Welcome2Britain

Home » Articles posted by Welcome2Britain

Author Archives: Welcome2Britain

Visit Bath. Sightseeing in the City,

As ‘The Original Wellbeing Destination’ Bath has been a destination for fun, relaxation and pleasure since 46AD!  The City of Bath was made a World Heritage site in 1987 and is best known for its Roman Built baths, from which it received its name, Aquae Sulis. 

The Royal Crescent, one of Bath’s most iconic landmarks, was built between 1767 and 1775 and designed by John Wood the Younge

Bath is one of my favourite places to visit outside of London, it is a brilliant place to spend the day in or stay for a few days. It makes a great springboard to the many other exciting parts of the South West of England.  You can get from London, Paddington by train in 90 minutes for as little as £25.00.  After spending a few days there it’s easy to head south into Devon and Cornwall, west to Wales or north to Manchester and Liverpool.

The largest city in the county of Somerset, Bath has a population of about 90,000, including two universities, which add to the city’s special energy and sense of fun!  Baths compact streets and bustling centre overflow with restaurants and cafes for refreshment and makes it a perfect place to wander around its many museums, galleries and sites of interest.  It really is the place to eat, drink and be merry!

You don’t have to wait until the summer to visit, there are festivals in the city throughout the year so it’s always a good idea to check what special events are planned when you visit. 

Constructed almost entirely of local, biscuit-coloured sandstone (referred to as Bath Stone or Cotswold Stone) and nestled between rolling hills, Bath has been brilliantly described as ‘a drop of  honey in a sea of green.’  It lies at the centre of The Cotswolds, which consists of five counties boasting some of the most beautiful countryside and quintessentially English villages the UK can offer.  The word ‘Cotswold’ means ‘sheep enclosed in rolling hillsides’ a reference to the area’s high dependency since the Medieval period on the woollen trade and farming in general since before the Romans arrived.  It even has its own breed of sheep – the Cotswold Lion!

The Roman Baths and Bath Abbey are a must when visiting the city

There is an excellent choice of independent shops around the city.   Bath Aqua Glass (bathaquaglass.com) is one of my favourites.  It produces its own blue tinged glass, creating bespoke items of glassware, jewellery and stained glass. I’ve bought several pieces in the past, it’s perfect for those tricky to buy for gifts.  You can watch the crafts people in action as they demonstrate their amazing skills or even book a practical glassblowing experience!

Independent Spirit of Bath (shop.independentspiritofbath.co.uk) sells an amazing range of artisan gin, single malt whiskies and some of the best UK and world craft beers.  I highly recommend the local Mead or ‘honey wine’. Given as a gift since the 1300s to newly married couples who would celebrate their nuptials during the first month of marriage with a nip of  the wine each evening to get to know each other a little better….it’s where the term ‘Honeymoon’ comes from, making it an ideal wedding or anniversary gift, just remember to buy yourself a bottle too!

The Georgian architecture gives the city a very distinctive feel and you really do feel as if you have stepped into a Jane Austin novel!  Several free tours, sponsored by the local council start from outside the Baths and bring the literary legacy of the city alive  – Charles Dickens wrote some of The Pickwick Papers in Bath and Mary Shelley completed her gothic novel, Frankenstein, there.  Buildings where these authors stayed are just a few minutes from the Baths as is the welcoming Jane Austin Centre which chronicles the life of the fascinating writer, surely the inventor of ‘Girl Power’!  They also boast a wonderful TeaRoom which recently achieved a Tea Guild ‘Award of Excellence’ so you know you’re in for a great cuppa, the Brits favourite brew!

Examples of Palladian architecture are seen all over the city, this style became very popular in London, one example of this style is the facade of Buckingham Palace.  The Classical references of symmetry with columns, pillars, pilasters and cornices are just a few architectural features you will become very familiar with in Bath but most striking are the large number of windows the design allows.  London visitors would jealously comment the extra light Bath residents enjoyed. Three places that best show the splendour of Bath architecture are Queen Square, The Circus and The Royal Crescent itself.  They are all within 15-20 minutes walk and well worth exploring. 

