FROM LONDON


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HISTORIC ENGLISH CITIES - PRIVATE TOUR
Select a full-day city tour from our variety of options.


Day tour from London in private vehicle with accredited driver-guide.
For couples, families or small private groups (up to 7 persons). Subject to availability.
Timings: 8am-5pm. Pick-up and drop-off at any central London hotel or residence.
Prices: 1-2 passengers = £640.00; 3-4 pass = £680.00; 5-7 pass = £720.00.
Any admission fees are extra and usually payable on entry. Booking enquiries.


ITINERARY: Choose from any one of the 7 options below:


What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare? (William H. Davies).
These hi-definition city tours are perfect for those wanting a more singular tour experience. The tour is focused on just one city, which means less time spent in the vehicle, and more time to enjoy a fuller day. You might prefer detailed tours of local attractions, to relax over a leisurely lunch, or to have some time alone for a spot of shopping. Perhaps a combination of all three! Discuss your options with your guide on the day. It's your tour and your choice.


Option 1: A DAY IN BATH
After an initial fast-track out from London, this tour brings us to the city of Bath. See how the Romans made their sandal-print on British history with a visit to the stunning Roman Baths unearthed at the end of the 19th century. In medieval times a magnificent cathedral was built nearby, it's walls adorned with carvings including the famous 'stairway to heaven'. With so much history, it's not surprising that the whole city has been designated a World Heritage site.

Bath is renowned for its naturally occurring thermal waters, the only hot water mineral springs in the country. Book a health session in the new spa. The local university and college lend Bath a youthful chilled-out feel. There is a vibrant shopping centre, with all the British favourites on the main street plus alleyways of independents. There is also a great variety of places to eat. Take a drive along the Georgian streets: the whole city, entirely carved out of a local honey-coloured stone, reflects architectural achievements past and present. Fans of writer Jane Austen will discover a delightful museum dedicated to her. She wrote part of 'Northanger Abbey' here. Finish your day with an elegant afternoon English tea experience in the Victorian Pump Room, and try a glass of the famous water there.
● Usually open daily.
● Any admissions payable on entry.
● Your guide will conduct the tour.


Option 2: A DAY IN BRIGHTON
After an initial fast-track out from London, this tour brings us to the city of Brighton, probably the most famous English seaside town and very popular with holiday-makers and day-trippers. Visit the Royal Pavilion, the magnificent pleasure house built by the Regent Prince George, and future King George IV. The wayward prince installed his mistress and secret wife Mrs Fitzherbert in a house here in 1785. The house was converted into a villa, then in 1815 into a palace by the architect Nash. Mixing Hindoo, Gothic, Chinese, Rococo and Regency styles, it is a monument to frivolity. Finished in 1823, it was hardly used and sold to the local council by Queen Victoria. Quite bizarre!

Brighton contains a vibrant shopping centre which includes the quaint ‘Lanes’ district, full of odd little shops. On the shore we find the famous Brighton Beach, an original Victorian penny arcade, and the fun-filled amusement pier. Forget the diet for the afternoon, and indulge yourself with ice cream, candy floss, and of course, Brighton rock! Then we can go for a stroll along the old prom-prom, and hear the brass band play, tiddly-om-pom-pom! There are lots of things beside, that you might like to be beside, beside the seaside, beside the sea!
● Usually open daily.
● Any admissions payable on entry.
● Your guide will conduct the tour.


Option 3: A DAY IN CAMBRIDGE
After an initial fast-track out from London, this tour brings us to the city of Cambridge, a centre of academic excellence. Its famous university is referred to by arch-rivals Oxford as the 'Other Place'! It was formed by rebellious students from Oxford, and by the 15th century the change from market town to university town was complete. Unlike Oxford, however, the academic community is not so uptight, and there is a symbiotic relationship between ‘Town and Gown’, so the whole atmosphere is much more relaxed. Visit the colleges themselves, in all their gothic glory: among the most famous, Magdalen, Corpus Christi, King’s, Queens’, Jesus, Trinity and Gonville & Caius.

Cambridge is a market town and the main square often bustles with traders' stalls and carts. Visit some of its famous pubs, including the Eagle, a former coaching inn much used during during WWII by air force pilots who burned their names onto the ceiling with lighters. A decade later, leading lights from the science community, Francis Crick and James Watson came and celebrated their discovery of DNA. Other highlights include the Fitzwilliam Museum for 18th & 19th century art and classical antiquities, and the Mathematical Bridge... how on earth was it put together? Alternatively, just relax, turn off your mind, and float downstream... students earn pocket-money punting boats along the River Cam, known as the 'Backs'.
● Usually open daily.
● Any admissions payable on entry.
● Your guide will conduct the tour.


