(April through October) (Popular tour - early booking recommended)
11 Days – from $2,395.00* per person (based on double occupancy) Independent Tour
(Tues. arrival required)
Your Tour Price Includes:
Day 1 - Departure from U.S. to U.K.
Day 2 - Airport transfer, London Eye Flight, London hotel
Day 3 - Breakfast, Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Jack the Ripper Walking Tour, London hotel
Day 4 - Breakfast, Escorted full day tour to Leeds Castle, Dover, and Greenwich, London hotel
Days 5, 6 & 7 - Full English breakfast (in London), collect rental car, Murder Mystery Weekend to include 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts, cocktail reception, hotel accommodation, and Murder Mystery program, Hop-On/Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus in Stratford-upon-Avon, Drive to the Cotswolds, Thornbury Castle overnight
Day 8 - Full English breakfast, Berkeley or Sudeley Castle (on own), Cotswolds Driving, Thornbury Castle overnight
Day 9 - Full English breakfast, drive to Windsor, return rental car, Windsor hotel
Day 10 - Full English breakfast, Windsor Castle, Windsor Hotel
Day 11 - Full English breakfast, airport transfer from Windsor, depart or continue on (please inquire for additional tour days)
A country with a past dating back over a millennium is bound to be overflowing with history and all that it entails. From the mysterious time when Pagans roamed the land to the real and (and fictional) mysteries of the last century, England is rich with a colorful and sometimes murderous history. Not only will you visit many of the famous highlights, you will even have the opportunity to solve a mystery yourself at an entertaining English Murder Mystery Weekend. Whether this is your first time to enigmatic England, or you’re a regular visitor, this tour is guaranteed to amaze and mystify one and all.
Monday - Day 1 – Departure – You depart on your overnight transatlantic flight.
Tuesday - Day 2 – Welcome to London – Welcome to the land of the Henry VIII, Jack the Ripper, Agatha Christie, and numerous other interesting and sometimes shady characters! You will be greeted at the airport and depart in an authentic London taxicab. As you arrive at your four-star hotel, take the afternoon to relax. Tonight, we’ll present you with a bird’s eye view of this great city as you take a flight on the London Eye. Located on the banks of the River Thames, this 135 meter-high observation wheel lays the grand city’s unrivaled views before you. Then, it’s back to your hotel for a good night’s rest. (London Hotel: Millennium Gloucester hotel or equivalent.)
Wednesday - Day 3 – Monarchs and Murders – After breakfast, you will visit two of the homes of one of the most well-known monarchs, King Henry VIII. First, you will visit the Tower of London. This historic palace has been an integral part of British history for nearly 1,000 years. Drenched in history, it is only at the Tower of London that you can marvel at the breathtaking Crown Jewels, stand on the execution site of three English queens (2 of whom were the infamous king’s own wives!), and listen to Beefeaters share with you the myths and legends that make a visit to the Tower an excursion ‘to die for’. After your visit to “The Tower”, you’ll visit another of Henry’s homes, Hampton Court Palace. You’ll see Henry VIII’s Great Hall - England’s last and greatest medieval hall. The room is spanned by a large and sumptuously decorated hammer-beam roof and its walls are hung with Henry VIII’s most splendid tapestries. Then visit The Privy Garden which has been returned to its 1702 glory using incredibly detailed accounts so that the garden has been restored to how it would have looked for William III. And, don’t miss The Maze – one of the most famous garden mazes in the world. Then, brace yourself for tonight’s adventure – a mysterious trek around the streets of London. You’ll be on one of Richard Jones’ famous Walking Tours, the “Jack the Ripper” Tour. (Optional tour: Ghosts of London.) (London Hotel: Millennium Gloucester hotel or equivalent.)
Thursday – Day 4 – A Royal Day - Leeds Castle, and the South East – Today you are on a full-day escorted coach tour. You will be picked up directly from your hotel and greeted by your fellow day trippers as you journey South East first to a private viewing of Leeds castle - 'The loveliest castle in the world!' See the Castle before it opens to the public. You'll enjoy lunch in Dover (food and beverage on your own), then take in Canterbury Cathedral and finally a historic walking tour of Greenwich. You finish with a cruise along the River Thames. Upon your return, there's still plenty of time to enjoy a nice meal out, or have a traditional English dinner at a local pub. (London Hotel: Millennium Gloucester hotel or equivalent.)