The Architects John Wood the Elder and his son (also called John Wood!) were responsible for the architecture of all three. 

Queen Square is the first of the three elements that make up the sequence of some of Baths most amazing architecture. Each of the four sides contains several apartments and were designed to represent a palace with wings and a forecourt when viewed from any side.  An Obelisk dedicated to Fredrick, Prince of Wales is worth taking a look at in the centre of the garden.

Lacock Village and the scenic Cotswolds are just a stones throw from Bath and small group tours depart daily.

The Circus is a ring of houses just a short walk away which has three entrances, each showing a classical facade. Its dimensions are based on the nearby monument of Stonehenge as the architect believed Bath was a centre of Druid activity.  Take a moment or two to look at some of the 525 triglyphs (symbols) which represent science and nature, serpents of myth and nautical imagery, etc adorning the frieze that runs all the way around the Circus.  Nicholas Cage has a house on the Circus (I won’t tell which but you might notice the one door without a number that is his!)

The Royal Crescent is the creme de la creme of Bath’s architecture, with 30 terraced houses, all Grade I listed, it boasts 114 Ionic columns and was the very first crescent of terraced houses in England.  The view from the top of the terrace is wonderful stretching over Victoria Park.

Once you have had a good look around The Royal Crescent and maybe grabbed a bite to eat on your way back into the centre of the city there are still loads of great places to explore. 

The most obvious being The Roman Baths themselves – 1.3 million visitors a year can’t be wrong!

The Roman baths were built over the site of  a Celt temple, known by the Romans as Aqua Sulis (Latin for Waters of Sulis).  Bath quickly became a very important centre in their rule over the English (this was because of the importance of farming in the Cotswolds, remember the sheep – Cotswold Lions?!) The baths themselves are some of the best preserved in the world, containing the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House together with a museum of artefacts from the Roman City Aqua Sulis.

The baths are now enclosed in a 19th Century building and, sadly, it’s no longer possible to bathe in the waters due to health and safety regulations although the water is drinkable once treated with ultraviolet light to stop you suffering any tummy troubles!  Many believe that ‘taking the waters’ is of great benefit to your health due to its special properties- it contains many vitamins and minerals, there is a Grand Pump Room where you can do this.  Some people stay for a cup of tea in the tea room but personally I’d just pop in, walk to the back if the tea room and sample a glass or two of the special water from the free drinking fountain – there must be some truth in it’s mystical properties because I’ll be 259 in November!

Just next to the Baths themselves is my favourite place to visit, Bath Abbey.   It is free to visit (although they do ask for a donation) and if you time it right you can have a guided visit of the tower.  It is a beautiful building bursting with history and the wonderful volunteers are full of amazing stories and about the Abbey.  A place of worship has been on the site from before the rule of Oliver Cromwell in 1066.  After many rebuilds and restorations its present exterior is one of the largest Perpendicular Gothic design buildings in England with a similar architectural design to Westmister Abbey in London.

My favourite parts of the abbey date from the late 15th / 16th century when Bishop Oliver King visited,  he describes that the monks there lacked discipline, were idle and “all too eager to succumb to the temptations of the flesh.”  However he had a dream in which he “saw the Heavenly Host on high with angels ascending and descending by ladder” and commanded that a new building be constructed, from then on, much of the Abbey’s income was dedicated to creating a new cathedral.  On either side of the Western front door is a Jacob’s Ladder to represent his dream, look out for the ‘Fallen Angel’ on either side.   Above the door is a statue of Henry VII, father of notorious Henry VIII.  The building is one of few religious buildings to survive Henry VIII’s quarrel with the Catholic church and development of the Church of England  – I bet he saw his dad up there and decided that he better not touch the building!

Henry VII refused to allow Bishop Oliver King to have his own name or a statue added to the building for which he was very proud,  however, look closely on each side of the North Door and you’ll see a strange carving of a mitre (a Bishop’s hat), above an Olive tree (Oliver), encircled by a crown (king) – a clever workaround by the sneaky Bishop who added his name in this way not once but twice!

