The Wonders of Wales and England
Discover with us, North Wales—set between the Snowdonia mountain range and the Irish Sea. This spectacular region is the perfect backdrop for many ancient castles and country houses. During our time together in Wales, you'll soon discover just why this part of the world is so special.
With a Welsh language lesson, behind-the-scenes access with castle experts, and village shopping, you'll soon feel like a local.
Our time in Wales will include visits to iconic castles, gorgeous country houses and ancient walled towns. No visit to the area would be complete without simultaneously enjoying fine dining and luxury hotels.
Our home for two nights will be the magnificent Bodysgallen Hall Hotel & Spa, where you will indulge yourself in the luxuries of this top-rated country house hotel owned and operated by the National Trust.
Apart from our time in Wales, we will enjoy many great stops in England including Althorp, the ancestral home of Diana, Princess of Wales as well as Stratford-upon-Avon and Bletchley Park, the home of the WWII codebreakers. Throughout the tour you can expect special touches that set our tours apart from the rest.
Also, I am pleased to be joined on this tour by Dr. Mark Baker who is an expert on the Welsh country house. He will offer us insights into the places we will visit, and you'll enjoy getting to know his charming persona.
So come with us and discover the Wonders of Wales and England.
ANDREW LANNERD, TOUR DIRECTOR
SPECIAL GUEST, DR. MARK BAKER
For this tour we are pleased to be joined by Dr. Mark Baker who is a renowned Welsh architectural historian, and author of several books on Welsh country houses, the estates and their families. Mark is currently the head of the ongoing restoration project at Gwrych Castle and he will offer us behind-the-scenes access to this ongoing and fascinating project.
Monday, August 17, 2020
- Arrivals To The Petersham Hotel, Richmond
On The Edge Of The Beautiful Richmond Park
- Exploration Of Richmond Park
- Late Afternoon Walking Tour Of Historic Richmond
- Welcome To England Reception And Dinner
Today, as you arrive to London Heathrow, rest assured you have a short journey to Richmond-upon-Thames and the luxury of the Petersham Hotel. Upon your arrival you may want to rest or take the opportunity to explore Richmond Park, one of London’s great royal parks, or even explore the glories of The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, which is nearby.
The early evening will include a walking tour of historic and beautiful Richmond and then our Welcome to England reception and dinner, where we will toast a great week ahead of exploration in England and Wales.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
- Full English Breakfast At The Petersham Hotel In Richmond
- Visit And Tour Of Althorp Estate And Gardens
The Ancestral Home Of Diana, Princess Of Wales
- Delicious Group Lunch At Althorp
- Early Evening Expert-Led Walking Tour Of Stratford-Upon-Avon
Including A Stop At Shakespeare’s Birthplace
- Overnight In Stratford-Upon-Avon At The Stratford Hotel
Today, after a lovely breakfast in Richmond, we will journey in a luxury coach to Althorp, the magnificent country home that has been home of the Spencer family for nineteen generations.
When at Althorp, we will enjoy a tour of the house including many state and private rooms used by the Spencer family as well as a lunch onsite. After lunch, guests will have the opportunity to tour the beautiful gardens including the lake, which is the final resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Late afternoon, we’ll be off to Stratford-upon-Avon where guests will enjoy an expert-led walking tour of the historical city centre including Shakespeare’s Birthplace. The evening will be at your leisure to explore more areas of this magnificent jewel of a town. After your exploration, you’ll be relaxing in The Stratford Hotel—just a short walk from the city centre.
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
- Breakfast At Our Hotel In Stratford-Upon-Avon
- Coach Journey To Wales
- Visit To Glorious Conwy, Wales Including Its Castle And Historic Town Centre
- An Interactive Welsh Language Experience
- Garden Tour Of Bodysgallen Hall With The Head Gardener
- Unforgettable Group Dinner At Bodysgallen Hall
- Lecture By Dr. Mark Baker On Welsh Country Houses And His Work At Gwrych Castle
- Overnight Stay At The Top-Rated Bodysgallen Hall
Today we leave England behind to explore some of the Wonders of North Wales—a beautiful land set between the Snowdonia Mountain range and the Irish Sea. A land with a distinct identity and its own national language; a land filled with majestic castles and gorgeous gardens.
