Monday, December 22, 2008

Affordable London

An interesting article from the New York Times…  To visit London, call Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or visit us online at



A Falling Pound and Must-See Art


Published: December 21, 2008

THE unthinkable has happened: London is actually starting to become an affordable destination for American travelers. The pound has dropped to about $1.50 (it was around $2.10 this summer), a number of top hotels are offering great weekend deals ($230 a night at the trendy St. Martin’s Lane; $196 at the Metropolitan, off Hyde Park), and airlines are cutting prices, with some fares in January as low as $560 round trip.

But the fall of the pound isn’t the only reason to head to London right now. The city is also home to three exciting, must-see art exhibits.

Two — one at Tate Britain and one at Tate Modern — are devoted to unquestioned masters of 20th-century art: Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko. The Bacon retrospective, tied to the centenary of his birth, at Tate Britain (Millbank; 44-207887-8888;; £12.20 admission, about $18.40 at $1.51 to the pound) is an almost intoxicating show, particularly as it moves from his early works (like the series of paintings modeled after Velázquez’s “Portrait of Pope Innocent X”) to the near-hallucinatory portraits of his later years, like “Three Studies for a Crucifixion” (1962) and “Triptych — In Memory of George Dyer” (1971).

As a reviewer for The Independent put it: “I can’t think of a better 100th birthday present than this, a show whose scale allows us to see the scale of its subject; a man whose theme and whose genius lay in instinct.” The show closes Jan. 4.

The Rothko show at Tate Modern (Bankside; 44-20-7887-8888;; £12.20) — through Feb. 1 — is just as revelatory. It brings together for the first time 15 of the Seagram Murals, pulling together works from the Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art in Sakura, Japan, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, as well as eight in the Tate’s collection.

In 1958, Rothko was commissioned to paint a series of murals for the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building in New York City, designed by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. But the artist soon had doubts about the appropriateness of a restaurant for his work and declined the commission.

Also on view are “Four Darks in Red” (1958) and the famed “Black on Gray” paintings (1969 and 1970), which were the painter’s final series before his death in 1970.

The third show is very much devoted to the here and now: an overview of contemporary Chinese art. “The Revolution Continues: New Art From China” is at the new Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea (Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road; 44-20-7823-2363;

Charles Saatchi, the former advertising-mogul-turned-art-collector who made his name with the Sensation show in 1997 (and who since has gained added fame as the husband of Nigella Lawson), has for the past several years turned his attention to the Far East and this first show reflects that interest.

It has a kind of grab-bag feel to it — a recent viewer commented that it looked as though the British collector had swept through galleries in Beijing and Shanghai, saying “I’ll take one of these, and one of that” — but there is no denying the skill and imagination of these artists. Some are as much about texture as technique (as in the Liu Wie sculpture made of edible dog chews, and the paintings by Zhang Huan that are composed of incense ash from temples).

And almost every visitor to the gallery seems to stand dumbfounded before “Communication” by Cang Xin, wondering why this person is sprawled on the floor — before realizing it is an eerily lifelike latex sculpture. There is also surprising wit in the Mao paintings by Shi Xinning and a compelling directness in the haunting portraits by Zhang Xiaogang.

Admission is free, but shell out £1.50 for the helpful booklet, with its keen observations on each of the works.


Posted by jaggerdiggydog

Friday, December 19, 2008

Spring Is Just Around the Corner

With Spring 2009 just around the corner, there's no better time to begin planning for your UK or Irish vacation than NOW! And, with the pound and euro being so low compared to the dollar (today's rate: £1.00 = $1.492 / €1.00 = $1.392), the time to buy is right now.


Call Across the Pond Vacations to begin planning your UK Tour Package or Ireland Tour Package. 310-791-6101. Or visit us online at


Don't miss out!


Posted by jaggerdiggydog


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas in London

London is the best city to be in at Christmas with so much going on. You can go ice-skating, shop in a traditional Christmas market, enjoy Christmas light displays, eat food from around the world and enjoy a carol concert or two! How about “doing Christmas” in luxury? Visit for a taste of Yuletide Luxuries.


Posted by jaggerdiggydog

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Snow is Coming! The Snow is Coming!

Many parts of the UK now have snow! This is an ideal time to visit… the atmosphere is right and the pound is down. (As of today, £1.00 = $1.47322!!!)

Visit Across the Pond Vacations to book their Yuletide Luxuries Tour. This tour won’t be available much longer, so the time to book is now!  Call Across the Pond Vacations at (310) 791-6101, or e-mail


Posted by jaggerdiggydog

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Save 25% in Britain and Ireland!!!

With the great exchange rates, Britain and Ireland are now 25% cheaper than they were in the Summer.

December is an exciting time to visit the UK and Ireland.  From the many carol concerts and tree lighting ceremonies to Victorian Christmas markets and fairs, you'll find it easy to immerse yourself in the spirit of the season.  You'll also find it extremely easy to get here due to the great exchange rate and variety of bargain flight deals available from the airlines.

For more information on fantastic deals, call Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or e-mail Also, visit the website at!


Posted by jaggerdiggydog


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Private Tower of London After Hours Tours

When the sun has set over London this winter and everything is quiet, dare to step inside the Tower of London and discover the tales of this darkened medieval fortress in an exclusive twilight tour away from the crowds. 