These are just a few of the places I love in Bath – a place to eat, drink and be merry, and keep anyone entertained – I hope to see you there soon!

Other attractions in Bath that I will mention in a Blog of their own soon include – Pultney Bridge, Therme Bath Spa, Holburne Museum, the Fashion Museum, Sally Lunn’s Tea House, The Herschel Museum of Astronomy Theatre Royal, American Museum, Victoria Art Gallery Bath Postal Museum, Museum of Bath at Work, and No. 1 Royal Crescent.

There are daily coach tours departing from London that also visit Stonehenge and other attractions in the South West and we operate daily small group tours departing from Bath and organise private guided sighseeing tours for families and small groups. We also offer transfer tours starting at London, Salisbury, Southampton and Bath.

The U.K Small Group Touring Company
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

Planning travel to the U.K.? Book now before the rush, VisitBritain says.

VisitBritain is encouraging travel advisors to get their clients thinking about, and booking, their vacations now, as demand will likely outpace supply when the United Kingdom opens to international travel.

“What we do know, in terms of hard data, is that there is pent-up demand for travel,” said Gavin Landry, VisitBritain’s executive vice president for the Americas, during a virtual fireside chat with Travel Leaders Network president Roger Block on Wednesday.

VisitBritain has a consumer sentiment tracker that found 70% of consumers are likely to take an international trip this year. Of that, 40% said they definitely will, Landry said, and among that group almost two-thirds has not yet decided where to go, nor have they booked.

“This is a great opportunity for Britain,” he said.

While the U.K. is still in lockdown, the government recently released a path to reopening, which includes allowing international travel no earlier than May 17. As restrictions start to ease, Landry said, VisitBritain will activate marketing campaigns in all of its markets, including North America, with inspirational messages to rebuild confidence in international travel.

Based on the U.K.’s reopening plan, Landry said, attractions will be open to travelers once restrictions on international travel ease. 

Operators will likely require that visitors pre-book the experiences for specific times to enable safety precautions like social distancing. While that will require additional planning for travelers and their advisors, it will also present an opportunity to visit famous historic sites like the Tower of London and Stonehenge with fewer crowds than there would have been pre-pandemic, Landry said. How long that will last is unknown.

Great Britain offers a number of outdoor options for travelers, Landry said, including its beaches and coastal cliffs.

Right now, VisitBritain is focused on people who are holding travel credits and trying to convert those to U.K. trips. It has partnered with a number of suppliers that are providing itineraries.

While there are many options for travelers, Landry believes “demand will outstrip supply initially,” so VisitBritain is encouraging advisors to ask their clients to dream about travel now and get planning.

SOURCE: US TRAVEL WEEKLY

Due to this pandemic, the demand for private guided tours is increasing rapidly throughout this summer. BOOK A PRIVATE TOUR / TRANSFER NOW – CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Email the British Tour experts today for a prompt reply
info@welcome2britain.com

The U.K Small Group Touring Company
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

Visit Britain 2021. Avoid Big Sightseeing Coach Tours and Book a Covid19 Safe Private Guided Tour.

In the wake of the current Covid-19 pandemic public transport and big coach tours has become less of a safe prospect and unsurprisingly less appealing. Social distancing is now essential for the wellbeing of the general populace as well as essential in blunting the spike in new Coronavirus cases. It can be hard maintaining proper social distancing measures on large coach group tours, so for the good U.K tourism, we are offering our private guided tour services as an alternative and crucially safe option. 

We take extra care so you stay safe!

Ultimately, Travel in the UK can be as safe and enjoyable as it always has been. The UK has an abundance of rural tourist destinations which are as beautiful and historically laden as any in the cities. If you follow the critical advice from health experts and book privately, it is easy to stay totally safe and have a fascinating vacation simultaneously. So why not take the private tour option this year or next and keep your family safe, whilst still showing them the time of their lives!

Why risk it? Due to COVID-19 private hire transport is much safer than using crowed coach tours, especially with the fastidiously precautions we have put in place; going above and beyond the necessary precautions recommended by the government, whilst also providing a high quality of service and an extremely comfortable journey.

