COTSWOLDS IN FALL

October 9-18, 2018

Guests make their own way to London. I encourage an early arrival into London as this gives you time to acclimate to England, see some of the city & be fresh for your first tour day! I do not organize fights as I find people prefer to make their own arrangements. Pre-tour London information on hotels, getting from the airport, flights and booking assistance is included below


DAY 1: TUESDAY OCTOBER 9 - WATERPERRY GARDENS, BLENHEIM PALACE & BURFORD

Included meals: Lunch & Dinner   Accommodation: The Bay Tree Hotel, Burford

Our tour starts with a morning pick up in London by Henshaw Coaches. We head north-west past Oxford and into the Cotswolds. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds is one of England’s most idyllic regions with rolling hills patchworked by age-old stone walls; leafy trees lining narrow winding lanes that lead into impossibly quaint and picturesque villages of honey colored limestone. The Cotswolds is beautiful in all seasons, but in Fall the countryside and gardens are especially lovely.  Just outside of Oxford is Waterperry Gardens8 acres of beautiful garden and our morning tea stop. Next is the magnificent Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famed as the ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. Here take a guided tour and enjoy lunch. Our last stop for the day is the medieval village of Burford, our home for two nights. Known as the ‘southern gateway to the Cotswolds’, Burford village is postcard-perfect and a lovely introduction to Cotswolds country life. We’re staying at the delightful Bay Tree Hotel, a sister hotel to the Broadway Hotel. Take some time to settle into your comfy room or head to the bar and put your feet up infront of the log fire! Welcome dinner with fellow guests at the hotel.


DAY 2: WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 11 - OXFORD

Included Meals: Breakfast   Accommodation: The Bay Tree Hotel, Burford

Spend the day in Oxford with friend & tour guide, David Gullen Known as the “city of dreaming spires”, Oxford is famed for its beautiful university and college buildings –it truly is one of the most picturesque cities in the world!  David is the ideal person to show us Oxford: he has a vast historical knowledge coupled with an infectious sense of fun that truly brings history alive! On return to Burford, you have the afternoon & evening to enjoy village life.


DAY 3: THURSDAY OCTOBER 11 - BIBURY, CIRENCESTER & CHELTENHAM

Included Meals: Breakfast & Lunch  Accommodation: The Queens Hotel, Cheltenham

This morning check out of our hotel and head to Bibury, a small village in Gloucestershire and one of the Cotswolds’ most famous. Built in the 17th century, The stone cottages of Arlington Row with their steeply pitched roofs and honey colored stone are one of Britain’s most photographed scenes. Lunch is at one of our favorite pubs, the Village Pub. After lunch meet local tour guide Mary Moxham who shows us the ancient Roman town of Cirencester.  Second only in size to London, Cirencester was the major Roman administration center for south-western Britain and its here that we find outstanding Roman remains including the impressive Roman Amphitheater. Cirencester, is also where you see the tallest yew hedge in the world!  Mary will share insights into all of this and much more on our afternoon walking tour. This evening check into our hotel and enjoy the Garden Town of England – Cheltenham, an elegant regency spa town designed in the 18th & 19th centuries as a health resort for wealthy visitors. Our hotel is the majestic Queens Hotel, a Sofitel hotel situated in the Montpellier district in easy walking distance of restaurants, bars and boutiques.


DAY 4: OCTOBER 12 - DAY IN CHELTENHAM SPA TOWN, LITERATURE FESTIVAL, FARMERS MARKET

Included meals: Breakfast  Accommodation: The Queens Hotel, Cheltenham

October is peak time in Cheltenham and today you have the entire day to explore this beautiful town in your own way. A major event is the Cheltenham Literature Festival, drawing the biggest names in literature, journalism, culture and sports from around the world. There is a myriad of events happening and bookings are recommended. Go here to see what is happening at the 2017 Festival. Sign up to their mailing list and get updates on the 2018 Festival. A few steps down from your hotel, is Cheltenham’s Farmers Market. The Cotswolds are known for their Farmer’s Markets and Cheltenham is one of the best! For those who would like to learn more about the town’s Regency history & architecture, Mary Moxham will be leading a two hour city walking tour this morning.


