small group touring

small group touring
uk & europe

2009 edition 1
www.backroadstouring.co.uk

Small group touring

UK Europe

contents
Britain & ireland
Welcome to Britain & Ireland .................... 6 Departing London.................................... 8 Departing Manchester ........................... 18 Departing Glasgow & Inverness ............ 19 Departing Dublin & Galway ................... 22

Battlefield tours
Welcome to Battlefield Tours ................. 25 1–3 day tours ........................................ 25 Extended tours ...................................... 26

france
Welcome to France ............................... 28 Departing Lille & London........................ 30 Departing Paris ...................................... 31

italy
Welcome to Italy .................................... 34 Departing Rome .................................... 36 Departing Florence ................................ 38

terms & conditions................... 39
Sussex coastline, England coVer: Chipping Campden, The Cotswolds

aBout Back-roads touring co.
We believe travel is not about seeing new destinations, it is about experiencing them. We believe famous landmarks are just the beginning of the itinerary, that meeting locals, exploring quintessential villages and simply relaxing in street-side cafes are equally important. We believe a traveller should be able to indulge their own sense of adventure with a flexible tour list that leaves time for personal interest stops, and that a traditional inn filled with the aroma of

country cooking is far superior to a glossy hotel filled with tourists. We believe tourers should be led by an educated local guide who loves the area, that they should move around free of big tour branding to better absorb the culture, and that they should share experiences with a small group of commoninterest companions rather than reams of strangers. We believe you can learn more about a country in 15 minutes on the Back-Roads Touring tour than you can in two hours on the freeway.

Our Brochure
The Back-Roads Touring Co. philosophy is to take you behind the tourist facade, away from the massed coach groups, and introduce you to the ‘real’ country and its people, to treat you as an individual and not just one of the group. child pricing appears, it is based on one child sharing with two adults. Don’t forget if you have a group or family travelling together, we can tailor-make a tour for your group. supplements exist as you will have your own room – we don’t ‘match’ people up.

pre- & post-tour accommodation
At the time of going to print, we are in final negotiations with hotels in our key cities for deals and pre- and post-departure. When booking, please check where our tours leave from and return to. This is particularly important in London, as tours leave about 8am and catching the tube to our departure point at that time may not be your ideal start.

comBination tours
Most of our tours are designed so that if you would like to combine two shorter tours they will marry together seamlessly to create a longer tour with a ‘link’ night. Ask your consultant to supply a price on any tour combination and you will usually find they are discounted as a package and include that link night.

flexiBility
Our tours are small enough in size to mean you can have real input on the day-to-day itinerary, and if the group is in consensus we can visit attractions and sites that may not be on the itinerary! If the weather isn’t great, it’s a public holiday, or there is a special event on we would like to see, we all pull the day’s itinerary together over dinner the night before.

single supplements
All our tours are available for the single traveller. In fact about 20% of our travellers are single travellers, so you’re bound to meet friends on a Back-Road tour. You will, however, need to pay the single supplement price, which is listed in all tours throughout the brochure. Single

child policy
Most of our tours are designed for like-minded adults travelling together. Some tours are not suitable for children under 13, and as a result we don’t offer child prices on every tour. Where

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small group touring uk & europe

aBout us

Getting you behind the tourist façade
guaranteed departures and our schedule
We have scores of departure dates so there’s certain to be one that suits your time frame. There is no doubt summer is the best time to visit the UK and Europe, and we have filled the warmest months with a fantastic array of tours. However, we realise not everyone can get away at that time, so if you have a jacket and a warm outlook we can get you where you want to go at any time of year. Just be aware that in the cooler months not all attractions are open and we will need to be truly flexible – that is after all, the Back-Roads Touring way! Unlike most other tour operators, once we’ve accepted your booking and you’ve paid your deposit, we promise that we won’t cancel your tour unless forced to do so by circumstances beyond our control. If you’ve invested your dreams in us, we’ll make them a reality. On rare occasions when there are only one or two people booked on a tour, we’ll give you the opportunity of cancelling without cost or transferring to another BackRoads Touring tour with more participants – it’s a lot more fun that way! car can go, but you sit high enough to see everything you would want. Our vehicles are not covered in bright colours or branding, as we want to experience the real back roads, and this sometimes means anonymity or not imposing ourselves on our environment.

our hotels
Accommodation is an integral part of your holiday and we believe it should complement the style and season of your tour. At Back-Roads Touring we have hand-picked your accommodation for each and every tour. Our properties are of a three-star standard and we have selected these hotels, guest houses and working farms based on a combination of location, architectural interest, standard, facilities, cooking and warmth of welcome. All rooms have en suite facilities. Because we don’t travel in large 50-seat coaches we are not restricted to staying in large and impersonal tourist class hotels. You will know your hosts well and, in many cases, we base in one small hotel and day-trip from there, so there is no need to have your luggage at the front door by 6.30 am every day. We cannot list every accommodation we use as they change according to availability and season, however with your predeparture package you will be provided with an accommodation outline.

design your own special tour
Nearly half our trips last year were private tours! We can tailor the perfect tour for any group. We have a wide range of suggested itineraries throughout our brochure, but the beauty of your own charter is we can modify any itinerary to suit the needs of any group. Just ask our Consultants or your local Travel Agent to provide an itinerary to suit your needs.

