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London & the English Countryside Featuring Highclere Castle

8 Days | Airfare Included | July 11 - 18, 2014

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

Tour Hosted by Mary Lahammer Anchor & Reporter


Mary Lahammer has been a program host and political reporter for Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) since 1998. She has won several Emmys and numerous other awards for anchoring, reporting, producing and photography. Mary’s trademark has been getting politicians to open up and trust her. She has produced a variety of documentaries on topics such as global trade missions and Minnesota history.

Mary has previously hosted Holiday Vacations’ Paris tour and she invites you to join her on this special tour to London with an exclusive visit to Highclere Castle!


TPT’s Next Avenue Experience seeks to bring together tpt members and viewers to share experiences and talk about planning for and living one’s best life after 50. As one of the nation’s leading public media organizations, tpt uses television, interactive media, and community engagement to advance education, culture and citizenship. Over its 50-plus year history, tpt has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous awards, including Peabody awards and national and regional Emmy Awards.

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)
• Exclusive tpt/Next Avenue document party
• 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 in central London 
• 2 nights near Windsor

Experiences & Attractions

• London city tour
• Admission and tour of the Tower of London
• Crown Jewels
• Thames River Cruise
• Guided walking tours
• Harrods
• Admission 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. Tonight our Tour Director hosts a special tpt/Next Avenue 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. Take a snapshot 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 a lovely hotel in the English Countryside. 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 forspecial 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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