Stone Arch Brewpub
Day 1 - Thursday, September 10
Depart for London.
Day 2 - Friday, September 11
Arrive in London Heathrow or Gatwick airport. Our guide will meet you in the airport and transfer you to a luxury coach for your trip to Kent.
Depending on arrival time, we will have a 2-hour walking tour of Canterbury with our guide. Canterbury is located in Kent, a county in the southwest of England famed for the rich foliage and extensive agriculture. The city is most well-known for its stunning Cathedral and significance in Chacer's seminal work, The Canterbury Tales.
Tonight we will enjoy dinner at a local pub.
Overnight in Kent.
Day 3 - Saturday, September 12
Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning we will visit The Hop Farm with Oast Houses and Shire Horses in the stables. The Hop Farm is Kent's iconic and historic landmark, featuring the world's largest collection of Victorian oast houses. It was a major supplier of hops to London breweries in the 19th and 20th centuries. Families across the South East and beyond used to spend the summer holidays working in the rolling countryside around the Hop Farm, harvesting hops and preparing them to be transported. The hop pockets were delivered to the local train station using the strength of the famous Shire horses.
Lunch in Whistable, a picture-perfect seaside town. Quirky and independent, this lively harbor town in Kent is bursting with great views, world famous oysters and narrow alleyways calling out to be explored.
After lunch we will visit Kentish Craft Brewer. This brewery concentrated on making the more unusual, hard to find beers and was not afraid of experimenting with new raw materials and other ingredients, which could add new dimensions to favored Belgian and American style bottle conditioned strong ales. Their overall plan is about developing exciting new beers that will offer a broad mix of styles to satisfy the taste buds of the specialist beer drinker.
We will then have exclusive access to the National Hop Collection, held at Queen Court Farm, Faversham. It comprises historic English hop varieties and elite breeding lines from the commercial hop improvement program of the British Hop Association.
We will have dinner and a private tour at Shepherd Neame brewery, England's oldest operating brewery. We will join a guided tour which will take us through the heart of this busy working brewery to see how beer is made from barley to bottle and from hop to hand-pump! We will taste natural mineral water from the brewery's well, try some malted barley and smell locally-grown Kentish hops. The tour covers all aspects of brewing from raw material to distribution. Vehicles from the brewery's historic fleet are on display, along with a recreated cooper's workshop, bygone pub signs and a collection of hop-picking memorabilia.
Overnight in Kent.
Day 4 - Sunday, September 13
After breakfast at the hotel we will depart for London, one of the oldest, most dynamic, diverse, cultural and historic cities on Earth. We will enjoy an overview to get us familiar with the city and its highlights. We will be shown the great sights of London.
Covent Garden – at leisure. Covent Garden in London's West End is a popular destination for visitors and Londoners who enjoy shopping, theatre, restaurants, bars, history and culture. Geographically, Covent Garden is located in Central London, bordered by the City of London and Leicester Square. We will enjoy lunch on our own.
This afternoon we visit the Tower of London, a royal palace, a treasury of jewels, a state prison, an observatory, a place of execution and torture, and even a zoo. These are just some of the functions of the Tower of London over the past 900 years. Kings have been murdered here, Queens have been executed here. See the places where these major historic events have occurred, have a photo taken with a Beefeater or even a raven! The Tower also houses the Royal Armories and the Crown Jewels. Her Majesty’s regalia on display here includes the Cullinan Diamond, the world’s largest ever found (3106 carats!)
Dinner at leisure followed by a Soho historic pub crawl.
Overnight in London.
Day 5 - Monday, September 14
Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning we will visit Westminster Abbey, Britain’s most important religious building. It has been the site of coronations, royal weddings and funerals for nearly 1000 years, the burial place of Kings and Queens as well as some of the most important British citizens who have ever lived. Inside this stunning medieval Gothic church, British history has been and continues to be made.
We will then visit St Paul’s Cathedral. Dominating the skyline of London is the dome of this magnificent 17th Century cathedral. Inside is one of the glories of the city, a sumptuous work of Baroque architecture. Built in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London in 1666, St Paul’s has been the focus of the city ever since. National heroes are buried here; major funerals are held here. The emblem of London’s survival during WWII, Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles here in 1981 and the old woman sold her bird food here in the movie ‘Mary Poppins’.
For lunch we will head to Borough Market and take in the atmosphere of a true London market! Since medieval times, Londoners have been buying their food from this market just south of London Bridge. Nowadays it is a foodie heaven with cuisine from around the world as well as local artisan fare.
