Strawberries, Lavender, Tea Rooms and Treasure Houses | TravelResearchOnline


Strawberries, Lavender, Tea Rooms and Treasure Houses

From the steady flow of interesting travel advisor requests greeting me every morning here in the UK, two clear patterns are emerging as more and more of your UK-bound independent travellers and small groups are looking for tour ideas that:

  • Travel less, so that they can see and experience a whole lot more.
  • Match their interests, time frame and budget.

From my swift responses, they can see that they’ve come to the right person for quick and imaginative replies and as you read on, you’ll see that this week’s selection will help you to achieve both objectives.

Treasure-Filled Waddesdon Manor

The first sight of Waddesdon transports you to France, as you see in front of you a magnificent French Renaissance chateau inspired by those in the Loire valley. It was built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the 19th century to display his outstanding collection of art treasures and to entertain the fashionable world, a tradition that continues to this day as not far short of 500,000 people visit it each year.

Strawberries, Lavender and Roses

Picture-perfect villages, honey-coloured cottages, real ales in 16th century pubs, narrow streets, quintessential English tea rooms, antique shops and treasure-filled stately homes and castles. Welcome to an imaginative perspective on the Cotswolds. Via a visit to Waddesdon Manor and once back in London, add a day at the Hampton Court Flower Show for a late June to mid-July when lavender, strawberries and roses are at their peak of colour and fragrance.

Tea Rooms and Treasure Houses

This gently paced Cotswolds and London itinerary will appeal to small groups of 6-8 senior ladies who like the idea of travelling at a speed THEY set. Using just one very comfortable Cotswolds hotel as a base for leisurely paced daytrips with attractive venues for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea, I’ve just created a version that uses Father Brown and Angela Raisin locations as the basis for one of the full-day tours.

Tastes, Flavours and Essences of the Cotswolds

If your clients are interested in foodie tours, they’ll love this 4-night, mid-week itinerary as it brings together a fascinating, palette-tingling and tasty collection of edible and drinkable experiences including a close encounter with the Herb Society, the Parade of Puddings and a gin distillery tasting. It’s further enriched with visits to privately owned stately homes and gardens and some carefully selected, ancient coaching inns.

The Best Of Antiques And Collectables

Building on the interest in the Antiques Fairs and London Markets tour that I introduced 2 weeks ago, this video gives a good overview of the 2-day Ardingly event which takes place 7 times in 2020. Manchester is the gateway for the world-renowned Newark Antiques and Collectables Fair, the ultimate of treasure hunting grounds and the largest event of its kind in Europe with up to 2,500 stands! Add a hands-on experience at Wedgwood and a visit to Chatsworth.

A Cornucopia of Spring Gardens

If you’re thinking of presenting a sensational tour to your gardening contacts when they meet again after the summer holiday, take a look at this conversation-starting itinerary. With words like Stourhead, Highgrove House and Blenheim Palace leaping off the page and looking magnificent in late May, offer it to them as a customised, value-added pre-or-post Chelsea Flower Show tour. A shortened version can be set up as a pre or post cruise extension.

18th Century Cutting-Edge Fashion

The autumn exhibition at the Fairfax House, York will highlight Georgian fashion. Often extreme but always bold, vibrant and colourful it was a world of towering hairstyles, outlandishly high heels, decadently rich fabrics and daringly wide hooped petticoats. Add 2 nights in York to a fashion-themed Girls Getaway with some special London visits including the V&A and the Fashion and Textile Museum and a side trip to the Fashion Museum in Bath.

A Seafaring Adventure at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard

As some of your client’s parents/grandparents fought for our freedom in WWII, a pre-or-post cruise visit to Portsmouth’s D Day Museum could mean a great deal to them. Easily accessible, it’s only 45 minutes east of Southampton. For families, an action-packed day at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, home to HMS Victory, a harbour cruise and a visit to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum is an easy train-based day out from London.

Paull Tickner, owner of U.K.-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at or email him at

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