River Oaks Garden Club presents
The Cotswolds & London
April 10 - 18, 2021
April 10, 2021
April 11, 2021
April 12, 2021
April 13, 2021
April 14, 2021
April 15, 2021
April 16, 2021
April 17, 2021
April 18, 2021
*B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Photo Credit: Kiftsgate Gardens
Trip Itinerary subject to change.
Sunday April 11, 2021: Arrive London - Cheltenham
Upon arrival at London Heathrow Airport you will be met by your expert guide and transferred privately into the beautiful English countryside. Stop at Rousham House with its lovely landscaped gardens (the house will not be visited), making it a must for students of the work of William Kent and many of the features which delighted 18th-century visitors remain unaltered.
Continue to the regency town of Cheltenham where you can admire the Georgian style architecture. Check-in to your hotel and enjoy some time at leisure before dining as a group this evening at a local restaurant, walking distance from your hotel.
Accommodation: Queens Hotel
This morning head northwards to visit one of the best-known Cotswolds gardens at Hidcote Manor.
A famous Arts and Crafts garden, Hidcote was created c.1905 by horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston, a keen plantsman with a strong sense of artistic composition. The gardens consists of a series of outdoor 'rooms', each separated by walls and hedges framing stunning displays of perennial herbaceous plants and rare shrubs. One room is occupied only by a circular raised pool. Others have a character deriving from their inspired planting.
Afterwards enjoy a private opening at the nearby Kiftsgate Court Gardens, where you will be welcomed by the owner, Anne Chambers. This magnificently-situated garden is perched on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment. Created and developed by three generations of women gardeners, it has been carefully planned to offer harmonious color schemes. Enjoy lunch in the gardens or the tea room.
On your return to Cheltenham, stop at Stanway House for a private opening. An outstandingly-beautiful example of a Jacobean manor house, Stanway House was built in the late 16th century and noted for its gravity-fed fountain, which is the tallest in Britain.
Tonight dine privately in the main restaurant at Ellenborough Park. Dating back over 500 years, Ellenborough Park is a stunning, elegant and historic country venue. Set in parkland adjacent to the world-famous Cheltenham racecourse the venue has been masterfully restored to breathe new life to the historical elements and combine modern luxuries. You will be welcomed by the resident hotel historian to introduce you to the history of the venue, before taking your seats for a three-course dinner. Return transfers are included.
Today drive to Painswick to make a private visit to the Painswick Rococo Garden at 9:00AM. Designed in the early 1700's by Benjamin Hyett, this is the country's sole surviving rococo garden. Here you enjoy a tour conducted by the Head Gardener.
Return to Cheltenham for lunch on your own and the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
This evening dinner will be at Purslane, a local seafood restaurant.
This morning, visit the unique Sezincote House and Garden, whose enormous estate covers 4,500 acres of rolling Cotswold countryside. Intriguingly, in the heart of it stands a 200-year-old Mogul Indian palace reminiscent of the Taj Mahal. The garden has a series of spring-fed pools, connected by tumbling water that eventually works its way down the valley and into the River Evenlode below. Privately visit the gardens and receive an introduction by the Head Gardener. Return to Cheltenham for lunch on your own.
This afternoon, enjoy a private opening of Sudeley Castle, which was once home to Queen Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six wives. Take a guided tour of the castle and its magnificent Tudor gardens, before a drink reception in the Queens Garden, so called because four of England’s queens (Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I) once admired the huge array of roses found in the garden. You will be joined for dinner in the Banqueting Hall by Lady Ashcombe (subject to availability), owner of the castle.
Check-out of your hotel this morning and depart to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. The gardens present an enjoyable mix of landscaped lawns, formal gardens, glasshouses, historic buildings and a vast range of rare and beautiful plants. Take in the spectacular views of the treetops and gardens below, as if seeing through the eyes of a bird, while walking along the Treetop Walkway 60 feet above the woodland floor.
There is more to see than just the beautiful gardens as Kew boasts art galleries, sculptures and installations, including a sculpture by Henry Moore, the Marianne North Gallery and the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. Additionally, the amazing ‘Hive’ installation is made from thousands of pieces of aluminium and offers a unique experience which changes constantly as orchestral sounds and LED lights respond to activity within a real beehive.