DAY 5: SATURDAY OCTOBER 13 - STEAM TRAIN RIDE, SUDELEY CASTLE & BROADWAY

Included meals: BreakfastAccommodation: The Broadway Hotel, Broadway

Check out of the Cheltenham hotel and board the Steam Train to Winchcombe! The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is a volunteer operated heritage railway running steam trains between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway. Steaming through the countryside is such a fun way to travel and offers wonderful views of the countryside. We’ll break our train journey at Winchcombe to visit Sudeley Castle and step into the world of Henry VIII and the Tudors! For over 1,000 years, Sudeley Castle has played an important role in England’s history: of all the castles in Gloucestershire, none have seen so much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley!  Sudeley is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within the grounds: the last of Henry VIII’s six wives, Katherine Parr lived and died in the castle, where she still remains today entombed in a beautiful 15th century church found within the award-winning medieval gardens. Mid-afternoon, rejoin the train at Winchcombe and journey to Broadway and the Broadway Hotel, our home for the next five nights. Broadway is often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’.  The village lies beneath Fish Hill on the western Cotswold escarpment. The ‘broad way’ is the wide grass-fringed main street, centered around The Green, which is lined with red chestnut trees and honey-coloured Cotswold limestone buildings, many dating from the 16th century. The wide street lined with a delightful mix of Tudor, Stuart and Georgian buildings.The Broadway Hotel is a charming country hotel we stayed in during our June ’17 tour. The hotel is a firm group favorite. It has a charming country style, is beautifully decorated and in October, the fireplaces will be roaring! 


DAY 6: SUNDAY OCTOBER 14 - SUNDAY IN BROADWAY VILLAGE

Included meals: Breakfast  Accommodation: The Broadway Hotel, Broadway

Today is your day to experience Sunday life in an English country village. Spend the day exactly as you wish. Perhaps take in a local church service; go for a long walk along one of the many footpaths; or enjoy a traditional Sunday lunch at a local pub. Design buffs may enjoy visiting the Gordon Russell Design Museum which celebrates the work of the renowned 20th-century furniture designer. Whatever activity takes your fancy, the day is yours to enjoy. Slowing down like this lets you experience English country life like a local.


DAY 7: MONDAY OCTOBER 15 - HIDCOTE, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON & THEATER

        Included meals: Breakfast  Accommodation: Broadway Hotel, Broadway

This morning visit one of the country’s most inspirational gardens, Hidcote Manor Garden. This Arts and Crafts masterpiece was designed in the early 20th century by American Major Lawrence Johnston. His vision was to create ‘a wild garden in a formal setting’ which he did by transforming the fields around his house into a ‘garden of rooms’, each with its own character and divided by holly, yew, beech and hornbeam hedges. In fall, this garden is magical. The outstanding tree & shrub collection are changing colors and the result is spectacular. Later head to Stratford-upon-Avon to meet tour guide David Gunnell. Stratford is a historic town on the banks of the Avon best known as the 16th century birthplace of William Shakespeare, possibly the most famous writer in the English language. Get ready for an afternoon of history coming alive as David recites Shakespeare on his fun walking tour! Tonight have dinner in Stratford then see a show at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre - an absolute must do for Stratford!


 DAY 8: TUESDAY OCTOBER 16 - COTSWOLDS DISTILLERY, BATSFORD ARBORETUM & BROADWAY TOWER

Included Meals: Breakfast & Lunch  Accommodation: Broadway Hotel, Broadway

Today do a gin tasting Cotwolds Distillery, the first full scale distillery in the Cotswolds. Take a tour of the distillery ending up in their cozy tasting room for samplings! Lunch at a local gastro pub, then grab your camera and head to nearby Batsford Arboretum for autumn color that’s a natural fireworks spectacular! Our final stop for the day is Broadway Tower, the second-highest point of the Cotswolds. It was the brainchild of Capability Brown and built for Lady Coventry in 1798-99. Known as the Highest Little Castle in the Cotswolds, on a clear day you can see up to 16 counties from the top of the Tower.