your guides: locals on the Back roads
At Back-Roads Touring we realise that the difference between a tour and an experience is your guide and the knowledge you pick up on the way. Our companion guides, both male and female, boast a wide range of backgrounds – from authors and college professors to adventurers, photographers, ex-service officers, sailors and even a member of the Royal Household! They are philosophers, diplomats, historians and entertainers but, above all else, they are dedicated to ensuring your comfort, safety and enjoyment. All of our driver-guides have passed a stringent government test allowing them to drive our specially registered vehicles. In terms of their knowledge, specialist experience and suitability for handling the small group tours that are our forte, we believe our team will not be bettered by any other tour operator and, given the smaller group sizes, you will be sure to have plenty of time to get to know your guide.

our coaches
Many tourists do not really see the county they visit. Herded onto 50-seat coaches and marched around expensive tourist sights, they only visit locals who have something to sell and see the country from the highway. This is not the Back-Roads Touring way. In fact, this was the motivation for us to do it differently and better. One of our principal points of difference is that we only operate small, unbranded, reliable Back-Roads Touring mini coaches. We operate two main vehicle types – Mercedes Sprinters (max 16 seats) and Renault Masters (max 13 seats). For smaller private groups we might use 7-seater Mercedes Vitos. All our vehicles are fitted with seat belts, PA systems and high-backed coach seats with air-conditioning or forced-air ventilation. Coaches used on the Continent will always have air-conditioning. Our Mercedes sprinters are specially converted with extended rear to allow greater leg room between seats and a large trunk to easily accommodate all your luggage. The Renaults are built on raised floors, allowing maximum luggage storage. These vehicles can go anywhere a

small group touring uk & europe

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Britain & ireland

Britain & Ireland

Welcome to

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small group touring Britain & ireland

OUT ER H EB RID ES

Britain & ireland
Inverness

ISLE OF SKYE

INNER HEBR IDE S

SCOTLAND
Oban Glasgow

Aberdeen North Sea

Atlantic Ocean

EDINBURGH

NORTHERN IRELAND
Sligo

Hadrian’s Wall Lake District

BELFAST ISLE OF MAN

York Manchester

Galway

IRELAND
Limerick

Irish Sea DUBLIN Liverpool

ENGLAND
Waterford Birmingham Warwick

Killarney

Cork

WALES
Celtic Sea
W
CARDIFF

Bath

Cotswolds

Beaconsfield
LONDON

DEVON
RN L AL

Brighton
ISLE OF WIGHT

Plymouth

CO

ith beauty both sophisticated and rugged, Britain and Ireland will win your heart. Spectacular seascapes and majestic mountains attempt to better each other in the awe-inspiring stakes, while castles, cathedrals, palaces, picturesque villages and prehistoric temples rise from the rolling hills with a sense of high drama. It is an essential, unsurpassed and simply unforgettable travel experience.

the Back-roads touring way
why Back-roads touring?
Move beyond the typical tourist traps and experience the very best of Britain and Ireland, from shimmering lakes to towering mountains, from thatched-cottage villages to quaint working harbours, from tranquil emerald hills to medieval cities alive with modern-day action. Go where the big buses can’t with a local guide who is keen to show off the hidden sanctuaries of this enigmatic land. This is the realm of Shakespeare, Churchill and Tolkien. It is the domain of dukes and duchesses, saints and Celtic legends, and the beauty of Back-Roads Touring is that you can see it all just as they would have, in timeless towns untouched by the tourist masses. Watch literature come alive, walk streets steeped in history and share the secrets of one of the greatest civilizations on earth.

At a Glance
Visa & passport
Australian, NZ, Canadian and American citizens may stay up to 180 days without a visa. Other nationalities need to consult their licensed travel agent.

tipping
Leaving a tip in a restaurant is at your discretion. Most restaurants add 10–15% to the bill, however it is customary to leave a few coins if the service is satisfactory.

local customs
Shaking hands is a common greeting. Smoking is banned in all public places, including pubs and restaurants, throughout the UK & Ireland.

languages
English (some Welsh spoken in Wales and some Gaelic in Scotland).

what our traVellers say aBout us ...
We had a marvellous time on our tour of Ireland. I know we could never have done this on our own and certainly not on a large group tour and we are confirmed backroaders from here on. Pat Iguchi We had a great trip to England, Wales and Scotland. There’s nothing like a Back-Roads Touring tour to see the countryside away from the major motorways. Bill & Mary Hopcraft We loved everything we saw and did. It is just what we wanted – to see and do as much as we could in our short time. Jennifer Pickering Back-Roads Touring was everything that was promised. We would not hesitate to recommend it to our friends. Bill Greenaway & Anne Bawden

currency
Pound (GBP) in UK and Euro (EUR) in The Republic of Ireland.

electricity
220V 50Hz temp (°c)
London Belfast Edinburgh J 7 7 6 J 53 87 57 J 8 f 8 7 7 f 36 60 42 f 10 m 10 8 9 m 48 70 51 m 12 a 13 11 11 a 47 57 41 a 14

m 17 14 14 m 51 62 51 m 16

J 20 17 17 J 50 64 51 J 16

J 22 18 19 J 48 57 57 J 16

a 22 19 19 a 54 83 65 a 15

s 19 16 16 s 53 85 67 s 13

o 15 13 13 o 57 94 65 o 11

n 10 9 9 n 57 82 63 n 9

d 8 7 7 d 57 84 58 d 8

rainfall (mm)
London Belfast Edinburgh

daylight (hours)
UK & Ireland

small group touring Britain & ireland

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Britain & ireland
Departing London

