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Royal Tour

Royal Tour

Introduction

Time: All Year

Accommodation: First Class Hotels

Start Date: 7 Nights / 8 Days

Group Size: Singles, Couples, Families and Small Groups

Following the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey and also to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, this special tour takes in some of the glittering sites associated with British Royalty, from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle. We will introduce you to the world of Royalty, their homes, their history and will allow you to travel through some of the finest scenery in Britain.

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We start the tour with three days in London visiting many of the sights associated with Royalty. We then take a circular route through the glorious English countryside to see both Royal castles and country homes before returning to London. Extensions can include Scottish sites such as Edinburgh Castle, Glamis Castle and Balmoral Castle.

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Why not create your own tour? As with all our tours the attractions you see will take account of your interests and can be adapted to what you want to see. So, if you want to see places not on the list below, just let us know. Complete our enquiry form to find out more »


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Itinerary

The TOWER OF LONDON has been a royal palace, zoo, prison and fortress. On view are Henry VIII’s armour and the Crown Jewels. ST PAUL’S was built by Christopher Wren in 1685. Important services have included the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana and the thanksgiving service for 80th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen. Taking a boat to GREENWICH, The Palace of Placentia was a royal palace and now the Royal Naval College. Both Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I were born here. It is a World Heritage Site and the Maritime Museum has many Royal artefacts.

Day 1: London - Tower - St Paul's - Greenwich

The TOWER OF LONDON has been a royal palace, zoo, prison and fortress. On view are Henry VIII’s armour and the Crown Jewels. ST PAUL’S was built by Christopher Wren in 1685. Important services have included the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana and the thanksgiving service for 80th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen. Taking a boat to GREENWICH, The Palace of Placentia was a royal palace and now the Royal Naval College. Both Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I were born here. It is a World Heritage Site and the Maritime Museum has many Royal artefacts.

Day 2: Guards - Westminster - Banqueting

Day 2: Guards - Westminster - Banqueting

At BUCKINGHAM PALACE, built in 1702, we see the Changing of the Guards, the soldiers who protect the Queen. We travel down the Mall to WESTMINSTER ABBEY. Regally set across the road from the Houses of Parliament, the Abbey has been the crowning place of kings and queens since 1066 and contains the graves of seventeen monarchs. The present church was built by Henry III in 1245. Along Whitehall is BANQUETING HOUSE, used to provide entertainment for Charles I, and was later the scene of his execution. It houses the only remaining in-situ painted ceiling by Peter Paul Rubens and was painted in 1621.

Day 3: Kensington Palace - Kew

Day 3: Kensington Palace - Kew

KENSINGTON PALACE was converted into a Royal Palace for William III and Mary in 1689 by Sir Christopher Wren. Visitors see the elegant C18th State Rooms. After the death of Princess Diana in 1997, the William Gates became a focus for mourners. The Palace is surrounded by Kensington Gardens, containing Sir George Frampton’s sculpture of Peter Pan. The ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS at Kew were established by King George III’s mother, Princess Augusta in 1789 and now contain over 40,000 different types of plants. The famous Palm House was constructed in the 1840’s. The garden is a World Heritage Site.

Day 4: Windsor - Eton - Hampton Court

Day 4: Windsor - Eton - Hampton Court

WINDSOR CASTLE is the largest inhabited castle in the world and is still the Queen’s home. In the grounds is ST GEORGE’S CHAPEL built in 1475 and where Henry VIII is buried. Close to the castle is ETON COLLEGE, one of the country’s premier schools having educated 18 prime ministers and Prince Charles’ children, William and Harry. We drive to HAMPTON COURT, a Royal Palace since Henry VIII. Built by Cardinal Wolsey in 1514, it was given to Henry to stave off his displeasure at Wolsey’s rising power. The gardens are one of the best examples of Tudor landscape architecture and the maze provides amusement.

Day 5: Leeds Castle - Dover - Walmer

Day 5: Leeds Castle - Dover - Walmer

LEEDS CASTLE is a classic moated castle which was given to Edward I by a courtier and Henry VIII visited the castle on a regular basis. Travelling to the coast along the North Downs we reach DOVER. The castle is one of the oldest historic sites in the country with a Roman lighthouse within the walls. The keep was built by Henry II in 1198and beneath the castle are WWII tunnels where you can get a flavour of “Hellfire Alley”. From the White Cliffs of Dover there are lovely views over the English Channel. WALMER CASTLE was a favourite of The Queen Mother, with beautiful gardens overlooking the sea.

Day 6: Battle Abbey - Royal Pavilion

Day 6: Battle Abbey - Royal Pavilion

BATTLE ABBEY was built by William the Conqueror on the site of his victory over King Harold in 1066. You see the altar which marks the spot where Harold fell after being killed by an arrow in the eye. Travelling along the coast to the bustling city of Brighton and the ROYAL PAVILION. Here the Prince of Wales, later George IV secretly married Mrs Fitzherbert. In 1815 John Nash converted a farmhouse into a wildly extravagant Oriental Palace with dragons in the Banqueting room and Mandarin figures in the Long Gallery. The kitchen is of a huge size to accommodate the best chefs of the period.

Day 7: Portsmouth - Winchester

Day 7: Portsmouth - Winchester

In the centre of Portsmouth are the HISTORIC DOCKYARDS. Henry VIII founded the English navy and Portsmouth as the chief Royal Navy seaport. One of his ships, the Mary Rose is in a dry dock here, with Nelson’s flagship, HMS VICTORY. WINCHESTER was the ancient capital of England under Alfred the Great. The magnificent cathedral contains the tomb of Jane Austen and the Great Hall houses KING ARTHUR’S ROUND TABLE. Constructed in the C14th and painted with the names of Arthur’s Knights by Henry VIII as he thought of himself as the new King Arthur. He sits in the middle of 24 knights.

Day 8: Cotswolds - Warwick Castle

Day 8: Cotswolds - Warwick Castle

On the final day of the tour we drive through the COTSWOLDS, a range of scenic rolling hills with picturesque villages. We pass Prince Charles’ home at Highgrove and visit villages such as The Slaughters, Stow on the Wold and Chipping Campden, before passing through Shakespeare’s Stratford on Avon to Warwick. WARWICK CASTLE is both a medieval fortress and a stately home. It was lived in by “Warwick the Kingmaker”, Richard Neville, who played an important part in the Wars of the Roses in the C15th.

Summer Months Options

Summer Months Options

In the summer months, many of the Royal palaces open their doors to the public. The 19 State Rooms at BUCKINGHAM PALACE are at the heart of the Royal household. Used by all members of the Royal family, the rooms are lavishly decorated with fine art, furniture and porcelain. Overlooking St James's Park, CLARENCE HOUSE is the London residence of Prince Charles. You are guided around the ground floor rooms used for official engagements,

Extensions

Extensions

Our tour has concentrated on the Royal sites in southern England. Throughout the land, there are numerous places with connectoins to the Monarch. Your tour can be adjusted or extended to include the sites in the north - like ALNWICK CASTLE and BAMBURGH CASTLE. Or, travel into Scotland to see the Queen's current homes at BALMORAL and Holyroodhouse together places with Scotland's history like STIRLING and SCONE PALACE.


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