Explore Englands Heartland & the South East - Fri 2 March 2018 to Fri 9 March 2018

About Explore Great Britain

Dear Partner,

I am delighted you are joining us for the ExploreGB educational trip and I hope you enjoy your time touring Great Britain.

Our Product Development Team in London have been working incredibly hard over the past 12 months to ensure you have a fantastic trip with new itineraries including visits to top attractions, hotels and destinations which you can sell to your clients.

Below you will find a detailed itinerary of your educational trip, along with a comprehensive map and contact details for all the suppliers you will be meeting with throughout the tour.

I hope this ExploreGB educational experience provides you with the inspiration and contacts necessary to enable you to deliver your own tours to Great Britain.

Best Wishes,

Carol Dray Commercial Director

Explore Central and South East England

Stretching from the Cotswolds in the West, to the waterways and coastline of Norfolk in the East, with vibrant Birmingham at its heart, Central England is home to many well-loved, and easily accessibly destinations, including Stratford-Upon-Avon – the birthplace of Shakespeare.

South East England is renowned for its beautiful gardens and miles of stunning coastline. Rich in cultural attractions, the region is easily accessible from London, and is also home to gentle rolling countryside, two National Parks, and some of Britain’s driest weather!
Key gateways

Central England Airports:
Birmingham, East Midlands

Central England Ports:

South East England Airports:
Heathrow, Gatwick, Southampton, Luton, Stansted

South East England Ports:
Portsmouth, Harwich, Dover, Newhaven, Ramsgate, Poole

Day 1

Friday 2 March

Newcastle - Birmingham

16:00 Coach Transfer from Newcastle to Birmingham
17:00 Site Inspection and dinner at Middleton Lodge Hotel
Overnight AC Marriott Birmingham Hotel

Itinerary Details

Starting with the journey from Newcastle in the North, to Birmingham in the Midlands, the first stop on this culinary itinerary is a spot of lunch at Middleton Lodge Hotel in North Yorkshire.

Supplier Information

Name Middleton Lodge Estate
Category Accommodation
Profile Middleton Lodge is a 200 acre privately owned country estate located in rural North Yorkshire. The estate dates back to the 18th century with the Main House, restored Coaching inn, now an award winning Restaurant to the Treatment Rooms, Old Forge, Farmhouse, and Fig House.
Phone 01325 377 977
Email info@middletonlodge.co.uk
Website http://middletonlodge.co.uk/
Min - Max capacity: The estate currently has 30 double bedrooms, by the end of 2018 the estate will have 45 double bedrooms.
Frequency: Tours are available, please speak to our business team.
Private tours: Upon reservation please request your private tour, they are available.
FIT or Groups: Fam and Group visits are to be arranged with our Business Department, please contact our Business Development Manager Sue Allison, Sue@middletonlodge.co.uk

Supplier Information

Name AC Marriott, Birmingham
Category Accommodation

A sophisticated hotel experience in Birmingham's city centre. Access the best of Birmingham from our superbly located city centre hotel. Situated in the heart of the city, the AC Hotel Birmingham offers something for travellers of all types. Business travellers will love our convenient location near ICC Birmingham, while guests visiting the city for pleasure will appreciate our proximity to the Mailbox, Birmingham's vibrant retail and dining hub.

Phone 0121 6439344
Website https://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/bhxac-ac-hotel-birmingham/
FIT or Groups: N/A
Day 2

Saturday 3 March

Birmingham - Warwick

07:30 Breakfast
09:00 Coach transfer
10:00 Hippodrome Behind the Scenes Tour
12:30 Afternoon Tea at Hippodrome
14:00 Transfer to Cadbury World
14:00 Cadbury World Experience
16:00 Coach Transfer to Warwick for hotel check-in and freshen up
19:00 Dinner at Chesford Grange
Overnight Chesford Grange

Itinerary Details

Start the day with a visit behind the scenes at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Understand what is involved in getting a performance to the stage and uncover the backstage secrets of the theatre. After the tour enjoy a delicious selection of tea, sandwiches and cakes as part of afternoon tea at the theatre.

When it comes to chocolate, Cadbury is well and truly the nation’s favourite. Enjoy a guided tour around Bourneville Village, before a tour of Cadbury World itself.

