Mysteries of Beautiful Britain
This tour can be enjoyed by
itself, or can be combined with any of our other tours operating
before or after this one.
You can also add extra time in
Britain or elsewhere at the beginning and/or end of your tour(s).
And, if you prefer, you can
travel by private car, joining the group only for accommodation,
meals, and any other activities that you might wish.
Total flexibility. And
The tour commences with a
preliminary night of accommodation in London on Sunday,
? September, 2004 (dates not yet confirmed).
If you're starting your
travels in the US, you'll probably take an overnight flight on
Saturday ? September (or sooner), to arrive into London on Sunday
The tour ends on Sunday ?
September or (after a free bonus night in London) Monday ?
September when you check out of your London hotel.
If you're traveling
immediately back to the US, you can fly back from London any
time on Sunday ? September and probably arrive back home the
same day. Alternatively, you might choose to extend or
stay, or perhaps to then join one of our other tours.
One night accommodation in
central London at the start of the tour
Convenient and comfortable
standard class train travel
between London and Penzance and then between Oxford and London
(if you also enjoyed the Scotland's Castles and Monsters
Tour, you'll be able to use your Britrail First Class and
travel first class on these trains)
Large luxury coach for best
views while touring
and complete with onboard restroom for best comfort
Small group, to avoid the
crowded impersonal feeling - maximum size 32 - lots of room
and comfort for everyone on a large 49 seater coach
Two nights accommodation in
St Ives, in a room with lovely ocean views
One night accommodation in
a small B&B style hotel in Bath
Two nights accommodation in a
small Inn in the beautiful Cotswolds village of Burford
One more night accommodation
back at the London hotel (you can leave anything you don't
need on tour at the hotel and collect it again on your
One extra free bonus night in
Breakfasts every morning
Feature dinners - two in St Ives
and one in Burford
Area touring in Cornwall
including a visit to an old Tin mine
circles that few people know about or visit
A visit to Land's End at the
very bottom of Britain
A visit to mysterious moody
Tintagel, fabled home of the castle that housed King Arthur
and the Knights of the Round Table
A visit to the ruins of
Glastonbury Abbey and the site of what is believed to be
King Arthur's grave, plus a chance to visit the strange Tor
on top of a nearby hill
Half a day in Roman Bath
Travel through the
picture-postcard beauty of the Cotswolds, home to some of
England's prettiest traditional villages
A free day in Oxford to enjoy
as you wish
Day 1 (Saturday) :
Leave the US
You should make your
own arrangements to fly from the US to London, departing on
Saturday 15 May - or earlier if you wish to spend extra time
in London or elsewhere
before the start of the main tour
Day 2 (Sunday) :
Our tour starts in London
The tour starts today
with a preliminary night at a central London four star
If you are
joining us from the Scotland's
Castles and Monsters Tour, you'll be traveling from
Edinburgh down to London today.
Day 3 (Monday) :
Train and Coach to Penzance and St Ives
Our deluxe 49 seater coach has lots of space and a restroom
St Michael's Mount, just off the coast near Penzance,
associated wth Joseph of Arimathea and the Arthurian legends
Tregenna Castle, offering panoramic views over St Ives - our home for two nights
We'll travel by
comfortable train from London's Paddington Station down to
Penzance this morning.
Our bags will be taken from the hotel, so the train ride
is free of luggage hassles, and we'll be able to explore the
seaside town of Penzance for an hour or so before then being
met by our luxury coach.
We're then taken the short distance to St
Ives, where we'll be staying two nights in a lovely hotel on
a hillside overlooking the harbor and sea. We all have
This evening we'll have a group dinner to get to know each
To break the ice, and for some fun, we'll be
holding a 'Travel Insider' competition, with a
suitable prize for the winner awarded at dinner.
Option : If you
prefer, you can collect a rental car today and follow
the group itinerary at your own pace.
Day 4 (Tuesday) :
Tin Mines, Stone Circles, and Land's End
Lonely ruins of a former tin mine on the horizon, the
Atlantic Ocean behind it
Lanyon Quoit in the mist. Full of mood and mystery.
The Merry Maidens - a smaller version of Stonehenge.
