Explore South East England - Fri 2 March 2018 to Tues 6 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 South East England

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

Heathrow, Gatwick, Southampton, Luton, Stansted

Portsmouth, Harwich, Dover, Newhaven, Ramsgate, Poole

Day 1

Friday 2 March

Newcastle - Hertfordshire

16:00 Coach transfer to Newcastle train station
16:25 Train direct from Newcastle to Peterborough
21:30 Coach transfer to Hertfordshire
21:00 Dinner at De Vere Theobald’s Estate
Overnight De Vere Theobald’s Estate

Itinerary Details

This itinerary starts with a journey on the Virgin East Coast train line, from Newcastle to London King’s Cross – taking approximately 3 hours.

The De Vere Theobolds Estate in Hertfordshire is a countryside retreat, dating back to the 15th century. Its elegant rooms and gardens make this a peaceful, rural place to stay, while its restaurant is a great place to sample a mix of modern and classic British cuisine in an historic setting.

Supplier Information

Name London North East Railway (LNER)
Category Transport
Profile London North Eastern Railway is the new operator for the East Coast line. A new operator with the same great team of people, on the same trains, to the same timetable, with the same high standards of customer service.
Email laetitia.beneteau@virgintrainseastcoast.com
Website https://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/
FIT or Groups: FIT and Groups

Supplier Information

Name DeVeres Theobalds Estate, Hertfordshire
Category Accommodation
Profile A countryside escape in Cheshunt Dating back to the 15th-century,  De Vere Theobalds Estate in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire has had several former lives: the favourite country seat of King James I, a Georgian family home, a temporary retreat for Christopher Wren’s Temple Bar archway and a WWII military riding school;  all before turning into a hotel in the 1990s.
Phone 0871 222 4820
Website https://www.phcompany.com/de-vere/theobalds-estate/
FIT or Groups: N/A
Day 2

Saturday 3 March


07:30 Breakfast
09:00 Coach Transfer
10:00 Tour of Knebworth – Tudor house and gardens
12:15 Coach Transfer
12:30 Lunch at George and Dragon
14:00 Coach transfer to Hanbury Manor & Gardens
15:00 Tour of Hanbury Manor & Gardens
16:30 Coach transfer to Marygreen Manor Hotel
17:30 Hotel check-in and freshen up for dinner
19:00 Dinner at Tudor Restaurant (Marygreen Manor Hotel)
Overnight Marygreen Manor Hotel

Itinerary Details

Dramatic turrets, domes and gargoyles await on a guided tour of Knebworth House. But, despite what its façade may suggest, this isn’t a Victorian estate. In fact, Knebworth dates back over 500 years and exploring its rooms offers a walk through time. As for the grounds, 28 acres of colourful borders and fine trees await.

The George and Dragon is just a short coach ride away from Knebworth House – serving a selection of British pub classics in a traditional pub setting.

Nestled in Hertfordshire, Hanbury Manor & Gardens is set in 200 acres of woodland, sprawling across the countryside.

Dinner and overnight accommodation tonight is at the 16th century Brentwood’s Marygreen Manor Hotel. Maintaining much of its Tudor style, with exposed beams and wood-panelled walls, the hotel’s Tudor Baronial Hall is now the Tudor Restaurant, where guests can celebrate enjoy award-winning wines and some of the finest food in the county.

Supplier Information

Name Knebworth House
Category Attraction
Profile Set in 250 acres of rolling Hertfordshire countryside, Knebworth House is one of England's most colourful stately homes. It is remarkable for having been in the same family - the Lyttons - for more than 500 years and for its romantic exterior complete with turrets, domes and gargoyles.
Phone 01438 812661
Email sales@knebworthhouse.com
Website http://www.knebworthhouse.com/
FIT or Groups: N/A

Supplier Information

Name Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel
Category Accommodation
Profile This 17th-century country house is set in 200 acres of parkland. It is a 5-star luxury hotel with its own PGA Championship golf course, an award-winning restaurant and a leisure centre with pool, sauna, gym, spa bath and steam rooms.
Phone 01920 487722
Website http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/stngs-hanbury-manor-marriott-hotel-and-country-club/
FIT or Groups: N/A

Supplier Information

Name The George and Dragon
Category Food, beverage & Entertainment Venues
Profile Family Pub/Restaurant newly refurbished serving a fine selection of traditional dishes. All our food is cooked fresh on the premises, including our famous homemade burgers and we strive to source all our ingredients locally. We also have little farm shop featuring the best locally sourced produce such as jam, chutney, cheese and cakes.
Phone 01438 351 362
Website http://www.georgeanddragon-graveley.co.uk
FIT or Groups: n/a

Supplier Information

Name Marygreen Manor
Category Accommodation
Profile Marygreen Manor is a fine example of early sixteenth century architecture and was initially the home of Henry Roper, gentleman servant to Catherine of Aragon. Beautifully presented and centrally located, just minutes from M25/J28, our Tudor Manor House offers a selection of modern, well equipped accommodation, period function and meeting rooms and the beautiful 2AA Rosette Tudors restaurant making our hotel the ideal choice for both the discerning business traveller and the sophisticated leisure guest.
Phone 01277 225252
Email reservations@marygreenmanor.co.uk
Website http://www.marygreenmanor.co.uk/
FIT or Groups: N/A
Day 3

Sunday 4 March


07:30 Breakfast
09:00 Coach Transfer to Audley End House and Gardens
10:00 Tour of Audley End House & Gardens (English Heritage)
11:10 Coach transfer to RHS Hyde Hall
12:30 Lunch at Barn Restaurant (RHS)
13:45 Tour of the gardens
14:45 Transfer to Topsail Charters
15:15 Topsail Charters (Oyster Tasting)
16:45 Coach transfer to Hever Castle
18:30 Check in at Hever Castle and freshen up for dinner
20:00 Dinner at Hever Castle
Overnight Hever Castle

Itinerary Details

A blend of Victorian and Jacobean styles, Audley End House and Gardens look as though they’ve been plucked straight from a Bronte or Austen novel. From the Great Hall and state apartments, to the 18th-century gothic style chapel, or the 1880s service wing (where the servants lived and worked), a guided tour gives a full and fascinating insight into this house and its grounds.