Our private guided tours allow for collection right from your hotel door, reducing the risk of exposure from low to near non-existent.

Our private tours and transfers allow for collection right from your hotel door, reducing the risk of exposure from low to near non-existent.

Advice from medical experts has recommended avoiding crowded public places. One of the best ways to do this and still enjoy the rich delights of British tourism is to book yourself a private tour experience as opposed to crowded coach trips or making your own way on public transport. Here I hope to relay 5 key benefits of a private tour, especially in the face of the worlds current Coronavirus fears.

Avoid busy coaches and crucially reduce exposure to the Corona virus. A fact to which I have already alluded, but it is a crucial one to remember. Coaches buy nature thrust one into close proximity with a large group of strangers. It is entirely possible to get coach tours refunded and switch to a private tour – a lot of 3rd party online companies will offer refunds as close to 48 hours before departure.

No need for public transport or busy coach stations – with collection straight from your hotel door. The coach station’s themselves, as well as train stations and underground stations, pose a similar risk to the public. Private tours allow for collection right from your door, reducing the risk of exposure from low to near non-existent.

Coach trips cause large crowds at various monuments. Numerous coaches arrive at the same time to create ‘peak times’, which again pose a risk in the current climate. A private tour has the luxury of choice. Avoiding these peak times will not only lower risk of exposure but also make for a more relaxed atmosphere at any given monument, leaving you in peace to admire our cultural history.

Safety for the whole family. Private tours are ideal for keeping your children out of harm’s way. Private tours are perfectly suited to families, keeping everyone together with no one else to interrupt the family quality time, apart from an experienced and knowledgeable guide, whilst minimising the potential exposure of your children.

The flexibility of our private tours allows for a more sequestered experience at every turn. Private tours are ideal for finding delightful rural places to enjoy lunch, in quiet village locations. Once again, you can avoid the often-hectic services on UKs motorways and cafés/restaurants near to monuments.

We have implemented the following actions to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Virus:

Our Licensed Driver / Guide… are fully briefed on the symptoms associated with Covid-19 and what is required of them to act with the utmost propriety. Before your vehicle even arrives, the vehicle will be sanitised internally and door handles will be cleaned. All drivers will have washed their hands thoroughly and will be wearing a face mask, at all times. Hand sanitiser will be provided, ready and waiting for all customers.

Our Insured Vehicles… have been specially adapted for your safety, with purpose-built Perspex divides installed between driver and passengers eliminating the risk of any contamination.

Picking you up… Your driver will not shake your hand – you will be asked if you would like your driver to load the luggage or if you would prefer to do this yourself. Unless all seats are required, you will be asked to sit in the rear of the vehicle, to maximise social distancing at all times. Our 9 seat minvans will be reduced to 7 seats for your safety.

Even After you have arrived at each of your tourist destinations your driver / guide will be busy meticulously repeating this process to the letter, while you can carry on your day with your peace of mind intact.

In these strange times, the safety of both our staff and our clients is of paramount importance, and, as always, the comfort of our clients remains at the heart of our business. These special safety measures have been brought in in addition to the abundance of premium tour services we offer.

Getting around safely is essential, so in this scary time don’t take unnecessary risks and travel in safety and luxury with us – professional, comfortable and most importantly safe. See you soon.

Due to this pandemic, the demand for private guided tours is increasing rapidly throughout this summer. BOOK A PRIVATE TOUR / TRANSFER NOW – CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Email the British Tour experts today for a prompt reply
info@welcome2britain.com

The U.L Small Group Touring Company
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

Visit Glorious England!

Soaked in history and beauty – the British Isles should be considered a priority for any self-respecting traveller. If you have never visited ‘this sceptred isle’ before then there are a thousand reasons to tempt you over – I hope to show you just a portion, in the hopes you may discover the rest.

Avebury Stone Circle

Avebury henge and stone circles are one of the greatest marvels of prehistoric Britain.

History
England is a fascinating tapestry of history, threads from all our many disparate periods interweave to create the stunningly complex picture you see today. Great Britain became an island around 5600 BC, when it completed its gradual break off from the European sub-continent. And since then the island has been a hub of human history, much of which is still visible, especially as we hurtle through the millennia. 

