You are cordially invited on a grand tour of England’s Royal Palaces to celebrate one of the most historic milestones in British history, Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. During this regal affair we discover a fascinating range of sovereign landmarks; starting in London before venturing further afield to Cambridge, King’s Lynn and of course Windsor. Follow in the footsteps of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch as we weave our way around a splendid collection of magnificent palaces, Royal residences, famous country retreats and some of the most glorious gardens in England.
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- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
- Departure Dates
Aug 8, 2022 - Aug 17, 2022
Nights One to Four – The Royal Horseguards Hotel, London
Nights Five to Seven – University Arms Hotel, Cambridge
Nights Eight and Nine – Macdonald Windsor Hotel
The Macdonald Windsor Hotel is situated in the heart of the historic town of Windsor, opposite the famous Windsor Castle. The classic interiors, with a contemporary edge, fit perfectly with the Georgian elegance of this townhouse hotel. The luxury bedrooms are individually-designed and the hotel also offers a stylish bar and restaurant.
Free private transfers to/from London Heathrow
August 8: Arrival (depart U.S. on 8/7)
On arrival at Heathrow airport, a private transfer will take you to The Royal Horseguards Hotel, where we stay for the first four nights of our tour. In the evening, join the group for a welcome drink, followed by dinner.
August 9: Royal London, Eltham Palace and Queen’s House Greenwich
We start today with a guided tour of Royal London, by coach and on foot, which includes the Tower of London, the oldest building in London. Offering a peek into thousands of years of history, this former Royal residence also served as a prison where many a noblemen met their gruesome death. Next, we take a guided tour of the unique Eltham Palace, where Henry VIII spent much of his childhood in the 16th century. Once a medieval palace, then highly popular for Christmas celebrations in Tudor times, it was leased from the Crown and transformed by millionaires into an Art Deco mansion in the 1930s. We continue to Inigo Jones’ architectural masterpiece, Queen’s House, in Royal Greenwich. This borough of London was the birthplace of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Mary, and Henry VIII had two of his six weddings here. The House itself was the first Classical building in the UK and is filled with world-famous artwork. This evening we enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant.
August 10: Buckingham Palace and Clarence House
No trip to London is complete without a visit to the famous Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns since 1837. We enjoy an audio guided tour of the stunning State Rooms; these are the public rooms where The Queen and other members of the Royal Family entertain their guests on ceremonial, State and official occasions. We then visit the nearby Clarence House for a guided tour. Once the home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother for almost five decades, this is now the official London residence of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. We discover more about how the house has been altered to reflect the changes in occupancy over nearly two centuries. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure for further exploration of London.
August 11: Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens and Kew Palace
Today we enjoy an out-of-hours guided tour of the gorgeous Kensington Palace. The Palace –now the official residence of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children – boasts the impressively manicured Sunken Garden, a favorite of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. We also wander through Victoria’s re-imagined childhood rooms and take in the majestic King’s State Apartments. Afterwards we get a chance to stretch our legs during a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Dating back to the early 18th century as a Royal palace, Kew Gardens is now a globally-renowned institution for plant-based research. There are a range of different areas to explore and we also discover Kew Palace, once home to George III and Queen Charlotte.
August 12: Hampton Court Palace and Cambridge
This morning we check out of the hotel and head to Hampton Court Palace for a dive into the fascinating world of the Tudor court during our private guided tour. We experience the private life (and very public dramas) of Henry VIII, while we explore one of Europe’s most sophisticated palaces and the enchanting riverside gardens. We continue to Cambridge for a guided walking tour. Highlights include the exquisite architecture, ancient colleges and the pleasant river which winds its way around this classic university city. We then check in to our hotel for the next three nights, the University Arms. After dinner at the hotel, we enjoy a fascinating talk with a guest speaker.
August 13: Sandringham and King’s Lynn
Our first visit today is the ultimate country retreat, the Sandringham Estate, loved by The Queen herself and the private residence of four generations of British Monarchs since the 1860s. We learn all about its Royal connections during our visit, discover the collection of Royal cars in the Transport Museum and enjoy some time outside to discover the magnificent walled and water gardens. Afterwards we head to nearby King’s Lynn, a charming market town renowned for its extensive history. With a wander around the cobbled narrow streets, flanked with old merchants’ houses, we soak up the story of the town’s maritime trade and fishing communities. This evening we enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant in Cambridge.
August 14: Burghley House
We start today with a guided tour of Burghley House, one of the grandest houses of the first Elizabethan Age, built (and mostly designed) by William Cecil, the Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I. Inside the house we discover historic collections comprising of works of art, early tapestries, impressive Japanese ceramics and sculptures. The rest of the day is at leisure for further exploration of Cambridge.
August 15: Hatfield House and The Savill Garden
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Hatfield House, home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family. The house was built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, one of Elizabeth I’s most important advisors. There are superb examples of Elizabethan craftsmanship, such as the Grand Staircase with its elaborate carving and the rare stained glass window in the private chapel. From here we travel to The Savill Garden, Britain’s finest ornamental garden. Created in the 1930s, highlights include the Hidden Gardens, Spring Wood, the Summer Gardens and the New Zealand Garden. The Rose Garden is an extra special addition, opened by The Queen in 2010 and perfumed with the most beautiful rose bed scents. We then continue to the stylish and centrally located Macdonald Windsor Hotel, where we stay for the last two nights of our tour.
August 16: Windsor Castle and Frogmore House
Today we visit Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world which is still one of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth II today. Established in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, it is regularly used for ceremonial and State occasions. The magnificent State Apartments are furnished with some of the finest works of art to admire during our audio guided tour. We then head to Frogmore House, nestled within the Home Park of Windsor Castle and a firm favorite as a royal retreat for centuries. During our guided tour we discover the impressive Mary Moser Room, commissioned by Queen Charlotte to reflect her passion for botany. Back at the hotel tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner together.
August 10: Departure
A private transfer will take you back to Heathrow airport for your return flight home.
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