DAY 9: WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 17 - SEZINCOTE, BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER, FAREWELL DINNER

Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner Accommodation: Broadway Hotel, Broadway

Today is a special treat: a visit to Sezincote, one of the most unusual and exotic estate in the Cotswolds. Sezincote is a family owned Cotswold estate, seemingly very traditional except for one thing: a 200-year-old Mogul palace! Surrounded by a Taj Mahal type landscape of temples, grottoes, waterfalls and canals, this extraordinary home is built in the “Indian Style”, a unique combination of Hindu & Muslim. Sezincote is one of a kind and credited with influencing the design of the Brighton pavilion after a visit by the Prince Regent in 1807.  Our very special visit is organized for us by Sezincote’s owner, Edward Peake. Edward has arranged for us to meet up with Greg, Sezincote’s Head Gardener for a tour through the gardens. Our last afternoon the Cotswolds is spent exploring Bourton-on-the-Water. Known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ because of the many low arched bridges that cross the River Windrush, Bourton-on-the-Water glows with color in autumn! Tonight is our final night together and a fun farewell dinner at a local pub!


DAY 10: THURSDAY OCTOBER 18

Included meals: Breakfast

This morning we say good bye to the Broadway Hotel and head to Heathrow. But there’s one last stop - Daylesford Organics! This is probably England’s most gorgeous organic store and is perfect for us to stock up on goodies for the flight home. Arrive at Heathrow early afternoon in time for your flight.


TOUR INFORMATION

$3599 per person twin/double occupancy     
$789 per person single supplement

A maximum of 16 guests will be accepted

Inclusions:
•    Accompanied by Kirsty Dougherty for the entire trip
•    9 nights accommodation at hotels chosen for their charm and style, location, quality room standard and customer service. If you prefer a higher room category in any of the hotels, this can be arranged but is subject to availability and price adjustment.  
o    Bay Tree Hotel, Burford 
o    Queens Hotel, Cheltenham
o    Broadway Hotel, Broadway
•    Portage at each hotel is included. Burford & Broadway Hotels are country style hotels and do not have lifts. There are porters to assist you with luggage during check in and check out. 
•    All transportation is in luxury coach provided by Henshaw’s Executive Coaches
•    Entrance fees & tours where indicated at Waterperry Gardens, Blenheim Palace, Oxford Botanic Gardens, Cirencester, Sudeley Castle, Hidcote Manor Garden, Cotswolds Distillery, Batsford Arboretum, Broadway Tower, Sezincote Estate
•    Private guide for tours at Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cirencester & Cheltenham plus all entrance fees while on the tour
•    Tickets to Royal Shakespeare Company theatre production and the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
•    Visits to Arlington Row, Bibury, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham Farmers Market, Cirencester, Winchcombe, Welford on Avon, Bourton-on-the-Water, the Slaughters, Daylesford Organics,
•    9 breakfasts at the hotels, 3 lunches & 2 dinners at pubs and restaurants selected for their quality and ambiance
•    Alcohol is not included at group meals
•    Gratuities for guides, coach driver and included meals
Not included in the tour price are airfares and all related fees; airport transfers; transfers or transport costs made outside of the group arrangements in the UK; emergency medical and trip cancellation insurance, excess baggage charges, personal items at the hotels (such as beverages, laundry, room service, & communication services); alcoholic beverages; meals not listed as ‘included’; and everything else not expressly mentioned under ‘included’.
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AIRFARES Please note airfares are not included in the tour price. This allows you the flexibility to make arrangements that best your own plans, to use points or a preferred airline. You are responsible for your own airfare. If you require assistance with flight reservations, please contact my travel agent Paige Bouzaglou (paige@wanderinggosling.com or 347-834-6818). In June 2017, many of my group travelled with Virgin Atlantic and were very happy with the experience. If you fly Virgin Atlantic, book their Premium Economy for affordable business class luxe! United also fly from Newark to Heathrow. I need to know your arrival and departure times as soon as you have your reservations. However, please do not make reservations until you have been confirmed as a trip participant. Please email flight information to Kirsty.
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BOOKING To guarantee your reservation, a deposit of $1000 (of which $500 is non-refundable) per person is due at the time of booking. This is used for hotel reservations, transport and other deposits. Final payment is due by July 9, 2018. A reminder will be set out on June 9. Late payment will incur a fee of $100 per person. Payment of the deposit is an acceptance of the Terms and Conditions. Please ensure you have read these policies.  
Please contact Kirsty Dougherty on 908.512.0600 or kirsty@noblegardentours.com to book. 
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PAYMENT Please pay by either
•    check made out to ‘Noble Garden Tours’ and sent to PO Box 73, Highlands NJ 07732  or
•    credit card online via Paypal. Credit card payment incurs a 2.9% fee. 
Please let Kirsty know your preferred payment method. 
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TRAVEL INSURANCE Things happen and at times unforeseen circumstances make it impossible to travel. For your personal safety and peace of mind, guests are required to purchase travel insurance including emergency medical and trip cancellation. This is a condition of booking.  Travel insurance is not included in the tour price and is your responsibility. You must enroll within a limited time (usually 10-21days) after paying your initial deposit. For assistance in organizing travel insurance, please contact travel agent Paige Bouzaglou (paige@wanderinggosling.com or 347-834-6818)