After a transfer to Warwick, there is time to check in and freshen up before dinner at Chesford Grange’s on-site River Room Restaurant, which looks out across the River Avon.

Supplier Information

Name Cadbury World
Category Attraction
Profile Uncover a world of chocolate delights and enjoy a fascinating, fun-packed family day out at Cadbury World in Bournville, Birmingham!
Phone 0844 880 7667
Email cwreservations@mdlz.com
Website https://www.cadburyworld.co.uk/
FIT or Groups: N/A

Supplier Information

Name Birmingham Hippodrome
Category Attraction
Profile Birmingham Hippodrome is one of the largest touring theatres in the UK. Book for the best musicals, dance, opera, ballet & Birmingham's favourite pantomime.
Email tickets@birminghamhippodrome.com
Website https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com
FIT or Groups: N/A

Supplier Information

Name Chesford Grange
Category Accommodation
Profile In the beautiful town of Kenilworth lies Chesford Grange, our wonderful four-star hotel on the banks of the River Avon. Accessible from the M40 and M69, guests will be able to explore the county of Warwickshire with ease from this central location. With its historic charm and contemporary interior, Chesford Grange offers a picture-perfect backdrop for weddings, business conferences and family getaways. In fact, Chesford Grange offers some of the best conference and event space in the whole of Warwickshire. Businesses of all sizes will find something suitable for them here, as we have 13 conference rooms ranging from smaller spaces to our huge Kenilworth Suite which has the capacity to seat 700 people.
Phone 0845 034 5777
Website https://www.qhotels.co.uk/our-locations/chesford-grange/
FIT or Groups: n/a
Day 3

Sunday 4 March

Warwick - Stratford-Upon-Avon

07:30 Breakfast
09:00 Coach transfer
09:30 Visit to Warwick Castle VIP Behind the Scenes Experience
12:30 Coach transfer
13:15 Hathaway Tearooms in Stratford-upon-Avon
14:15 Walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon
17:00 Behind the scenes tour of RSC
19:30 Dinner at Townhouse Restaurant
Overnight The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon

Itinerary Details

Warwick Castle is one of the best-known fortresses in the country. The VIP Behind the Scenes Experience not only gives access to 1,100 years of history and replica weaponry, but also to some of the historic spots that most people don’t get to see.

Renowned for its links to Shakespeare, a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon blends one of Britain’s greatest icons with one of its most quintessential pastimes… afternoon tea! With cakes, sandwiches and pots of tea at Hathaway Tea Rooms, a walking tour of the town is a great way to work off the treats, whilst discovering historic buildings including Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Then, to truly get immersed in Shakespeare’s world, a 60-minute backstage tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company gives a great sense of this poet and playwright’s historic work.

Dinner tonight is at the Townhouse Restaurant, just a stone’s throw from the RSC, before heading back to the hotel for the night.

Supplier Information

Name Hathaway Tea Rooms
Category Food, beverage & Entertainment Venues

Welcome to Hathaway Tea Rooms. We are striving to create a quintessential English Tea Room delivering all that you would expect from such an establishment.

Our aim is for you to enjoy well prepared food delivered in a traditional setting by our warm and welcoming team.

Phone 01789 264022
Email Rick.Allen@HathawayTeaRooms.com
Website http://www.hathawaytearooms.com/
FIT or Groups: n/a

Supplier Information

Name Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
Category Attraction
Profile The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a 1,040+ seat thrust stage theatre owned by the Royal Shakespeare Company dedicated to the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare.
Phone 01789 403493
Website https://www.rsc.org.uk/
FIT or Groups: N/A

Supplier Information

Name The Arden Hotel
Category Accommodation
Arden House provides an elegant, inviting and relaxed sanctuary to kick back in, but also a place that offers the opportunity to share experiences and make new friends along the way.
You are invited to sit at our “family home style” dining table during breakfast and to join guests for afternoon tea or evening drinks. Relax anywhere in our house. Help yourself to treats from the pantry. Sip from drinks at the bar whilst enjoying surroundings that are set with thoughtful and personal touches, alongside collections of quality books, magazines and newspapers.
Though Arden House is a world away from a ‘traditional’ hotel environment and a place to relax in privacy, we still want to take care of your every need. This is where your dedicated ‘house hosts’ come in, and it’s their job to make sure you are treated like a celebrity.
Phone 01789 298682
Email info@theardenhotelstratford.com
Website http://www.theardenhotelstratford.com/
FIT or Groups: n/a
Day 4

