All Season Tours






Where Britain is divided into four separate countries, England itself is made up of four quite distinctive areas--The South of England, Heart of England, East of England, and England's North Country--each offering something unique and exciting: majestic moorland and craggy peaks, lush green fields and fens, wide sandy beaches and quaint fishing villages. But England is not just countryside–there are elegant, refined and historic cities with Roman, Georgian, Tudor and Victorian influences; architectural splendors; university cities; cathedral cities and other vibrant, exciting cities with museums, art galleries, modern trendy restaurants, nightlife and some amazing theater. Whatever quintessentially English characteristic you crave--afternoon tea, cricket on the village green, a walk along the promenade or great theater and shopping--England has something for everyone.


Two international airports at Birmingham and Manchester offer direct flights to and from the US. Or you can fly to London and use the great network of trains and buses, purchase a tour package, or rent a car and drive yourself. Wondering where to stay? You'll find hotels, hostels and hostelries, traditional thatched cottages, city apartments, farms, stately manors and an abundance of charming bed & breakfasts--something to suit everyone's taste and budget.

The South of England


England's "Land of Heritage" from Dover on the east coast with its famous White Cliffs to Land's End in the West. The southeast counties of Kent, Surrey, East- and West-Sussex are known as the "Garden of England", where you'll find castles and gardens galore, many with royal or literary connections --Dickens, Chaucer, Henry VIII. Follow "1066 Country" along the coast to Hastings or Rye and to Brighton--a traditional English seaside resort famous for its Pavilion and antiques. The River Thames flows from London through the Chiltern Hills of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire, and the University town of Oxford. If you arrive by ship, you'll probably dock in Southampton, on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire. Take a ferry to the Isle of Wight or Channel Islands to explore the historic warships and Naval Museum in Portsmouth. Dorset is Thomas Hardy country, but you'll find plenty of other literary connections in the south from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie--especially in the "English Riviera" towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Ancient Stonehenge is probably the most famous and most popular tourist spot in Wiltshire, but there are abundant monuments and hillside figures, from giants to white horses, in the area. Walk or hike the coastal trails of Devon and Cornwall, or explore the wind-swept moors with rocky Tors and delightful wild ponies, but don't miss the thriving art-lovers resort, St Ives, with its modern Tate Gallery or Tintagel--the Birthplace of King Arthur. Try a taste of local cider from the orchards of Somerset, or cheese from Cheddar Gorge in the Mendip Hills, explore Exmoor, climb Glastonbury Tor. Designated a World Heritage Site, the city of Bath is awash with architecture, history and culture. Highlights include the Roman Baths, Pulteney Bridge, the Royal Crescent and Bath Abbey. The compact streets are also filled with charming shops and restaurants. At the end of 2002, a remarkable new Spa opens in Bath, drawing on the UK's only natural hot springs. You could also find out about our maritime heritage in Bristol -- there's something for everyone in the South."


Heart of England


Discover the Heart of England, and over 2,000 years of civilization in a land famed for its natural beauty and heritage. Shropshire, in the west of the region, is where England meets Wales. Home of Brother Cadfael and Ironbridge you will also find beautiful medieval towns with distinctive "black and white" Tudor architecture that continues into Herefordshire. The cathedral city of Worcester lies in the midst of unspoiled rolling countryside and the Malvern Hills. Cheltenham, a Regency Spa town, marks the start of the "Romantic Road" that leads you through the Gloucestershire Cotswold villages, with their honey-colored picturesque stone cottages. Shakespeare Country is Stratford-upon-Avon, where you'll find the Bard's birthplace, former home and final resting place, and of course Shakespeare Theater, Historic Warwick, with its famous medieval castle, Kenilworth and Royal Leamington Spa. Birmingham offers a great gateway to the region with its international airport, but don't miss out on a great city bursting with art, culture, music, nightlife and shopping. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Royal Ballet are world class, and the Jewelry Quarter is a shopper's hidden gem. The Black Country highlights Britain's industrial heritage, and The Potteries, in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, is the birthplace of English ceramics: Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Spode, Minton, Portmeirion, Moorcroft or Ansley, and more. Derbyshire and the surrounding hills of the Peak District offer a walker's paradise, stately homes and Bakewell Puddings. Lincolnshire borders the east coast, with its cathedral city, Lincoln, the bustling market town of Boston--associated with the pilgrim fathers--and the annual spectacular flower and bulb festival in Spalding. Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest, in Nottinghamshire, where the English Civil War began and ended, although Nottingham is just as famous for its beautiful handmade lace. Leicestershire is renowned for Stilton cheese, Pork Pies and where Richard III met his untimely end, while Althorp in Northamptonshire was the family home of Diana, Princess of Wales, surrounded by more rolling countryside and wide, unspoiled open spaces--all just waiting to be explored.

