Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yuletide Luxuries - Christmas Season in England

Yuletide Luxuries

(Christmas Season Travel)

11 Days – from $6,995.00* per person (based on double occupancy) Individual Tour +


Your Tour Price Includes:

  • Airport transfer via luxury private chauffeured sedan (Mercedes S class) from airport to your hotel, including airport ‘meet and greet’
  • Nine nights in 4 ½ to 5 star hotels**
  • Breakfast, daily
  • Three days car rental luxury sedan (automatic shift car)
  • Private driver/guide for ½ day London tour
  • Private driver/guide to and from Kent
  • First class BritRail tickets from London to York
  • First class BritRail tickets from York to Birmingham
  • Whisky tasting or cooking class (dependent on dates)
  • Seats to Christmas Singalong at the Roy Albert Hall or to a West End London theatrical production of your choice (dependent on dates)
  • Four nights dinner at fine dining restaurants including Leeds Castle “Christmas Kentish Evening” dinner
  • Opportunity to visit:
    • Trafalgar Square Norwegian Christmas Tree
    • Ice Skating at Somerset House
    • All London’s famous sites, attractions and shopping
    • Leeds Castle
    • Christmas Shopping in York
    • York Minster and all York sites and attractions
    • Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham
    • Coventry
    • Stratford-upon-Avon
    • Warwick
    • The Cotswolds (drive the Romantic Road)
    • Bath sites and attractions and surrounding areas
    • Stonehenge
  • Airport transfer via luxury private chauffeured sedan (Mercedes S class) from London hotel to airport


Day 1 – Transatlantic flight to London (on own) (Wish to include this in your tour package? Just ask an Across the Pond Tour Manager for a quote.)

Day 2 – Luxury airport transfer, including meet and greet, dinner at ‘Galvin at Windows’, 5* London Hilton Park Lane hotel

Day 3 – Full English breakfast, half-day private guided tour in luxury car, 5* London Hilton Park Lane hotel

Day 4 – Full English breakfast, private car and driver/guide to and from Leeds Castle in Kent, “Christmas Kentish Evening” 4-course dinner at Leed's Castle, 5* London Hilton Park Lane hotel

Day 5 – Full English breakfast, first class train tickets to York, dinner at Middlethorpe Hotel & Spa, 5* Middlethorpe Hotel & Spa

Day 6 – Continental breakfast, first class train tickets to Birmingham, 5* Hyatt Birmingham (Club King Room)

Day 7 – Continental Breakfast, rental car (Mercedes C class or similar), 4-course dinner at Buckland Manor Hotel, 5* Buckland Manor Hotel

Day 8 – Full English breakfast, 5* Buckland Manor Hotel

Day 9 – Full English breakfast, 5* London Ritz Hotel

Day 10 – Full English breakfast, whisky tasting session (or cooking class), Royal Albert Hall Christmas Concert or theatrical production in the evening (dependent on dates and availability), 5* London Ritz Hotel

Day 11 – Full English breakfast, return to airport via chauffeured car

Warm chestnuts on a cold, crisp day whilst shopping at some of the world’s best-loved Christmas markets; ice skating in the court of a 16th century palace; a fine 4-course dinner (including a carved turkey and mulled wine) at a castle in Kent; a Christmas Sing-Along at the Royal Albert Hall – what a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season! Across the Pond Vacations’ Winter Wonderland independent travel package brings you yuletide merriment in the lap of luxury. Christmas only comes once a year… why not enjoy it to the fullest?

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

Day 2 – Welcome to LondonYou will be greeted at the airport and depart in a luxury sedan (Mercedes Benz E-Class or similar) and taken to your 5-star centrally located London hotel. You may feel a bit jet-lagged, so we’ve arranged for you to have a lovely dinner at ‘Galvin at Windows’ at the London Hilton Park Lane, where you can enjoy 360 degree views of London from this 28th floor restaurant. (London Hotel: London Hilton Park Lane or 5-star equivalent.)

Day 3 – Luxurious London – After a full English breakfast, you will be treated to a private tour in a Mercedes S Class chauffeured car with official Blue Badge driver/guide. The guide is at your disposal this morning to explore London. This afternoon, we recommend embracing the Christmas spirit. Start your afternoon off by ice skating at Somerset House, a palace originally built in the 16th century.  Skating at Somerset House is one of the most glamorous activities on a winter day in London. Take in the beautiful surroundings and listen to music as you glide around the ice beneath the Tiffany Christmas tree. Then, view the tree at Trafalgar Square. Each year since 1947, a Christmas tree has been given to the people of London from the people of Norway in gratitude for Britain's support for Norway during World War II. The tree, often found with carolers surrounding it, is usually a Norwegian spruce over 20 meters high and 50-60 years old. It is selected from the forests surrounding Oslo with great care several months, even years, in advance. Next, how about a bit of shopping at the famous Harrod’s? If shopping doesn’t suit your fancy whilst at Harrod’s, you can always visit their spa, “Urban Retreat”, located on the top floor of the world-famous department store. The evening is yours to explore any of London’s gastronomical delights from one of its many Michelin star restaurants. (London Hotel: London Hilton Park Lane or 5-star equivalent.)

