THE 'REAL' DOWNTON ABBEY
The 'real' Downton Abbey is Highclere Castle - family seat of the Earls of Carnarvon which has not surprisingly become something of a 'pilgrimage' for fans of the smash hit TV show 'Downton Abbey'.
Easily accessible from London, a visit to Highclere can be combined with a trip to the village of Bampton (around 1 hour away) - location of the home of Mrs Crawley in the series and many of the village scenes or Basildon Park, a fine Palladian Mansion used for some Downton "specials", add an excellent pub lunch between the two and you get a full "Downton day".
An alternative is to see Highclere Castle and combine it with a visit to Oxford.
Highclere Castle & Basildon Park or Bampton
1 - 4 Persons: £650.00
5 - 6 Persons: £685.00
Highclere Castle & Oxford
1 - 4 Persons: £720.00
5 - 6 Persons: £750.00
THE CHURCHILL FACTOR - CHARTWELL
Voted by a BBC poll as the "Greatest Brit", wartime leader Winston Churchill holds a deep fascination for many visitors.
Not surprisingly, Churchill needed a ‘bolt hole’ and purchased and evolved Chartwell - a house and estate in the Kent countryside to the south of London.
Here you can see the place where he dictated many of his world renowned speeches and books as well as the studio at the heart of his love affair with art plus the superb gardens he was instrumental in developing.
Chartwell offers a unique insight into Churchill’s public and private life.
A visit to Chartwell can be combined in a one day experience to include the Churchill War Rooms in London.
Alternatively, the War Rooms also work well with a visit to either Blenheim Palace (Churchill’s birth place) or Bletchley Park (home of the Code Breakers in WW2).
Churchill Trail: Blenheim Palace & Bletchley Park or Churchill War Rooms & Chartwell
1 - 4 Persons: £670.00
5 - 6 Persons: £695.00
Oxford & London are two cities where we can follow a 'trail' of locations known to Harry Potter fans the world over.
In the case of Oxford, 'Hogwarts Hall' and 'The Infirmary' and for the true Potter aficionado, a half day in Oxford can also be combined with the a visit to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour which lies on the outskirts of London.
For those with the time, rather than a day trip from London you might like to consider some 'extended touring' which could involve some overnight stays. This clearly provides a chance to experience a slice of life in rural England.
For some it offers the opportunity to follow a genealogical 'trail' which can sometimes also be done as a day tour depending on the geography.
Daily rate (assuming up to an 8 hour day & 150 miles per day) £665.00
Guides overnight allowance, £140.00 per day.