Tour package includes:
- 24th Aug to 19th Sept, 2018
- Superior hotels - incl. historic Bovey Castle and Edwardian Mercer St ( London )
- Full buffet breakfast daily
- Eight dinners and two lunches,
all with wine and choices
- Unique visits and places of interest as well as the 'must dos'
- Musical & theatre performances in the West End, Cardiff & Plymouth
- Just $2,000 deposit. Please contact us for all pricing and further details.
OPERATIF! Musical Travel
Why Travel With Jennifer & Stewart?
- Being a boutique, 'hands-on' operation, we can give personal attention to all aspects of planning and hosting our tours, and you will always deal directly with us.
- OPERATIF is an established business, now entering its 24th year.
- As professional singers we have a high level of industry knowledge and are regularly in contact with friends, colleagues and associates in the field of classical music and opera.
- Our tours are guaranteed to depart. They are so popular that they are not dependent on numbers, so there is no risk your tour will be cancelled at 3 months' notice ( or merged with another tour ).
- Our travel patrons love music, so you are sure you will have something in common with your fellow travellers.
- We’ve no need to spend a lot on glossy brochures and advertising and we don’t have big ‘overheads.’ This means we can deliver excellent value-for-money to our tour clients.
- We devote countless hours to researching the tours and engage one of the Europe’s largest travel wholesalers for our European trips to achieve keen pricing and ensure everything runs smoothly.
- Even once you’ve booked a tour, you will receive our ‘updates’ with more details about attractions or destinations, advice on weather, what to pack, the best ways of communicating with home and so on. We are there to assist you at all times.
- We choose high standard (4-star), character/ historic hotels in central locations.
- We strive to create lasting, wonderful memories, including special experiences we know will stay with you long after the fleeting encounters of "on-and-off-the-bus”/”tick-that-off-the-list" tours.
- Our European tours are at a leisurely pace, (on average, three night stays in each hotel) so you’ve time to really ‘feel’ and absorb your location.
- We allow time for you to relax or to explore in smaller groups...to shop, sit in a village square, visit small galleries, gardens or see extra concerts. These are the times when you can follow your heart, feel where you are and truly absorb the atmosphere.
- If you’ve previously visited many of the places we are visiting, bear in mind what past clients say.... “We didn’t do it like this last time!” Stewart and Jennifer LOVE returning to places they’ve enjoyed before. A little familiarity allows another ‘depth’ to your travels. Like visiting old ‘friends’ you haven’t seen for a while, memories are rekindled as new ones are created....lovely!
- You’ll have Jennifer and Stewart as your hosts, plus, on European and Asian tours, our tour director and also specialist guides looking after you.
- Our meals are superior quality. Unlike many tours, dinners in Europe offer 3 courses/3 choices each and all are served with local wine, mineral water, fresh coffee/tea or juice if you prefer.
Gems of Southern England & Wales - 24th August to 19th September, 2018
BATH, OXFORD, CORNWALL, DARTMOOR, PORT ISAAC, THE COTSWOLDS, CARDIFF, ST DAVID'S, ABERYSTWYTH, LLANDUDNO, LONDON & MORE!!
24th August - 19th September, 2018 ex Australia. (26th August to 17th September in UK )
Dubai stop-overs and 22 Nights in Southern England, London and Wales.
See Performances on the West End, Concerts and many fascinating attractions as we explore our selected slices of Wales, Devon, Cornwall, the Cotswolds and London.
What a tour we have in store! Mention the UK and so many famous people, so much history and so many much-loved towns and iconic regions spring to mind....Narrow the field, as we have done, and there remain countless treats dangling their lures and vying for our attention. Bravely we have forged on and chosen some fabulous locations to explore, each with fascinating options for visits and offering tantalising day trips from our bases, large and small.
Our England/Wales tour will allow you time to really absorb and enjoy local history, scenery, picturesque villages, vibrant cities and a variety of musical delights, whether West End shows, a moving private Welsh male choir or a concert in a small church.
Following is a broad overview of where we are going and what we will be doing. As with all of our tours, we will be continuing the work of fine-tuning and adding more detail between now and our departure.
