Welcome to Central England and the South West - May 10-14 2019


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

Welcome to Central England and the South West

4 days

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 accessible destinations, including Stratford-Upon-Avon – the birthplace of Shakespeare.
South West England is home to eleven Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two National Parks and benefits from a feeling of remoteness and tranquillity which makes it a popular holiday destination.

Day 1

Friday, May 10, 2019 - Harrogate to Birmingham

Departing Harrogate after ExploreGB, make the short journey to Birmingham, where the educational itinerary begins. Arrive in Birmingham and check into the AC Marriott for the night, before heading out for dinner.


16:00 – 17:00Transfer to York Station – Departure time is tbc – listen to the announcements advising your coach is ready to board
17:35 – 19:27Train from York to Birmingham New Street
19:27 – 20:00Transfer from New Street to AC Marriott
20:00 – 20:20Check in & leave bags at hotel
20:20 – 20:30Walk to dinner venue The Canal House, 12 Bridge St, Birmingham B1 2JR
20:30 – 22:30Dinner and drinks at The Canal House
OvernightAC Marriott

Supplier Information

NameAC Marriott, Birmingham

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.

Phone0121 6439344
FIT or Groups:N/A
Day 2

Saturday, May 11, 2019 - Birmingham to Stratford upon Avon

Check out of the hotel by 09:00am, ready for a day full of activity. The day will start with History and Heritage Walking tour along the Birmingham Canal. Set within Central England, Birmingham sits at the very heart of the country. England’s second city once played a key role in the industrial revolution of the 18thcentury, and now has been transformed into a contemporary city, rich in culture, with great transport links to the rest of the country.

Then, take a Boat art tour from the city centre to Edgbaston where you will receive a guided tour from the head gardener of Winterbourne House & Garden, an Edwardian historic house and garden nestled in a leafy corner of Birmingham.

You’ll have surely built up an appetite after the morning’s activities, so next up is a balti experience where a guide will talk you through the process of making your own naan bread – and once you’ve made it, you can eat it!… Along with the rest of your lunch.

After lunch, you will board a train from Birmingham Moor Street to Stratford Upon Avon where you will try your hand at chocolate making at Henley Chocolates before boarding a canal boat and enjoying a Shakespeare’s gin tasting cruise, followed by dinner.


08:00 – 08:45Breakfast in the Hotel
08:45 – 09:00Check out of Hotel and load bags onto coach.
09:00 – 11:00DEF England Waterways Activity. History and Heritage Walking Tours along the Birmingham Canal
11:00 – 12:15Ikon Gallery art boat cruise to Edgbaston (Brindleyplace to Edgbaston )
12:15 – 12:30Coach to pick up group from The Vale Edgbaston & travel to Winterbourne House & Gardens
12:30 – 14:00Guided tour of Winterbourne House & Gardens, followed by afternoon tea
14:00 – 16:00Board coach and travel to Henley in Arden
16:00 – 17:30The Chocolate Shed – Introductory Truffles chocolate making workshop
17:30 – 18:00Travel to Stratford-upon-Avon
18:00 – 18:55Avon Boating & Shakespeare Distillery Gin Cruise
18:55 – 19:00Walk to Crown Plaza for dinner
19:00 – 20:30Dinner & Drinks at Crowne Plaza
21:00 – 21:15Transport to Stratford Manor Hotel for overnight stay
OvernightStratford Manor Hotel

Supplier Information

NameAvon Boating Ltd
ProfileAvon Boating offer the Original 40 Minute River Cruise on our famous fleet of Edwardian vessels in Stratford upon Avon. We also offer rowing boats and motorboats for hire from our Boathouse.
Phone01789 267073
Min - Max capacity:Max 56 passengers per tour boat. Multiple boats available.
Frequency:Every 20 - 30 minutes. 10:30-16:00, 7 days a week, April - end of October.
Private tours:Private tours are available.
FIT or Groups:Both
Translation:We offer electronic tour guides in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian

Supplier Information

NameShakespeare Distillery
ProfileWe are an independent artisan spirit producer based in Stratford upon Avon. We offer distillery tours & Gin School (gin making) experiences from our brand new premises. We also offer a River Avon Gin Tasting Cruise, in partnership with Avon Boating.
Phone+44(0) 1789 336335
Min - Max capacity:Max 40 for Distillery Tours Max 20 for Gin School Min 10, Max 50 for Gin Tasting River Avon cruise
Frequency:Wednesday: 1.00pm Saturday: 10.00am & 12.00pm Sunday: 11.00am & 1.00pm
Private tours:Yes - please contact tours@shakespearedistillery.com with your requirements
FIT or Groups:FIT or Groups
Extra information:Regretfully as we are a working distillery, we are unable to admit children under the age of 8. The distillery tour is conducted at ground floor level; there are no stairs to climb. Most of the tour is conducted standing and walking around the distillery, whilst the tutored gin tasting is seated. If you have any specific access enquiries please email tours@shakespearedistillery.com
Day 3