Lunch at Kew Gardens before continuing into London to arrive at The Sloane Club.
This evening, dine privately at The Ivy Chelsea Garden, surrounded by colorful vintage botanical prints and sumptuous floral artwork. The bespoke patterned white Carrara and Fior de Pesco grey marble tiled flooring, eclectic mix of vintage dining chairs upholstered with bold floral and palm printed fabric and hanging gilt leaf pendants add a touch of glamour to the room. Return transfers will be provided.
Accommodation: *The Sloane Club
*Guests of a member at this Private Members Club.
Explore a site of royal extravagance and magnificent beauty as you discover Kensington Palace without the crowds, on an exclusive early-morning private tour. In the hands of your expert palace guide, gain a true insight into the royal history of this fascinating building, shaped by centuries of craftsmen, while you view tapestries, art and garments along the way. Explore the Queen’s State Apartments and lavish King’s State Apartments; walking through the very rooms and footsteps of monarchs who once occupied them. Allow your imagination to be transported back to the 1830's as you visualize the young Queen Victoria walking down the stairs to meet Prince Albert for the first time. Today, the palace is home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, and notably, it was where the Prince’s mother, Princess Diana, resided before them. Afterwards, when the building opens to the public, continue to explore the palace and its gardens.
Continue on to Spencer House, London’s most magnificent eighteenth-century aristocratic palace. Built for the first Earl Spencer, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales. Restored to its earlier splendor under the patronage of Lord Rothschild. It is lavishly furnished with some of the most amazing 18th century paintings and furniture that can be enjoyed during your private tour. Not far from St James's Palace, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster, the house has fine views of Green Park. The most celebrated feature is the Palm Room, where the fantastical carved and gilded palm trees is based on John Webb's design for the King's Bedchamber at Greenwich Palace. The Palm trees were chosen to underline the eighteenth-century belief in the close connection between classical architecture and nature.
Relax this afternoon in a quintessentially British way by enjoying afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason (‘the Queen’s Grocers’) which has sold tea for more than 300 years and offers an exquisite range on their menu. The rest of the department store is worth a visit, housing the finest quality British produce including handmade English chocolates, exclusive spirits and luxury homeware. You will be joined by Carolyn Robb; former executive chef to HRH Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Princes’ Harry and William. Enjoy a personal and honest account of Carolyn’s 13 years at Kensington Palace, hearing her fondest memories of the Royals whilst she reminisces on her special moments with the family. Receive a signed copy of Carolyn’s memoir ‘The Royal Touch’ from her extraordinary career at the Palace and learn of the then young Princes’ favorite treats and suppers and the highlights from her travels with the family.
Return to your hotel this afternoon and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
This evening dinner will be at a popular restaurant.
Accommodation: *The Sloane Club
Journey outside of London this morning to 400-year old Hatfield House, childhood home and favorite residence of Elizabeth I and now home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family. Enjoy a tour of the impressive gardens conducted by the Head Gardener, and you may like to add on a tour of the house.
Return to London for lunch on your own and to freshen up for this evening’s arrangements. This evening, transfer to Wiltons, a classic British restaurant, for your farewell reception and dinner.
Transfer to London Heathrow Airport for your flight home.
Photo Credit: Visit Cheltenham
Photo Credit: Mcgallery by Sofitel
**Trip is limited to 30 members**
Please Note: We anticipate a minimal (if any) increase in the land portion of this rescheduled trip based on current exchange rates. The group airfare fare will be renegotiated in May/June 2020, and you will have the choice to opt-in or opt-out of the group airfare at that time. If you originally booked group airfare with Beyond Group Travel and decide to opt-out, you will be charged a British Airways-imposed group cancellation fee of $100 per person.
**$1,500.00 per person is non-refundable upon deposit**
A passport valid through October 18, 2021 is required for this trip.
Terms and Conditions
NOT INCLUDED: Meals, sightseeing, and transportation not mentioned under included features, personal and baggage insurance, and any items of a personal nature.
