Book In May for a 20% Discount

15 to 23 September 2017

$4,440 (reduced from $5,555, 20% OFF in May)

A fascinating and enjoyable introduction to a time of great change – religious Reformation, civil war and the transition from the Medieval to the modern ‘United Kingdom’.

Our journey will immerse you in the rich worlds of Tudor and Stuart England through paintings, historic buildings and parklands.

We glimpse England’s Golden Age through the eyes of the great playwright, William Shakespeare, and see performances of two of his plays by leading theatre companies.

Includes a private evening banquet in a Jacobean Country House, hosted by the owner.

From the thrill of central London to the glorious beauty of the Peak District of Derbyshire and the pleasures of two quintessential English market towns, Bakewell and Stratford-upon-Avon.

To find out more click on the tabs below and / or download our illustrated Tour brochure

The name of William Shakespeare resonates with all lovers of English culture and history. The career of this Bard-of-Avon spanned the transition of Royal Power from Elizabeth I, the last of the Tudors, to James I, the first English king from the Stuart dynasty. With Shakespeare as our touchstone, this tour takes you through two remarkable centuries of change.

Through art, architecture and theatre, we will explore the reigns of famous monarchs, and historic landmarks of sixteenth and seventeenth century England. This is a country that has left behind the medieval and is caught in momentous transition – religious Reformation, Civil War and the struggle for the soul of a nation.

In London, we visit iconic sites such as Westminster Abbey and Hampton Court, and take a walking tour along the route taken by Charles I towards his own execution. We’ll see dazzling Tudor portraits and watch a play at the wonderful Shakespeare Globe Theatre.

Next, we head for the limestone uplands of the Derbyshire Peaks and the English-Renaissance homes of Burghley, Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall – three of the most glorious and idyllic of all English Country Houses.

Our journey culminates in Stratford-upon-Avon – quintessential English town, birthplace and home to William Shakespeare. Here we immerse ourselves further in the culture of a golden age that shaped modern England and, on the banks of the Avon, witness a performance of Coriolanus, one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies.

From the thrill of London to the peace and dramatic beauty of the Derbyshire Peaks, and from glorious country houses to thriving market towns, this tour reveals the pleasures of life in England today alongside the dramatic sweep of our momentous historic saga.

Download our illustrated Tour Brochure

Dates Friday 15 to Saturday 23 September 2017. Nine days and eight nights.

Price per person
Double / twin: Special May discounted price US $4,440 or £3,438’
Single person: Special May discounted price US $5,085 or £3,938
(Flights not included)

What’s included

Airport transfers from and to London airports. Private coach travel throughout. Four star hotel accommodation (see below), full English Breakfasts, two lunches and six evening meals. All entrance, tour and theatre ticket costs. The services of your tour leader and local guides.

Special features

  • Your welcome dinner is customised to our theme, with engaging after-dinner speakers.
  • In both London and Stratford we enjoy pre-theatre meals and drinks.
  • Visits to royal palace and five country houses.
  • Private and exclusive tour and dinner at the historic Tissington Hall, warmly hosted by Sir Richard FitzHerbert, 9th Baronet in his ancestral home.
  • Theatre – we attend performances of Much Ado About Nothing at the Shakespeare Globe, London, and Coriolanus at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford.
  • In Derbyshire we will dine at one of England’s most elegant country inns.
  • Guided tours of key London attractions; walking tour of Stratford upon Avon; and in Derbyshire guided tours of Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House.


In London you will stay in the Grange White Hall Hotel, a beautiful Georgian Townhouse in Bloomsbury for three nights. In Derbyshire, the Peak Edge Hotel and Red Lion is our luxury, boutique base for three nights in the glorious setting of Britain’s first National Park. And in Stratford-upon-Avon we’ll stay for two nights at the lovely Arden Hotel on the River Avon and within easy-walking the town and theatre.

Group size Between 15 and 25 people

Tour leader
Stuart Gillis is a historian, museum curator and Derbyshire specialist. He will look after the group and help shape our story.

Getting about
There will be a reasonable amount of walking and this will include steps and some uneven surfaces. Our longest coach journey will last around three hours.

Entry and departure points London Gatwick or Heathrow.

Day 1
On arrival at London airports, a private transfer will take you to our selected 4-star hotel, your central London location for the next three nights. In the evening, we enjoy a welcome drink together, followed by dinner and an audience with our eminent guest speaker.
Lunch N | Dinner Y

Day 2
Accompanied by our expert guide we visit Westminster Abbey, architectural masterpiece and setting for both coronations and burials of monarchs since 1066. This is followed by a walking tour of the historic Parliament Square.