Throughout the country there is still evidence of prehistoric human life, the arcane roots of British history. Nowhere is this better seen than in the Southwest, England’s Neolithic heartland. Here you can see Stonehenge, the most striking of England’s ancient monuments. This 5,000-year-old site is as ancient as the Great Pyramid at Giza and just as mysterious and is complemented by a landscape littered with similarly ancient monuments – like Avebury Stone circle.

Leaping forward, our island couldn’t avoid European history for long as the Romans first invaded in 55BC, before becoming our masters in 87 BC. During there dominion they erected thousands of buildings across the country in their bold classical style. You are never far from Roman history in England, but the best sites include: the roman baths in Bath (I wonder where the town got its name?), which are stunningly well preserved or Fishbourne Palace in Chichester. Or, for the traveller who wants to stray all the way to the Anglo-Scottish border, Hadrian’s wall is a true wonder of this isle.

Despite plummeting into the dark ages after the Roman’s departure, we soon recovered and a whole procession of Kings and Queens sculpted this county into its current shape with varying degrees of grandeur. Now our country is beset with castles – over 1500 in total (in various states of repair!). Some of the best to see today include, Warwick Castle or Dover Castle. Or why not visit Hampton Court, built by Thomas Wolsey before he was executed, and the property was seized by Henry VIII.

Or if you would prefer the relatively modern castles, the royal family currently have 26 royal residences, some of which you can visit such as Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. Or, some of the UK’s most historic and breath-taking homes are open to the public. The National Trust alone owns of 200 stately homes, and there are more still, each one a cornucopia of history and its own miniature tapestry of famous names and events: try Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth House or Highclere Castle.

Salisbury Cathedral

Explore over 800 years of history at Salisbury Cathedral, one of the UK’s most iconic medieval buildings with an award-winning welcome. Discover our original 1215 Magna Carta, one of only four in the world, and explore its legacy in an interactive exhibition

Beauty
Although the surface of England is strewn with sites of historical significance, (many of which are beautiful in their own rights), the landscape of England is also as various and beautiful as any country in the world. And this natural beauty is evident all over! There are 13 national parks in England and Wales, all of which are uniquely stunning. Try the austere attraction of the new Forest, or the Tranquil majesty of the Lake District, or perhaps the mysterious Dartmoor and Exmoor, or the heady Peak District.

We have hardly scratched the surface of the burgeoning history this island represents and could hardly illustrate the wondrous sumptuousness of the place. The marriage of these two cornerstones of tourism is what makes England so special to visit and it really has to be seen to be believed – so visit glorious England!

The Small Group Touring Company operate unique mini coach day tours and extended U.K sightseeing tours throughout Britain.

The Small Group Touring Company
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

Coronavirus – is it safe to travel to the UK? The answer is a yes!

Concerns over the new Coronavirus are sweeping the globe – with cases reaching European shores people are beginning to wonder if it is still safe to travel across Europe, particularly the UK. The answer is a yes. Although the UK count is rising, the number remains relatively low (319 at the time of writing).  

coronavirus-london-uk-holidays-travel-warning-news-latest-1241504

There are many reasons not to be too concerned about the coronavirus, as long as you are considerate of the symptoms and the badly effected areas. Currently, the most deeply effected countries are China (which has the vast majority of the cases), South Korea and Iran. Italy, especially northern Italy, has the most cases in Europe. So firstly, one way to ensure safe travel to the UK for everyone is to be considerate if you have travelled to any badly effected area. If you have been to these places and are experiencing flu like symptoms, quarantine yourself and even if not, it is probably best not to travel until you are certain. This is sensible practice when dealing with infectious diseases globally and will help continue to keep places like the UK safe to travel for others. Some flights from northern Italy have been cancelled which is sure to ease the spread of the virus.