AIR TRANSPORTATION: The price of this trip is based on a Group Air Fare. After tickets are issued, penalties of up to 100% may be levied if your reservations are changed or cancelled. If connecting flights are requested, special promotional fares may be used, in which case penalties of as much as 100% may be assessed by the airlines if reservations are changed or canceled after ticketing. After departure, if the reservations are changed, you will be charged a revision fee and/or a higher fare.
NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN FOR UNUSED AIR/BUS TRANSPORTATION, HOTEL ROOMS, MEALS, SIGHTSEEING TRIPS, & OTHER SERVICES NOT USED.
CANCELLATIONS: If cancellation is received between: March 17, 2020 and December 11, 2020 $1,500.00 per person is non-refundable
December 12, 2020 and April 10, 2021 NO REFUND
TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE: Beyond Group Travel, Inc. and The River Oaks Garden Club strongly recommend "Trip Cancellation" insurance to protect you against non-refundable monies should you have to cancel for accident or medical reasons prior to or while on your trip. Beyond Group Travel, Inc. will provide the registrant with the appropriate insurance application upon receipt of the registration form and deposit. The receipt of the insurance application by the traveler will constitute the traveler's acceptance or waiver of insurance coverage.
ACCIDENT & BAGGAGE INSURANCE: We recommend that you have adequate accident and baggage insurance. Beyond Group Travel, Inc. and The River Oaks Garden Club and are not responsible for personal injury, accident or illness, loss, damage or theft of luggage or personal belongings.
RESPONSIBILITY: Beyond Group Travel, Inc. and The River Oaks Garden Club act only as agents for the suppliers of travel conveyance, transport, accommodation or other service and has no responsibility in whole or in part for any delays, delayed departure or arrival, missed carrier connections, loss, death, damage or injury to person or property or accident, mechanical defect, failure or negligence of any nature howsoever caused in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services or for any substitution of hotels or of common carrier equipment, with or without notice, or for any additional expenses occasioned thereby. Further, the passenger participates in this tour at his/her own risk. Hiking, walking, use of various transportation and recreational vehicles, and other physical activity involve greater risk of physical injury than the activities which the passenger may participate in during daily life, and by taking part in those activities, the passenger incurs and assumes all risk that these activities present. RATES QUOTED ARE BASED ON TARIFFS AND EXCHANGE CURRENT AT THE TIME OF PRINTING AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGES THEREIN AT OR BEFORE THE TIME OF DEPARTURE. No revisions of the printed itinerary or its included features are anticipated; however, the right is reserved to make any changes, with or without notice, which might become necessary, with the mutual understanding that any additional expenses will be paid by the individual passenger. Package pricing is based on a minimum number of participants for trip to operate. Beyond Group Travel reserves the right to cancel program with a full refund of deposit when the number of participants is below the critical level. You will be informed of trip cancellation at least 2-3 months in advance. Baggage is at the owners’ risk throughout the trip, unless insured by the passenger. The right is retained to decline to accept or to retain any person as a member of this trip at any time, subject only to the requirement that the portion of the total amount paid which corresponds to the unused services and accommodations be refunded. If the entire program is canceled for any reason, participants shall have no claim other than for a full refund. By forwarding the deposit, the passenger certifies that he/she has no physical, mental or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/her or other passengers and accepts the terms of this contract. The airlines and other transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event, during the time passengers are not on board their conveyances. If Beyond Group Travel, Inc. is the merchant on your credit card transaction, you agree to the following: Beyond Group Travel, Inc.’s services consist of facilitating the sale and paying the Suppliers, and once Beyond Group Travel, Inc. provides said services, you agree not to dispute the credit card charge. The tour staff is responsible for the group as a whole and will not be able to assist individuals extensively, either on a regular basis or in the case of serious illness or injury.
This is a moderate to active program requiring participants to be able to walk during tours. We request you be in good health with good mobility to best enjoy this trip.
Beyond Group Travel, Inc.
9601 Katy Freeway, Suite 375
Houston, Texas 77024
Phone: 713-954-4825 | Toll Free: 877-648-1973
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