The Wellington Tour
Presented by Number One London
September 4th to 14th, 2014
Join authors, bloggers, and Wellington aficionados Kristine Hughes and Victoria Hinshaw as they travel through the English countryside on a one-of-a-kind tour visiting locations connected to Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, including London, Walmer, Brighton, Hampshire, and Windsor.
Thursday, 9/4: Depart from your USA airport on an overnight flight to London before joining the group at your London hotel. Air transportation is not included in the price of the tour.
Friday, 9/5: Arrive in London and transfer on your own to the Grosvenor Hotel, housed in a Grade II listed building attached to Victoria Station. Meet Kristine and Victoria, as well as your fellow travelers, at late afternoon tea in the hotel, when you’ll be given an overview of your London itinerary. Spend the remainder of the evening at your leisure or join Kristine and Victoria on a jaunt to their favorite London spots. Be prepared to raise a few toasts to the Duke along the way.
Saturday, 9/6: Travel via private motor coach for an exclusive guided tour of Apsley House, the Duke of Wellington’s London home, also known as Number One London. Afterwards visit the nearby Wellington Arch, built to commemorate the Duke of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon. Transfer by motor coach to the Tower of London for the special exhibition on Wellington's influence and the changes he made to the Tower as both Constable of the Tower and Prime Minister. You’ll have time for a light lunch on your own before motoring to Horse Guards for the 4pm Dismounting Inspection of the troops. Visit the Household Cavalry Museum before returning to the hotel to freshen up before heading to the Grenadier Pub, once used by the Duke’s own regiment, for an included three course dinner.
Sunday, 9/7: Join Kristine and Victoria for a special walking tour of London. Spend the day strolling through Regency and early Victorian London and listen to tales of the people, places, and things that shaped Wellington’s life and times. The walk through the neighborhoods of St. James and Mayfair will include landmarks that are either famous or infamous, with some located in plain sight and others hidden from view. There will be stops for eating, drinking, and shopping along the way. If you prefer not to join the walking tour, you may spend the day at your leisure. Dinner this evening is on your own. This may be a perfect time to take in a distinctive pub or a show in the West End.
Tuesday, 9/9: Drive two hours to Brighton for a self-guided tour of the Brighton Pavilion, one of the most decadent Regency buildings in England. Built by George IV, Wellington was a frequent visitor to the Pavilion and was known to participate in blanket races along its corridors. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the Museum, located in the refurbished stables, and free time to explore nearby shops and have lunch on your own, or you may want to stay at the Pavilion and visit their tea room. This afternoon take a private tour with the curator, Nick Tyson of the Regency Town House, a period town house meticulously restored to reflect daily life in the Georgian era, both upstairs and down. Later, travel to Reading to the Mercure George Hotel for the next three nights. Dinner at the hotel.
Wednesday, 9/10: Spend a special day at Stratfield Saye, the Duke of Wellington’s country estate, where you’ll be given a guided tour before visiting the adjacent museum and walking the grounds to the final resting place of Copenhagen, the horse ridden by the Duke throughout the Battle of Waterloo. A two course lunch will be provided in the tea room. Visit the on-site Farm Shop before leaving the estate. Dinner at your hotel.
Thursday, 9/11: Visit Highclere Castle, home of the Earl of Carnarvon, who sat in the House of Lords with the Duke of Wellington. Enjoy a guided tour of the Castle, better known today as Downton Abbey, with free time afterwards to visit the grounds and the gift shop. There will be free time to have lunch at the estate. Afterwards travel to Basildon Park, for a tour and talk about the impressive Georgian mansion that served as Netherfield Park in the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice. Dinner in the hotel.
Friday, 9/12: Travel to Windsor, a Royal site with many Wellington connections. After checking into the Mercure Windsor Castle Hotel, take a guided tour of Windsor Castle, including the Waterloo Chamber; learn more about the Duke’s connections to the Royal Family. Afterwards, we’ll visit the nearby Windsor and Royal Borough Museum, which is conveniently located across the street from the hotel. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the quaint town, do a bit of shopping in Peascod Street and have lunch on your own. Return to the hotel for dinner .
Saturday, 9/13: After breakfast, visit Frogmore House and Gardens for a guided tour of this property that is rarely open to the public. Afterwards, enjoy the surrounding countryside during a forty minute, round trip Thames River cruise. The rest of the day is at leisure to finish exploring Windsor and Eton, a perfect opportunity pick up last minute gifts and also to begin packing for the return trip home. Farewell dinner in the hotel.
Sunday, 9/14: Your motor coach will transfer you to Heathrow airport for your return flight home.
Land Only Tour Pricing Starts at $2,800
What is Included in Tour
Porterage of 1 bag in and out of hotels Nine Nights Hotel Accommodations
Full English breakfast each Morning Six dinners in hotels as noted
Apsley House Guided Tour Dinner at the Grenadier Pub
Wellington Arch Admission Full Afternoon Tea at Grosvenor Hotel
St. Pauls Cathedral Tour Royal Horseguards Inspection
Household Cavalry Museum Admission Basildon Park Talk and Tour
London walking tour with Kristine & Victoria Walmer Castle Guided Tour
Walmer Parish Church Tour and Talk Brighton Pavilion and Museum Admission
Regency Town House (Hove) Guided Tour Stratfield Saye Guided Tour
Two Course Lunch at Stratfield Saye Highclere Castle Guided Tour
Windsor Castle & Museum Admission Talk by Hester Davenport
Frogmore House Guided Tour Thames Cruise
Motor Coach Services for duration of tour Transfer to Heathrow Airport at end of Tour