Door 2 Tour

Coach Holidays, Escorted Tours & Events

0330 440 3999

Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm

A Journey Into Shakespeare Country

UK & Ireland
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Board Basis: Half Board
  • Tour Ref: D2TJUS8633

Holiday Summary

  • Travel Type: Coach

5 days

English Heritage 2019

PRICE FROM ? £615 per person
Plan My Trip

Itinerary

Description

Explore the rich heritage of Shakespeare Country in the heart of England. We’ll tour a castle built to woo a queen, visit the birthplace of our country’s most famous playwright and find hidden gems in two characterful historic towns.

Self Drive Itinerary

Excursion One – Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s Birthplace & New Place

We begin our holiday with a guided walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon. We’ll delve into the world of William Shakespeare and get a glimpse into his family life away from the stage.

A visit to Shakespeare's Birthplace will give us the chance to explore the playwright’s story in the very house where he was born and raised. We also have a chance to view rare artefacts from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s world class collections.

Shakespeare’s New Place was the family home from 1597 until Shakespeare’s death in 1616. The building was demolished in 1759, but Shakespeare’s time in the house is commemorated with a beautiful garden, a new exhibition, specially commissioned sculptures and a sunken Tudor Knot Garden.

Excursion Two – Ashby de la Zouch Castle & Kirby Muxloe Castle

Our first stop is Ashby de la Zouch Castle. The property began as a medieval manor house before being turned into a castle in the 15th century by William, Lord Hastings, a favourite of Edward IV. Hasting’s descendants held the castle for King Charles during the Civil War, and it was partially demolished by the victorious Parliamentarians after its surrender. It was used as a setting in Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel Ivanhoe, and when the book was published visitors flocked here to see the ruins for themselves. We’ll learn more about the castle’s colourful history on our guided tour.  


After free time for lunch in Ashby de la Zouch, we head to picturesque Kirby Muxloe Castle which will be opened exclusively for us to take a private guided tour. Like Ashby de la Zouch, Kirby Muxloe was built by Lord Hastings. Although Hastings had grand designs for this fortified manor house, he was executed without trial by the future Richard III and his work at Kirby Muxloe was never finished. The picturesque remains of the moat, gatehouse and corner tower give a tantalising glimpse of what might have been.

Excursion Three – Warwick, Lord Leycester Hospital & Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden

We start the day in the historic town of Warwick. Here we visit the Lord Leycester Hospital, a collection of superb timber-framed buildings on the town’s High Street. For nearly 200 years the buildings were home to Warwick’s medieval Guilds. In the 16th century, under the patronage of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the buildings became a place of retirement for old soldiers known as the Brethren; a legacy that continues to this day. We will be welcomed by one of the Brethren on arrival.

After lunch at leisure in Warwick, we continue on to Kenilworth Castle, which also has links with Robert Dudley. Once one of the greatest fortresses in medieval England, Elizabeth I gave the castle to Dudley, her childhood friend and favourite. We enjoy a guided tour of the beautifully recreated Elizabethan Garden which, in 2019, celebrates ten years since its re-opening, having been lost to the world for over 400 years. Afterwards we will enjoy an afternoon cream tea as we hear more about the relationship between Elizabeth and Dudley from one of English Heritage’s expert historians.

Coach Itinerary

Excursion One – Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s Birthplace & New Place

We begin our holiday with a guided walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon. We’ll delve into the world of William Shakespeare and get a glimpse into his family life away from the stage.

A visit to Shakespeare's Birthplace will give us the chance to explore the playwright’s story in the very house where he was born and raised. We also have a chance to view rare artefacts from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s world class collections.

Shakespeare’s New Place was the family home from 1597 until Shakespeare’s death in 1616. The building was demolished in 1759, but Shakespeare’s time in the house is commemorated with a beautiful garden, a new exhibition, specially commissioned sculptures and a sunken Tudor Knot Garden.

