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8 Day Luxury Small Group East England History Tour

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8 Day Luxury Small Group East England History Tour

World-famous University cities meet hideaway villages on this tour of Eastern England. We’ll travel by river and road, across the stunning North York Moors and the Peak District National Park, following in the footsteps of Vikings, Romans and royalty.

Our adventure map

Map of Historic Eastern England | 2017

Day by day

First Day its Edinburgh and Lindisfarne then onto Alnwick

It may only be day one of our tour, but by nightfall we’ll have visited walled towns, isolated islands and magnificent castles. Travelling south, we cross the border into England providing the weather is on our side, we take the causeway at low tide to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and discover the dramatic ruins of Lindisfarne Priory. When we arrive at Alnwick Castle, we’ll be welcomed into the majestic home of the Duke of Northumberland, where we see inside the state rooms, spot the sets used in episodes of Downton Abbey and hear tales of crusades and chivalry. (D)

Hotel:    The White Swan 

Second Day we visit Durham and Whitby then onto North York Moors

The Normans made their mark on this part of England, and possibly the finest example of this is in Durham. Today we’ll step inside the Cathedral, a magnificent architectural monument now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our route carries us to the water, with a stop-off at Staithes – once the north east’s largest fishing-port. But our destination is Whitby. This pretty-as-a-picture harbour town is where we find colourful cottages and boat sails nodding in the breeze. Looking up at the shadowy abbey, you’ll see what inspired the first chapters of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But he’s not the only famous name to have a history entwined in Whitby. Our final port of call is the museum that chronicles Captain Cook’s training as a novice seaman, before he embarked on his epic voyages of discovery. After all that sea air, arriving at a warm and welcoming country house on the fringes of the dramatic North York Moors is wonderful. (B, D)

Hotel:    Gisborough Hall 

Third Day morning in North York Moors then Fountains Abbey

Capturing hearts and minds of writers and artists for centuries, it’s our turn to fall for the dramatic North York Moors this morning as our journey takes us through a sprawling patchwork of heather-clad hills and as-far-as-the-eye-can-see countryside. That brings us to Hutton le Hole and Helmsley, a scenic village and market town respectively, where we’re briefly immersed in local life. But it’s a short sojourn, as we’re spending the afternoon at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden. Strolling around the remains of the abbey, the light-dappled Georgian water gardens and deer park makes for an afternoon like no other. (B)

Hotel:    Gisborough Hall 

Fourth Day we leave the Moors for York then the Peak District

We’re heading for the Peak District now. But not before a must-do detour to York where we’ll leave you to discover a city steeped in heritage with awe-inspiring architecture at every turn. You could uncover the treasures at the world-famous York Minster, climb the Central Tower for panoramic views, or museum hop on the trail of Romans and Vikings. (B)

Hotel:    Rutland Arms Hotel 

Fifth Day we see Chatsworth House and Blue John Cavern and return to Peak District

Driving through the Peak District, with some of England’s finest scenery rippling out around us, is a real joy. We stretch our legs on a morning stroll at Chatsworth House, infused with Elizabethan history and contemporary culture. See the stunning architecture said to have inspired Jane Austen and the rooms that featured in the film Pride and Prejudice. Afterwards we head to Blue John Cavern, an enchanting network of caves. (B)

Hotel:    Rutland Arms Hotel 

Sixth Day we tour Sandringham Estate and Ely then head for Cambridge

We have a date with royalty today as we pay a visit to the Sandringham Estate. The private residence of Her Majesty The Queen is a magnificent stately house with picturesque gardens and even a museum. No less majestic is Ely Cathedral, which is our final stop today. Marvel at the serenity of the light-filled Lady Chapel, admire the kaleidoscopic stained glass windows or take a deep breath and climb to the top of one of the Cathedral’s towers for staggering views. (B)

Hotel:    The Gonville Hotel 

Seventh Day take in the sights of Cambridge

Admire the beautiful ‘Backs’ of Cambridge University, spotting world-famous buildings such as The Wren Library and the Bridge of Sighs, as we drift along the River Cam on a traditional punt. Your afternoon in the city is all yours until we meet again for our final evening dinner. Step inside colleges and chapels, museums and galleries – or simply indulge in a little retail therapy. (B, D)

Hotel:   The Gonville Hotel 

Eighth Day its Newmarket then Lavenham then return to London 

There’s time for one more behind-the-scenes tour so we delve into England’s sporting heritage at Newmarket National Stud. At this working thoroughbred stud farm we may see stallions in the paddocks and, occasionally, foals in the nursery. We’ll see in the end of our tour at Lavenham, a medieval village in rural Suffolk where streets of timber-framed buildings have us feeling as though we’ve stepped back in time. (B)

Travel Highlights

  • 7 nights’ accommodation in boutique hotels
  • Experienced Tour leader
  • Luxury mini-coach transportation  
  • Full English breakfast daily (B)
  • Three evening meals (D)  
  • Punting in Cambridge
  • Entrance fee included to: Lindisfarne Priory, Alnwick Castle and Gardens, Durham Cathedral, Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Chatsworth House, Blue John Cavern, Sandringham Estate, Ely Cathedral and Newmarket National Stud.

The Difference

Call in at Sandringham Estate, the private retreat of Her Majesty The Queen

Drift along the River Cam on a traditional punt in Cambridge

Get a behind-the-stable look at Newmarket Stud

Guarantees, Bonds and Awards

  • This tour is run by our outstanding travel partners who are award winners British Travel Awards Best Small Group.
  • All Tours are Guaranteed Departures.
  • Tours are fully bonded, protected and guaranteed and you pay the operator directly when booking.
  • ABTA protected

Best prices, more information and booking

Great Discounts are available – please speak with our expert who can arrange extra unique discounts.

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