Every Wednesday from 7 November until 12 December 2007 and every Wednesday in February 2008, Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) will guide you on an exclusive tour dazzling you with the tales and legends that make the Tower so famous.

With unique after-hours access, you will be able to immerse yourself in all the stories, gossip and secrets the Tower has to offer whilst the night’s shadows close in around you.  With a trusty Beefeater as your guide, you will take in some of the Tower’s most famous sites including the Medieval Palace, Bloody Tower, Traitors Gate and the Scaffold Site where two Queens of England lost their heads.

Don’t miss your chance to step inside the world’s most famous fortress and see the Tower in a new light!

Call Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or e-mail


Posted by jaggerdiggydog


Friday, November 21, 2008

The Perfect Holiday Gift 15% Off

Can you imagine their faces when they open up the holiday gift to beat all gifts… a custom-designed independent travel package to the United Kingdom or Ireland? Now is the time to buy. The pound continues to remain low against the dollar:  1.00 GBP(£) = 1.48163 USD($). And Across the Pond Vacations is offering a 15% discount!!! 

To claim your 15% discount, visit Across the Pond Vacations online and view the newsletter at: (The coupon is on page 3.)

Seize the day, seize the moment, seize the fantastic rates! Call Across the Pond Vacations today at (310) 791-6101, or e-mail


posted by jaggerdiggydog

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ireland Golf Packages

Contact Across the Pond Vacations today to book your Ireland Golf Package. Don’t miss out on some of the world’s best golfing this summer. South West Ireland Luxury Golfing Packages available now! Call ATP Vacations at 310-791-6101 or e-mail


Posted by jaggerdiggydog

Monday, November 17, 2008

Scotland in 2009 - The Gathering

Across the Pond Vacations will have packages for the 2009 Clan Gathering in Scotland. Dont miss out on this once in a lifetime event! Call today 310-791-6101, or e-mail and ask for packages for The Gathering!  Heres some more information

About The Gathering 2009


To hold the greatest clan gathering the world has ever seen.


To stage an international Clan Gathering and Highland Games to celebrate Scotland’s rich history and cultural traditions.

Key Messages

•    Come home and celebrate your roots
•    A unique celebration of Scottish heritage and culture
•    A celebration of one of Scotland’s greatest traditions
•    An opportunity to thank the clan associations and Scottish societies from around the world for their role in keeping these traditions alive.

The Gathering 2009 is one of the signature events of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a
year-long government initiative aimed at encouraging those with a passion or connection with Scotland to come home.

For many years Scotland has witnessed a decline in the popularity of Highland Games and a near extinction of clan activity. However, the opposite is true in some countries, especially in North America, where clan membership exceeds 100,000 and over 300 Highland Games and festivals are held annually.

Over the past few years there has been an overall strengthening of national identity within Scotland. This has provided an ideal environment in which to celebrate the contribution that the clans and their descendants have made to maintaining national traditions.

This strengthening will be enhanced by providing an educational component associated with each event within The Gathering 2009 which will encourage people to try out the various disciplines and learn more about them. Additionally there will be an emphasis on youth participation which will be nurtured through school and community group engagement prior to the event.



Thursday, November 13, 2008

New and Improved English Highlights Luxury Tour

Across the Pond Vacations has revised their English Highlights Luxury Tour to include even more exciting and sumptuous delights! Contact Across the Pond Vacations to book early to ensure availability! 310-791-6101, or e-mail

English Highlights Luxury Tour

10 Days – from $5,995.00* per person (based on double occupancy, land only) Independent Travel Package (non-group)

Your Tour Price Includes:

  • Luxury chauffeur driven airport transfer to your centrally located London hotel, including airport ‘meet and greet’
  • 8 nights in ideally located 5 star hotels and exclusive manor houses**
  • Full English breakfast, daily
  • Five days luxury rental car (automatic shift, A/C and GPS included)
  • Private luxury chauffeur driven day tour (8 hours) of London (Chauffeur is accredited Blue Badge Guide)
  • Private luxury chauffeur drive day tour (10 hours) of 'The Garden of England' - England's South East (Chauffeur is accredited Blue Badge Guide)
  • Superior seats to a top London theatrical production+
  • Champagne flight on the London Eye with priority boarding
  • Fortnum and Mason Champagne Afternoon Tea
  • Dinner at Simpson's-in-the-Strand, London
  • Dinner at Mallory Court, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Dinner at Cliveden House Luxury Hotel
  • Shakespearean Homes Tour, including transportation and River Avon Cruise
  • Behind the Scenes Royal Shakespeare Company Tour
  • Superior seats to a production with the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Entrance to Windsor Castle


Day 1 - Departure from U.S. to U.K.