heart of england – shakespeare’s land – 3 days/2 nights
Historic heroes and crumbling castles meet with modern-day celebrity mansions on this insightful introduction to central England’s most engaging people and places. Day 1 London – Cotswolds Britain's richest neighbourhood, Beaconsfield, complements the picturesque Chiltern Hills. See the legacies of Tolkien and CS Lewis in medieval Oxford, then visit Winston Churchill's tomb at Bladon and his birthplace at Blenheim Palace. Day 2 Cotswolds Wonder at the source of the world’s most famous words in Shakespeare’s Stratford. Turn the clock back to the 1500s and explore incredible Warwick and Kenilworth castles, plus the prehistoric Rollright Stones. Day 3 Tour ends London Comb the Cotswolds away from the crowds, from Chipping Campden markets to perfectly preserved Lacock. Find out why the World Heritage listed prehistoric temple site at Avebury rivals Stonehenge and be intrigued by the mystery of Silbury Hill. IncludEs: • 2 nights accommodation • Breakfast and dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All taxes, surcharges and entrance fees

kent – the garden of england – 3 days/2 nights
History buffs will be in heaven exploring England’s most time-honoured attractions, glimpsing behind the tourist facade on one of Back-road touring’s most popular adventures. Day 1 London – Kent Follow the majestic Thames towards the English Channel and the ‘Garden of England’ – Kent. Suddenly 800-year-old castles and medieval streets become commonplace as we journey through Rochester and over the Greenwich Meridian Line. Day 2 Kent It’s a case of sensory overload today as we visit a string of county icons – mighty Canterbury Cathedral, colossal Leeds Castle and the renowned white cliffs of Dover. There may also be time to add a few extra stops as whims and weather take us. Day 3 Tour ends London What do Henry James, Rudyard Kipling and Napoleon have in common? Today’s itinerary. Really break away from the tourist routes today to explore Kent and follow the footsteps of the celebrated identities who’ve put the area squarely on the map. IncludEs: • 2 nights accommodation • Breakfast and dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All taxes, surcharges and entrance fees

dEPArts: Weekly – Wed 8am (11 Mar–18 Nov 09) coMBInE wItH: In Search of King Arthur or Red Dragon
Twin from

dEPArts: Weekly – Sun (19 Apr–11 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Heart of England, Red Dragon or Eastern England
Child from

$ 805 Single from $ 845

$540

Twin from

$ 775 Single from $ 805 Child from $ 480

eastern england – suffolk and cambridge – 3 days/2 nights
the middle ages meet modern day in cambridge, norfolk, suffolk and Essex, which are certain to enchant with their sophisticated display of delicate English beauty. Day 1 London – East Anglia Explore famous Cambridge colleges, step out in Suffolk and get a unique glimpse into Victorian life amid the Museum of East Anglia’s excellent exhibits. Day 2 East Anglia Take a fascinating look at the UK’s most important archaeological site, the royal cemetery of Sutton Hoo. It sets the scene for Framlingham Castle, which is almost identical to the days when it imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots. Relax in the afternoon amid charming coastal villages and the beautiful Norfolk Broads. Day 3 Tour ends London Discover why Lavenham is labelled the prettiest village in England and follow the full spring blossoms back to London via the picturesque centres of East Anglia, Sudbury and Essex. It is an enthralling journey through some of England’s most stunning scenery. IncludEs: • 2 nights accommodation • Breakfast and dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All taxes, surcharges and entrance fees

Jane austen’s hampshire – 3 days/2 nights
Peek behind the pages of Austen’s famous works with the literature-lover’s ultimate 3-day tour, set amid scenery that inspired some of the greatest novels of all time. Day 1 London – Hampshire First stop is Steventon, home to Jane for her first 25 years. Next is Chawton, where Jane spent the last 8 years of her life and penned Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice and more. Her final home is now a museum, which won’t disappoint. Day 2 Hampshire Time seems to have stood still since Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy lived and wrote in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset. Easily recognise scenes from Persuasion in lovely Lyme Regis and search for fossils along the shoreline in Britain’s ‘Jurassic Park’. Day 3 Tour ends London Start at Stonehenge, then continue on to Bath, with the Jane Austen Centre set among the streets she describes in her novels. Head back to London via Lacock, where much of the Colin Firth version of Pride & Prejudice was filmed. IncludEs: • 2 nights accommodation • Breakfast and dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All taxes, surcharges and entrance fees

dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Wed 8am (29 Apr, 6 May–7 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: In Search of King Arthur
Twin from

dEPArts: Selected dates – Sun (28 June/5 July/19 July/2 Aug/16 Aug/30 Aug 09) coMBInE wItH: Heart of England or Harry Potter on selected dates
Twin from

$ 805 Single from $ 845 Child from $ 480

$ 805 Single from $ 845 Child from $ 490

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

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small group touring Britain & ireland

Britain & ireland

Departing London

kingdom of wessex & isle of wight – 3 days/2 nights
the birthplace of English history and tales of some of its brightest stars are all explored against a backdrop of medieval cities and beautiful gardens. Day 1 London – Wiltshire Watch Jane Austen’s words come to life in Chawton where she wrote her greatest works. Walk along the legendary lanes of Winchester in the afternoon, visiting the famous cathedral, King Arthur’s round table and a revered pilgrim monastery. Day 2 Wiltshire A short ferry ride alights on the Isle of Wight to tour Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s summer home, for a firsthand look at how she and her staff lived. Spend the afternoon in style at stately Mottistone Manor and explore this coveted corner of British coastline. Day 3 Tour ends London Sight the Magna Carta and Salisbury Cathedral, wander around breathtaking Wilton House, relish the ancient atmosphere of Stonehenge and Old Sarum. Pass through picturesque Hampshire and drop into the Duke of Wellington’s country home. IncludEs: • 2 nights accommodation • Breakfast and dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All taxes, surcharges and entrance fees