Friday and Saturday - Days 5 and 6 – … and the Murderer is… – After breakfast, and perhaps even a trip to the Sherlock Holmes museum (to get you ‘in practice’ for the weekend), you’ll pick up your rental car and drive to Stratford-upon-Avon. Home of the Great William Shakespeare, this will also be the exciting locale for your Murder Mystery Weekend. Included in your Weekend are two nights’ accommodation (check-in is from 2.00 pm on Friday), a 3-course dinner will be served on Friday and Saturday nights and a full country house breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The entertainment will commence at 7.30 pm in the bar on Friday evening continuing Saturday to conclude on Sunday morning. Dressing up is optional, casual dress is accepted. There will be plenty of free time to explore the delights of this historic Shakespearian town and we’ve made arrangements for you to do just that. You will have a ticket today for the City Sightseeing Hop-On/Hop-Off bus and you can visit all five Shakespearean Houses (admission to Shakespearean Houses on own). (Stratford-upon-Avon Hotel: BW Grosvenor Hotel.)
Sunday - Day 7 – … and the Murderer is… solved – “Whodunit?” will be on everyone’s mind at breakfast. The murderer will finally be revealed… were you able to solve the crime? We invite you to take advantage of your time in Stratford-upon-Avon by taking a relaxing sail down the Avon River, or enjoying a bit of shopping in some of the quaint shops. Perhaps a traditional pub lunch is in order. The choice is yours. Moving on… how about staying in a castle tonight? We’ve arranged for you to do just that! Tonight, you’ll be staying at the 4 ½ star Thornbury Castle! Kings and queens have stayed here. Courtiers have flirted with ladies-in-waiting in the ancient yew-hedged gardens. Serving girls have chattered in the stone-flagged courtyard. Today, Thornbury Castle still resonates with history and is the only Tudor castle in England to be open as a hotel. We invite you to relax and allow yourself to be pampered.
Monday - Day 8 – It’s Good to be King (or Queen) - You’ve just woken up… in a castle! And today, after a breakfast fit for royalty, you’ll take in a bit more history. Drive to either Berkeley or Sudeley Castle. Both have interesting and haunting tales attached to them. Visit these beautiful edifices and find out just what happened here. Tonight, we recommend you really treat yourself by dining at Thornbury Castle, which has always been renowned for its fine food and is the recipient of many prestigious awards. (Please note: If you wish to dine at Thornbury this evening, please advise us upon booking your tour so that we may make reservations for you, as the dining room fills up fast.) Enjoy your last night here at Thornbury Castle.
Tuesday - Day 9 – Regal Windsor – After breakfast, you will say goodbye to Thornbury Castle. As you drive through the Cotswolds, we recommend you stop in at a few towns, take in some of the local beauty, and perhaps even a visit to Cotswold Farm Park, Britain’s first ever farm park. Then, drive on to Windsor, where you will leave your rental car late afternoon. (You won’t need it from here on out.) You’ll check in to your 3 ½ star hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore this beautiful town. Enjoy! (Overnight: 3-1/2 to 4 star hotel.)
Wednesday - Day 10 – Wonderful Windsor – Today, it’s Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world. A Royal home and fortress for over 900 years, the Castle remains a working palace today. Walk around the State Apartments, extensive suites of rooms at the heart of the working palace. Within the Castle complex there are many additional attractions, including the Drawings Gallery, Queen Mary's dolls' house, and the fourteenth-century St. George's Chapel, the burial place of ten sovereigns and setting for many Royal weddings. Today is also the ideal time to fit in any last minute shopping (or pub hopping). (Overnight: 3-1/2 to 4 star hotel.)
Thursday - Day 11 – Fond Farewell – Your authentic London taxicab awaits you at your Windsor hotel to take you to the airport. We hope you have had a wonderful time exploring this Land of Mysteries and Monarchs!
* Prices from $2,395/pp based on double occupancy. Single and triple occupants will change rate. Final price will be based upon exchange rate at time of booking, and time of year traveling.
** Hotels listed in tour description indicate first choice. Equivalent hotels of same star quality and location supplied if first choice unavailable.
All independent tours can be made into group tours for already assembled groups
All tours subject to change.
Land of Mysteries and Monarchs - Crumpets, Castles and Criminals - English Murder Mystery Tour - Independent England Travel Package - London Stonehenge Winchester Bath Stratford-upon-Avon Thornbury Castle Windsor Castle