V2 - TCS - The Gialketsis Family explore the Cotswolds

Gialketsis Family

Thursday 16th May – Thursday 30th May 2024

Number of Travellers: 4
Duration: 15 Days / 14 Nights

Overview

Enjoy exploring the heart of England on this incredible 15 day trip.  From the majestic sweeping crescents in Bath to the stunning vistas from the top of the Malvern Hills, let your guide immerse you in the history, culture and beautiful scenery that the Cotswolds are known for.  After enjoying the fresh country air, spend your last few days in London getting off the beaten path with your expert guide as well as enjoying some theatre shows and perhaps even some cricket!

Highlights

  • Steer a narrowboat along the canals around Bath
  • Visit Stratford Upon Avon where Shakespeare was born
  • Get off the tourist path in London to visit places you have never been to before

Day by Day

Day 1 - Thursday 16th May - Welcome to London

On arrival at Heathrow you will be met by the VIP team and whisked seamlessly through arrivals to your awaiting transfer.  From here, you’ll head into the city and check into your hotel ready to meet up with friends and spend a relaxing couple of days in the city.

Restaurant Recommendations – LONDON

Overnight: London | Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
Room Type: 1 x Hyde Park Suite and 2 x Superior Rooms for single occupancy
Meals Included: None

Day 2 - Friday 17th May - Free Day London

Spend time with your friends in London today before you set off on your Cotswold Adventure tomorrow

Overnight: London | Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
Room Type: 1 x Hyde Park Suite and 2 x Superior Rooms for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Saturday 18th May - Arrive Bath

A private transfer will collect you from your hotel in London and you’ll set off on your Cotswold adventure.   You will arrive at the mystical site of Avebury, a collection of stone circles and neolithic burial sites, where your host and guide will meet you and you’ll set off to explore this incredible landscape.   Let your expert guide bring this landscape to life as you wander around the neolithic sites and artefacts before heading onto the ancient city of Bath.

Your accommodation is in one of the most iconic streets in Bath and once you have settled in, you can either head out to explore some of the city of simply enjoy dinner in one of the restaurants.

Restaurant Recommendations – BATH

Overnight: Bath | Royal Crescent
Room Type: 1 x Master Suite and 2 x Deluxe Rooms for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Sunday 19th May - A Canal boat and the Royal Crescent

The ancient city of Bath is well known for its Roman Baths and the stunning architecture, however today you will explore it from a different perspective, enjoy the historic waterways of this region.  Arriving at the canal side you will step aboard a narrow boat and take to the canal for a day of leisure and locks.  Steer the boat through locks and round the gentle bends as the canal twists and turns through the ever-changing countryside.   Stop off at a pub for lunch or perhaps just enjoy a delectable picnic on board as you drift along.

In the late afternoon you will all meet up again and enjoy a private out of hours tour of No 1 Royal Crescent to explore what life was like for the fashionable Bathonian’s in the 18th century.

Overnight: Bath | Royal Crescent
Room Type: 1 x Master Suite and 2 x Deluxe Rooms for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Monday 20th May - Exploring Bath

Spend the day exploring this incredible city with your guide, from the tranquility of Bath Abbey to the iconic Roman Baths.  Take a private tour of the Abbey Clock Tower, climbing the 212 steps to the top to see the city spread out beneath you and be rewarded with a refreshing glass of something cold and bubbly.  Explore the nooks and crannies of the city that are only known to the locals  as well as browsing some of the wonderful book and antique shops that are dotted about the city.

 

Overnight: Bath | Royal Crescent
Room Type: 1 x Master Suite and 2 x Deluxe Rooms for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Tuesday 21st May - The Mendip Hills and Meandering

Today Bill and George can set out to southern Cotswolds for a hike this morning, feeling the earth crunch under your hiking boots as you immerse yourselves in the wonderful scenery with the sounds of nature for company.

For Shelli and Reed, spend the morning exploring more of the city, perhaps enjoy some spa treatments or simply enjoying watching the world go by from a local cafe with a coffee and a good book!