Day 2 - Luxury chauffeur airport transfer, London Eye Flight, London hotel

Day 3 - Full English breakfast, full-day private luxury chauffeur/guided day tour of London (8 hours), fine dining at Simpson's-in-the-Strand, London hotel

Day 4 - Full English breakfast, Fortnum & Mason Champagne Afternoon Tea, Theatrical Production, London hotel

Day 5 - Full English breakfast, Garden of England full-day (10 hours) luxury chauffeur/guided day tour, London hotel

Day 6 - Full English breakfast, luxury rental car (for 5 days), Bath hotel

Day 7 - Full English breakfast, Shakespearean Homes Tour with transportation, entrance fees and River Avon cruise, Royal Shakespeare Co. tour, fine-dining at Mallory Court, Royal Shakespeare Co. theatrical production, Stratford-upon-Avon spa hotel

Day 8 - Full English breakfast, dinner at Cliveden House Luxury Hotel, Berkshire hotel

Day 9 - Full English breakfast, entrance to Windsor Castle, Berkshire hotel

Day 10 - Full English breakfast, depart or continue on (please inquire for additional tour days)

Ideal for the first-time visitor or the returning Anglophile, the English Highlights Luxury Tour incorporates some of the very best that Southern England has to offer - and you will do so in luxury and opulence. Castles, gardens, manor houses, the theatre - this tour has it all and is one of our most popular tours!

Day 1 – Departure – Depart on your overnight transatlantic flight.

Day 2 – Welcome to London - Upon arrival in London, you will be greeted by your personal chauffeur who will drive you via luxury sedan to your centrally located 5-star hotel in London. We have booked a Champagne Flight for you on the London Eye (with priority boarding) - the perfect way to take in the stunning view of this majestic city. (London Hotel: 5-star Hyatt Regency Churchill or equivalent.)

Day 3 – Touring London – (Full English breakfast at hotel.) We could think of no better way for you to see the city than to organize a day-long private chauffeur guided tour. You will travel via Mercedes luxury sedan to some of London's top sights, driven by an expert chauffeur guide. You can discuss with your Blue Badge driver/guide where you'd like to go and what sights you'd like to see such as Buckingham Palace, St. James Palace and Park, Hyde Park, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul's Cathedral and more! Have lunch in an ancient pub, or perhaps at the Food Halls in Harrods. Your options are limitless. This evening, enjoy one of London's most famous restaurants for fine British dining, Simpson's-in-the-Strand. Master Cook Gerry Rae uses only the finest seasonal ingredients in a Bill of Fare that offers a wide range of classical dishes, including the best Roast Beef and Lamb in the country, and game in season. Roasts are carved at guests’ tables, from antique silver-domed trolleys, by Simpson's Master Carvers in a perfect example of restaurant theatre. What a day! (You'll sleep well tonight!) (London Hotel: 5-star Hyatt Regency Churchill or equivalent.)

Day 4 – Tea for Two - (Full English breakfast at hotel.) Today is the ideal day to take in some shopping! Gentlemen, Saville Row awaits. Ladies, perhaps a trip to Harvey Nichols or Harrods is the ideal way to spend the morning. Or, take in one of London's many fantastic museums, such as the British Museum, the Tate Modern, or the National Portrait Gallery. This afternoon, we have arranged for you to have a very exclusive tea experience - the Champagne Afternoon Tea at the famous Fortnum & Mason's more formal dining room, the St. James Restaurant where you will enjoy a glass of champagne, delicacies to enthrall the palate, finger sandwiches, a selection of teas, scones with clotted cream and preserves, and pastries (included). This evening, we have included tickets to one of London's West End's top theatrical productions+ - we shall secure the best seats in the house... just for you! (London Hotel: 5-star Hyatt Regency Churchill or equivalent.)

Day 5 – The Garden of England - (Full English breakfast at hotel.) This morning, your private luxury sedan and Blue Badge chauffeur/guide await to take you to the area of England known as 'The Garden of England', the county of Kent. Kent is known for it's pretty villages, gardens and castles. The day (8 - 10 hours) will be filled with wonderful sightseeing, where you will be able to see a selection of sights (3 - 4) such as Chartwell, Hever Castle, Leeds Castle, Penshurst Place and Gardens, Scotney Castle and Gardens, and still have time for a leisurely lunch at one of the local country pubs. Your chauffeur will return you to your London hotel at the end of the day. (London Hotel: 5-star Hyatt Regency Churchill or equivalent.)

Day 6 – Off to Bath - (Breakfast at hotel.) This morning after checking out of your hotel, you will collect your luxury (Mercedes or similar) rental car and drive west. On the way, we invite you to drive via Stonehenge, one of Britain’s oldest and most enigmatic structures. (For Stone Circle Access where you can walk amongst and touch the stones, advise us ahead of time and we can secure a reservation for you to do so (approximately 7am to 8am, not on Tues or Wed).) Whilst in the area, we recommend a look around the county of Wiltshire including a visit to Salisbury Cathedral where, in the Chapter House you can see the best-preserved of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta. Continue driving (north)west towards the Georgian city of Bath. This afternoon, you'll visit the Roman Baths and Pump Room - a world famous sight not to be missed! Tonight you will stay in the Royal Crescent (one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture in the UK) in the Royal Crescent hotel. May we recommend enjoying the Thermae Bath Spa for a special pampering treatment? (Bath Hotel: Royal Crescent Bath or equivalent.)