Monday 5 March


07:30 Breakfast
09:00 Private tour of Blenheim Palace
11:30 Coach transfer
12:00 Cookery Class
14:00 Coach transfer
14:30 Bicester Village visit
17:15 Coach Transfer back to Oxford
17:00 Hotel check in and freshen up for dinner
19:00 Dinner at The Old Bank Hotel
Overnight The Bear, Woodstock

Itinerary Details

A visit to the UNESCO-listed Blenheim Palace provides a step back in time. With opulent state rooms, and as the birthplace of Winston Churchill, this palace has a rich and fascinating past to discover.

What better way to get a “taste” of England than with a fun and informative local cookery class? Using delicious Oxfordshire ingredients and with a chance to pick up new skills we’re sure that lunch tastes even better when the chef has worked hard to make it!

After lunch it’s time for some retail therapy. In the heart of Oxfordshire lies Bicester Village – a shopper’s paradise. Showcasing some of the best stores from around the world, it offers items at low prices so is a great place to grab a fashion bargain or two!

Supplier Information

Name Blenheim Palace
Category Attraction
Profile Blenheim Palace is the home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Surrounded by spectacular Parkland and Gardens designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown the Palace offers visitors an unforgettable day out.
Email uericson@blenheimpalace.com
Website https://www.blenheimpalace.com
FIT or Groups: Both

Supplier Information

Name Bicester Village
Category Retail
Profile Discover a world of luxury at Bicester Village, the region’s ultimate shopping destination. Home to more than 160 fashion and lifestyle boutiques, each offers savings of up to 60%, all year round.
Phone 01869 366266
Email cdoble@valueretail.com
Website https://www.bicestervillage.com/en/home/
Min - Max capacity: 1-1000
Frequency: Daily
Private tours: Yes
FIT or Groups: FIT and Groups
Translation: Arabic and Mandarin

Supplier Information

Name Macdonald Bear Hotel
Category Accommodation
Profile Macdonald Bear Hotel is one of the finest 4-star hotels in Oxfordshire and offers a beautiful slice of luxury in the heart of the countryside. Set in Woodstock, in what was once a 13th century coaching inn, our hotel combines history and culture with exceptional facilities. With direct access to the historic city of Oxford, our hotel is a popular choice for leisure breaks, business and weddings.
Phone 01993 811124
Email enquiries@Macdonald-Hotels.co.uk
Website http://www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/macdonald-bear-hotel/
FIT or Groups: N/A
Day 5

Tuesday 6 March

Waddesdon - Sandford Springs

09:30 Transfer to Waddesdon Manor
10:30 Wine tasting
12:30 Lunch at Five Arrows Restaurant
15:00 Transfer to hotel
19:00 Dinner at hotel
Overnight  Sandford Springs Hotel

Itinerary Details

Built in the late 1800s by  Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, Waddesdon Manor remains home to the Rothschild Collections of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. Enjoy wine tasting in the Manor before enjoying lunch at the Five Arrows Restaurant. Transfer through the English countryside to Sandford Springs. After time to freshen up, enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel’s restaurant with views out across the woods and golf greens.

Supplier Information

Supplier Information

Name Sandford Springs
Category Accommodation
Profile Set among the beautiful rolling hills of Watership Down in Hampshire, with spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, Sandford Springs is a visual and golfing delight to savour. Situated on the A339 in Hampshire between Newbury and Basingstoke, Sandford Springs Golf Club is an ideal location for a round of golf.
Phone 01635 296800
Email info@sandfordsprings.co.uk
Website https://www.sandfordsprings.co.uk/
FIT or Groups: n/a
Day 6

Wednesday 7 March


07:30 Breakfast
09:00 Coach Transfer to Portsmouth
10:30 Visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
15:00 Lunch at Emirates Spinnaker Tower
17:00 Transfer to London
19:00 Dinner at The Refinery
Overnight Hyde Park Corus Hotel

Itinerary Details

It’s time to get a different perspective on England – from the air! After visiting Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, including the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, enjoy lunch and the view from the Emirates Spinnaker Tour

Tonight’s dinner is at The Refinery – renowned for delicious food and alfresco dining.