Day 4 – Kentish Kristmas – The morning is yours to continue exploring the city, or even to take your time over breakfast, read the paper, and just relax. This afternoon, your chauffeur will collect you at your hotel and take you to Maidstone, Kent in the south east. There, you’ll visit Leeds Castle where you will be transported through 900 years of the castle’s history and experience an eclectic mix of period architecture, sumptuous interiors and family treasures just waiting to be discovered, including internationally renowned aviaries and beautiful gardens. This evening, you’ll enjoy a “Christmas Kentish Evening” at the castle. Celebrations begin at 7.00pm in the Terrace Room with a mulled wine reception. Guests are then welcomed into the oak-beamed Fairfax Hall where a four-course banquet-style dinner is served. After dinner the music changes tempo to a toe-tapping combination of folk music and a chance to join in some country dancing. After the festivities, your private car and driver await to return you to your hotel in London. (London Hotel: London Hilton Park Lane or 5-star equivalent.)


Day 5 – Yuletide York – After breakfast, you travel north, via First Class BritRail. You will arrive in the city of York a mere 2 hours after you depart London. After checking in to your hotel, the 5-star Middlethorpe Hotel & Spa, we recommend you visit one of York’s many Christmas markets, York Minster, and The Shambles. Take advantage of the Spa at Middlethorpe and indulge in one of the many treatments available. This evening’s meal will be a fine-dining experience with a 4-course dinner at Middlethorpe Hotel & Spa. Relax… enjoy. (York Hotel: Middlethorpe Hotel & Spa.)

Day 6 – A Market in Birmingham – After a light breakfast, you travel south west by First Class BritRail to the metropolitan city of Birmingham. Here, you’ll visit the Frankfurt Christmas Market. The Frankfurt Christmas Market can be traced back to 1393. In Mediaeval times, the original Frankfurt Christmas Market was exclusively for the burghers. The city’s craftsmen reserved their finest wares for local people. With over 90 stalls filling Victoria Square and the upper part of New Street, it is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. This evening, you’ll be staying at the sleek and elegant 5-star Hyatt Regency Birmingham, a modern alternative in accommodation. (Birmingham Hotel: Hyatt Regency Birmingham or 5-star equivalent.)

Day 7 – Country Christmas Cotswolds – This morning, collect your luxury rental car (or... private driver/guide available upon request at additional charge) and drive south. Stop in the charming towns of Coventry, Warwick (make sure to visit the castle!) and Stratford-upon-Avon. Your final destination today is the small town of Buckland, near Broadway in the county of Gloucestershire. This evening, enjoy a 4-course dinner at your manor house hotel, Buckland Manor. (Cotswolds Hotel: 5-star Buckland Manor Hotel.)

Day 8 – Bath and the South– Today is a wonderful opportunity to take a drive through this lovely area. Drive the Romantic Road route, or travel to Bath and see the Roman Baths and Pump Room. We will happily recommend driving routes and sites to see – just ask a Tour Manager. (A private driver/guide can be hired upon request at an additional charge.) The evening is yours to enjoy as you wish. We recommend a quaint English pub for a cozy night and a great opportunity to meet some of the locals. (Cotswolds Hotel: 5-star Buckland Manor Hotel.)

Day 9 – Return to London – After a hearty country breakfast, drive east by way of Stonehenge back to London. In London, you’ll drop off your rental car and check in to the 5-star Ritz Hotel. Across the Pond Vacations can pre-purchase advance tickets to some sightseeing and attractions – just let us know your heart’s desire. (London Hotel: 5-star London Ritz Hotel.)

Day 10 – Last Chance London – Today is your last chance to get in that last minute shopping! This afternoon, we will arrange for you to enjoy either a whisky tasting, or perhaps a cooking class (if you’re not a whisky drinker). Go out with a bang tonight! Enjoy an evening of singing along to Christmas Carols at the Royal Albert Hall (dependent upon dates and availability), or a fantastic West End theatrical production. (London Hotel: 5-star London Ritz Hotel.)

Day 12 – Farewell, Festive England – Your luxury sedan and chauffeur will await you at your hotel to return you to the airport. Season’s Greetings!

* Prices from $6,995/pp based on double occupancy. Single and triple occupants will change rate. Final price will be based upon exchange rate at time of booking, precise dates of travel and specifics and customization of tour.

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

+Note: All individual tours can be made into group tours for already assembled groups.





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