Day 7 –Shakespeare Country - (Breakfast at hotel.) This morning, you check out of your Bath hotel and drive north towards Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of William Shakespeare. Included is a tour of the five Shakespearean Homes (with hop-on/hop-off bus transportation). Also included is a cruise down the River Avon. Then, it's a backstage tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Tonight, you will be treated to world-class dinner and theatre! First, it's dinner at the Michelin award winning Mallory Court where you will enjoy a delicious three-course dinner. Then, a play at the Royal Shakespeare Company+. A day and evening to be remembered forever. (Stratford-upon-Avon Hotel: Menzies Welcombe Hotel Spa and Golf Course.)

Day 8 – Beautiful Berkshire - (Breakfast at hotel.) You carry on this morning to the Royal County of Berkshire, one of the oldest counties in England and your home-away-from-home for the next 2 nights. Berkshire borders Oxfordshire (among other counties) and we recommend seeing the beautiful town and it's famous university. (Perhaps you care to go punting on the Thames!) The day and evening are yours to explore. You will be staying at Cliveden, a beautiful three-story house in the classic Italian style dating back to 1851 (and one-time home to the Astor family). We have arranged for you to enjoy a fine dining experience at Cliveden tonight. At Cliveden's fine-dining restaurant, The Terrace Room, which offers not only the finest cuisine, but awe-inspiring views of the gardens and Cliveden Estate. Rest, relax, and enjoy. (Berkshire Hotel: Cliveden House or equivalent.)

Day 9 – Glorious Windsor - (Breakfast at hotel.) You awaken in a mansion. How glorious! Today, you will see the largest inhabited castle in the world, Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is one of the principal official residences of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II and she spends many weekends of the year at the castle, using it for both state and private entertaining. (The history at Windsor is rich and ancient - beware of potential royal spirits who may never have "left".) Explore the charming town of Windsor and return to your mansion hotel this evening on the final night of your tour. (Berkshire Hotel: Cliveden House or equivalent.)

Day 10 – Farewell, Fair England - (Breakfast at hotel.) You conveniently return your rental car at the airport and say farewell to this beautiful and green land (or contact us to extend your stay). We wish you joyous travels and a hasty return.

* Prices from $5,995/pp based on double occupancy. Single, triple and quadruple occupants will change rate. Final price will be based upon exchange rate at time of booking, and time of year traveling.
** Hotels listed in tour description indicate first choice. Equivalent hotels of same star quality and location supplied if first choice unavailable.
+ Tickets subject to availability. Performances subject to change.



Posted by jaggerdiggydog


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Across the Pond Vacations Winter Newsletter

It’s here! It’s here!  Across the Pond Vacations’ Winter 2008/2009 newsletter is available to view online! Simply visit

to view online. Prefer a hard copy? Contact ATP Vacations at, or call 310-791-6101.

For all your UK & Ireland Travel Package Tours, Across the Pond Vacations is your Destination Specialist!


Posted by jaggerdiggydog


Monday, November 10, 2008

New Addition to Luxury Tours in England

Across the Pond Vacations will soon be including the beautiful Callow Hall in its Pre-Designed Luxury England Travel Packages!  Located in Derbyshire, Callow Hall is situated at the gateway to the Peak District and is surrounded by 44 acres of grounds overlooking the River Dove. Across the Pond Vacations will be able to book you into one of the 16 luxurious bedrooms at this magnificent property. Callow Hall is always known for its two rosette restaurant boasting freshly-prepared and home-produced cuisine. Call Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or e-mail for more information on how to get in on this fantastic deal!




Posted by jaggerdiggydog

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Luxury Tour

Across the Pond Vacations has begun to offer a choice of Luxury and Classic Travel Packages for Independent Travelers. Check out their first offering of England’s Highlights! Visit

For direct links to the English Highlights Luxury Tour, visit:

For a direct link to the Classic Version of this same tour, visit:


Posted by jaggerdiggydog

Friday, October 31, 2008

Luxury Tours or Classic Tours

Across the Pond Vacations will soon offer clients a choice on their pre-designed independent UK travel packages and Ireland travel packages – luxury or classic.


The Classic UK Travel Packages (and Classic Ireland Travel Packages) will consist of more traditional locales, attractions, and hotels and will be more moderately priced. Luxury UK Travel Packages (and Luxury Ireland Travel Packages) will consist of both traditional and off the beaten path locales, attractions experienced from a first-class seat, sumptuous and lavish hotels (including Castles and Manor Houses) and unique and surprising experiences. Both options are great – it all comes down to YOUR choice.


Call Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or e-mail



Posted by jaggerdiggydog

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Pound Is Down

Wonderful news for travelers heading to the UK – the Great British Pound is currently equal to $1.64 today. The pound is hovering between $1.59 and $1.69 these days – a lower exchange rate than we’ve seen in 5 years. In short, it’s a GREAT time to travel to the UK!!! Call Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101 for the best Independent UK Travel Packages and Independent Ireland Travel Packages anywhere around!