If you have not been anywhere near badly effected areas, then you are good to go! If you are still concerned however, there are a few things that could ease your mind. Less than 1% of those tested so far in the UK have tested positive for the virus (and these are people coming back from badly effected areas). The government have released statements saying the risk to individuals is low and that they are ‘well prepared’ to deal with the virus. They have been given special powers to quarantine anyone suspected of having the virus so the risk if spread is still low. Some statistics might ease your mind further. The disease has currently affected 0.0005% of the UK population (most of which have been to a dangerous area. The four deaths the UK has seen as a result of the virus affected the elderly with underlying health issues. The mortality rate of the virus is immensely low and so is the rate of infection. You are far more likely to be hit by a car then ever getting Corona virus, one hundred times more likely in fact!

There are further precautions you can take as a tourist if coronavirus fears are still troubling you.  Why not avoid the crowds by booking a private guided tour? Away from crowded coaches and try travelling more rurally, away from the cities. There are hundreds of sequestered yet historically significant sites around the UK, with many an expert willing to take small groups around – avoiding the masses! (With Brexit weakening the pound and coronavirus fears thinning crowds, it’s probably the best time to visit anyway)

As things stand there is very little reason to be concerned about Coronavirus – pack a facemask if it gives you peace of mind but at the moment there is no need. Just wash your hands regularly and dispose of your used tissues…. and enjoy your trip to the UK!

The Small Group Touring Company operate unique mini coach day tours and extended U.K sightseeing tours throughout Britain.

The Small Group Touring Company
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

 

 

Coronavirus – is it safe to travel to the UK?

Concerns over the new Coronavirus are sweeping the globe – with cases reaching European shores people are beginning to wonder if it is still safe to travel across Europe, particularly the UK. The answer is an unequivocal yes. Of all the globes 81,229 cases, 13 are in the UK, 0.016% of the global cases.

coronavirus-london-uk-holidays-travel-warning-news-latest-1241504

There are many reasons not to be too concerned about the coronavirus, as long as you are considerate of the symptoms and the badly effected areas. Currently, the most deeply effected countries are China (which has the vast majority of the cases), South Korea and Iran. Italy, especially northern Italy, has the most cases in Europe. So firstly, one way to ensure safe travel to the UK for everyone is to be considerate if you have travelled to any badly effected area. If you have been to these places and are experiencing flu like symptoms, quarantine yourself and even if not, it is probably best not to travel until you are certain. This is sensible practice when dealing with infectious diseases globally and will help continue to keep places like the UK safe to travel for others.

If you have not been anywhere near badly effected areas, then you are good to go! If you are still concerned however, there are a few things that could ease your mind. Less than 1% of those tested so far in the UK have tested positive for the virus (and these are people coming back from badly effected areas). The government have released statements saying the risk to individuals is low and that they are ‘well prepared’ to deal with the virus. They have been given special powers to quarantine anyone suspected of having the virus so the risk if spread is still low. Furthermore, even the worst effected country in Europe (Italy with 165 cases) has yet to close its borders with neighbouring countries. If you are still in need of some more peace of mind, then perhaps some statistics might help you, you are roughly five times more likely to win the lottery* than contract coronavirus, you are 4,483 time more likely to be hit by a car. You have roughly the same chances of being struck by lightning – probably not something that deters tourists often!

There are further precautions you can take as a tourist if coronavirus fears are still troubling you.  Why not avoid the crowds by booking a private tour? Away from crowded coaches and try travelling more rurally, away from the cities. There are hundreds of sequestered yet historically significant sites around the UK, with many an expert willing to take small groups around – avoiding the masses! (With Brexit weakening the pound and coronavirus fears thinning crowds, it’s probably the best time to visit anyway)

As things stand there is very little reason to be concerned about Coronavirus – pack a facemask if it gives you peace of mind but at the moment there is no need. Just wash your hands regularly and dispose of your used tissues…. and enjoy your trip to the UK!

*Chance of matching 5 numbers.

Click here for Customised Guided Tours of Britain & Luxury Transport Service

The Small Group Touring Company operate unique mini coach day tours and extended U.K sightseeing tours throughout Britain.