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CANCELLATIONS A refund of monies paid, minus the nonrefundable deposit of $500, will be made when written notice of cancellation is received by Noble Garden Tours LLC on or before July 9.  Notice of cancellation received after July 9 but on or before August 9, will incur a cancellation fee of 75% of the total tour price. Cancellations made after August 9 or a no show will forfeit 100% of the tour price. Once the tour has commenced there can be no refunds on unused portions. You must take out trip cancellation insurance when making your reservation and forward me the policy details. ________________________________________
FITNESS You must be able to walk an entire day without a problem. We’ll be walking on unpaved paths, through fields, villages, on cobbled streets, through private estates and gardens, up steep stair cases in historic old buildings. This is a trip for active people. Many of the properties we visit are historic and not accessible. Please bear all of this in mind when considering this tour. If you have an injury or impairment and are not sure whether this tour is right for you, please call me to discuss – 908.512.0600

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PRE-TOUR IN LONDON I recommend arriving in London before the tour starts. This gives you time to acclimate to England, see some of London & be fresh for your first tour day!  At your request, I will meet you at Heathrow on your arrival and travel with you into London to your hotel. The quickest way is to catch the Heathrow Express Train which takes you from the Airport to Paddington Station in 15 minutes. The Express Saver single fare is £25 during weekday peak time. Fares are lower off peak times and if purchased in advance – may be as low as £5.50. From Paddington Station, Marylebone is approximately a 10 minute taxi ride. Alternatively, you can take a black London taxi from the airport straight to the hotel. This will cost around 30pounds and take around 45 minutes. Information about taxis from Heathrow is here. You may choose to UBER from Heathrow. Uber is currently in dispute in London, so please check before departure that operations are still current. Hotels in London For ease of pick up by our coach on Tuesday morning, I recommend staying in the same area. In June 2017, we stayed in the Marylebone district near Marble Arch, a terrific location: super central, close to shopping & Oxford St; a walk through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, near the tube stations plus loads of restaurants and bars. Here are a few hotel options of different prices & styles all located close to each other & a few blocks from Oxford St. All the hotels can be booked online, or if you would prefer me to make the reservation I can do that. Please let me know where you’re staying or if you have any questions. Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill,  The Montcalm,  Radisson Blu Portman,  Double Tree Hilton Marble Arch,  Montagu Place Hotel (no lifts), The Grazing Goat (no lifts) Things to do in London. Paige can assist you with booking pre-tour activities. For advice and help, please contact her on E: paige@wanderinggosling.com or T: 347-834-6818