Option 4: A DAY IN DOVER
After an initial fast-track out from London, this tour brings us to the town of Dover. Dover is England’s right foot and has been the country’s front line since time immemorial. Julius Caesar was thwarted here and it became the main fortification in the Saxon shore defences. The Normans built the original castle with a warren of tunnels underneath. King Henry II had it built as a 'hospitality suite' for foreign dignitaries visiting Thomas Beckett's shrine. In England's first ever state visit, the French king Louis VII stayed here. It was then used as a defence against him, and in later centuries, Napoleon and Hitler. Simply packed with history. Nearby are the famed White Cliffs made legendary in song.
● Usually open daily.
● Any admissions payable on entry.
● Your guide will conduct the tour.


Option 5: A DAY IN OXFORD
After an initial fast-track out from London, this tour brings us to the Cityof Oxford, famous throughout the world as an ancient seat of learning. With a visit to one of the more famous colleges, your guide will explain the mysterious traditions of its university system, which sets it apart from other centres of academia, and the real world! We get some complaints about the academic haughtiness towards visitors, but a little forewarning from your guide will help you to smile at the bumptious attitudes. There is a variety of museums to visit in Oxford including the renowned Bodleian Library and the famous Ashmolean Museum. But for something a little out of the ordinary why not try the Pitt-Rivers? Founded by the worthily-named Lieutenant-General Augustus Lane Fox Pitt Rivers in 1884, this spooky collection contains some 300,000 curious objects, such as poisonous blowpipes, witches in bottles and shrunken heads. Over to James Martin Fenton, former Oxford Professor of Poetry: "Yes, you have come upon the fabled lands where myths go when they die, ...a mute violin, whistling arrows, coolie cigarettes, and a mask of Saagga, the Devil Doctor, the eyelids worked by strings." Gulp!

With over 40 colleges, and numerous university buildings covering the medieval to Georgian architectural spectrum, the city is stunningly picturesque. The poet Matthew Arnold famously described it as ‘That sweet city with her dreaming spires’. There are fun elements too. Fans of Harry Potter will recognize the great hall at the famous Christchurch College, while fans of Alice in Wonderland will note a number of references. The busy covered market place prides itself as the front line of the 'Town', hard pressed against the rival 'Gown' of the academic district (Town v Gown rivalry stretches back centuries!). For a place to relax, there are many watering holes, including the famous Eagle & Child inn, where Tolkein, creator of the Lord of the Rings series, and C. S. Lewis, author of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe would often meet for inspiration. Alternatively, seek out the hidden pub where Bill Clinton allegedly 'didn't inhale'!
● Usually open daily.
● Any admissions payable on entry.
● Your guide will conduct the tour.


Option 6: A DAY IN PORTSMOUTH
After an initial fast-track out from London, this tour brings us to the city of Portsmouth, located on Portsea Island on the south coast. It is the most densely populated city in the UK and surrounded by water. Not surprisingly, it has been a significant naval port for centuries. Portsmouth is home to the world's oldest dry dock where many of the Royal Navy’s most famous fighting ships can be visited. Your ticket into the dockyard entitles you entry to all museums and displays within the precincts, as well as a boat trip round the historic harbour, which features the very latest high-tech additions to the British Navy. This really is an amazing experience and the tour is especially recommended for ‘the chaps’.

It was Henry VIII who began the work to build the most powerful navy in world. Here we can see his flagship, the Mary Rose, which sank in neighbouring waters during a battle in 1545 and was not seen again until it was famously raised from the seabed in 1982. For the first time since, it is on exhibition without the need for the continuous preservation spray required to wash out the wood. Also on display is the 19,000 objects found with her, the best collection of everyday objects from Tudor England. Moving onto a couple of centuries, we can visit Admiral Nelson's remarkably preserved flagship HMS Victory. Get below-deck to see how this elegant wooden dame morphed into a fearsome she-devil when the order came to 'Beat to Quarters.' This is the ship on which the Nelson was shot during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and you can visit the scene of this drama on board. The famous sea-warrior's life, actions, and the Battle of Trafalgar itself are discussed as we visit the museum nearby which features the actual sail from the Victory and a number of other objects related to this time. And talking of sea-warriors, we can also hop on board the awesome HMS Warrior, which, when completed in 1861, was the largest, fastest, most heavily-armoured warship the world had ever seen. A natural deterrent to all-comers which ensured Britain’s mastery of the ocean waves for the rest of the 19th century.
● Usually open daily.
● Any admissions payable on entry.
● Your guide will conduct the tour.