East of England


Coast and countryside, gardens and historic houses, cathedral cities and gentle waterways...take time to explore the "Real England". In Cambridgeshire, you can explore the cathedral cities Peterborough and Ely, find the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell in Huntingdon, cycle along the great dykes of the Fens, punt along the river in the university town of Cambridge, or visit the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. From the Royal home at Sandringham to the cathedral city of Norwich, Norfolk offers pretty villages, bustling market towns, famous gardens like those at Norfolk Lavender, beach resorts and miles of tranquil waterways--The Norfolk Broads. The Heritage County of Suffolk is the home of horse racing, at Newmarket, and artists Gainsborough and Constable. You'll find Anglo-Saxon villages, medieval abbeys and churches, thatched, timbered cottages--a haven for sailing, bird-watching and antique collectors alike--and the annual Aldeburgh Festival. Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire are home to several historic houses including Hatfield House, Knebworth House and Woburn Abbey. The famous "Gardens of the Rose" are in the Roman town of Verulamium, St Albans, and aviation enthusiasts won't want to miss the historic collection at Shuttleworth. Colchester in Essex is Britain's oldest recorded town, founded by the Romans, and there are other historic country towns like Saffron Walden. The old port town of Maldon and the friendly seaside resorts at Clacton and Southend-on-Sea are all part of Essex's charm. Harwich is the gateway to Holland and Europe, with regular ferries across the North Sea. Stansted in Essex, London's third airport, now offers direct flights from the US--so it's even easier to explore this region.

England’s North Country


A region of stunning countryside and coastline, historic and fashionable cities, five National Parks and its own magical island...The Kingdom of the Isle of Man. A region that begins with Roman occupation through Viking, Norman, Medieval and Victorian times and extends to the vibrant culture of today.

Manchester International Airport is the gateway to the North and to England's Northwest region, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the Rolls Royce, the first passenger trains, great soccer clubs and the Beatles! The region is dominated by the great Victorian cities of Manchester and Liverpool, two of England's most dynamic spots, with grand old architecture alongside modern museums, art galleries, restaurants and a thriving nightlife. In Manchester, look out for the new Lowry Gallery complex or take a trip to sporting legend at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United Soccer Club. No trip to Liverpool would be complete without a Magical Mystery Tour of the Fab Four's famous haunts, but also check out the Maritime Museum or take a ferry across the Mersey from the renovated waterfront. The magnificent Roman city of Chester, with its distinct black and white Tudor architecture and Norman cathedral, is the heart of Cheshire, a county rich in gardens and manor houses including Tatton Park with its wonderful annual flower show. Travel through the Ribble Valley in Lancashire and follow the Pendle Witches Trail to medieval Lancaster Castle, where the witches stood trial. There's plenty of golf here, too, at Lytham St Anne's and the elegant resort of Southport. Blackpool with its Pleasure Beach and its world famous Illuminations is Britain's most popular seaside resort.

The Lake District, in the heart of Cumbria, is an area of outstanding natural beauty with sixteen great lakes, from which rise huge mountains and craggy fells. It was here that Wordsworth, Keats and Beatrix Potter all found inspiration. Carlisle, with its castle and majestic cathedral, lies on the border with Scotland, and marks the start of the great Roman Hadrian's Wall, which originally stretched from coast to coast. Towards the east, Newcastle on the River Tyne offers another exciting and vibrant city. Northumbria offers dramatic windswept coastline and rugged, desolate moorland from Holy Island and the ruins of Lindisfarne Abbey to the open-air museum at Beamish, famous for vintage steam engines. County Durham is the land of the Price Bishops who once ruled this area like Kings from the great Norman Cathedral at Durham, which dominates the skyline of this historic city. The Durham Dales form part of the North Pennines, with wooded valleys, rivers, waterfalls and pretty stone

villages--a great place to walk and hike. Yorkshire is the county where the rugged Pennines meet the brooding moors--the inspiration for the Bronte sisters' literary works, and to the Yorkshire Dales, celebrated in the books and TV series of vet James Herriot. You'll find a wealth of grand, stately homes at Castle Howard and Harewood House, spectacular remains at Fountains and Rievaulx Abbeys, and the National Railway Museum in York. The historic city of York is not to be missed--with its medieval city wall, the largest Gothic cathedral in Europe, The Minster, and narrow streets (the Shambles is the narrowest of all!), which are lined with traditional shops and restaurants within tall medieval buildings. The Jorvik Viking Center recreates the Viking way of life in the ancient city. Leeds in West Yorkshire offers both old and new, from Victorian architecture to new and exciting redevelopments along the canal where you'll find the Royal Armories Museum, relocated from the Tower of London. To the east, in Humberside, where the river meets the North Sea, Hull offers ferries to Scandinavia and Europe, while further north in Whitby, you'll find great fish 'n' chips and the spooky ruined abbey, scene of Bram Stokers' Dracula. Harrogate is an elegant Victorian town, with beautiful botanic gardens and plenty of tearooms. So much to see--so little time.