Excursion Two – Ashby de la Zouch Castle & Kirby Muxloe Castle

Our first stop is Ashby de la Zouch Castle. The property began as a medieval manor house before being turned into a castle in the 15th century by William, Lord Hastings, a favourite of Edward IV. Hasting’s descendants held the castle for King Charles during the Civil War, and it was partially demolished by the victorious Parliamentarians after its surrender. It was used as a setting in Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel Ivanhoe, and when the book was published visitors flocked here to see the ruins for themselves. We’ll learn more about the castle’s colourful history on our guided tour.  


After free time for lunch in Ashby de la Zouch, we head to picturesque Kirby Muxloe Castle which will be opened exclusively for us to take a private guided tour. Like Ashby de la Zouch, Kirby Muxloe was built by Lord Hastings. Although Hastings had grand designs for this fortified manor house, he was executed without trial by the future Richard III and his work at Kirby Muxloe was never finished. The picturesque remains of the moat, gatehouse and corner tower give a tantalising glimpse of what might have been.

Excursion Three – Warwick, Lord Leycester Hospital & Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden

We start the day in the historic town of Warwick. Here we visit the Lord Leycester Hospital, a collection of superb timber-framed buildings on the town’s High Street. For nearly 200 years the buildings were home to Warwick’s medieval Guilds. In the 16th century, under the patronage of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the buildings became a place of retirement for old soldiers known as the Brethren; a legacy that continues to this day. We will be welcomed by one of the Brethren on arrival.

After lunch at leisure in Warwick, we continue on to Kenilworth Castle, which also has links with Robert Dudley. Once one of the greatest fortresses in medieval England, Elizabeth I gave the castle to Dudley, her childhood friend and favourite. We enjoy a guided tour of the beautifully recreated Elizabethan Garden which, in 2019, celebrates ten years since its re-opening, having been lost to the world for over 400 years. Afterwards we will enjoy an afternoon cream tea as we hear more about the relationship between Elizabeth and Dudley from one of English Heritage’s expert historians.

Self Drive Bullets

  • 4 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at the Stratford Manor Hotel, near Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Porterage
  • Welcome drink
  • After dinner tea and coffee at the hotel
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, New Place, Ashby de la Zouch Castle, Kirby Muxloe Castle, Warwick, Lord Leycester Hospital & Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
  • Guided walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Guided tour of Ashby de la Zouch Castle
  • Private guided tour of Kirby Muxloe Castle
  • Guided tour, cream tea and English Heritage historian guest speaker at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
  • Guidebooks for selected properties
  • Services of a Tour Manager

Are you an English Heritage Member?

If you are a member of English Heritage you can save a further £40pp on the price shown. To redeem this all you need to do is tick the "EH Member Discount" box on the "Passenger Options" page during the booking process.

Coach Bullets

  • 4 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at the Stratford Manor Hotel, near Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Porterage
  • Welcome drink
  • After dinner tea and coffee at the hotel
  • Return coach travel
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, New Place, Ashby de la Zouch Castle, Kirby Muxloe Castle, Warwick, Lord Leycester Hospital & Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
  • Guided walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Guided tour of Ashby de la Zouch Castle
  • Private guided tour of Kirby Muxloe Castle
  • Guided tour, cream tea and English Heritage historian guest speaker at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
  • Guidebooks for selected properties
  • Services of a Tour Manager

Are you an English Heritage Member?

If you are a member of English Heritage you can save a further £40pp on the price shown. To redeem this all you need to do is tick the "EH Member Discount" box on the "Passenger Options" page during the booking process.

Search Bullets

  • 4 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at the Stratford Manor Hotel, near Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Visits to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, New Place, Ashby de la Zouch Castle, Kirby Muxloe Castle, Warwick, Lord Leycester Hospital & Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
  • Guided tour, cream tea and English Heritage historian guest speaker at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
  • Services of a Tour Manager

Helpful Information

Please note: You will need a reasonable degree of mobility to keep up with the pace of the tour; you may encounter steep or rough terrain and have stairs to climb. As a general guideline, we recommend that you are comfortable to stroll for 20-30 minutes at a time.

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