PRIVATE TOURS FROM LONDON – PRICES & PRACTICAL INFORMATION
- Description: day tour by private vehicle from London conducted by accredited driver-guide.
- Number of persons: Up to 7.
- Typical timings: 8am-5pm or 9am to 6pm.
- Pick-up/drop-off: any central London hotel/residence.
- Price: 1-2 passengers = £600.00*; 3-4 passengers = £640.00*; 5-7 passengers = £680.00*.
*Not including entry fees. For some attractions it may be necessary for us to book standard tickets in advance.
THE COTSWOLDS & HIDCOTE MANOR GARDENS
Your driver-guide will pick-you up from your central London hotel or place of residence at the specified start time. We recommended 8am for this tour. Then, after an initial fast-route from London, we visit the Cotswolds village of Minster Lovell. Take a short walk along the village road admiring the thatched cottages of this delightful Cotswolds jewel. Nearby, a picturesque parish church and the romantic ruins of an old manor house next to a tranquil riverbank compete to give this village exceptional charm. Next, to the small town of Burford, known as the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’. Here we can visit some quaint local shops on the high street before we view one of the region’s most famous edifices, the historic wool-church of St John’s, which is set in one of the most tranquil spots in England.
Your driver-guide will suggest appropriate lunch options. Then, to Hidcote Manor, perhaps England’s most famous garden. It is the lifetime achievement of an American war hero, and is certainly one of the most influential gardens of the 20th-century. A walk around the ‘rooms’ will surely inspire both beginner and old hand alike. All-in-all this tour covers the idyllic English dreamscape; picturesque villages, quaint pubs, historic churches, romantic ruins, spectacular gardens and magnificent vistas of the English countryside.
LEEDS CASTLE & SISSINGHURST GARDENS
Your driver-guide will pick-you up from your central London hotel or place of residence at the specified start time. We recommended 9am for this tour. Then, after an initial fast route from London, we visit Leeds Castle, an idyllic Arthurian Camelot dating back to the 11th century and often cited as the most beautiful castle in England. A number of queens have used it as a private retreat. Henry VIII commissioned many building works for his first wife Katherine of Aragon and then used it to ‘entertain’ his new love Anne Boleyn. In the early 20th century it was bought by an heiress who hosted a number of celebrity parties here in the 1930s. The grounds alone are breathtaking.
Your driver-guide will suggest an appropriate lunch for you. Then, after a pleasant drive through the Kent countryside, we make the short hop to Sissinghurst, a six-acre site described by some as the epitome of the English country garden, and according to many the most inspirational garden in the land. Brought in the 1930’s by the controversial aristocratic writer Vita Sackville-West and her politician husband Harold Nicholson, it was turned into a designer playground, with ten garden rooms and an architectural layout. Also contains the largest herb garden in England. Timed entry tickets demonstrate its popularity with passionate gardeners.
ARUNDEL CASTLE & CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL
Your driver-guide will pick-you up from your central London hotel or place of residence at the specified start time. We recommended 8am for this tour. Then, after an initial fast-route from London, we visit Arundel Castle, ancestral home of the Dukes of Norfolk for over 800 years. Few castles can match the setting and history. First built before the Norman invasion of 1066, it later became the first ‘queen’s castle’ in the country. A treasure house of paintings, furniture, books and tapestries. Highlights include the Baron’s Hall, the Grand Staircase and the Great Dining Room. On the way to Arundel pass through nearby delightful Sussex village of Amberley, with its picturesque thatched cottages and parish church.
Your driver-guide will suggest appropriate lunch options. Then, to Chichester, a delightful small city which sits on the south coast of England. It features the only medieval cathedral in the country with a detached bell tower. The spire dominates the picturesque surroundings. Take a personal tour of the church with your guide. Inside, Romanesque meets Gothic in the ornate architecture. One fascinating story is how this church became a centre for reconciliation between Britain and Germany after World War Two. Classical music lovers may wish to seek out the burial place of the great composer Gustav Holst, most famous for his Planets suite.