; and some truly iconic shops – from Lock & Co (Winston Churchill’s favorite hat shop) to Berry Bros Wine Merchants (founded in 1698, Berry Bros has supplied fine wine to Kings, Queens, and the ill-fated Titanic). A short walk from Buckingham Palace, Westminster and the West End, you will find that Duke’s is ideally located for exploring the city on foot.

Booking
A deposit of $1,500 per person is due at the time of booking and your reservation will be confirmed upon receipt of payment. We accept payment by all major credit cards and bank transfers. Prices are in US dollars. The full balance is payable by 60 days from departure.

Travel to and from London
Guests are responsible for getting themselves to London Heathrow on Day 1 by 8 am and home from London Heathrow on Day 10. 

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is not included in the price. While not required, it is strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance.

Single and double occupancy rates are available.

Cancellation policies
61+ days from departure: Deposit non-refundable
30 to 60 days from departure: 50% non-refundable
0 to 29 days from departure: 100% non-refundable

FAQs

Can I arrive early or stay later than these dates?
Yes, you certainly may extend your trip on either end. If you arrive early you must get to Heathrow by 8am on Day 1 to meet the group to begin our journey together. 

 

What meals are included?
Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner are included as noted in the itinerary. Daily breakfast in both London and Woodstock hotels are included.

Are children able to attend?
While children may certainly attend, we encourage you to bring no children under 15 years of age. This is simply because the sites and tours planned might not be interesting to a younger child and we want everyone to enjoy the trip.

What should I plan to wear?
The sites we will be visiting do not have a dress code so feel free to dress as you please. We do recommend shoes that are comfortable for walking and standing for several hours at a time. For some dinners and afternoon tea we recommend smart casual.

Can special diets be accommodated?
Gluten-free and vegetarian options are typically available. Vegan might be available. Please indicate dietary restrictions and allergies upon booking.

How much physical activity can I expect?
Although we will enjoy a private coach for most of our getting around, walking will be required for tours and other sightseeing. You should expect to be able to walk for 15 minutes at a time without a break.

What does double and single occupancy mean? Will the room have two beds?
Double occupancy means two people in a room, either one or two beds. If you would like two beds, you must indicate this at time of booking since these room types are limited in number. Single occupancy means one person in their own room.

Will we have free time? What if I don’t know what to do during free time?
Yes you will have free time in the Cotswolds and in London to explore the area at your own pace. And not to worry, if you do not know what to do we will provide you with plenty of our own suggestions!

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