 

Overnight: Bath | Royal Crescent
Room Type: 1 x Master Suite and 2 x Deluxe Rooms for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - Wednesday 22nd May - To the Cotswolds

Leaving Bath behind this morning, you will through the heart of the Cotswolds to your next destination.

En route to your accommodation in the pretty town of Broadway, your first stop will be at the charming village of Tetbury which offers a plethora of antique shops to explore and discover some hidden gems before heading onwards to Chedworth – a roman villa that was rediscovered by the Victorians over 150 years ago.  This fascinating place gives a unique insight into Roman life here in Britain.

Your final stop of the day is at Sudeley Castle where you will meet a private guide and take a tour of the family apartments, castle and gardens where over 1000 years of history will be brought to life inside these ancient walls.  Hear stories of Royalty, ruins and everything in between as you explore this ancient building before continuing onto your hotel for the next 4 nights.

Restaurant Recommendations – COTSWOLDS

Overnight: Broadway | Dormy House
Room Type: 1 x Attic Suite and 2 x Courtyard Suites for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - Thursday 23rd May - The ancient Malvern Hills

You will all head to the iconic Malvern Hills today, which are formed from some of the most ancient rocks in England.  These hills are well known for their pure spring water – which was the only water her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II used to drink – as well as the breathtaking views from the ridge line.  Enjoy a walk up to St Ann’s well to take in the views before Shelli and Reed head back to the town to enjoy some browsing in the shops while Bill and George take a short hike along the ridgeline.

All meet up in Great Malvern for lunch before heading back towards the Cotswolds where you will discover the unconventional home of Charles Wade – the architect who was famous for building a model Cornish fishing village that attracted visits from Queen Mary and Virginia Woolf!

Overnight: Broadway | Dormy House
Room Type: 1 x Attic Suite and 2 x Courtyard Suites for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 9 - Friday 24th May - Hidden gems of Stratford-upon-Avon

Spend the day exploring the home of William Shakespeare today as you head north to the pretty town of Stratford-upon-Avon.  Embark on a private tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre with an expert guide – exploring behind the scenes and seeing how the works of the bard are brought to life here.

Stratford is also home to loads of small, independent antique shops – perfect for browsing and finding some hidden treasures.

Later on visit the place where the bard was born and the church where he is buried as well as enjoying a decadent afternoon tea before ending the day taking to the water where you can put your steering skills to the test as you punt along the river!

Overnight: Broadway | Dormy House
Room Type: 1 x Attic Suite and 2 x Courtyard Suites for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 10 - Saturday 25th May - Broadway and Bats

Bill and George will have the opportunity for a quick hike to Broadway Tower this morning for it’s famous view of all 5 counties of the Cotswolds while Shelli and Reed can enjoy a relaxed breakfast or some browsing along the pretty high street with it’s eclectic shops.

Meeting up again in the late morning, you will head to the hallowed grounds of Edgbaston to experience a true English spectacle – England vs Pakistan in the third T20 match.  A fantastic day spent hearing the thud of leather against willow and the roar of the Barmy Army as England storm to victory (we hope!)

Overnight: Broadway | Dormy House
Room Type: 1 x Attic Suite and 2 x Courtyard Suites for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 11 - Sunday 26th May - Return to London

It is time to head back to the city saying farewell to the rolling hills and chocolate box villages of the Cotswolds.

Before you arrive back in the buzzing metropolis, your final stop will be Blenheim Palace where you will take a private tour of this stunning place and enjoy a wander through the immaculate gardens that have been crafted by various designers over the years.  A fabulous way to end your time in the heart of England.

You will be dropped off at your London hotel in the late afternoon ready for more explorations tomorrow.

Overnight: London | Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
Room Type: 1 x Hyde Park Suite and 2 x Superior Rooms for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 12 - Monday 27th May - Exploring London

You will meet an old friend this morning as Sue Hyde, who guided you on your last trip, will be with you today to take you off the beaten track to discover some more of the hidden gems of London.  Head out to explore Eltham Palace and the Greenwich Royal observatory with her while hearing more stories of life in London.

