This Southern England tour highlights some of the historical monuments and beautiful towns found throughout Southern England. Your tour starts in London with guided sightseeing of the city's must-see attractions, including Big Ben and a visit inside St. Paul's Cathedral, the historic church built in the 16th century. History buffs are sure to be delighted on the visits to Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare and a town that brings to life what life was like in 16th-century England; mysterious Stonehenge; the fascinating Roman ruins in Bath, once used over 2,000 years ago for bathing and socializing; and Hever Castle, the 13th-century, double-moated castle and childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Enjoy a walking tour of Hampton Court Palace's gardens, with their sparkling fountains and ornamental flower displays. Visit magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, consecrated in 1258 and home to the best preserved original Magna Carta.Throughout this tour of Southern England, you will be accompanied and guided by local experts who will bring these destinations to life with firsthand, in-depth knowledge of southern England’s history, treasures, and secrets. Plus, to give you authentic experiences, Globus has included special adventures, such as tea and scones at The Anchor pub near the ruins of 12th-century Tintern Abbey in the beautiful Wye Valley on the border of England and Wales. At the end of your Southern England tour, you’ll travel to Paris via the Eurostar train for three nights. Visit the Louvre, the world’s most visited museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral, where you’ll see its amazing 13th-century, stained-glass windows. Also enjoy time to explore Paris on your own. All services in Paris, including Local Host assistance, are provided by Monograms.From the vibrant cities of London and Paris to the relaxing, seaside town of Brighton, this Southern England tour—with an extension to Paris—is a vacation of a lifetime!
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DAY 1Arrive in London, England
Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
After a hearty English breakfast, morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the Thames River, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Highlights are a visit to ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard, if held. Free time in the afternoon for independent activities or to join an optional excursion to Windsor Castle or the Tower of London with its fabulous Crown Jewels. Later, maybe an optional dinner followed by a cruise on the Thames River? (Breakfast)
Changing of the Guard
"Changing the Guard dates to Henry VII (reigned 1485-1509) and was designed to show military discipline as well as ceremony. The tall bearskin hats were introduced in the 18th century to make the soldiers look taller and thus more frightening, and they were adopted for ceremonial use in 1832. The ceremony we know today started in the late 1800s and involves real soldiers who fulfill all military duties, guarding the Queen being just part of their service."
Tower of London
"Since its founding in the 11th century, the Tower of London has served many roles: impregnable fortress, royal residence, armory, treasury, home of the famed Crown Jewels, and a prison for those who offended the monarchy. To this day it is guarded by the “Beefeaters,” a name that likely originates from when Tower guards were paid part of their salary with chunks of beef, a practice that continued until the 1800s."
Houses of Parliament
"Big Ben may be the most famous feature of the Houses of Parliament, but equally impressive is the hammerbeam ceiling of Westminster Hall. The Hall dates back to 1097 and, at that time, the roof was supported by pillars. During the reign of King Richard II (14th century), however, it was replaced by the hammerbeam roof seen today. This roof – its beauty and sustainability – is even more impressive when you know its history. It was built with beams made from trees that were ancient at the time, reputedly acorns, dating back to the 6th century (or earlier). If only these walls (beams, rather) could talk!"
"Amid the splendor of modern cities it’s hard to imagine what places looked like before they became what we know today. In a previous incarnation, the ground where Buckingham Palace now stands was a mulberry garden cultivated by King James I as food for silkworms. The silk industry he hoped to nurture never materialized, and eventually a roadhouse was built there, followed in due course by the Blake House, Goring House and Arlington House.Originally known as the Buckingham House, built as a townhouse by the Duke of Buckingham in 1709, the estate was acquired by King George III in 1762."
DAY 3London–Hampton Court–Oxford–Stratford–Upon–Avon
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and depart at 8 am for a lovely day of sightseeing. First, a special visit to admire the ORNAMENTAL GARDENS of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace. Your Tour Director will take you on a walk through the breathtaking grounds. Then, drive through Runnymede, site of the sealing of the Magna Carta on June 15, 1215, and take a stroll in Oxford to see the colleges where Britain’s elite receives its outstanding education. Arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon in good time to take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
A particularly scenic day. Enjoy vistas of the Cotswold Hills as you travel to the Elizabethan village of Broadway. On to Wales for a drive through the beautiful Wye Valley to the romantic ruins of 12th-century Tintern Abbey. Stop here for TEA and SCONES at The Anchor pub. Cross the 3,240-foot Severn Road Bridge, and in elegant Georgian Bath, see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS, with time to explore further on your own. This evening, consider an optional excursion to the picturesque, 13th-century village of Castle Combe. (Breakfast)
Today, try to unravel the mystery of prehistoric STONEHENGE; first, explore the stunning visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then take the shuttle to the stone circle and admire the magnificence of the monument up close. In Salisbury, visit the splendid CATHEDRAL, the ultimate in Early English Gothic architecture and home to the best preserved original Magna Carta, and enjoy a light LUNCH in the Refectory restaurant. Your overnight is in the Regency seaside resort of Brighton. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
"Built in several stages starting around 3,000 BC, Stonehenge remains one of humankind’s biggest mysteries. While science is still trying to determine the purpose behind this famous prehistoric monument, it is generally assumed to be some sort of astronomical observatory that reflects the changing trajectory of the sun through the sky and the seasons"
DAY 6Brighton–Hever Castle–London
Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before visiting spectacular HEVER CASTLE, childhood home of Anne Boleyn; a romantic double-moated, 13th-century castle set in four acres of magnificent formal gardens for all seasons, which include Italian, rose, and Tudor gardens as well as a yew maze. Return to London around 3:30 pm. How about celebrating the end of your vacation by taking in one of the great West End shows? (Breakfast)
DAY 7London–Paris, France
Travel by high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN (Standard class) to Paris. Your Local Host is available to help you make the most of your stay. (Breakfast)
Morning guided sightseeing features Paris’ most famous highlights, including the gothic NOTRE DAME Cathedral and THE LOUVRE. (Breakfast)
Notre Dame Cathedral
Europe’s most famous cathedral, whose twin Gothic towers loom above France’s most beloved river, the Seine, actually owes a lot of its international success to the author Victor Hugo. Back in 1831, when Hugo wrote his classic novel about a hunchbacked bell-ringer at Notre Dame who falls in love with a beautiful gypsy, the medieval cathedral had fallen on hard times. During the Revolution in 1789, it had been seized, looted of its treasures and converted into an atheistic “Temple of Reason.” Even worse, after the monarchy was restored in 1815, Notre Dame was used as riverside warehouse – its once-splendid glass windows now dimmed and its facades decaying pathetically above the Île de la Cité. But Parisian’s indifference to their landmark ended suddenly in 1831, when Victor Hugo published his romantic novel the “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” (called “Notre-Dame de Paris” in French). The book was an international bestseller and lured armies of tourists to Paris in search of its Gothic cathedral setting. Hugo used this groundswell of public interest to lobby the French government for renovations of his beloved Notre Dame. From 1845 to 1864, repairs were indeed carried out – the clogged medieval streets nearby were cleared, revealing the marvelous edifice we see today.
Your Local Host will have many suggestions for your day at leisure. (Breakfast)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Motorcoach; free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.
Full English breakfast daily; 1 lunch; 2 three-course dinners with wine and choice of menus, including a welcome dinner in Stratford
With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Years of Experience: 36 years
What I love most is the magnificent scenery of the British Isles, the pleasure of being able to show travelers evidence of our long and varied history, and the opportunity to meet so many interesting people; both the travelers themselves and the people we encounter at the many stops along the way!
|Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Learn how Globus is reducing transportation-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.