Our first stop in Wales will be Conwy—a walled city and home to Conwy Castle, a stronghold of King Edward I. You’ll love your time here for the quaint shops and cafes as well as the great history to be found here.
Today, we will also enjoy an interactive Welsh language experience so you can take with you a little of the local language/dialect as we continue our time in Wales. This afternoon, we will arrive to our home for the next two nights, the magnificent Bodysgallen Hall Hotel & Spa where you will luxuriate in the elegant surroundings of this top-rated country house hotel.
This evening, we will toast another great day together over a fine 3-course meal paired with wine.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
- Breakfast In The Beautiful Dining Room At Bodysgallen Hall
- Tour Of Magnificent Caernarfon Castle
A Castle Of Edward I, And The Site Of The 1969 Investiture Of HRH The Prince Of Wales
- Tour Of Gwrych Castle With Dr. Mark Baker
Dr. Mark Baker Manages The Trust And The Restoration Of Gwrych Castle
- Lunch At Gwrych Castle
- Afternoon At Bodysgallen Hall For Spa Use And Relaxation
- Group Dinner At Bodysgallen Hall
- Exclusive Evening Tour And Reception At Plas Teg
Including Meet And Greet With The Owner Of This Glorious Country House
- Overnight At Bodysgallen Hall
After a relaxing breakfast at Bodysgallen Hall, we’ll be off for a day of exploration of some of the most beautiful castles in North Wales. We will journey to the town of Caernarfon—home of one of the strongholds of King Edward I, Caernarfon Castle. The castle is known in the present reign for its use as the backdrop for the investiture of Charles, Prince of Wales in 1969.
We will then head to Gwrych Castle where we will enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the ongoing restoration project with the person managing that work, Dr. Mark Baker. While at Gwrych, we’ll enjoy a group lunch in the picturesque surroundings of the castle.
This afternoon, you’ll have a little time to enjoy the spa at Bodysgallen or perhaps just a little rest and relaxation in the garden or the gorgeous library. Tonight after a wonderful meal, we will head to Plas Teg, one of the great Welsh country houses, where we will enjoy an unforgettable look around this gorgeous house with a glass of champagne.
Friday, August 21, 2020
- Breakfast At Bodysgallen Hall
- Visit To Plas Mawr
A Magnificent Town House, Nearly Unchanged Since The Elizabethan Period
- Afternoon Factory Tour Of Burleigh Pottery At Middleport
Producing Gorgeous Handmade Pottery Since 1851 In A Gorgeous Setting
- Afternoon Cream Tea At Middleport
Group Dinner At Macdonald Ansty Hall
Overnight At Macdonald Ansty Hall (Near Coventry)
Today we will visit Plas Mawr, one of the finest Elizabethan town homes in the United Kingdom, where you will step into how a rich family in North Wales lived in the sixteenth century. Marvel at the fine plasterwork of this gem of Wales.
This afternoon we are headed back to England and straight to enjoy a tour of the Middleport Pottery, home of Burleigh Pottery where you will see for yourself the great process of making some of England’s best handmade products. Also, after seeing how the fine pottery is made, you’ll have a chance to dine off of it with a delicious cream tea with your fellow tour members.
Tonight, we will dine and sleep at our next beautiful hotel, Macdonald Ansty Hall near Coventry.
Saturday, August 22, 2020
- Full English Breakfast At Macdonald Ansty Hall
- Visit To Bletchley Park
Home Of The WWII Secret Codebreakers
- Visit To Historic St. Albans
Two Thousand Years Of History In One Beautiful Town
- Candlelit Farewell Dinner In London
- Overnight Accommodations At Amba Hotel, Charing Cross
Today will include an unforgettable visit to Bletchley Park, the home of the secret codebreakers of World War II. You will have plenty of time to hear for yourself the courageous tales of the very people that worked in secret every day to successfully defeat Hitler.
After your time at Bletchley, we will head to historic St. Albans where you can wander the lovely Saturday markets or perhaps pop into the glorious Abbey church, the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain.
After your afternoon in St. Albans, we will head into Central London for a memorable dinner in London as we toast an unforgettable week exploring some of the Wonders of Wales and England.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
- Morning Departures from Central London