Overnight: London | Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
Room Type: 1 x Hyde Park Suite and 2 x Superior Rooms for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 13 - Tuesday 28th May - Soho markets and antiques

Today, we’ll leave central London behind and venture to Walthamstow, northeast London, where very few tourists ever go. The name comes from Wilcumstow – the place were people are welcome. It’s a vibrant and multicultural neighbourhood and features food from across the world and London’s longest street market. Your guide has lived here for 25 years so it’s a real insider tour and he knows everyone. You might bump in to Mick the Butcher, Venessa the priest, Laurance the pub owner or Michael the homeless guy.
A visit to Walthamstow is a study in gentrification. Pockets of poverty live side by side with homes costing +£1million. The Village, which is the original Norman settlement, has experienced turbo-charged gentrification over the last 10 years. Fancy restaurants and gift shops abound and residents predominantly work in the creative industries. We will examine the challenges of gentrifications and the housing crisis; who wins and who loses?
The very urban landscape is punctuated with great street art and inspirational community gardening. Walthamstow Village’s volunteer community gardening group has won many gold medals in Royal Horticultural Society competitions. We will enjoy their street orchards, meadows, ponds and we’ll see where they keep their bees. You will be gifted a jar of their delicious honey before we head back to Central London.

Overnight: London | Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
Room Type: 1 x Hyde Park Suite and 2 x Superior Rooms for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 14 - Wednesday 29th May - Final day of Explorations

We will head East to the City of London where the Romans founded our great city almost 2000 years ago.  Today, the City is our financial centre (The Wall Street of London) and the ruins of Roman London are now surrounded by gleaming skyscrapers by top architects such as Norman Foster and Richard Rogers. The contrast between the new and the old is fascinating and the street-scape changes every time you turn a corner. No wonder this part of London has featured in many films, including Harry Potter.
As we cross in to the East End, only yards from the glitz of the City, everything changes dramatically. High rise gives way to low rise and the smell of curry fills the air in Banglatown, home to London’s Bangladeshi community. Remnants of previous immigrants remain; the beautiful homes built by Hugonots 300 years ago and beigel shops founded by Jewish immigrants a hundred years ago. Such a vibrant neighbourhood has attracted celebrities today and your guide will point out the homes and studios of well-known artists and actors as we meander down the old streets of Spitalfields.
Our next stop will be another neighbourhood undergoing change; Kings Cross. 20 years ago the streets around the train station were rather intimidating with drug dealing and prostitution. The transformation of Kings Cross kicked off with the arrival of the Eurostar train to Paris and Brussels. The old industrial railway hinterland has been completely transformed and the result is pretty impressive. Kings Cross is generally seen as one of the most successful urban transformations in London in recent history.

Overnight: London | Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
Room Type: 1 x Hyde Park Suite and 2 x Superior Rooms for single occupancy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 15 - Thursday 30th May - Depart London

A private transfer will collect you from your hotel and take you back to Heathrow in time for your flight home, taking with you happy memories of a wonderful vacation in the heart of England.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 15
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable qualified guide from Day 3 to Day 14
  • Ground transportation from Day 3 to Day 14
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary
    • Expert guide at Avebury Stone Circles
    • Private hire of a narrowboat in Bath
    • Private tour of the Abbey Clock Tower
    • Expert city guide in Bath
    • Out of hours tour at No 1 Royal Crescent
    • Private tour of Sudeley Castle
    • Private tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company
    • Afternoon Tea in Stratford
    • Tickets to a cricket match
    • Private tour of Blenheim Palace
    • Various activities in London – TBC at a later date
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Snacks throughout the trip
  • 24 hour in-country support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for the main driver guide
Notes Read More
  • All suggested accommodations and services are subject to availability at the time of booking
  • A 20% deposit is required before any accommodation and services will be confirmed
  • This quote is valid for 14 days from the date quoted, after this time pricing may be subject to revision