The Small Group Touring Company
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

Harry Potter and Lacock Village

Having received a mention in the Doomsday book in 1086- Lacock village has seen the coming and going of at least a thousand years of English history- nestled by the river Avon in the north of Wiltshire. However, it is for its most recent history that the village is receiving its far-flung fame, as it has become a go-to location for the British film industry, hosting pride and prejudice (1995), Downton Abbey (2010-2015) and most importantly, the juggernaut of British culture, Harry Potter. I want to explore why the village is such a perfect film location for the Harry Potter Franchise and why it’s such a wonderful place to visit. Click here for Downton Abbey and Harry Potter Tours

Lacock Village

Lacock Village and Harry Potter

First, let’s take a look at where in the franchises eight instalments you can spot Lacock’s characteristic charm.

You will see the village of Lacock predominantly in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the half-blood prince (2009). In the first instalment of Harry Potter film, Lacock is used to represent Godrick’s Hollow and one of Lacock’s many traditional stone houses is where Lilly and James Potter are murdered by lord Voldemort. And in sixth instalment- Lacock represents ‘Budleigh Babberton’ where Harry and Dumbledore find Horace Slughorn– and convince him to take on the post of potions master. The whole episode was filmed in Lacock and you can see a number of Lacocks famous buildings- the distinctive timber framed houses of Church street and later a large brick mansion on Cantax hill.

However, the real Jewell in Lacock’s crown- especially for its burgeoning film career- is Lacock Abbey. Built in 1232 and having undergone many architectural renovations, the building is a prime spot for various films and has subsequently been chosen to represent both Hogwarts and Downton Abbey! Harry Potter fans will instantly notice the medieval archways of the cloisters, which have represented the corridors of Hogwarts

on several occasions. Furthermore, the beautiful gothic stonework of various crypt-like rooms made them perfect locations for both Snape’s potions classes and Quirell’s defence against the dark arts in the first Harry Potter Film.

IMG_20191008_070046

Why is Lacock Village so perfect for film?

What makes Lacock village so perfect for the film industry is the fact that it seems frozen in time- untainted by modern developments and perfect for the antiquarian sets of the Harry Potter films.  The fact is that Lacock has been unchanged for centuries and there are historic reasons for its antique appearance. Lacock was formerly one of the very few places at which you could cross the Avon river, twinned with its ideal location between bath and London, it developed a reasonably successful wool and cloth trade. A couple of centuries of prosperity would have given rise to the majority of the finer buildings visible today Lacock. The dominate family of 17th century wool trade in Lacock, the Colbornes, lived at the very same house depicted as Horace Slughorns, on Cantax hill. However, due to a new road between bath and London which bypassed Lacock as well as a failure to modernise, the industry declined. A lack of development in its key industry lead to a lack of development in its infrastructure and Lacock became frozen in time. With the help of the national trust, the village largely looks the same as it did when the last cloth worker, Richard Perkins,  lived there in 1851.

Why Visit?

Lacock Village is the platonic idea of a quintessential English village- so not only can you enjoy the more modern pleasure of visiting a top film location but you can simultaneously throw yourself back to a simpler time of English elegance and savour this quaint village’s aesthetic charms. Although it appears frozen in time, Lacock continues to be a living history.

See top filming locations from the award-winning ‘Downton Abbey’ television series and several Harry Potter films on a full-day tour from London.

Click here for Downton Abbey and Harry Potter Tours

Click here for Customised Guided Tours of Britain & Luxury Transport Service

The Small Group Touring Company operate unique mini coach day tours and extended U.K sightseeing tours throughout Britain.

The Small Group Touring Company
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

Visit Highclere Castle as seen in the Downton Abbey TV series. Book now for 2019

HIGHCLERE CASTLE, BAMPTON & OXFORD: 2019 –

Tour Highlights:downton-abbey-48d4d68dcb1ec8dcbcfb3c48e62b48140cb1

  • Visit Highclere Castle where the Downton Abbey TV series was filmed.
  • Visit to Bampton Village setting many of the outdoor scenes from the TV series.
  • Signed copy of Lady Carnarvon’s autobiography
  • Upgrade to include an additional book  “At Home at Highclere: Entertaining at The Real Downtown Abbey” written and signed by Lady Carnarvon (Upgrade option must be selected at the time of booking – Tour 03DX)
  • Walking tour of Oxford and independent time for Lunch.