Posted by jaggerdiggydog


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Haunted England Independent Travel Tour Package - Follow the Ghost Hunters International

For further information on this tour, contact Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or e-mail

Follow the Ghost Hunters (International)

12 Days/10 nights – from $2,595.00* per person, land only, double occupancy. Independent travel package.

Your Tour Price Includes:

  • Airport transfer from Edinburgh Airport to your centrally located Edinburgh hotel
  • 10 nights in 3-star to 4-1/2 star hotels and bed & breakfasts, including a stay at the haunted Elvey Farm and the haunted Grange Courtyard Hotel **
  • 6 days car rental in an automatic shift, air-conditioned mid-size car with GPS
  • Full breakfast, daily
  • Admission*** to:
    • Edinburgh Castle
    • Tower of London
    • Hampton Court Palace
  • Ghost and Ghouls Extended Walking Tour in Edinburgh
  • Richard Jones Ghost Tour in London (walking tour)
  • You will also visit*** (entrance fees on own):
    • The Ragged School and Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
    • The Real Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh
    • Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
    • Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
    • Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
    • Belvoir Castle, Grantham, Leicestershire
    • Belgrave Hall, Leicester
    • Leicester Castle, Leicester
    • The Guildhall, Leicester
    • Newarke Houses, Leicester
    • Leeds Castle, Kent
    • Black Horse Inn, Kent
    • Elvey Farm, Kent
    • Viaduct Tavern, London
    • National Maritime Museum (Tulip Staircase), London (Greenwich)
    • Hellfire Caves, Buckinghamshire

* Land only, per person price - if airfare required, please inquire with an ATP Vacations Tour Manager

** Accommodations listed in tour description indicate first choice. Equivalent accommodations of same star quality and location supplied if first choice unavailable.

*** Please note: all venues are not open year round. Please check with us to confirm opening dates and times.

All independent tours can be made into group tours for already assembled groups.



Day 1 - Departure from U.S. to U.K.

Day 2 – Airport transfer from Edinburgh airport to Edinburgh 4-star hotel

Day 3 - Full Scottish breakfast, The Ragged School and Camera Obscura, Edinburgh Castle, Ghost Tour, 4-star Edinburgh hotel

Day 4 - Full Scottish breakfast, exploring on own (The Real Mary King’s Close), 4-star Edinburgh hotel

Day 5 - Full Scottish breakfast, pick up rental car, drive to Chillingham Castle, Alnwick Castle, 4-1/2 star hotel in Northumberland

Day 6 - Full English breakfast, drive to Grantham and visit Belvoir Castle, drive Leicester, 3-1/2 star haunted hotel in Leicester**

Day 7 - Full English breakfast, visit Belgrave Hall, Leicester Castle, Guildhall and Newarke Houses in Leicester, 3-1/2 star haunted hotel in Leicester**

Day 8 - Full English breakfast, drive to Kent, visit Leeds Castle and the Black Horse Inn, 4-star Elvey Farm (haunted) hotel in Ashford **

Day 9 - Full English breakfast, drive to Hellfire Caves (Buckinghamshire) and Hampton Court Palace, return rental car in London, 4-star London hotel

Day 10 - Full English breakfast, visit Viaduct Tavern and National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, 4-star London hotel

Day 11 - Full English breakfast, visit Tower of London, Richard Jones’ Ghost Walk Tour, 4-star London hotel

Day 12 - Full English breakfast, airport transfer to London Heathrow Airport, depart or continue on (please inquire for additional tour days) 

NOTE: Ireland can be added to this tour to complete the Ghost Hunters’ sites visited, including Leap Castle and Lisheen Castle Ruins… inquire with Tour Manager.


Grab your EVP recorder and EMF detector! Tracing the footsteps of The Atlantic Paranormal Society, made famous by the Sci Fi Channel’s television program “Ghost Hunters” (and “Ghost Hunters International”), you’ll visit all the chilling U.K. locales that the TAPS team has verified as being “haunted”, as well as a few locations they have yet to visit. Hold on to someone close because in the U.K., things do go bump in the night!

Day 1Departure – You depart on your overnight transatlantic flight.

Day 2 – Welcome to Ghostly Great Britain! – You’ll be met at Edinburgh airport by your driver and taken in to the city of Edinburgh, a city that holds over a thousand years of history, mystery and tradition. The day and evening are yours to get acquainted with this extraordinary city. (Edinburgh Hotel: Edinburgh Grosvenor Hilton or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 3 – Let the Haunt Hunt Begin… – After a full Scottish breakfast, you will explore Edinburgh Castle which has a history dating back over 900 years. Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted spots in Scotland. In fact, Edinburgh itself has been called the most haunted city in all of Europe. On various occasions, visitors to the castle have reported a phantom piper, a headless drummer, the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War and colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War - even the ghost of a dog wandering in the grounds' dog cemetery. This evening, you’ll join a walking tour, “Ghosts and Ghouls”. A long history of murder, torture, hangings and plague has left a haunting legacy on the city's Old Town and ghostly apparitions are said to now walk its streets. You’ll end your tour with a complimentary drink in the atmospheric Megget’s Cellar, a candlelit nook located above the Underground Vaults, where the guide will continue to entertain you with eerie tales from Edinburgh’s past. (Edinburgh Hotel: Edinburgh Hilton or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 4 – Exploring Eerie Edinburgh – After a full Scottish breakfast, you’ll visit The Ragged School and Camera Obscura, investigated by the TAPS Ghost Hunters International team and confirmed to be haunted through EVP's and photographs. Spirits were detected on EVP to have said, “… out of here…” and when asked if a particular ghost went by another name than ‘George’, he was heard to have whispered, “Yes.” Find out for yourself what spooky spirits await! (Edinburgh Hotel: Edinburgh Hilton or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 5 – In to England – You’ll collect your mid-sized, automatic transmission, air-conditioned rental car, with GPS, today and head out of Edinburgh. You’ll drive south to the Northumberland area, home of Chillingham Castle. Chillingham Castle is widely regarded as one of, if not the, most haunted places in the country. Dating back over 800 years this castle was built for one purpose and one purpose alone - killing. In the heart of Northumberland the castle was the first line of defense, preventing the Scots getting over the border to invade England back in the days of William Wallace when the castle was ruled over by King Edward I (Edward Longshanks). It has a truly amazing, yet horrific history. Then it’s on to Alnwick Castle. You may recognize the castle from many movie scenes, including the ‘Harry Potter’ movies. It is said that a vampire once frequented this castle! This one-time lord of the estate lived underneath it and would emerge at night to attack the local villagers. An outbreak of plague was also attributed to the unholy creature, and this resulted in the villagers digging the monster up from its shallow grave and burning it. Continue driving south to a bit of luxury – your home for the night, Macdonald Linden Hall. (Northumberland Hotel: Macdonald Linden Hall or 4-1/2 star equivalent.)

