Planning a trip

Here are some notes which may help you in planning a successful tour

The best tours are circular, to keep travelling in my car to a minimum. If you send me a list of places you wish to visit, I can make them into a circular tour and suggest overnight stops. If you wish to see several places in one area, 2 nights in the same hotel makes for a more relaxing schedule. It is preferable to keep each day's travel to 4 hours or less, which should allow us to drive on some back roads for part of the journey to see the real countryside. Although I try to fit in whatever a client wishes, some clients have agreed that their plans were too ambitious and they would have enjoyed a more leisurely schedule.

Single day tours are available, but please bear in mind it takes 1 hour to drive out of London and another back at the end of the day. A short circular tour is preferable to 2 or 3 single day tours. The traffic in London is really not good, and the central London tour is best taken at the week-end.

Accommodation is better value out of London. I suggest and book this for you, so it is helpful to have an indication of the price guide you wish. There are several chains of modern hotels where the charge is per room and so offer good value.

http://www.travelodge.co.uk/
http://www.premierinn.com/

If you have the budget, country house hotels are wonderful. A tour can include both country houses and budget hotels. Bed & Breakfast is normally charged per person and a good one can be expensive, and I normally only use those I know.

Please let me know if you have any special needs. To see places like country houses and castles and gardens, you need to walk for at least 1 hour at a time. My vehicle is always non-smoking, as are all public places including restaurants and pubs. It is helpful to have an indication of the age range of your party, as this is never obvious from sent e-mail.

Contact me for details of The Great British Heritage pass. This gives access to almost all National Trust; English Heritage; Historic Houses Association and some other places. It can be ordered and delivered to you in the USA, which is better than buying in the UK where there are only a few Tourist Offices selling the pass. As well as saving on visiting sites, it makes it easy to make short visits to places without thinking you are not getting value for full price entry, or to include visits to some smaller attractions in the area.

Although most attractions are open April/Easter to end September, there are many places open all year and I have a list of them. Many tourist towns like Bath are not so busy in the winter but just as enjoyable. Not all my winter clients knew that our hours of daylight are short close to the winter solstice, 21st December, when sunset is before 4 pm and darkness follows in 30 minutes. Tours like the Jane Austen tour or cathedral visits are just as enjoyable in the winter months.

If you want to go to Paris, Normandy or the Invasion Beaches, remember it takes a day to get there and a day return.

I have the itineraries for clients in the last 12 years, and can send you one that comes closest to what you wish to see. I also have e-mail addresses of past clients so if you want a list of references, contact me.

Go for a circular route, stay in the country, don't try to see too much, and include some luxury for a memorable and enjoyable customized holiday.

I am here to help and advise as well as plan, so get in touch!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Julian