Springtime Gardens of Europe & UK with Oberammergau Passion Play
Prepare to be moved, inspired and challenged by this event… The Oberammergau Passion Play ›
Dutch Bulbfields, English Villages & Gardens, the Austrian Alps and the Oberammergau Passion Play.
Departs Amsterdam May 5th 2020, for 21 days.
Tour highlights: Chelsea Flower Show, Keukenhof Gardens, Het Loo, Monet’s Garden, Villandry, Castle Howard, Harewood Holehird, Chatsworth, Stowe, Hidcote and Wisley.
Sights: ‘Heartbeat Country’, Heriot’s Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Cotswold Villages
Day 1, Tuesday, May 5th
The tour commences at check-in to our Amsterdam city centre hotel, our home for four nights. Rest from the flight, or take an afternoon canal cruise to get your bearings, before meeting our fellow travellers for a Welcome Drink and Dinner. [D]
Day 2, Wednesday, May 6th
Every day on a Great Trains of Europe Tour begins with a full buffet breakfast. We spend a full day in one of the world’s finest bulbfields, the Keukenhof Gardens, with 80 acres of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other flowering bulbs, shrubs, ancient trees, exhibitions, gurgling streams, flower parades, and seven themed gardens. There are restaurants and tea shops.
Day 3, Thursday, May 7th
We head into the countryside today (who will be first to see a windmill?) to the Gardens of the Dutch Baroque Palace Het Loo, the Royal Palace from the 1680s until 1982. Established by LeNôtre, the gardens feature perfect symmetry, axial layout with radiating gravel walks, parterres, fountains, basins and statues.
Day 4, Friday, May 8th
A visit this morning to the world's largest Flower Market at Aarlsmeer, then to the Dutch city of Delft, home of Vermeer, and imagine what Amsterdam might have looked like centuries ago.
To North York Moors [B] [D]
Day 5, Saturday, May 9th ^ Top ^
One of the great rail journeys of the world as we farewell Amsterdam and join the 300 kph Eurostar through the Chunnel. Customs requires that we travel with our luggage today. In London we join British Rail in the tracks of the Flying Scotsman to the mediaeval city of York. We see the Minster and the Shambles, then transfer to our inn in the North York Moors village of Pickering. A pub dinner tonight.
Day 6, Sunday, May 10th
This morning we visit the gardens of Castle Howard, laid out by Sir John Vanburgh in the early 18th century. Castle Howard is the palace of the Flyte family in “Brideshead Revisited”. We lunch (with Claude Jeremiah Greengrass?) in the village of Goathland, “Aidens field” in the TV series “Heartbeat”. Here we join the historic North York Steam Railway home to Pickering.
Day 7, Monday, May 11th
This morning we visit historic Harewood House. Its garden is classic Capability Brown. - forming an idyllic rural setting. We move on to the spa and garden town of Harrogate for a cream tea or a stroll around Harrogate’s famous public gardens. Can you spot Agatha Christie? She “disappeared” here in 1926.
Day 8, Tuesday, May 12th
We journey this morning through the Yorkshire Dales, immortalized in James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small” novels and television series. A village pub lunch stop, then on to the Lake District where we settle into our Lakeside hotel.
Day 9, Wednesday, May 13th
This morning we visit a very special Lakeland garden, Holehird, which specialises in Lakeland flora and offers sweeping views of Lake Windermere. A bit of whimsy on the way home: we drop in on Beatrix Potter’s garden, Hill Top - watch out for the fierce bad rabbit.
Day 10, Thursday, May 14th ^ Top ^
We take a magical rail journey today through some of the Dales’ and England’s finest scenery on the historic Settle to Carlisle Railway. A pub lunch, an afternoon cream tea and visits to some more of the Yorkshire Dales’ picturesque villages.
Day 11, Friday, May 15th
Our British Rail journey south today brings us to the Peak District of Derbyshire, to visit the gardens of historic Chatsworth House, dating from 1687. Another Capability Brown garden, Chatsworth has been famous for its beauty since Jane Austen’s Day. We move on in the late afternoon to the Cotswolds where we stay in a village inn in the pretty riverside village of Bourton-on-the-Water.
