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London & the English Countryside Featuring Highclere Castle

8 days | All airfare included!

Indulge in the royal traditions and rural delights of London and the English Countryside.

Tour Hosted by Kim Sosa & Allyson Olivier

Kim Sosa

Kim Sosa has been with Milwaukee Public Television for over 6 years and is responsible for all Individual Giving Programs for the station. You might have seen Kim on Channels 10 or 36, or perhaps you’ve received notes from her thanking you for your support of MPTV. Her favorite part of her role at MPTV is the daily interaction with station supporters, either from donors making contributions, or meeting them throughout the community. Learning about what drives donors to support MPTV and sharing program interests make for meaningful interactions (and friendships!) all the time.

With a career spanning 18 years of fundraising for arts and cultural organizations throughout southeastern Wisconsin, Kim has been successful in sharing the vision and enthusiasm for support of some of our most treasured organizations that we all benefit from. As a donor to MPTV herself, Kim believes in the ability of individuals to collectively contribute to this significant service that remains free to all who have the ability to receive it.

Kim is not just an employee of MPTV, she is an avid fan of so many of the programs seen each week. One look at her DVR at home will show what kind of a PBS fan she is, as you’ll find episodes of American Exprerience, Frontline, NOVA and Masterpiece among the programs she enjoys. When not catching up on programs, you’ll find Kim enthusiastically tackling home projects, or tapping into her travel enthusiast side in planning domestic and international adventures with her husband.

Kim looks forward to traveling with you on this wonderful English adventure!

Allyson Olivier

Allyson is MPTV’s Next Avenue Community Conversations Coordinator, and has been working and volunteering for MPTV for more than 20 years. For Allyson, quality television that is available to everyone, is paramount to our community’s preservation of our past and our future. MPTV is her passion. Allyson’s television experience first began as the Volunteer Manager. That position was expanded to include MPTV’s premiere events, as well as managing the Channel 10 Great TV Auction—the largest of it’s kind in the country. According to legend, during her first on air pledge drive for Sesame Street, Allyson held a doll sized Elmo, for security. She squeezed it so tightly that Elmo’s eyes popped almost all the way out, permanently altering Elmo’s expression! Allyson is now a consistent and confident on-air personality who connects passionately with the viewing audience for continued support of our national and local programming.

When Allyson is not supporting her favorite PBS station, she can be found supporting other important causes throughout the greater Milwaukee area. She serves as a board member of the Alzheimer’s Association of S.E. Wisconsin, and she is an advisory committee member for the Port Washington Explorium—a state of the art maritime museum due to open the fall of 2014.

Allyson’s life philosophy is to find joy in most things. When home, she enjoys numerous interests with her husband, Dan. They are avid gardeners and tend to more than 10 separate gardens around their home; are novice cyclists and love exploring Wisconsin on its vast trails. Together they are the proud parents of two grown sons, three grandchildren, and their dog Blu.

Allyson looks forward to traveling with you on this wonderful English adventure!

Tour Summary

Tour Pricing

Date Category - Occupancy Price (Per Person)

Additional Tour Information

Holiday Experience Includes

• All airfare
• All fuel surcharges, government fees, airport & departure taxes (minimum value of $670 per person)
• Holiday Vacations Tour Director
• European Blue Badge Guide
• Motorcoach and professional Driver
• Baggage handling at hotel
• $100 travel voucher for a future Holiday Vacations tour

10 Excellent Meals Featuring

• Daily full English breakfast
• Welcome dinner
• Traditional English Afternoon Tea at Harrods
• Holiday Vacations' farewell dinner

All Accommodations Featuring

• 4 nights at the Park Plaza County Hall 
• 2 nights at the Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor

Experiences & Attractions

• London city tour
• Admission and tour of the Tower of London
• Crown Jewels
• Thames River Cruise
• Guided walking tours including London's famous markets
• Harrods
• Addmision and tour of Hampton Court & Gardens
• BBC Broadcasting House tour
• Admission and tour of Highclere Castle
• Village of Bampton
• Admission and tour of Windsor Castle

Daily Itinerary Items

Day 1 : Fly to Europe

Joined by our Tour Director, we rest and relax during an overnight flight to Great Britain.

Day 2 : Arrive in London

Our excitement builds as we arrive at London's Heathrow Airport. Keep your eyes peeled for the red double decker buses, classic black taxis, and iconic landmarks en route to our modern London accommodations at the Park Plaza County Hall. Tonight our Tour Director hosts a special welcome dinner. D

Day 3 : London City Tour

Cheers to London! After an included full English breakfast, ours to savor daily, we're joined by our resident Blue Badge Guide whose passion for British history and traditions enhance our introduction to this dynamic capital. Breaking from our city tour, we arrive at the Tower of London. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066, this enduring fortress houses both Britain's Crown Jewels and a medieval collection of armory and weaponry. Its ancient stone walls hold some of the city's darkest secrets and we're privy to a few of them during our narrated tour. Snap a shot of neighboring Tower Bridge as we embark for a delightful sail on the River Thames. This broad tidal waterway has been an inspirational source to artists and writers for ages, and affords splendid views of some of London's most classic and modern silhouettes. Later, we partake in a favorite pastime of locals, Afternoon Tea. It's truly the perfect end to our day's scheduled activities as we dine on a delicious array of bite size savories, sip expertly steeped tea and enjoy the comfort of easy conversation with new acquaintances. B,T

Day 4 : Hampton Court Palace & BBC

We depart for exquisite Hampton Court, favorite palace of Henry VIII and his six wives. When completed, around 1540, it was one of England's most modern, sophisticated and magnificent homes. Explore Henry's opulent State Apartments, tour the vast Tudor Kitchens and feel the eerie chill of the Haunted Gallery before strolling the glorious gardens. Afternoon brings us to the BBC Broadcasting House where we will enjoy an insiders view of the studios as well as learn the BBC's rich history. B

Day 5 : London Leisure Day

Perhaps there is no better way to experience London’s rich history and eclectic mix of cultures than by walking its streets. Imagine the excitement of setting off on foot, either independently or with your Tour Director, in search of the London you’ve always envisioned! Listen as Big Ben’s chime announces the top of each hour. Shop the bric-a-brac of eclectic neighborhood markets or the grandeur of Harrods. Circling back to the hotel, climb aboard the London Eye for unparalleled views of the city. Evening finds theater-lovers migrating to the city’s West End featuring a variety of shows, restaurants and the neon lights of Piccadilly Circus, Britain’s version of Times Square. B

Day 6 : Highclere Castle & Village of Bampton

This morning we depart the hustle and bustle of London for the tranquil English Countryside. Prepare to be dazzled as we tour Highclere Castle, familiar to Public Television viewers. We then continue on to Bampton in Oxfordshire, one of the oldest towns in England, where we spend the afternoon exploring the quaint village used in filming many outdoor scenes. Our accommodations for the next two nights will be at the lovely Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor. B,D

Day 7 : Windsor Castle & Farewell Dinner

Today we visit Windsor Castle, prominently situated on 26 acres high above the River Thames, and discover over 900 years of royal history. The official residence of Her Majesty the Queen, it is the oldest and largest continuously occupied castle in the world. There is leisure time this afternoon to explore Windsor or relax in the splendor of our hotel. This evening we gather with friends for our Holiday Vacations farewell dinner. B,D

Day 8 : Fly Home

We return home with fantastic memories of our spectacular week in England. B

B - Breakfast; CB - Continental Breakfast; L - Lunch; D - Dinner; T - Tea

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