Option 7: A DAY IN WINCHESTER
Once an old Roman town, Winchester became the capital of England during the Middle Ages. There are strong royal connections, harking back to the legendary King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Some say Winchester was Camelot. It was the 9th century king Alfred the Great who made it the first capital of Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex. His grandson Aethelstan was the first king of all England. Winchester is the burial place of the Viking king Canute and the birth place of the Norman king William II and Plantagenet king Henry III. Both Henry IV and Bloody Mary were married here. William the Conqueror's great medieval record, the Domesday Book, was compiled here in 1086. Winchester College is the oldest public school in England founded 1382 by William Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and chancellor to King Richard II. There are 600 students in 10 boarding houses. Famous old boys include the theatre impresario D’Oyley Carte. The Hospital of St Cross is the oldest charitable organisation in England. It still hands out the 'Wayfarer’s Dole' to travellers if claimed – a cup of ale and a slice of bread. Because of the historic nature and architecture of the city, it has appeared as a movie location many times, including the films, 'The Da Vinci Code', 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age', and 'Pride and Prejudice'. In fact, Winchester is the burial place of Jane Austen.

Winchester Cathedral, built in 1097 is one of the UK’s oldest. Originally it was constructed in the bulky Romanesque style, but later remodelled in the decorated Gothic, then perpendicular Gothic styles. The monks of the attached monastery were once attacked by the locals for burying plague victims in the church, in the heart of town, rather than outlying plague pits. In the 19th century the cathedral was found to be sinking. The solution? Between 1906-1911 a man in deep-sea diver’s suit worked 6 hours a day underneath laying sacks of cement to underpin it!
● Usually open daily.
● Admission payable on entry.
● Your guide will conduct the tour.



TOUR PRICES:

FULL DAY PRIVATE TOUR FROM LONDON (8am-5pm)

PRICE
(not including entrance fees)

TOUR BY PRIVATE CAR (1-2 passengers)

£640.00
(+ any entrance fees)

TOUR BY PRIVATE CAR (3-4 passengers)

£680.00
(+ any entrance fees)

TOUR BY PRIVATE CAR (5-7 passengers)

£720.00
(+ any entrance fees)



CLICK HERE FOR BOOKINGS & ENQUIRIES




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BOOKING POLICY AND NOTES:
Bookings are dealt with on a one-to-one basis via e-mail only.
To secure your preferred date we recommend booking well in advance.
We do not accept bookings with less than 72 hours notice.
All tours subject to availability. Booking will not go ahead until availability is confirmed.
Tour is not guaranteed to go ahead until 100% of payment is received.
We do not usually pre-book tickets for attractions. We recommended these are paid
  for at the gate on the day. In circumstances where pre-booking is the only option for
  attractions, tickets must be paid for in advance and are non-refundable.
Administration fees may be added for extensive itineraries or advance ticket booking.
We do not arrange flights, accommodation, travel tickets or tickets for special events.
For full policies, terms & conditions click here.



PRACTICAL TOUR INFO:

Important note: 'Private tour' means a privately chartered guided tour. It does not entail exclusive private access. We do not offer tours to individuals wishing to join a larger group (for this you require a scheduled coach tour operator).

Timings: A recommended start time ensures the tour runs to schedule. The duration of this tour is timed from pick-up to drop-off and usually includes built-in stops for photo opportunities, facilities, and a one-hour lunch break.

Pick-up/drop-off: You can be picked-up for your tour anywhere in the central London area, whether at your hotel, place of residence, or venue of your request. The same applies as a dropping-off point after the tour. Tours from London may use fastest routes.

Vehicle: Our typical vehicle is a luxury people carrier. Usually a high-spec 7-passenger Mercedes, with leather seats, armrests, headrests, air-conditioning, tinted windows, front and rear electric sunroof, sliding passenger doors and luggage space.

Driver-Guide: Our presentable, professional and friendly guides drive fully insured private vehicles and carry the British 'Blue Badge' accreditation allowing them to conduct tours, walks and interior visits of major London venues and other UK attractions.

Tour: The main tour is conducted personally by the guide, providing knowledgeable commentary, and assisting with practical issues. Sections of the tour may be conducted by in-house docents or using audio devices, but your guide may still escort you.

Lunch: An appropriate restaurant, traditional pub, or sandwich stop can be arranged for lunch (note: tour price does not include food or refreshments). Alternatively, you may want to bring a pre-packed lunch. The guide may take a rest during this period.

Clothing: Clients should dress appropriately making allowances for the changeable British weather, outdoor activities or visiting churches, etc. Our main tip is to dress comfortably. For more tips to help make your tour even more enjoyable click here.

Format: The tour has been specially researched and designed by our staff (copyright applies) and is exclusive to Your London Tours & associates. Selected elements of different tours may be combined to create other tour options.

General: Rest assured with Your London Tours: All our tours are tailored to YOUR requirements. The guide will be exclusively dedicated to your family or group during the tour itself, so you will be able to relax and enjoy your day.



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