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Winter Markets in the UK

Essentials

London

Our programmes are 100% fully inclusive of all meals and accommodation for the very best value.

  • Accommodation including Homestay options (where noted)
  • Dedicated 24-Hour Tour Manager
  • Daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (unless otherwise noted)
  • All entrance tickets
  • Transfers

Day 1

  • Welcome to London! Meet your Delegation Manager upon arrival.
  • Lunch on your way to Hampton Court Palace
  • Visit Hampton Court Palace, one of the most famous Royal Palaces in the country, situated on a bend in the River Thames about 12 miles upstream from central London. Originally built by Henry VIII's chief advisor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, it was seized by Henry in 1529 and greatly enlarged to become one of the grandest royal palaces in Europe. Not only will you get the chance to explore the Tudor gatehouse, courtyards, Great Hall, and tapestry collection, but you will also get to explore additions to the palace made a century and a half later by Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of St. Paul's Cathedral. You will also get the chance to explore the Palace's stunning gardens, which are the best example of 17th century European landscape architecture in the United Kingdom.
  • Travel to your hotel for check-in and getting acquainted with your roommate for the week.
  • Dinner at the hotel
  • Delegation group time and getting to know one another
  • Early to bed to fight off your Jet Lag and prepare for a busy day tomorrow

Day 2

  • Begin the day in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Visit the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and discover stories about Britain's conquer of with the world at sea. Afterwards, visit the Observatory, where the Greenwich Meridian divides the Eastern and Western hemisphere. It is here that you will have a view over the area that was transformed into the Equestrian Arena for the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Lunch in central London
  • Explore the traditions of Christmas in England and embark on a Dickensian Extravaganza of exploration through the Burlington Arcade, Bond Street, Oxford Street and Mayfair's finest hotels, mews and streets! You will experience first-hand how the festive atmosphere grips London as you walk past some of the most famous shops the capital has to offer.
  • Enjoy some free time in the centre of London, and soak up the magical Christmas atmosphere in the cities world famous department stores and traditional boutiques.
  • Dinner this evening in London.

Day 3

  • This morning you will make your way to Buckingham Palace to view the precisely choreographed Changing of the Guard. Did you know that Buckingham Palace is the official residence and principal workplace of the British monarch?
  • Discover London with a Blue Badge Guide - an expert on England's capital. Pass by world-famous sites, attractions, and buildings often seen in the movies. See the royal palaces, the lions in Trafalgar Square, the magnificent Palace of Westminster, St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and the most famous clock in the world, Big Ben.
  • Enjoy one of Britain's most traditional meals…… fish and chips!
  • Take in a view of London's East End and catch a glimpse of the 2012 Olympic Stadium while riding high above the River Thames on the Emirates Cable Car
  • Today you will take part in an exclusive access meeting with a current or former Member of Parliament. This unique opportunity explores the British Constitution and discusses the respective roles of the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Monarch, and England's long-standing political relationship with the US
  • Celebrate the festive season in traditional English fashion by making and eating your very own mince pies. The history of these sweet pies dates back to the 13th Century when crusaders bought cooking methods back from the Middle East. A local community Leader will guide you through the process in this special afternoon workshop.

Day 4

  • Today you will venture into the lovely towns of Canterbury and Rochester located in Kent, England.
  • Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England and forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
  • Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt from 1070 to 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the 12th century, and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late fourteenth century, when they were demolished to make way for the present structures.
  • Visit Rochester in the Medway Towns and take time to explore this market town; take in the festive atmosphere and enjoy the ambience and seasonal spirit! Celebrated author Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England; however, he lived in Rochester at the time of his death and wrote one of his most famous novels, Great Expectations, here!
  • Spend the afternoon exploring the sites that feature heavily in Charles Dickens novels, as well as visiting the Norman Castle, which housed King John when he signed the Magna Carta, the first document to ever grant the people rights and protections from their King.

Day 5

  • Explore the must-see Tower of London and make sure you visit the Crown Jewels where over 23,000 gems make up the collection. As a prison, it confined such famous prisoners as Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Raleigh. You may wish to download the free iPhone and iPod Touch app from the iTunes store called "Escape from the Tower." You can `help four worthy prisoners escape from the Tower by re-enacting their real-life events.' Do you know which two of King Henry VIII's six wives were imprisoned and executed at the Tower of London?
  • Also during your visit to the Tower of London you may meet the Yeoman Warders, or "Beefeaters'', who guard the tower and are caretakers of the mysterious ravens. Legend has it that if the ravens ever leave the Tower, the Kingdom will fall!
  • Lunch in a local restaurant
  • Cruise the River Thames taking in many of the city's famous sights. It is here on the River Thames that the beautiful Tower Bridge is located. You may remember during the London Olympics, the Olympic rings hung on this bridge making this iconic beauty even more spectacular.
  • Head back to your hotel to get dressed up to enjoy your Gala dinner.
  • Enjoy your very own 'mock-tail' to begin this festive night. Your three course dining experience will get you in the festive mood.
  • Following dinner you will want to change into your warmest attire. Make sure you have warm clothes and warm shoes/boots for a bus tour of London's best Christmas decorations. You will be in Central London for several hours so be sure to bring your rain gear as well as scarves, hats and mittens to stay warm.

Day 6

  • Join in the Christmas spirit, exploring the famous Fortnum and Mason department store. Rummage through the hampers, looking for ideas to spoil your family and friends back home. Caviar or cheese – both make for very traditional British gifts.
  • Each year, Hyde Park in London is transformed into a Winter Wonderland that promises thrills, spectacle, and Christmas magic. After braving the ice, you can enjoy some free time to explore the park, whether it be shopping, visiting Santa's Grotto, or visiting the Magical Ice Kingdom, the Giant Observation Wheel, or Zippos Circus. After Ice Skating you can also purchase tokens to hop on the rides and rollercoasters that fill the park.
  • Dinner in London
London

Day 7

  • The mysterious, prehistoric site of Stonehenge dates back to 3000 BC. Scientists and archaeologists alike are curious to know how people of the time excavated the huge slabs of stone with only the most basic tools and transported them many miles to construct this incredible monument.
  • Enjoy a local lunch.
  • Visit the beautiful city of Bath - home to Britain's only natural hot spring. With waters flowing at a constant temperature of 115 degrees F, the Celtic King Bladud discovered the Royal Baths in 860 BC. He realized the spring's curative powers by imitating his pigs and rolling around in the hot mud!
  • Dinner at your hotel and time to catch up on your journaling.
London

Day 8

  • Enjoy one of the most spectacular views of London from one of the world's tallest observation wheels, The Coca-Cola London Eye. This astonishing 443 ft high ride provides a fantastic panoramic view of the city from 32 enclosed capsules. The height of the London Eye is the equivalent of 64 red telephone boxes piled on top of one another! WOW!
  • Travel to lunch and your pantomime workshop.
  • This morning you will learn all about the wonderful British tradition of Pantomime in a unique specially-prepared workshop! You will be taught the techniques used by the actors, and prepared for the audience participation that British Pantomime is famous for. Pantomimes are performed all through the Christmas season, and combine a well-known fairy tale with singing, dancing, and above all lots of laughter! This is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
  • Enjoy the evening pantomime performance of this year's chosen show.
  • Make sure to bring all your new found panto knowledge with you and bring the house down when chanting for the Hero and Heroine of the Performance. Join your pantomime hero on their magical adventures across a strange unfamiliar land. Will our hero save the day, or will the evil protagonist get their wicked way and ruin all our happy ever afters?

Day 9

  • Head home with an array of new memories to cherish.
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