Here we go!........We fly into London having enjoyed a convivial and reviving stop-over in Dubai. From Heathrow Airport, we head straight to Bath, just a couple of hours away. This will be our base for three nights whilst we take in the many attractions and curiosities of this lovely town and surrounds. From our character-filled hotel, right in the centre, most main attractions are just steps away. The Jane Austen Museum, Roman Baths and the elegant Pump Room cafe (1706) where we'll take 'Elevenses' whilst the trio plays, Sally Lunn's little Tea shop, (in fact it's the very house from which she made and sold her famous buns right back in the 1400s! ).
We'll see stunning Georgian architecture, grand terraces and parks as we gain insight into the privileged life lived by many in years gone by. We'll also strike out from Bath for some special visits, including one which is bound to be a tour highlight and which was very difficult to secure! This is a tour of the privately owned Highclere Castle (pictured). As we approach, you will instantly recognise this grand estate as the BBC's Downton Abbey! We visit the evocative Stonehenge site and also Avebury stone circles.
Leaving Bath, we head south to Devon and our base for the next four nights, a magnificent castle hotel and estate (think clay pigeon shooting!) at Bovey which lies right inside Dartmoor National Park. En route we tour the magnificent Medieval cathedral at Salisbury. Whilst enjoying our luxurious castle accommodation we will explore the sweeping moor and some of the quaint little towns in Dartmoor. We will take a drive to the historic port town of Plymouth, (from which Drake sailed to circumnavigate the world) and in the evening enjoy the award-winning West End production of War Horse which is being presented at the Plymouth Theatre Royal. This will be a very poignant experience given that the story begins right where we are staying, in Devon.
Cornwall is not far away so we'll pop down for a look around. The Cornish smugglers were legendary and in the middle of the Bodmin Moor, lies The Jamaica Inn, a smugglers' coaching house, immortalised in literature by Daphne du Maurier. It still welcomes passers-by to its smugglers' museum and of course, still offers a reviving drink and snack for the traveller! A highlight for many will be our visit to Port Isaac, a picturesque fishing village made famous as the fictional Portwenn, home to the BBC Doc Martin series! You'll have time to poke about and see the various filming locations and enjoy walking the tiny rambling streets of the town. If there's time, we'll pop into nearby Padstow too ( pictured at top )...another pretty Cornish fishing village where famous travelling TV chef, Rick Stein lives and has several seafood and fish & chip eateries in the town. We'll also see some of the dramatic filming locations used in the recent Poldark TV Series.
With new horizons beckoning, we must leave Devon and in fact England, for a time. We are bound for nearby Wales, and our first stop is the vibrant capital city of Cardiff. We'll spend several days here, visiting Cardiff Castle and Cathedral, the period shopping arcades, the new Waterfront Bay and enjoying the many rich offerings of this very appealing small city. We will enjoy a typical night of Welsh hospitality at Cardiff Castle, with traditional singing, music, fun and food. We've also planned a special treat too, with a renowned Welsh male choir engaged to give a private performance for us!
Leaving Cardiff, we head along the coast travelling into Pembrokeshire. We have a special stop scheduled in the UK's smallest city, (in terms of both size and population), St David's. Lying on its own peninsular on Wales' westernmost tip, we find a huge stone cathedral, (begun in 1181), dedicated to Wales' Patron Saint, whose remains have lain here since the 500s. Having absorbed some of the fascinating history of St Davids and explored the township, we turn and head Northward, hugging the coast until we reach a region which boasts the highest percentage of people who consider Welsh their first language. ( help!)