harry potter in the cotswolds – 3 days/2 nights
Begin a Muggle and emerge a Magician on an unforgettable journey from film sets to steam trains, medieval towns to magic stone circles and forests worthy of centaurs. Day 1 London – Cotswolds Start the literary adventure at the Roald Dahl Museum, then follow Harry’s footsteps around the set of Hogwarts at Oxford University. Scenes from CS Lewis, Tolkien and Lewis Caroll come to life in medieval Oxford. Day 2 Gloucestershire Meet some of Harry’s feathered friends and jump aboard the Hogwarts Express-style steam train to Cheltenham. Beatrix Potter’s work joins the fray in Gloucester, but it’s the other Potter’s film set that really steals the show. Day 3 Tour ends London JK Rowling’s inspiration is clear in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, site of majestic Chepstow Castle. Seek out unicorns in the forest, then go on location with Harry in ancient Lacock. IncludEs: • 2 nights accommodation • Breakfast and dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All taxes, surcharges and entrance fees

dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Wed (6 May–21 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Kent – The Garden of England

dEPArts: Selected Wed – (8 Apr/22 Apr/20 May/3 June/8 July/22 July/5 Aug/19 Aug 09) coMBInE wItH: In Search of King Arthur

Twin from

$ 805 Single from $ 845 Child from $ 470

Twin from

$ 805 Single from $ 865 Child from $ 530

in search of king arthur – 4 days/3 nights
relive Arthur’s reign with a tour so magical even Merlin would be proud. step inside centuries-old settings of romance, intrigue and honour and see legends come alive. Day 1 London – Devon Start with Stonehenge via the Celtic relics of Salisbury Plain and be captivated by Cadbury Castle’s grandeur and Camelot’s mysticism. Day 2 Devon See sites straight from the pages of Austen and Hardy in Dorsetshire, shop in Honiton or visit Chesil Beach. Peek into Lawrence of Arabia’s home or enjoy an afternoon pint. Day 3 Devon Take a rare full tour of Arthur’s birthplace, Tintagel Castle, en route to the north Cornwall coast via Dartmoor National Park. Enjoy a Cornish pastie lunch in a quaint pub. Day 4 Tour ends London Complete Arthur’s adventure with a stop at his burial site in Glastonbury. Enjoy Cheddar Gorge and Wells Cathedral. Stop at Merlin’s burial town, Marlborough, mysterious Celtic-built Silbury Hill and prehistoric Avebury. IncludEs: • 3 nights accommodation • Breakfast and dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All taxes, surcharges and entrance fees

tudor england – 4 days/3 nights
trace the exploits of Henry VIII, shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I. Experience tudor life firsthand, from the monarchs’ magnificent palaces to the commoners’ humble homes. Day 1 London – Warwickshire Compare sumptuous Burghley House in South Lincolnshire with elegant Kirby Hall. Go into battle beside Henry Tudor and see the magnificent ruined castle of Kenilworth. Day 2 Warwickshire Delve into everyday Tudor life at Stratford-upon-Avon and nearby Warwick. Find the source of Shakespeare’s creativity and survey ancient buildings and glorious gardens. Day 3 Cotswolds Off to Oxford’s endowed colleges and through to the Cotswolds, a Tudor wealthcreator, where Sudeley Castle reveals a dynasty all of its own. Day 4 Tour ends London Ragged ruins of the first abbey dissolved by Henry VIII offer a telling contrast to Hampton Court Palace. Enjoy lunch by the Thames then head to Hever Castle in Kent. IncludEs: • 3 nights in Tudor accommodation • Qualified guide/leaders once used by John Dudley himself • All taxes, surcharges and entrance fees • Breakfast and dinner daily dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sat 8am (25 Apr–10 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Possible extension days
Twin from

dEPArts: Weekly – Sat (11 Apr–7 Nov 09) coMBInE wItH: Red Dragon or Heart of England
Twin from

$1010 Single from $1050 Child from $ 710

$1010 Single from $1110 Child from $ 795

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

small group touring Britain & ireland

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Britain & ireland
Departing London

stately homes & Beautiful gardens – 4 days/3 nights
Day 1 London – Kent Bow to garden royalty at the Royal Society Gardens in Wisley before raiding the bookshop for your own remodelling ideas. Relive the Regency period by exploring King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II’s honeymoon destination, opulent Polesden Lacey, complete with a wander through the walled rose garden. We’ll continue the fragrant daydreams in Nymans if time permits. Day 2 Kent Winston Churchill seems so close in his old home of Chartwell you can almost smell the cigars! Step into living areas just as he left them and soak up the view that inspired his painting. Give into a little whirlwind romance at Scotney Castle, with its Victorian terraces a riot of rainbow shrubs running right into the view of a 14th-century castle moat. A true treasure-house in Knole will turn the clock back to the 1600s, showcasing Royal Stuart furnishings, an English masters’ art collection and scenes straight from Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. Day 3 Kent Take the time machine back even further at Penshurst Place, one of England’s finest family-owned manors for more than 600 years. Picture a traditional medieval feast filling the 60-foot-high chestnut hall, marvel at the wealth of magnificent furniture and art, and prowl around Penshurst’s grounds, divided by yew hedge barriers. See Ightham Mote, one of the region’s most magnificent gardens despite its small scale, then get swept up in the grandeur of Hever Castle with its gateway gables, sparkling moat and 30-acre garden blooming with roses. Day 4 Tour ends London Striking Sissinghurst Castle provides an epic start to the final day, but it’s Vita Sackville-West’s world-famous garden that will turn passionate plant lovers green with envy. Unlock the intricate secrets of this living masterpiece, get lost in the intimate floral designs and peek into the public areas of the home of its creator. Continue with a trip to 15th-century Bodiam Castle or the abbey famed for the 1066 Battle of Hastings. If words fail, borrow a line from Batemans, the home of Rudyard Kipling, where he penned many of his most memorable poems and stories. IncludEs: • 3 nights accommodation • Cooked breakfast daily • Hearty dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sat (18 Apr–17 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Heart of England

Majestic mansions, coveted castles and an enviable list of England’s most magnificent gardens make this Kent tour an unforgettable experience for anyone with a fondness for fine design. this tour is the ultimate opportunity to indulge your passion for architecture or landscaping.. take time to stop and smell the roses.