Land's End, with the famous sign on the left and the 'First
and Last House' on the right.
Today we tour through
southern Cornwall. This is a slightly eerie and
very evocative part of England, full of ancient mysteries
and legends, and best experienced on a misty day (misty
weather not guaranteed!).
Driving through beautiful but occasionally desolate
scenery, with glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean, we'll pass
ruined mining buildings and other hints of the area's past.
We'll visit a restored former tin mine, and stop at two of
Britain's less well known mysteries - Lanyon Quoit and the
Unlike Stonehenge, these are quiet and almost hidden in
fields on minor roads.
A visit to Land's End gives you a chance to get your
picture taken next to the official Land's End sign - if you
were on our Scotland tour as well, you'll now have pictures
at both extremities of the country - something very
few other people have done in less than a week!
Land's End also has some beautiful hillside nature
walks, and some views over to where the buried land of
Lyonesse lies. Local residents claim to be able to hear the bells of the
drowned city ringing out during rough seas.
We return back to the seaside village of St Ives for our second evening at Tregenna Castle.
Day 5 (Wednesday) :
Castles and Mysteries
The craggy ruins of Tintagel Castle. At the foot of
the castle is Merlin's Cave, described by Tennyson as where
Arthur was received by Merlin.
A most unusual exhibition about the Arthurian legends and a
strange society formed to support them in Tintagel
Believed to be King Arthur's grave, in Glastonbury Abbey
We leave St Ives this
morning and travel a short distance up the Cornish coast to
Tintagel, fabled home of King Arthur's castle.
At Tintagel you can visit the ruins of the ancient castle
and the nearby church, and you can explore the Cornish
continue our travels north east, to Glastonbury and spend
time at the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey - said to be founded
by Joseph of Arimathea and perhaps, at one time, containing
the Holy Grail. Indeed, some stories suggest that have
Jesus himself may have traveled with Joseph to Cornwall
prior to his crucifixion.
Glastonbury Abbey is said to be where King Arthur was
buried. We'll see the grave site, discovered in 1191,
and, prior to arriving in Glastonbury, we'll also pass the
place where Sir Bedivere is said to have returned Excalibur
to the Lady of the Lake.
then drive a short distance up to the Tor (or you can walk
up if you prefer) and you'll have a chance to visit this
strange structure on the hilltop.
Next we drive the short remaining distance to our hotel for
the evening in Bath.
Day 6 (Thursday) :
From Bath to Burford
The restored Roman baths in Bath. You'll have a
morning to explore this ancient city as you wish.
Castle Combe - the first of many beautiful Costwolds
villages we'll visit.
This morning you can
spend time sightseeing in Bath, a city dating back to Roman
times but dominated now by its distinctive 18C Georgian
you might want to treat yourself in the wonderful new spa
(if it is
open), or perhaps you might want to sightsee and shop.
After lunch we travel the short distance to our
Cotswolds base in Burford, making stops at two of the lovely
villages on the way - Castle Combe (featured in the Rex
Harrison movie of Doctor Doolittle) and Bibury (once judged
Britain's most beautiful village).
Burford is a nice small sized town, with some
interesting shopping and a lovely old church. Its
history dates back almost 1000 years, and construction of
its church commenced in 1175.
Day 7 (Friday) :
The Beautiful Cotswolds
Bourton on the Water
Our hotel in Burford
If Cornwall is best
experienced in a cool mist, then the Cotswolds are best
experienced in the warm sun. Again, we can't promise
this weather, but hopefully our late spring timing will
increase our chances of enjoying good weather.
Make sure you have
plenty of film in your camera today (or do you, too, now use
a digital camera?). We'll tour around some of the
lovely towns and villages in the Cotswolds, with plenty of
stops for you to get out and experience, up close, the
villages we're passing through. You'll see plenty of
typical Cotswolds architecture, featuring honey colored
limestone walls and stone roofs.
We spend another night
in Burford this evening, with a final group dinner at the
hotel. A chance for us all to share our experiences,
and perhaps to laugh at some things.