We spend the night in a hotel on the seafront promenade of this University town and coastal resort of Aberystwyth. The University is one of the UK's finest and Prince Charles studied here. The town is also home to the Welsh National library, and there are reputedly more books per capita in Aberystwyth than anywhere else in the world and the collection goes right back to medieval times! We'll make the most of our time here, starting with a ride on the UK's longest funicular, The Cliff Railway, which rewards with cliff-top views right back in the direction of St David's and the Pembroke Coast. We'll ride up early evening to enjoy dinner in the restaurant as the lights come up along the coast. There will be time in the morning to visit the castle ruins and see the imposing Old College building as well as visit a marvellous museum housed in a former theatre. As we leave Aberystwyth we'll do so by steam train, through the beautiful Vale of Rheidol to Devil's Ditch where our coach will be waiting to take us further North, driving through the dramatic Snowdonia National Park and emerging in the far North of Wales in the delightful seaside resort town of Llandudno. We will enjoy 2-nights on this little peninsular, relaxing in our characterful, heritage seafront-hotel. Local activities such as a walk along the long, wide Promenade, an historic trip on the old 1902 tramway to the top of Great Orme or a stroll out along the long pier (800mtrs) with its shops and arcades are there to be enjoyed at leisure. When it's time to wend our way back to England, we'll stop at Powis Castle to tour the castle and gardens and the fascinating Clive of India Museum within.
Our next base is on the edge of The Cotswolds, in Worcestershire, where we will spend four magical nights in a delightful hotel, right in the quaint market town of Evesham. There is much to explore in this area including nearby Stratford-upon-Avon...Shakespeare country... Blenheim Palace (home of the Dukes of Marlborough), Chavenage House, a marvellous stately home which is so old, Cromwell slept there! We take Full Cotswolds Tea in the dining room before we leave. This home was used as the Poldark family home. You'll instantly recognise it from the approach. We'll visit Gloucester and it's wonderful cathedral and of course see many very pretty, small villages and beautiful countryside as we drive around. Pleasant hours will be passed enjoying the delights of character-filled towns with their small specialist museums, galleries, shops, eateries and of course, atmospheric pubs!
Finally we will allow ourselves to succumb to the lure of England's grand capital...but not before making a stop at a very special English town, Oxford. Here we will wander the grounds of the famous university, visit the huge Covered Market, perhaps have lunch in a pub or take a boat ride along the gentle Thames river. At the end of the day we will arrive in London, one of the greatest cities in the world and one which has so much to offer its tourists, even those who've visited many times. We could spend a year here but we must settle for 5 wonderful nights. We'll stay in a beautiful hotel, right in the heart of the Theatre District at Seven Dials. It will be so easy for you to take in extra shows outside of our included programme. We have great seats to several West End performances, including Strictly Ballroom and Phantom. We'll also attend a Tchaikovsky Gala at the London Festival Hall among other performances. We will tour the Churchill War Rooms which are exactly as they were left at the end of the war. We also have a very special tour of Buckingham Palace State Rooms, the gardens and the Royal Mews. During free time you'll be able to cram in as many of the famous icons as you can...... Covent Garden Market, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Royal Albert Hall, St Paul's Cathedral, The 'London Eye' The British Museum and Museum of London, Tate Gallery, Madame Tussaud's, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben.... They are all there for you and many very close to our hotel. We've made your quest even easier by including a Hop on Hop off bus pass which give you discounts to most main attractions. This way you can be sure you don't miss those special places you really wanted to see. We'll have a 'born and bred' London Guide too, to take us on a couple of walks around the city and enlighten us about what lies all around us and also of course, he'll assist those who wish to visit some unusual places. It will certainly be a fabulous final 5 days for our grande finale!
When it's time to head home, we will do so with wonderful memories of three incredible weeks of contrasts, of magical sights, sounds and experiences....ones we can digest for years to come. We'll have visited little coastal towns...(including one where we may not have understood much of what was said!!), picturesque country villages, character-filled towns and vibrant, bustling cities, all brimming with delights. We'll have seen ancient Roman ruins, toured Grand Castles and Palaces, browsed fascinating museums, galleries and shops, attended marvellous performances at various Theatres as well as other Music en route. We'll have seen ever-changing, heart-stopping scenery, stayed in top-notch, central, heritage hotels (as well as a luxury castle in a moor!) and we'll have engaged with many warm and friendly locals, proud of their heritage and of where they call home. None more so than our trusty Tour Director and guide, Phil, who not only dedicates himself to sharing his corner of the UK with the world but to teaching others to guide and to share highlights of 'home' with visitors. We will certainly have done justice to the special places we have chosen for you to visit and enjoy!