Twin from

$1010 Single from $1090

literary south england – 4 days/3 nights
winning novel. Back-roads touring guides help you read between the lines with an invitation into the workshops of charles dickens, thomas Hardy, AA Milne and rudyard Kipling to name but a few. Day 1 London – Kent Follow the river through Deptford, the hometown of Samuel Pepys and the site of Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe’s murder, before boarding the stagecoach to Rochester, an opportunity to experience Old London just as Mr Pickwick might have in Charles Dickens’ days. Even Dickens himself might struggle to describe the excitement of tracing exact scenes from his pages, yet there is a wealth of them among the medieval streets, which give rise to the grand Rochester cathedral, famed Norman castle and even Miss Haversham’s house. Knole is equally inspiring, as the birthplace of Vita Sackville-West and the setting of Virginia Woolf's Orlando. Day 2 Hampshire Make your way through the rich literary heritage of Kent and East Sussex. Ashdown Forest reveals the home of Winnie the Pooh and creator AA Milne, and the original bridge begs for a game of ‘pooh sticks’. Sleuth out several of Sherlock Holmes’ favourite haunts, knock on the door of Rudyard Kipling’s home in Burwash and indulge in a little romantic drama in Chawton, where Jane Austen’s home is so perfectly preserved you can almost see ink splashed from the pages of Pride & Prejudice. Day 3 Hampshire Bid goodbye to the madding crowd and say hello to Thomas Hardy. Life and literature overlap at the prehistoric temple of Stonehenge and the charming towns of Winchester, Shaftesbury and Dorchester. Seek inspiration in the smaller villages that time seems not to have touched, despite the fact that they often serve as film sets, including Agatha Cristie’s Miss Marple series. Day 4 Tour ends London Venture through Royal Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and the Chiltern Hills to Oxford in the company of myriad masters – Thomas Grey, John Milton, Robert Frost, Frankenstein’s mother Mary Shelley and Jerome K Jerome, to name a few. Dine in the ancient pub where Tolkein and CS Lewis once met friends for a drink and explore the ‘city of the dreaming spires’ on foot, fending off novelistic characters at every turn. IncludEs: • 3 nights accommodation • Cooked breakfast daily • Hearty dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sat (16 May–17 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Heart of England coMBInE wItH: Northern Literary tour (terminates Manchester) – details on request

watch the work of some of the world’s greatest wordsmiths leap off the page. Follow the footsteps of your favourite characters and find the springs of inspiration that pushed the pens of their creators. no matter how much you love literature, you’ll find this tour more enthralling than any award-

Twin from

$1010 Single from $1090

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

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small group touring Britain & ireland

Britain & ireland

Departing London

red dragon – south wales – 4 days/3 nights
taste of the local lifestyle. Gifted guides share an intimate knowledge of regional history and reveal some of the lesser-known locations to those lucky enough to join the journey. Day 1 London – Wales Pass through the Cotswolds and picture fairy-folk flitting through the Forest of Dean, before lunch by the beautiful river Wye. Be inspired by the 12th-century Norman Castle of Chepstow and romantic Tintern Abbey, and revive the legacy of the fallen walls of Caerwent, reputed home of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Finally, come home to some traditional accommodation – a 17th-century Welsh working farmhouse, a country manor or even a vineyard, depending on the time of the year. Day 2 Wales Cardiff the capital city comes alive , and rugby fans will relish the opportunity to tour the Millennium Stadium. Learn the magic of Merlin’s school in the Valley of the Kings, stroll through stunning Llandaff Cathedral and experience Welsh life exactly the way it was hundreds of years ago at St Fagans where chapels, mills and homes have been painstakingly refurbished for maximum authenticity. Visit the verdant Vale of Glamorgan, spot smugglers’ coves along the rugged coast and cross a river on 700-year-old stepping stones. Evocative scenery, extraordinary architecture and old-fashioned country hospitality combine to make this tour the most comprehensive and captivating welcome to south wales available. turn off the highways and head along the back roads of west England and the welsh countryside to get a real Day 3 Wales Witness the glistening green transformation of old coal country with a bird’s eye view by climbing the rim of Rhigos Mountain. See Wales’ last deep coal mine against a breathtaking Brecon Beacons panorama. Options abound today – Brecon markets, the country’s oldest inn, Llantony Priory ruins, Abergavenny cattle market, a hidden rural church and historic Monmouth are just a few of the intriguing sights on offer. Day 4 Tour ends London Trace the 2000-year-old history of Roman relics in Caerleon and explore some of England’s most interesting sights on the return trip to London. Ancient standing stones at Avebury and peculiar Silbury Hill add an element of mystery as we follow the road out of the Land of the Red Dragon, via the scenic route, which includes a crossing of the River Severn and fills the windows with west country vistas that are nothing short of spectacular. IncludEs: • 3 nights accommodation • Cooked breakfast daily • Hearty dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Weekly – Wed (15 Apr–4 Nov 09) coMBInE wItH: In Search of King Arthur