Day 8 (Saturday) :
Oxford then return to London
Oxford - home of Britain's first university, where you can
spend as much time on Saturday as you wish
Return back to London when you've finished enjoying Oxford by comfortable fast train
Today we'll travel a
short distance to Oxford, where you can then spend as much
of the day as you wish sightseeing around this ancient
More recently, Oxford was featured in the Inspector Morse
When you've seen enough of Oxford, walk to the railway
station and take a train back to London. Trains
operate every half hour and the journey is about 60 minutes
Perhaps a black cab from the station to our hotel, or you
could walk there if you preferred (we're staying at the same
hotel as we spent our first night at, back on the previous
Sunday), and when you get there, your bags will already be
waiting for you.
Day 9 (Sunday) :
Consider joining our Imperial Russia Tour next
Enjoy one last 'Full
English Breakfast' this morning, and then the tour ends.
If you're joining the Russia - Land of Imperial Splendor
Tour, you should fly from London to Moscow today.
Bonus night in London :
Our hotel contract gave us Sunday night almost for free when
we contracted for Saturday night, so if you'd like to spend
Sunday and Sunday night in London, you're welcome to do this
at no extra cost.
If you prefer, you can stay longer in London or join our
Imperial Russia tour by flying to Moscow.
Estimated between $1500 -
2000 per person, share
A single supplement of
is available. We will also help to match together singles
if you'd like to share with a compatible fellow single traveler.
These prices reflect a 3% discount
A $200 per person
non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your places on
A $50 discount applies if
you choose this and any of our other Fall 04 Tours.
You are responsible for
arranging your travel between the US and London.
What about the Air Fare?
You will save money and gain
flexible convenience if you arrange your own air travel.
These days airlines seldom give discounts to groups, and
sometimes even charge more, while also adding extra restrictions
to the tickets!
You can choose whichever
carrier has the best fare and the best schedules for you, and
you can also choose a carrier that you wish to earn miles with.
You can even cash in miles and fly on frequent flier awards.
We'll be pleased to answer
any questions you might have about arranging your air
transportation, of course.
How to Extend or Vary this Tour
There are many ways you can
extend or vary this tour.
You are encouraged to also
the Scotland's Castles and Monsters Tour before this tour, and
to add the Russia - Land of Imperial Splendor Tour to the end of
You can also spend more time
in London or elsewhere before the start of this tour (or before
the start of the Scottish tour).
During the tour, all of the
day touring is of course optional and you can substitute your
own activities if you prefer. And, indeed, if you wish,
you can even rent a car and follow the group's itinerary in your
own car, rather than in the coach with the rest of the group.
After the tour, you can
spend more time in London, or travel on anywhere else in Britain
or Europe, any way you wish.
Truly, this tour gives you a
great number of ways to add extra time and sightseeing.
And, if you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
We're here to help ensure your experience is as good as
Suggested Tour Extensions
We suggest you arrive in
London a day or two before Sunday 16 May, so that you are well
rested when the tour starts.
Steam train day tours from
London before or after the tour may be available and will be
advised when tour dates are confirmed.
Tour Terms and Conditions
standard terms and conditions
apply to this tour.
In addition, please note
these extra terms :
1. The 45 day
payment due date is considered to be (to be advised)
2. US citizens require a
current passport that will not expire for at least six months
after the date of their planned return back to the US in order
to be admitted to Britain. They do not require a British
visa. Citizens of other countries should check with the
airline that will transport them to Britain to determine what
passport and visa requirements may apply.
3. Tour price is based on a
UK/US exchange rate in the wholesale range between 1.80 and
1.90. If the exchange rate varies outside of this rate
prior to final payment being received, the tour price will be
adjusted (either up or down) to reflect the change in the cost
of tour components. If the price of the tour increases by
more than 5%, participants will be offered a no cost, no penalty
opportunity to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies
4. Triple share
rates may be available. Ask for a quote if this is
plenty of room in the coach's luggage bays for as much luggage
as you choose to bring. But you'll find it easier on
the train journeys, and in the hotel rooms, if you try and limit
yourself to one main suitcase and one smaller item per person.
The Travel Insider is
licensed by the State of Washington as a seller of travel -
registration number 602 036 247.
18 Jan 2004, last update
28 May 2011