Supplier Information

Name Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Category Attraction
Profile The world class maritime heritage attraction housing Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, Queen Victoria's HMS Warrior, the First World War Battle of Gallipoli survivor HMS Monitor M33, the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Action Stations and the highly popular Harbour Tour.
Phone +44 (0)2392839766
Email groups@historicdockyard.co.uk
Website http://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/
FIT or Groups: Both
Extra information: Trade contact: Emma Abrook

Supplier Information

Name Emirates Spinnaker Tower
Category Attraction
Profile Experience the south coast’s most spectacular view at Emirates Spinnaker Tower.
Phone +44 (0)23 9285 7520
Email groupbookings@spinnakertower.co.uk
Website https://www.spinnakertower.co.uk/
FIT or Groups: n/a
Extra information: For group bookings, please email: groupbookings@spinnakertower.co.uk or tel : 023 9285 7520 opt3

Supplier Information

Name The Refinery
Category Food, beverage & Entertainment Venues
Profile Whether in Bankside, Regent’s Place, CityPoint or New Street Square, The Refinery sites in London are effortlessly chic with innovative cocktails and unrivalled alfresco dining.
Phone 0203 0025 522
Email enquiries@drake-morgan.co.uk
Website http://www.drakeandmorgan.co.uk
FIT or Groups: N/A
Day 7

Thursday 8 March


07:30 Breakfast
09:00 Walking on Bond Street
10:30 London Eye Champagne Experience
12:30 Lunch at Melia White House
15:00 Afternoon hotel inspection and Dry Martini Experience
17:00 Back to hotel for freshen up
19:00 Dinner at Yauatcha
Overnight Hyde Park Corus Hotel

Itinerary Details

Today starts in Bond Street – one of London’s most famous shopping areas, renowned for its high-end fashion and designer stores.

From street level to an aerial view, the London Eye is a fantastic way to get a bird’s eye view of the capital… and with the London Eye Champagne Experience the ride is accompanied with a glass of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne, to really enjoy it in style.

Back with feet firmly on the ground, lunch at the Melia White House, with a Dry Martini Experience. Dinner this evening is in Yauatcha, Soho’s best Chinese restaurant.

Supplier Information

Name Melia White House Hotel
Category Accommodation
Profile Situated in a building with beautiful architecture, in the charming area of Regent´s Park, the Meliá White House offers a delightful range of fine cuisine. All rooms and suites are located across eight floors of this historical building which has been a London landmark since the 1930s. All rooms are non-smoking and offer: En-suite bathroom with hair-dryer and beauty mirror, air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, high speed internet connection, flat-screen television with satellite channels, complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, 24-hour room service, direct dial telephone and UK/EU/US sockets.
Phone +44 (0)20 7391 3000
Email melia.white.house@melia.com
Website https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/london/melia-white-house/index.html
FIT or Groups: Both

Supplier Information

Name The London Eye
Category Attraction
Profile At 135m, Coca-Cola London Eye is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel. It was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects and was launched in 2000. It has won over 85 awards for national and international tourism, outstanding architectural quality and engineering achievement. In fact, it has become the UK’s most popular paid for visitor attraction. A remarkable feat of design and engineering, the London Eye gave London’s skyline a dramatic new addition and has been offering guests a new perspective on London ever since. Originally, it was intended as a temporary structure, able to be dismantled and transported to a new location, and had planning permission for just five years. But with millions boarding it every year, its popularity has prompted its lease to be extended. Today it is a permanent fixture on the London skyline and a beautiful symbol of modern London.
Phone 0870 990 8881
Website https://www.londoneye.com/
FIT or Groups: n/a

Supplier Information

Name Yauatcha
Category Food, beverage & Entertainment Venues
Profile Top-of-the-range, contemporary Chinese dining with expertly-crafted dim-sum and handmade sweets.
Phone 020 7494 8888
Email reservations@yauatcha.com
Website http://www.yauatcha.com/
FIT or Groups: N/A
Day 8

Friday 9 March


Coach transfer to LHR – flight at 7pm

Itinerary Details

Return to the airport to catch flight home.