From one beautiful garden to another, and with 360 acres to explore, the stunning gardens at RHS Hyde Hall are some of the most impressive in the country. The Hilltop, Dry and Robinson & Woodland gardens are all must sees and, after working up an appetite, lunch at the on-site Barn Restaurant or the Clover Café is just what is needed!

Heading further east, what better way to explore some of the little known Essex coast, than by soaking up some British maritime history at the same time? Topsail Charters offers the opportunity to step on board ‘Thistle’ or ‘Hydrogen’ – vessels that were formerly part of the East Coast’s fleet of cargo barges – and to discover this corner of Britain … whilst savouring some local oysters!

A short coach journey away, Hever Castle is the estate where Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, grew up. Filled with fine art, sculptures and tapestries and surrounded by a walled moat, this is a wonderful location for the night’s accommodation. In the summer, there are 125 acres of breathtaking gardens to be enjoyed, not forgetting the water maze!

Supplier Information

Name Audley End House and Gardens
Category Attraction
Profile Explore this decadent Jacobean mansion house and meet the staff in the Victorian Service Wing.  Enjoy stunning views across the unspoilt Essex countryside and wander the tranquil gardens created by ‘Capability’ Brown, gold winner of Anglia in Bloom Awards 2017. Then gallop across to see the horses in the Victorian stable yard, and run, jump and climb in the children’s play area.
Phone 01799 522842
Email AudleyEndHouse@english-heritage.org.uk
Website http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/audley-end-house-and-gardens/
FIT or Groups: N/A

Supplier Information

Supplier Information

Name Topsail Charters
Category Attraction

Sailing Barge – HYDROGEN (1906)

The days when Hydrogen carried her cargoes under sail in all weathers on the East Coast seem far from the balmy times enjoyed by her guests today. Built in 1906, she is the largest surviving wooden barge, a Coaster who’s fine lines and sturdy construction are a great example of the shipwright’s craft.
Phone 01621 857567
Email info@top-sail.co.uk
Website http://www.top-sail.co.uk/the-barges/hydrogen/
FIT or Groups: N/A

Supplier Information

Name Hever Castle
Category Attraction
Profile Experience 700 years of history and award-winning gardens at the romantic double-moated 13th century Hever Castle once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.
Phone 01732 865224
Email info@hevercastle.co.uk
Website https://www.hevercastle.co.uk/
FIT or Groups: N/A
Day 4

Monday 5 March


07:30 Breakfast
09:00 Coach transfer to Penshurst Place and Gardens
09:45 Tour of gardens at Penshurst Place and Gardens
11:00 Coach Transfer
11:30 Tour at Leeds Castle
12:45 lunch of Leeds Castle and grounds
14:15 Coach Transfer
15:45 Afternoon tour & Tasting at Shepherd Neame
17:30 Coach transfer
18:15 Hotel check-in & freshen up for dinner
19:30 Dinner at Chilston Park
Overnight Chilston Park

Itinerary Details

It’s no wonder Penshurst Place and Gardens is an award-winning venue. Once home to Henry VIII, it exudes opulence and medieval grandeur – particularly in its Baron’s Hall. There are over 2,500 acres of parkland here and, within that, 48 acres of meticulously manicured gardens, which are among the oldest in private ownership and considered some of the most beautiful in the country.

From historical buildings to historical food and drink, as the oldest brewer in Britain, Shepherd Neame has a real story to tell. An award-winning guided tour of the facility explores the brewing and fermentation process while also offering the chance to try some Kentish hops. Last but not least, there is also the chance to taste of the ales and speciality lagers, as part of the tour.

Ending the day nearby in Kent. Chilston Park was once home to politicians, writers, lords and viscounts, but is a now classic British countryside hotel, with 22 acres of parkland, and a two AA Rosette restaurant, Culpeper’s, serving English fine dining with a 21st century twist.

Supplier Information

Name Penshurst Place and Gardens
Category Attraction
Profile Penshurst Place & Gardens. Described as 'the grandest and most perfectly preserved example of a fortified manor house in all England', the Sidney family home of Penshurst Place has been the place for poetic inspiration and lavish Royal hospitality for over 650 years.
Phone 01892 870307
Email contactus@penshurstplace.com
Website https://www.penshurstplace.com/
FIT or Groups: N/A

Supplier Information

Name Leeds Castle
Category Attraction
Profile Leeds Castle is in Kent, England, 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Maidstone. A castle has been on the site since 1086. In the 11th century it came into the hands of King Edward I, for whom it became a favourite residence; in the 16th century, Henry VIII used it as a dwelling for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Phone 01622 765400
Website https://www.leeds-castle.com/
FIT or Groups: N/A

Supplier Information

Supplier Information

Name Chilston Park Hotel
Category Accommodation
Profile Set back from tree-lined lanes, the manor house at Chilston Park sits in 22 acres of parkland, making it a spectacular Ashford wedding venue featuring a two AA Rosette restaurant. The Grade I listed hotel offers a wide variety of unique feature bedrooms, from mews Classic double rooms to the Manor House master suites.
Phone 0845 458 0901 or 01642 706 606
Email enquiries@handpicked.co.uk
Website https://www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/chilstonpark
FIT or Groups: N/A
Day 5

Tuesday 6 March


07:30 Breakfast
09:00 Coach transfer to London Airport