Sunday, May 12, 2019 - Stratford upon Avon to Bristol

After breakfast, you will transfer to Bristol, where you will experience the SS Great Britain. The largest ship in the world when launched in 1843, this impressive feat of engineering by Isambard Kingdom Brunel is a forerunner of all modern shipping. One of the best experiences on board is ‘Go Aloft’, where participants climb the rigging to the top of the ship’s masts! Tickets also include entrance to Being Brunel – a new museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Then, discover Bristol one bite at a time with Eat Walk Talk Bristol Food Tour and see how Bristol has one of the fastest growing foodie cultures, visiting or living here we can show you why Bristol is regularly voted best place to live in the UK. Also on the itinerary is a trip with Bristol Hoppers, where you will get a guided tour around Bristol and the chance to sample many of the fine Bristolian pubs, microbreweries and tap rooms.

Transfer to the Double Tree by Hilton for check in and dinner.


07:00 – 08:00Breakfast in the hotel
08:00 – 10:00Transfer to SS Great Britain
10:00 – 12:00SS Great Britain and Being Brunel + Plus Go Aloft (Optional)
12:00 – 15:30Bristol Food Tour
15:30 – 18:30Bristol Hoppers Pub and Brewery Tour
18:30 – 18:45Transfer to hotel
18:45 – 19:30Check in and refresh for dinner
19:30 – 19:45Taxis to Lido Restaurant
20:00 – 21:30Dinner at Lido Bristol
21:30 – 21:45Taxis back to hotel
OvernightDouble Tree by Hilton

Supplier Information

NameBrunel's SS Great Britain
ProfileBristol’s top-rated visitor attraction comprising the world’s first great ocean liner – the SS Great Britain as well as two museums, historic dockyard and dry dock. Visitors explore the ship, climb the rigging, step inside Brunel’s family dining room and discover how he changed the world.
Phone0117 926 0680
Min - Max capacity:Self-guided visits - no minimum or maximum. Guided tours can be pre-booked for a maximum of 25 people per guide (additional cost).
Frequency:Pre-booked tours available. Otherwise free sale of self-guided visits.
FIT or Groups:FIT and groups welcome.
Translation:German, French, Spanish, Chinese

Supplier Information

NameThe Bristol Food Tour
CategoryGuided Tours
ProfileThe Bristol Food Tour is a unique culinary adventure to experience our city through food. We'll introduce your clients to the very best of Bristol's independent food scene.
Min - Max capacity:For regularly scheduled Saturday tours the minimum is 4, maximum 8. For all other tours, please email to enquire – smaller and larger groups can be accommodated.
Frequency:Scheduled tours run every Saturday. Private tours can be arranged throughout the week, please email to enquire.
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:Yes

Supplier Information

NameBristol Hoppers
CategoryGuided Tours
ProfileDrink beer like a Bristolian! You’ll explore the city on foot (mostly off the beaten track), stopping off at Bristol's best pubs, brewery tap rooms and bars. The price includes seven delicious locally produced small beers in a variety of styles from traditional cask ales to IPA’s and stouts.
Phone+44 (0)7813886921
Min - Max capacity:Max 12 for scheduled tours Max 30 for private bookings
Frequency:Please check our website for scheduled tour dates Private tours can be arranged for any day of the week
Private tours:Yes - if the scheduled tours don’t suit your dates, you are welcome to suggest a date or book a private tour (price dependant on numbers)
FIT or Groups:FIT or Groups
Extra information:- Your clients must be at least 18 years old to come along - This is a walking tour, covering up to 2 miles to get back to start point, with hills and cobbles in places, so comfy shoes are a must! - The afternoon tours last for over three and a half hours, in which the weather may change. Suntan lotion, sunglasses and a hat is what we hope to need, umbrellas and waterproofs are what we hope not to need but must consider! - Money will only be needed if your clients want to buy any extras/ merchandise/ food at the end of the tour/transport home. - Please also ensure they bring ID, as a venue may want to check that they are old enough to consume alcohol.