The tour:

Leaving London we head for the University town of Oxford.

Oxford
Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, boasts one of the world’s greatest – and oldest – universities, as well as some of the finest architecture in Europe. The colleges themselves, which make up the university, are amongst the architectural highlights, their ivy-clad stone walls protecting beautiful chapels, halls and libraries.

A walking tour of Oxford with our guide is included before some free time to grab a bite to eat.
Why not try out a pub lunch at one of the many famous inns of Oxford.

Next we head to Bampton the setting of various village scenes from the Downton Abbey series. Visit the Church, Mathew Crawley’s mother’s house, the hospital and more. The village itself is quintessentially British and one of Britain’s hidden treasures.

Leaving Bampton we now head for Highclere Castle made famous by the Downton Abbey TV series.
Built by Sir Charles Berry who also built the houses of Parliament, this is the countryseat of the Earls of Carnarvon. The tour of the Castle’s public rooms includes the magnificent public main hall, the library and sitting rooms in addition to other rooms featured in Downton Abbey.

Why not spend some time enjoying the enjoying the parklands created by Lancelot “Capability” Brown who also designed the grounds of Blenheim Palace or indulge yourself with tea and cake at one of the tea rooms once you have finished touring the Castle. A signed copy of Lady Carnarvon autobiography will also be given to every customer on the tour. It makes for fascinating reading and is a unique souvenir to remember the day!!

Departing Highclere Castle we head back to London and arrive back at approximately 7pm.

Dates available are as follows for 2019

Apr: 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23

May: 5, 6, 7, 28

Jul: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 28, 30, 31

Aug: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 20, 21, 25, 27, 28.

Sep: 1, 2, 3

Visit our website for availability and booking details

DOWNTON ABBEY PRIVATE TOURS are also available on other dates (Apr, May, Jul, Aug and Sep 2019). In addition tours are available to Downton Country locations on other dates

The Small Group Touring Company operate unique mini coach day tours and extended U.K sightseeing tours throughout Britain.

The Small Group Touring Company
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

 

2018 Royal Wedding – time, schedule, venue and route in Windsor for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day.

THE Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle takes place TOMORROW on May 19th, with a global audience of millions expected to tune in.

On Saturday, Harry and Meghan will say “I do” at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Here’s the lowdown on the big day…

wind

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially engaged – and are due to marry in May

When are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle getting married?

Shortly after their engagement was revealed, it was confirmed the wedding between Harry and Meghan will be held on Saturday, May 19.

In a statement, Kensington Palace said: “Her Majesty The Queen has granted permission for the wedding to take place at the Chapel. The Royal Family will pay for the wedding.”

Visit the Sun website for full details

Join us on a small group Windsor Castle Tour this summer and hear all about the history of the Royal family.

The Small Group Touring Experts
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

 

In Britain 2017 is the Year of Literary Heroes, in recognition of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and 20 years since the first Harry Potter book!

One of the most widely read authors in English literature, Jane Austen died on 18 July 1817 in Winchester, south England.

To mark the 200th anniversary of her death, fans can visit Jane Austen’s house, Chawton, near Alton in Hampshire, south England, around an hour by train from London. It was here that she wrote Emma, as well as Mansfield Park and Persuasion.

harry_potter

20th anniversary of the Harry Potter book series

Since the release of JK Rowling’s first novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on 30 June 1997, the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide, and inspired a popular film series.

All eight movies were filmed in Britain, with locations spanning England, Scotland and Wales. While in London, Potter fans shouldn’t miss a priceless photo opportunity at the enchanted Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station. Would-be sorcerers can try their hand at pushing a trolley through the brick wall between platforms 9 and 10, otherwise known as the portal to the wizarding world.

And a must-visit for any discerning Harry Potter fan is the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter(link is external), a dream come true for anyone – young or old – who watched and loved the movies and the books.

We offer a number of Jane Austin Bath Tours and Harry Potter themed day tours plus our custom private guided tours can easily be arranged for families and small groups.

The Small Group Touring Experts
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com