Day 6 – Deeper into England – This morning, a long, lovely drive awaits. After breakfast, you’ll drive south to the town of Grantham, where you will find Belvoir Castle. Belvoir (pronounced “Beaver”) Castle is said to be haunted by 3 former employees of the castle (a mother, Joan Flower, and her 2 daughters, Margaret and Phillipa), self-proclaimed witches, who lived in the castle in the early 17th century. Having cursed the owners, fatal events befell the count and countess of the castle, resulting in the death of 2 of their children and sickness upon the rest. The outcome in all this was even more death. When being examined by a Justice of the Peace, Joan Flower called for bread and butter and cried that she wished, “it would never go through” her if she were guilty of her crimes. She put the bread into her mouth, mumbled a few words and promptly choked to death. Her guilt was affirmed and with it, the fate of her 2 daughters, who were hanged in Lincoln jail in 1618. Do they still haunt Belvoir Castle, seeking their revenge? Explore on your own and find out. Tonight, we’ve booked you into a reputedly haunted hotel, the Grange Courtyard in Leicester. (Leicester Hotel: Grange Courtyard or 3-star equivalent.)

Day 7 – Investigating Leicester – After a full English breakfast, you’ll head out to see all of Leicester’s haunted locales, including Belgrave Hall, Leicester Castle, the Guildhall and Newarke Houses. Visual and audible evidence of hauntings have been captured at all of these sites. The evening is yours to review your evidence or perhaps discuss your findings with the locals at a nearby pub. (Leicester Hotel: Grange Courtyard or 3-star equivalent.)

Day 8 – The Most Haunted Village – After breakfast, you’ll check out of your “haunted” hotel and continue driving south to the England’s lovely southeast and enter the county of Kent. Your first stop is Leeds Castle, which is said to also be one of the most haunted castles in England. The castle’s beauty is marred by the ghost of a black dog, supposedly an omen of death. Then, it’s on to lovely Pluckley Village, the ‘most haunted village in England’. You’ll visit the Black Horse Inn, haunted by a ghostly prankster who delights in hiding the personal possessions of staff and customers alike, and has even locked the landlady out of her pub on more than one occasion. Tonight, we’ll book you in at Elvey Farm, also a reputedly haunted inn. (Ashford B&B: Elvey Farm or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 9 – Final Destination: London – If you’ve survived the spooky night at Elvey Farm, this morning after a hearty English breakfast, you’ll drive to the Hellfire Caves in Buckinghamshire. You may remember the TAPS team verifying the haunting of this underground lair. On entering the Caves, long winding passages lead deep underground for over half a mile, through the great Banqueting Hall and past various chambers. In these you will find scenes with various members of the Hellfire Club. The final destination is the Inner Temple which is reached by crossing the River Styx. You are now several hundred feet below the Church on top of the hill. The Hellfire Caves are deep, dark and mysterious. Then it’s on to Hampton Court Palace. Built in 1525, the famous Haunted Gallery at Hampton Court Palace is reputedly stalked by the spirit of Catherine Howard, who was executed on February 13th, 1542, by King Henry VIII, apparently enraged by her pre-marital affairs. Visitors to the room have described hearing screams and seeing apparitions in the gallery. Additionally, security cameras caught an unexplained apparition in December 2003 that, to this day, cannot be explained by anyone, including the palace’s staff or management. Late this afternoon, you’ll drop off your rental car in London and check in to your home for the next 3 nights, which is coincidentally, located right next to the very haunted Tower of London! (London Hotel: Guoman/Thistle Tower or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 10 – London’s Haunts – After a full English breakfast, take a trip down the River Thames to Greenwich. Visit the National Maritime Museum where you will find the Tulip Staircase. There you’ll see the staircase where a famous photograph was taken by Rev. Ralph Hardy, a retired clergyman from White Rock, British Columbia in 1966. He intended merely to photograph the elegant spiral staircase (known as the "Tulip Staircase") in the Queen's House section of the museum. Upon development, however, the photo revealed a shrouded figure climbing the stairs, seeming to hold the railing with both hands. Experts, including some from Kodak, who examined the original negative, concluded that it had not been tampered with. It's been said that unexplained figures have been seen on occasion in the vicinity of the staircase, and mysterious footsteps have also been heard. Take a few snapshots of your own… who knows what will ‘develop’. Tonight, stop by the Viaduct Tavern. The TAPS team stopped by this old pub during their time in London. It dates from 1875, and is the last example of a late Victorian gin palace left in the City of London. It is also prone to suffer from bouts of poltergeist activity. The restless spirit that haunts the Viaduct Tavern has a propensity to haunt the pub’s cellars where several members of staff have experienced its unwelcome attentions. (London Hotel: Guoman/Thistle Tower or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 11 – London’s Tower – Today, you’ll explore one of the most visited and haunted locales in the city of London, the Tower of London. Grim, grey and awe-inspiring, the Tower has dominated the London landscape and the pages of history, since its construction by William the Conqueror in 1078. Ghosts who still hang around are those of its royal past and are said to have been murdered at The Tower, including Henry VI, the “Little Princes” (Edward V, age 12 and Richard Duke of York, age 10), who are thought to have been murdered in 1483 on the probable command of the Duke of Gloucestershire, Anne Boleyn (one of King Henry VIII’s former wives), Sir Walter Raleigh, and many more. Tonight, you’ll take a walk with one of the most renowned experts on the subject of ghost hunting, Richard Jones. Richard Jones’ Ghost Tour features storytelling at its very best, and is guaranteed to send a shiver down the spine and a chill to the marrow. (London Hotel: Guoman/Thistle Tower or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 12 – Fare Thee Well – This morning after a full English breakfast, we’ve arranged an airport transfer to London’s Heathrow airport. We hope you’ve captured some amazing evidence and we know that you’ll just be dying to come back. (For additional tour days, please inquire with us.) 