Supplier Information

NameLido Restaurant
CategoryFood, beverage & Entertainment Venues
ProfileIn a spirit of hedonism rather than health, the Lido restaurant and poolside tapas bar offer amazing food served in a buzzy yet uniquely chilled-out setting. Open to the public, this is relaxed and unpretentious dining; where suits and robes sit cheek by jowl to enjoy great ingredients cooked in wood-fired ovens.
Phone0117 933 9530
FIT or Groups:N/A

Supplier Information

NameHilton Garden Inn Bristol City Centre
ProfileHilton Garden Inn Bristol City Centre is situated in the modern business district. We’re three minutes from Temple Meads Station with regular trains to London, Cardiff and Bath.
Phone0117 925 1001
Min - Max capacity:171 Rooms
Private tours:N/A
FIT or Groups:Both
Extra information:N/A
Day 4

Monday, May 13, 2019 - Bristol to Bath

For centuries Bath has been the place where people came to in order to relax. The ancient Romans came here for the hot thermal waters, and the Victorians came here to take the healing waters and to shop. As a result, Bath today is a mix of ancient culture and refined boutiques, beautiful historic Georgian architecture and elegant eateries, with the Roman Baths still a centrepiece of the city.

Today, you will meet Jules from Around & About Bath who will take you on a tour in and around this historic city. First stop is to Castle Combe, a village in South West England, and then it’s time for a guided tour of Corsham where you will enjoy lunch at a stunning Cotswolds market town inn.

This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of one of the best preserved ancient sites in Europe, the Roman Baths. Admiring the collonaded pools and immersing oneself in the stories of the Romans at leisure shouldn’t be missed – and it’s just a 5 minute walk from the train station.

Since 757 AD, three different churches have occupied the site of today’s Abbey, which is home to magnificent stained glass windows, columns of honey-gold stone and some of the finest fan vaulting in the world. Set within the city centre, this architectural masterpiece towers over the pretty streets below. Magnificent stained glass windows, columns of honey-gold stone and some of the finest fan vaulting in the world, create an extraordinary experience of light and space. Then, enjoy an afternoon tea at Bridget’s Afternoon Tea – a bath must do



08:00 – 09:00Breakfast in the hotel
09:00 – 09:30Site inspection of hotel while luggage is loaded
09:30 – 10:30Transfer to Castle Combe, near Bath to meet Jules of Around & About Bath
10:30 – 11:30Castle Combe
11:40 – 13:30Guided tour of Corsham followed by lunch at a stunning Cotswolds market town inn.
13:30 – 14:30Walking tour of Bath
14:30 – 15:45Roman Baths & Bath Abbey
15:45 – 16:00Walk from Baths to Bridget’s Bakery (underneath Pulteney Bridge)
16:00 – 17:00Bridget’s Afternoon Tea
17:00 – 18:00Transfer to Hotel, Check-in and refresh for dinner
18:00 – 21:00Site Visit and dinner
OvernightCountry Living Landsdown Grove

Supplier Information

NameAround And About Bath
CategoryGuided Tours
ProfileWe are a pioneering company that eschews the old sight-seeing formula for a personal, service, meaning & experience-based approach. Our 'Curated Experiences' combine history, stories, places, people, landscapes, food & drink to truly immerse the curious & discerning in authentic England.
Phone+44 (0)800 0747949 or 1-800-563-1960 (free phone from the US/Canada)
Min - Max capacity:Min 1 Max 8
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:FIT or Groups
Extra information:All tours provide door-to-door pickup

Supplier Information

NameThe Roman Baths
ProfileWalk in the footsteps of the Romans as you explore one of the finest spas of the ancient world. See the ruins of the temple where worshippers prayed to the goddess Sulis Minerva and the bathhouse where they took the waters.
Phone01225 477785
Min - Max capacity:20 minimum, 220 maximum (per tour operator)
Frequency:Private tours are available but must be booked in advance
Private tours:Yes. Tours must be booked in advance
FIT or Groups:Both
Translation:Audioguides are available in the following languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Extra information:Group rates apply for groups of 20 or more

Supplier Information

NameBath Abbey
ProfileThere is nowhere else quite like Bath Abbey. Magnificent stained glass windows, columns of honey-gold stone and some of the finest fan vaulting in the world, create an extraordinary experience of light and space. But there is more to it than that. There has been a place of Christian worship on this site for over 1,200 years.
Phone01225 422462
FIT or Groups:N/A
Day 5

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - Bath to London

On the final day of the trip, enjoy breakfast in the hotel before getting on the train to London Paddington, and from there transferring to Heathrow airport to make your way home.


06:00 – 07:00Breakfast in the hotel
Passengers via Gatwick
10:00 – 13:00Transfer for all passengers departing via Gatwick Airport by coach.
Passengers via Heathrow
07:00 – 07:15Taxi to Bath Spa Railway Station
07:43 – 09:12Train from Bath Spa – London Paddington
09:25 – 09:40Heathrow Express from London Paddington – Heathrow

All times are subject to change.