Twin from

$1010 Single from $1070 Child from $ 690

The Chelsea Flower Show
The Chelsea Flower Show is an exquisite exhibition of Britain’s finest formal gardens, and Back-Roads Touring has pulled together these unique touring options to offer you the best this annual event has to offer. We have combined the show with touring options that take in some of the greatest gardens England has to offer. ALL 3 TOURS beLOw incLUde: • Twin share accommodation • Breakfast and dinner most days • Entry fees to the Chelsea Flower Show and other attractions

cheLSeA GARden ShOw + hOmeS And GARdenS Of KenT – 7 dAyS/6 niGhTS: • Saturday to Friday • Includes homes and gardens of Kent, the Chelsea Flower Show and London's gardens depARTS: Sat 16 May 09, returns Fri 22 May 09

cheLSeA GARden ShOw + The chiLTeRnS, hAmpShiRe And iSLe Of wiGhT – 7 dAyS/6 niGhTS: • Wednesday to Tuesday • Includes the Chelsea Flower Show, the Chilterns, Hampshire and Isle of Wight dEPArts: Wed 20 May 09, returns Tues 26 May 09

cheLSeA GARden ShOw + hOmeS And GARdenS Of KenT + The chiLTeRnS, hAmpShiRe And iSLe Of wiGhT – 11 dAyS/10 niGhTS: • Saturday to Tuesday • Includes homes and gardens of Kent, Hampshire & Isle of Wight, the Chelsea Flower Show and London's gardens depARTS: Sat 16 May 09, returns Tues 26 May 09

Twin from

$1885

Single from

$2030

Twin from

$1885

Single from

$2030

Twin from

$2805

Single from

$2950

Photographer: John Enoch Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin and adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

small group touring Britain & ireland

11

Britain & ireland
Departing London

combination tour – in search of king arthur & heart of england – 7 days/6 nights
Day 1 London – Devon Stonehenge makes a dramatic start to the day, as does the Celtic symbolism of Salisbury Plain. Walk the hallowed halls of Camelot, peer up the proud peaks of Cadbury Castle and stand tall on one of Arthur’s most famous battle sites. Day 2 Devon Imagine Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy strolling down the streets of Dorsetshire and find traces of Lawrence of Arabia on his home tour. Splash along the shore of Chesil Beach, scour the shops in Honiton and meet the locals in England’s tiniest pub. Day 3 Devon Trek up the cliffs to Tintagel Castle, Arthur’s oftenforgotten birthplace, before following the Cornwall coast through stunning scenery in Dartmoor National Park. See the many quaint villages that flourish in this fastidiously preserved part of the country. Day 4 Link night Maidenhead area Soak up the glorious view at Cheddar Gorge and examine the architectural grace of a 900-year-old Norman cathedral before bidding Arthur goodbye at his Glastonbury burial site. We’ll discover a few hidden Somerset gems and rural Wiltshire secrets on our journey towards our link-night accommodation. Day 5 Cotswolds Beyond London, Beaconsfield reveals its riches as home to many British celebrities. The Chiltern Hills charm with their picture-perfect scenery and Oxford embraces English elegance in all its medieval glory. Visit Winston Churchill’s tomb at Bladon and his remarkable birthplace, Blenheim Palace. Day 6 Cotswolds Be among the first for the day to see Shakespeare’s old stomping grounds at Stratford-upon-Avon and take in some of England’s most popular sights before the crowds arrive. Seeing the Rollright Stones is certain to make a lasting impression, and Warwick and Kenilworth castles will not be forgotten. Day 7 Tour ends London Tour the towns that time has forgotten in Chipping Campden and Lacock. Finally, the sacrosanct prehistoric site at Avebury and intriguing Silbury Hill make for stunning stops before returning once again to London’s cityscape. IncludEs: • 6 nights accommodation • 6 cooked breakfasts • Hearty dinner daily (except day 4) • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Weekly – Sat (11 Apr–7 Nov 09)

the magic of King Arthur’s days melds seamlessly with the modern day on this journey through England’s historic heartland. take in sacred sites, soaring castles and national treasures and delve well beyond the typical tourist map. this tour offers ample opportunity for flexibility within the itinerary.

Twin from

$1960 Single from $2110

combination tour – in search of king arthur & red dragon – 8 days/7 nights
Day 1 London – Devon Stonehenge and the Salisbury Plain start the tour off on a high note, but their mystical magic is more than matched by the striking grandeur of Cadbury Castle, the possible site of Camelot. Day 2 Devon Delve into Dorset, a realm where time seems to have stood still. Visit Jane Austen’s Lyme Regis, tour Thomas Hardy’s cottage, meet some famous English martyrs and see renowned Chesil Beach. Day 3 Devon Follow the curve of the awesome Cornwall coast, climb up to Tintagel Castle and lose yourself in the breathtaking landscape of Dartmoor National Park. Day 4 Link night Marlborough area Memorable sights abound with spectacular Cheddar Gorge, mystical Glastonbury and the 12th-century cathedral of Wells on the local map. Enjoy an evening on your own and dine out in style in the UK’s richest neighbourhood, Beaconsfield. Day 5 Wales Creep through the Cotswolds, escape into the Royal Forest of Dean, lunch by the beautiful River Wye and explore some stunning man-made wonders. Tintern Abbey proves itself worthy of inspiring William Wordsworth, and Caerwent ruins reveal why it is a reputed home of King Arthur. Accommodation in a 17th-century Welsh working farmhouse or country manor ensures you really adopt the Back-Roads Touring way. Day 6 Wales A panoramic tour of Wales’ capital, Cardiff, makes way for Millennium Stadium, lavish Llandaff Cathedral and the fascinating open-air museum of St Fagans. See Merlin’s school in the Valley of the Kings, explore the Vale of Glamorgan and wind along Wales’ stunning windswept coastline. Day 7 Wales Broach the rim of the coal-bearing Rhigos Mountain and take in the glorious outlook over Brecon Beacons. A bevy of attractions beg for exploration today. From ancient towns to atmospheric ruins, traditional inns to bustling markets, they all embrace the lines from the famous Welsh song ‘there’ll be a welcome in these hillsides’. Day 8 Tour ends London Revive the intrigue of the ancient standing stones at Avebury and amazing Silbury Hill. Tour an outstanding array of Roman relics and take leave of the Land of the Red Dragon by crossing of the River Severn. IncludEs: • 7 nights accommodation • 6 cooked breakfasts • Hearty dinner daily (except day 4) • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Weekly – Sat (11 Apr–24 Oct 09)

