Sabrina and Harold traveled to England and Scotland with us in June 2022. They ventured around the United Kingdom, visiting a number of different cities. They enjoyed a ‘hop on hop off’ in Oxford and a walking tour which was included, and a trip to Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford on Avon. They also got to see where Harold’s father served during the war, a former hospital base that is now a caravan park. They were shown a photo exhibit that detailed the history of the hospital, which was a moving experience for them.
here’s what they had to say about their trip:
|How would you rate your trip?||5/5|
|Who was your travel expert?||Ann|
|How were your accommodations?||Great|
|What did you love?||All our hotels were immaculate, comfortable beds and well located
Oxford Mercure-great location, nice hotel breakfast and restaurant
White Swan Stratford on Avon very nice, good breakfast, great location, nice restaurant, warm and welcoming staff
Hogarth’s Stone Manor-beautiful grounds, nice breakfast and restaurant, nice pub area, staff helpful and welcoming
Jorvik House York-great location, room was claustrophobic and portable breakfast so so, staff-some were helpful and others not so warm or welcoming, a bit of a rabbit warren
Kings Lodge-very nice, nice restaurant pub, not as conveniently located, staff friendly
Apex Grassmarket-Edinburgh great location and view of the castle, staff helpful and welcoming, good breakfast and lots of nice restaurants and pubs with music nearby.
|Did everything go smoothly with your transportation?||Yes|
|What did you love?||Driver from Heathrow to Oxford, first ride ever in a Tesla which was fun, driver friendly and an excellent driver.
Two day driver and guide-driver Davinda (sp?) was professional and ride was smooth and well navigated even on backroads, friendly. Andrew our tour guide was great, knowledgeable and flexible, found the best itinerary for our off the beaten track visiting wishes (Wolverly and Hill Morton). Very Knowledgeable about the cathedrals we visited (Worcester and Coventry) and took us for a long hike to Kinver Ridge and it was fun visiting Kenilworth Castle as he knew so much without being pedantic. Especially enjoyed his knowledge of the language around names and places ie the Severn River aka as Sabrina! He was easy to be with and was a great first tour guide experience for us- he also gave us recommendations for what to do in York which we were visiting next.
Train rides were smooth and easy. We fortunately were a week ahead of the train strikes! Kenny our driver from Durham to Edinburgh was great also. He drove us to Alnwick Castle, village of Banburgh, drove near Bamburgh Catle but didn’t visit as we wanted to spend the rest of our time at Lindisfarne. Had a fun ride to Edinburgh and enjoyed Kenny’s sense of humor and Scottish pride, he also drove us all around Edinburgh and showed us his favorite sights and really nice commentary interspersed with humor. Another great experience.
Our flights were fine, crowded but mostly on time and no problems with luggage.
|What tours, attractions, or activities did you particularly enjoy?||The hop on hop off in Oxford was very good and we enjoyed the walking tour which was included. We attended an Evensong at Merton Chapel in Oxford which was amazing-including the organ recital which preceded the service. Walking around Oxford was great and the Botanical Gardens were particularly nice as was watching people punting on the river.
We also enjoyed visiting Shakespeare’s Birthplace, the New House and Ann Hathaway’s Cottage and walking around Stratford on Avon. Too bad there were no performances when we were there but after averaging 6 miles of walk-in in Oxford and Stratford, we maybe would have fallen asleep in any case! It was very moving to see where Harold’s father served during the war and the lady at the Caravan Park (former location of the Hospital base where he served) was so friendly despite being very busy and showed us into a room that had a photo exhibit of the history of the hospital and we could walk all around outside. Visiting Hillmorton (home of Harold’s ancestors who left to come to the colonies in the 1600’s was also moving as we visited the church they attended which was open and found plaques related to the Perkins family. We loved all the Cathedrals and Castles, the National Museum of Scotland, the hop on hop off in Edinburgh with extended visits to the Botanic Garden, the Britannia and Holyrood Palace (the lat day it was open for tours), the live tour of Edinburgh on the hop on hop off, and the day trip to the Highland’s with Jim Devine and Rabbie’s Tour Van. It was great and he was a lively and informative tour guide, we enjoyed the places we visited that day, particularly the Glencoe region.
We spent three evenings going to hear music, two nights at Sandy Bells and one at Ensign Ewart and that was great too.
|What was your favorite part of the trip?||Visiting the hospital grounds where Harold’s father served, his ancestors’ church, Coventry Cathedral, the Evensong at Merton College… Our tour guides and drivers…It’s hard to choose as it was really all great|
|Would you travel with us again?||Yes|
|How can we improve for next time?||Not a thing! Ann got everything just right and her advice was really helpful. Maybe a different hotel in York that is equally well located but a little more traditional? Really everything was grand just like our last trip Ann organized to Ireland pre covid.|
|Any other questions or comments?||Thank you so much. Unfortunately our next trip may be to Berlin and I don’t think you do trips there unfortunately! We really appreciate all your expertise and it is so easy to plan trips with you Ann. Happy Fourth of July. Sincerely, Sabrina (and Harold)|