NOTE: Ireland can be added to this tour to complete the Ghost Hunters’ sites visited, including Leap Castle and Lisheen Castle Ruins… inquire with Tour Manager.


For further information on this tour, contact Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or e-mail


Posted by jaggerdiggydog


Ireland Independent Travel Tour Package - Travel to the Emerald Isle

For further information on this tour, contact Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or e-mail

The Emerald Isle

11 Days – from $2,495.00* per person (based on double occupancy) Independent Tour

Your Tour Price Includes:

  • 9 nights in 3½ to 5 star hotels & guesthouses** (including 2 nights in a castle!)
  • Full Irish breakfast, daily
  • Seven (7) days car rental air-conditioned, automatic shift car
  • Dublin City Sightseeing Bus Tour
  • Guinness Brewery Storehouse Tour
  • Personalized itinerary, including directions and maps, to include Ireland’s top highlights and attractions


Day 1 - Departure from U.S. to Dublin, Ireland

Day 2 - Arrive Dublin, 4-star hotel in Dublin

Day 3 - Full Irish breakfast, escorted Dublin City Sightseeing Tour (hop-on/hop-off bus), Guinness Brewery Tour, 4-star hotel in Dublin

Day 4 - Full Irish breakfast, collect rental car, day at Wicklow Mountain National Park and visit to Glendalough Valley, 4-star hotel in Dublin

Day 5 - Full Irish breakfast, drive to Co. Waterford, sightseeing on own (suggestions included), 3½ star Bed & Breakfast Guesthouse in Co. Waterford

Day 6 - Country Irish breakfast, sightseeing on own (suggestions included), 3½ star Bed & Breakfast Guesthouse in Co. Waterford

Day 7 – Country Irish breakfast, sightseeing on own (suggestions included), drive to Co. Cork, sightseeing on own, 4-star hotel in Co. Cork

Day 8 - Full Irish breakfast, sightseeing on own (suggestions included), 4-star hotel in Co. Cork

Day 9 - Full Irish breakfast, activities available at castle , 5-star Castle hotel in Co. Clare

Day 10 - Full Irish breakfast, activities available at castle , 5-star Castle hotel in Co. Clare

Day 11 – Full Irish breakfast, rental car return, flight home or continue travels…

The Irish have a wonderful saying, “There are no strangers in Ireland, only friends you’ve not yet met.” Known as some of the most welcoming and friendly people in the world, it’s no wonder visitors long to return to Ireland time and time again. On this very special tour, you will experience Ireland at its best! Your personalized itinerary will include the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, Waterford, Cork and Clare! Kiss the Blarney Stone, and even stay in a real Irish castle! Ireland bids you, Céad Míle Fáilte – one hundred thousand welcomes!

Day 1 – Departure – You depart on your overnight transatlantic flight.