Quintessential English elegance meets a warm welsh welcome in a tour of timeless attractions set in classical countryside. taking the roads less travelled all the way, this tour provides the perfect opportunity to venture behind the scenes of some of the uK’s most picturesque settings.

Twin from

$2145 Single from $2295

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

12

small group touring Britain & ireland

Britain & ireland

Departing London

cream teas and pasties – dorset, devon & cornwall – 7 days/6 nights

Gourmets will love the fine food, history buffs will relish the architecture, literature lovers will delight in scenes straight from the printed page and breathtaking views will impress absolutely everyone. this is the tour that has it all, but even its busy schedule allows ample scope to embrace the back roads and add a few adventures of your own. Day 1 London – Devon Journey through the ages and catch a glimpse of history’s greatest moments. Begin with England’s oldest counties, Wiltshire and Hampshire, and take a place at King Arthur's Round Table in the Great Hall in Winchester. Travel across the timeless landscape that inspired Thomas Hardy, from charming Dorset to elegant Honiton in Devon, and wonder at the iron-age fortress of Cadbury Castle and the stately homes of Montacute House or Stourhead on the way. Day 2 Falmouth/St Ives/Penzance Choose from a cornucopia of historic attractions – the maritime city of Exeter, the English Riviera and Plymouth harbour among them. Follow the dramatic Cornish coast through delightful fishing villages and harbours, and opt to stop at the pirate museum at Looe, the shipwreck centre at St Austell or the real Jamaica Inn at Fowey. Day 3 Falmouth/St Ives/Penzance Check the weather and chat to your companions as soon as you wake up because this region is full of fantastic touring, and Back-Roads Touring flexibility

allows you to choose what we see first. The heavenly harbours of St Ives and Penzance are a true pirate’s treasure-trove and the coastal walks along cliff tops are simply stunning. Be tempted by the prehistoric village at Chysauster, the famous open-air Minack theatre or a medley of Britain’s most beautiful gardens, including The New Eden. Tour museums and climb castle turrets to Land's End itself and dine on decadent cream teas and delicious Cornish pasties. Day 4 Falmouth/St Ives/Penzance Move beyond the traditional tourist trappings today and mingle with the locals in full Back-Roads Touring fashion. Cornish creativity puts on a fine display at a local artists’ haven and a string of regional galleries, including an extension of the prestigious Tate Gallery. Get your feet wet and set sail across the spectacular harbour, try your luck on a deep-sea fishing trip, work off those cream teas with a brisk walk across the headland or simply relax and soak up the salt-infused ambience of famous St Ives. Evening activities are up to you. Dine independently at whichever local restaurant takes your fancy and hail a return taxi home at your leisure. Day 5 Dartmoor or Exmoor Chase the breathtaking ocean outlook north along the Cornwall and Devon coasts. Explore Padstow, escape the standard tour-bus trail at King Arthur's birthplace, Tintagel Castle, and marvel at the impossibly pretty village of Clovelly where donkeys are still used to haul goods and people up and down the narrow cobbled street to the sea. As the Devon countryside gives way to Dartmoor, the scenery is simply enchanting. Day 6 Bath/Bristol Sample England’s most famous apple cider straight from the farm in Somerset. Attempt to unravel the mystery of Arthur’s burial in the gorgeous town of Glastonbury and experience the magic of magnificent Wells Cathedral. Natural wonders will also astound at the massive gorge and caves at Cheddar, which could explain why previous

tour participants have labelled today’s adventures as the most memorable of the week. Day 7 Tour ends London Soak up the splendour of Georgian Bath, with a comprehensive tour courtesy of a well-versed local guide who has spent years mastering all the secrets of this famous city. Armed with all that knowledge, enjoy an independent exploration – relax in the Pump Room, visit the cathedral, or spoil yourself in the shops and cafes. Follow the old coaching road back to London and find the unspoilt medieval town of Lacock, easily recognisable as the set of the Harry Potter films. Save some time for the prehistoric World Heritage standing stones at Avebury or perhaps take a tour of the antique centre in 17th-century Hungerford. IncludEs: • 6 nights accommodation • Cooked breakfast daily • Hearty dinner daily (except day 4) • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sun (12 Apr–11 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Red Dragon (take first)

Small groups with unmarked, un br coaches and anded stress-free tra vel Leisurely pace d flexible itiner aries Intimate smalle r accommodat ion Well-educated travel guides

What makes us different?