After lunch, we encounter exquisite Elizabethan portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, and learn how to decode their hidden meanings. Our day continues with a dramatic, scene-setting walking tour that follows the route taken by Charles I to his own public execution. The evening is free time.
Breakfast Y | Lunch Y | Dinner N

Day 3
In the morning, we visit majestic Hampton Court. Seized from Cardinal Wolsey by his master King Henry VIII, this building remained a royal residence and country retreat throughout the tumultuous events of our story. In the afternoon, we return to central London, where you are free to explore.

Reconvening at the hotel in the early evening, we head to Shakespeare’s Globe – a stunning reconstruction of the playwright’s original theatre. Here we enjoy pre-theatre drinks and dinner before attending a performance of Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy Much Ado about Nothing.
Breakfast Y | Lunch N | Dinner Y

Day 4
We leave London and head north. Our first port of call is Burghley House, the fantastically grand home of William Cecil Lord Burghley, chief advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. After lunch, we travel on to Derbyshire’s beautiful Peak District National Park, taking in historic sites along the way, before arriving at the Peak Edge Hotel, our four-star location for the next three nights.
Breakfast Y | Morning tea Y | Lunch N | Dinner Y

Day 5
Our day starts with a visit to the traditional Derbyshire market town of Bakewell, where you are at leisure to explore the sights, shops and cafés, or stroll along the lovely banks of the River Wye. After lunch, we visit Haddon Hall, set deep in the heart of the National Park. This fortified manor house is a favourite with film makers and a rare survivor from the Middle Ages. Atmospheric and romantic, highlights at Haddon include the great Tudor Hall and elegant Elizabethan Gardens.

That evening we enjoy drinks and dinner at The Peacock at Rowsley, one of England’s most splendid country inns. We return to our hotel – in good spirits! – for overnight.
Breakfast Y | Lunch N | Dinner Y

Day 6
We begin the day at Chatsworth, one of England’s truly great country houses. Its Elizabethan heart hidden beneath later Baroque splendour, Chatsworth is where many of our themes converge. You’ll encounter philosophers, scientists and statesmen, and the hall’s founder, Bess of Hardwick. We also tackle England’s ‘Glorious Revolution’ when Chatsworth’s William Cavendish helped overthrow King James II, and invited William and Mary of Orange to rule the now United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

There is a choice of good options for lunch at Chatsworth, and the afternoon is free for you to explore the grounds and gardens.

Returning to our hotel there’s time to rest and freshen up, before we travel to Tissington Hall. Here we are received and guided round this splendid and intimate Jacobean country house by the owner, 9th Baronet Sir Richard FitzHerbert. Sir Richard is also our host for a very special Tudor-inspired evening meal in the dining room at Tissington. After drinks in the ‘Withdrawing Room’ we return to our hotel.
Breakfast Y | Lunch N | Dinner Y

Day 7
We leave Derbyshire for the historic English market town, Shakespeare’s birthplace and home, Stratford-upon-Avon. Arriving late morning we visit Mary Arden’s Farm where Shakespeare’s mother lived. This is a working Tudor farm, brought to life with costumed characters, rare breed animals and falconry displays.

After a light lunch at the farm’s café, we head to the picturesque childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage before checking into our hotel for the next two nights, the Arden. The evening is yours to explore Stratford and its excellent eateries.
Breakfast Y | Lunch Y | Dinner N

Day 8
We take a guided walking tour of historic Stratford before free time to explore its picturesque streets and riverside walks. We have also arranged entrance for you to one of three further Shakespeare properties – Shakespeare’s Birthplace, New Place or Hall Croft.

In the early evening, we walk from our hotel through Bancroft Gardens and meet at the Rooftop Restaurant of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre beside the River Avon. After dinner and drinks, we attend a performance of Coriolanus, one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies. The evening ends with a last nightcap back at our hotel.
Breakfast Y | Lunch N | Dinner Y

Day 9
We return you to your London airport for your flight home. If you wish to extend your vacation we will be pleased to help with suggestions or arrangements.
Breakfast Y

Discover more about the various destinations of your tour

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

Arden Hotel

Burghley House

Chatsworth House

Grange White Hall Hotel

Haddon Hall

Hampton Court

Much Ado About Nothing

National Portrait Gallery

The Peacock at Rowsley

Peak Edge Hotel and Red Lion

Royal Shakespeare Theatre Roof Top Restaurant

Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Shakespeare’s Hall Croft

Shakespeare’s New Place

Tissington Hall

Westminster Abbey

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