Day 2 – Welcome to Ireland – Welcome to the land that has nurtured poets, playwrights and musicians. Ireland is rich in arts, music and culture which is going to make your trip so magical! Only about 12km from the airport, you arrive in Dublin’s City Centre, where you will be staying at a 4-star, centrally located hotel. The day is yours to explore the city, or just take it easy after your flight. (Dublin Hotel: Clarion IFSC or 4-star equivalent)

Day 3 – A Day in Dublin – After your full Irish breakfast, you will begin to explore this lively city via the City Sightseeing Hop-On/Hop-Off bus with live guide commentary. This fun, friendly 90 minute tour passing Dublin’s top visitor attractions, including the Guinness Brewery, Trinity College, Dublin Zoo and many more attractions, allows you the ability to “hop-on or off” at your leisure. You will also be treated to a Tour of the Guinness Brewery Storehouse, located in the heart of the St. James’s Gate Brewery. Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s No. 1 international visitor attraction. The remainder of the day is yours to do as you please. We recommend Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. (Dublin Hotel: Clarion IFSC or 4-star equivalent)

Day 4 – The Garden of Ireland – Today will be a full day! After you collect your (automatic shift, air-conditioned) rental car, you will drive south to County Wicklow where you can visit the Wicklow Mountains National Park, including Glendalough (or Gleann Da Loch, meaning 'the glen of the Two Lakes), one of the most popular tourist destinations in Wicklow and indeed all of Ireland, which is not a surprise, given the stunning landscape, historic monastic ruins and beautiful walks on offer at this unique location. There are so many things to see and do in Wicklow, we’ll be happy to recommend something that suits you to a tee! Head back to Dublin at the end of the day to partake in some fun your last night in this lively and energetic city! (Dublin Hotel: Clarion IFSC or 4-star equivalent)

Day 5 – South to County Waterford – This morning after breakfast, you say farewell to Dublin, and drive south about 2 ½ hours to County Waterford. After checking in to your bed and breakfast guesthouse near the lovely little fishing village of Ardmore, you will have time to explore the surrounding areas. We recommend you take the short drive to the Waterford Crystal Center, where you’ll tour the actual production area and see beautiful displays of Wedgwood, Rosenthal, Stuart Crystal, John Rocha at Waterford and Marquis by Waterford. You will also find a Craft & Jewellery gift store, and an elegant restaurant. Enjoy this beautiful part of Southern Ireland! (Waterford Hotel: Newtown Farm Guesthouse or 3 ½ star bed and breakfast equivalent)

Day 6 – County Waterford’s Abundance – After your lovely country Irish breakfast, the entire day is yours to explore… and there’s plenty of that to do! Your choices are abundant! Choose to cruise through driving trails,visit the coastal towns of Tramore and Dungarvan and take advantage of their beautiful coastal walking trails. Golf, horseback ride, go fishing, visit the cathedrals and other ruins – the choice is endless! (Across the Pond Vacations will happily assist you in making arrangements for your choice of activities on this day.) (Waterford Hotel: Newtown Farm Guesthouse or 3 ½ star bed and breakfast equivalent)

Day 7 – County Cork – Today, you continue west on another 2 ½ hour beautiful and green drive to County Cork. From the Jameson Heritage Centre, to the port where RMS Titanic last saw land in Cobh, to the delights of Kinsale and its well known golf course, Cork has an array of choices. Cork city, with its culinary delights in the English market, is a must. The only problem you will have is deciding how to plan what to do first. (Cork Hotel: Clarion Cork or 4-star equivalent)

Day 8 – Continuing in County Cork – Today, after your full Irish breakfast, we recommend a trip out to Blarney Castle. Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since. Kiss the Blarney Stone (if you dare hang upside down to do it!) and receive the gift of eloquence. Blarney Castle has a multitude of things to do – explore caves, walk the magical grounds, view the gardens, and so much more! We recommend you set aside the whole day for this enchanted location. (Cork Hotel: Clarion Cork or 4-star equivalent)

Day 9 – Dromoland Castle – After breakfast, you drive north to your last home-away-from-home. We’ve saved the best for last... Dromoland Castle. Standing majestically over 410 acres of its own private demesne, Dromoland Castle quietly affirms itself as one of the most impressive and distinguished castle hotels in Ireland - and one of Europe's most desired 5-star destinations. Dromoland Castle was the ancestral home of the O'Briens, Barons of Inchiquin, who are one of the few native Gaelic families of royal blood and direct descendants of Brian Boroimhe (Boru) High King of Ireland in the eleventh century. And for the next 2 nights, it’s your home. In addition to an on-site spa, activities on and near the castle property include fishing, boating, walking, golfing (including a “golf academy”), tennis, cycling, clay shooting, horseback riding, and archery. With so much to do at Dromoland, you’ll never want to leave. (Dromoland Hotel: Dromoland Castle – stay will be guaranteed upon deposit receipt.)

Day 10 – Dromoland Castle – After a full Irish breakfast at "your castle", take part today in the activities you didn’t get to yesterday. Or, go for a drive into one of the neighboring villages or towns. The choice is yours… live like royalty! (Dromoland Hotel: Dromoland Castle – stay will be guaranteed upon deposit receipt.)

Day 11 – Departure – After your final Irish breakfast, you bid a fond farewell to the castle and head south to Shannon, where you will drop off your rental car and either fly back home, or continue on your way with your travels. (Across the Pond Vacations will happily assist you with further travel plans – just ask us.) Go raibh maith agat - slan go foill! (Thank you and goodbye for now!)

* Prices from $2,495/pp based on double occupancy. Single and triple occupants will change rate. Final price will be based upon exchange rate at time of booking, and time of year traveling.

** Hotels listed in tour description indicate first choice. Equivalent hotels of same star quality and location supplied if first choice unavailable.

All independent tours can be made into group tours for already assembled groups

For further information on this tour, contact Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or e-mail


Posted by jaggerdiggydog