Day 12, Saturday, May 16th
This morning’s sightseeing takes us to picturesque Cotswold villages of honey-golden stone: Lower Slaughter, Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden. After a village pub lunch we visit one of England’s favourite gardens - Hidcote Manor, designed and developed by Maj. Lawrence Johnston, who scoured the world to secure rare and exotic species for this extremely pretty garden, a series of ‘outdoor rooms’.
Day 13, Sunday, May 17th
Today we visit Stowe Landscape Gardens, covering 750 acres and including 40 listed historic monuments and temples. It is considered one of England’s most important landscape gardens and the greatest names in English garden design were involved in its creation from Bridgeman in the 1710s to Vanbrugh, Kent, Gibbs and “Capability ” Brown. Afternoon tea in the Cotswold village of Burford, serious about antiques.
Day 14, Monday, May 18th
Back on British Rail today we journey through more of the Cotswolds’ rolling hills, as our luggage is taken on ahead to await our arrival in our London hotel. We enjoy London’s sights from a double-decker bus. The Oxford Street shops are only a bus ride away from the hotel. A West End Show tonight?
Day 15, Tuesday, May 19th ^ Top ^
The Changing of the Guard this morning before an afternoon excursion to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley Garden, where keen English gardeners have gone to be inspired for over 100 years. Spread out over 240 acres, Wisley is a lovely, peaceful place for a stroll as well as a demonstration garden full of practical garden design ideas and cultivation techniques.
Day 16, Wednesday, May 20th
A full day today at the renowned Chelsea Flower Show, arguably the world’s greatest and best known.
Day 17, Thursday, May 21st
We join our short flight to the Continent today and settle in to our hotel in the village of Igls, overlooking Innsbruck.
To Oberammergau [B] [L] [D]
Day 18, Friday, May 22nd
Pack an overnight bag, for our transfer to the village of Oberammergau where we arrive in time for lunch and settle into our overnight accommodation, returning to the theatre in the village for the first half of the performance this afternoon. Prepare for an inspirational experience as we re-live the last week of the earthly life of Jesus. There is a break for dinner and, then we return for the climax of the performance. We are transferred to our overnight accommodation, inspired but emotionally drained.
Day 19, Saturday, May 23rd
Innsbruck This morning we return to our hotel in the village of Igls, for a relaxing afternoon.
Day 20, Sunday, May 24th ^ Top ^
An exploration of the city of Innsbruck today, and a ride to the top of the Alps for a breathtaking view from 7,000 feet. Our Farewell Dinner tonight.
Day 21, Monday, May 25th
Our tour ends after breakfast. There is a transfer to Munich Airport for those flying home today.
Escorted Tour costs:
$AUD 13,950 per person Twin Share.
Land Content only (i.e. Commences Amsterdam, ends in Munich).
Single supplement $AUD 2,000
Enquire about our competitive air fares.
$1,000 per person initial deposit is required immediately to confirm your seat. A further $2,500pp deposit is required 12 months before departure. Balance will be payable 4 months before departure.
What’s included?^ Top ^
- Includes 21 days in four star city centre hotels and historic village inns
- Buffet breakfasts, one dinner at each stop,
- First Class rail travel throughout,
- An economy class flight from London to Innsbruck,
- All sightseeing and garden entrances with local guides,
- Full day entry to Chelsea Flower Show.
- All sightseeing and entrances with local guides,
- And a performance of the Oberammergau Passion Play.
The TOUR COST does NOT include:^ Top ^
- Hotel incidentals (eg. Mini-bars, telephone calls, laundry), airport and departure taxes, local transport in any city,
- Optional excursions listed or meals other than breakfast and the one restaurant dinner in each city - the first night in each new city, except Rome where it takes the form of a farewell dinner.
About the Springtime Gardens with Oberammergau Passion Play
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