Including: A visit to George Tavern (oldest coaching house in London)
Note: Here you have the option for a Borough Market Food Tour including tastings.
After lunch we will take the Bermondsey Beer Mile Brewery Tour. We will have an expert lead us on a tour of 3 taprooms in Bermondsey and discover some great new beers. Our guide will take us through the history of the area and the beers we will discover along the route.
Dinner at leisure followed by a City of London historic pub crawl.
Overnight in London.
Day 6 - Tuesday, September 15
After breakfast at the hotel we will depart for Oxford.
We will start our day with a tour of Blenheim Palace and Park & Gardens. The finest, grandest, largest private palace in Britain, Blenheim Palace is a Baroque masterpiece. Built by a grateful nation in 1704 for the victorious general John Churchill, it was where his descendant, Winston, was born in 1874. The Palace’s collection of paintings, tapestries furniture and sculptures are amongst the finest in Europe. Its 2,000 acres of landscaped gardens are picture perfect.
We will then explore Oxford at leisure. Oxford is one of the oldest cities of education in the world. It is also one of the most beautiful. The ancient colleges, cloisters and quads, libraries, bridges, gardens and narrow, cobbled streets have thronged with students for 800 years. C.S. Lewis dreamt up the Chronicles of Narnia whilst teaching here. J.R.R. Tolkien created the Lord of the Rings here. Lewis Carol wrote Alice in Wonderland while a lecturer at Oxford. Generations of students from Bill Clinton to Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, have studied here. It is still a world-class educational institution.
Visit social enterprise brewery, who rehabilitate people serving prison sentences. Sour brewery and keg-led brewing. Tap Social Movement is a craft brewery based in central oxford, specializing in bold and flavorful keg beer. They are the first brewery to bring sour beer to Oxford, and our core range includes an exciting mixture of hoppy pales, dark, Belgian, gluten free, and sour styles.
Overnight at hotel in Oxford.
Day 7 - Wednesday, September 16
After breakfast we will head to Stonehenge. Walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors at Stonehenge – one of the Wonders of the World and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. With a history spanning 4,500 years, Stonehenge has many different meanings to people today. It is a spiritual place and a source of inspiration. Explore the ancient landscape on foot and step inside the Neolithic houses to discover the tools and objects of everyday Neolithic life. Visit the world-class exhibition and visitor center with 250 ancient objects and come face-to-face with a 5,500-year-old man.
We continue our day with the Wadworth Brewery Tour. We will discover traditional brewing skills and appreciate cask ales at their best as you enjoy an extensive tour of the Victorian tower buildings, starting in the Visitor Center. You’ll gain knowledge of the Wadworth history and heritage as you learn about the unique, traditional skills that the brewery still practices today. Follow the interesting gravitational brewing process down through four floors and round off your tour with a tasty selection of Wadworth cask ales.
Overnight at The Nobody Inn.
Day 8 - Wednesday, September 17
After breakfast we will travel to Dartmoor for a day of leisure. Discover a magical, ancient landscape of stunning views, awe inspiring granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces. This is Dartmoor, where you can truly escape to find peace, quiet and extreme beauty.
Overnight at The Nobody Inn.
Day 9 - Wednesday, September 18
Visit Yeovil Ales brewery
The Yeovil Ales brewery was founded in 2005 by father and son, Dave and Rob Sherwood. The range of handcrafted beers now stands at seven permanent real ales and a growing number of occasional and seasonal brews - including their YOLO (You Only Live Once) series of 10th anniversary beers and their 'Hop' experimental British hop development ranges. They brew and rack in-house, allowing them to keep control of the high-quality beers they produce. Their very own Drayman delivers the beers direct to trade customers throughout Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire and Hampshire, in both cask and keg.
Salisbury & Wilstshire
Centered on a majestic cathedral that's topped by the tallest spire in England, Salisbury makes an appealing Wiltshire base. It's been an important provincial city for more than a thousand years, and its streets form an architectural timeline ranging from medieval walls and half-timbered Tudor town houses to Georgian mansions and Victorian villa.
Real Ale steam train. Evening (approx. 18:30 - 22:30 Hrs – to/from Alton)
Dinner at stops along the route. The Real Ale Train continues its tradition of serving real ale from a restored bar carriage pulled by a steam locomotive.
Late transfer from Alton to Osterich Hotel (near airport)
Overnight at the Osterich.
Day 10 - Wednesday, September 19
Airport transfer for international flights.