Twin from

$1995

Single from

$2175

small group touring Britain & ireland

13

Britain & ireland
Departing London

this sceptred isle – england, wales & scotland – 13 days/12 nights
A unique sightseeing showcase, this comprehensive journey is tailored for those who want to fully experience 'this demi-paradise, this other Eden’ described by shakespeare. true to the Back-roads touring philosophy, this tour shares some of the best-kept secrets of this idyllic land. Day 1 London – South Wales Search for tombs along Salisbury Plain and marvel at the mystery of Stonehenge. Step inside the postcard-quality charm of Hampshire and Wiltshire and enjoy a proper English tea amid quaint village centres. Contrast this with the thriving city of Bath, littered with Georgian legacies like the unique Roman Baths. Day 2 South Wales Discover the glory of the Vale of Glamorgan, get to know the capital of Cardiff, and be captivated by the market town of Cowbridge. Magic arts gain meaning at Merlin’s School in the Valley of Kings and the dramatic contours of the coast wait to show keen walkers their secrets. Take the River Ewenny’s stepping-stone crossing from a grand 12th-century castle to the thatched-cottage village of Merthyr Mawr, survey Europe’s second-largest sand dunes, investigate the Roman ruins at Caerleon and dine in style with a Welsh cultural banquet. Day 3 North Wales Peek into the rural way of life on a country-road tour of the Welsh Marches and English border. It is an ideal preview to Chepstow Castle, which boasts a breathtaking position on the bank of the River Wye. Follow the whimsical Wye Valley to the ruins of Tintern Abbey and visit the birthplace of Henry V in ancient Monmouth. Continue north for lunch in Ludlow, where a diverse architectural display creates a tangible tour of Tudor to Georgian periods. Wander through the stunning Shropshire countryside and linger in Llangollen, home of the International Musical Eisteddfod. Day 4 North Wales Snowdonia National Park and the fabulous North Wales coastline showcase nature in all its splendour. It’s an awe-inspiring backdrop to idyllic towns, such as the enchanting Italianate village of Portmeirion, which stands proudly amid a beautiful wooded peninsula lined by the tidal sands of Traeth Bach. View the seemingly perfect setting from the windows of a steam train before venturing back to the coast, and stopping for a swim in the Victorian resort of Llandudno. Day 5 Cumbria Look behind the walls of the fort town of Roman Chester and wind through the beautiful Lancashire dales to the spectacular Lake District. Windermere is the largest and most famous of the lakes, but its smaller companions, such as Ullswater, are formidable scenic rivals. Visit one of Wordsworth's homes and immerse yourself in a magical landscape of prehistoric stone circles and unbelievable views. Day 6 Edinburgh Experience the romance of Gretna Green, a favourite among eloping young lovers. Explore the forests of the border country and say hello to history in the stunning lunch spot of Selkirk. Get lost in the glorious grounds and fragrant gardens of Sir Walter Scott’s grand abode of Abbotsford and make a stop at Melrose Abbey before settling into Edinburgh.

Continued ➤
Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

14

small group touring Britain & ireland

Britain & ireland

Departing London

Day 7 Edinburgh Relish the rich and varied appeal of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland. Enjoy sensational sights and tours including Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the Royal Mile, Prince’s Street, the New Town and, of course, the unforgettable Arthur’s Seat. Enjoy individual leisure time, armed with advice from your guide. Day 8 Edinburgh Put the Royal Kingdom of Fife in the spotlight, including the prison castle of Mary, Queen of Scots, located on an island in the middle of Loch Leven. Prowl around the Royal Palace of Falkland and find adventure in seaside St Andrews. Later, glimpse the quieter side of life and seek a fresh fish dinner in one of the tiny villages hugging the North Sea coastline. Day 9 Yorkshire Moors Journey south to Jedburgh, where you will take a tour of the local woollen mill and stop to see abbey ruins, the castle jail and Mary, Queen of Scots’ house. Walk the great wall, the English border, and source a sensational regional lunch in the market town of Hexham. Picturesque Northumberland provides a scenic route to our farmhouse accommodation. Day 10 Yorkshire Moors Revive the Viking era in the fabulous city of York. Put the magnificent Minster and the medieval Shambles on the must-see list, which you’ll be able to explore at leisure after getting your bearings on a guided walking tour of the city. Day 11 Chatsworth Estate Travel via Ripon, Harrogate and Yorkshire mill towns to the Brontë sisters’ home at Haworth. Peek into the Peak District and the spa town of Buxton before calling into stately Chatsworth Estate. Day 12 Chatsworth Estate Walk the halls of the Duke of Devonshire’s grand residence at Chatsworth and the equally stunning Haddon Hall*, owned by the Duke of Rutland. Delve into true English society in rural Derbyshire villages and experience mining life in Castleton. (*Not open in October.) Day 13 Tour ends London Stratford-upon-Avon makes a spectacular finale. Discover that Shakespeare left behind more than words with a visit to his home town. Trace the life of Winston Churchill at his tomb near Blenheim Palace, touch the eastern Cotswolds in the quintessential town of Chipping Norton and enjoy the contrast with the big city as you arrive back in London. IncludEs: • 12 nights accommodation • Cooked breakfast daily • 11 hearty dinners • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sun (19 Apr–4 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: In Search of King Arthur

Twin from

$3725 Single from $4275

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

small group touring Britain & ireland

15

Britain & ireland
Departing London

the Best of Britain & ireland – 13 days/12 nights
discover some of the most coveted countryside of all time on this epic journey through England, Ireland, scotland and wales. Experience it all in idyllic Back-roads touring fashion, with the perfect blend of informed sightseeing and independent exploration promising an unforgettable introduction to these great lands. Day 1 Malvern Hills Reveal the riches of one of Britain’s best known jewels, the Cotswolds. Honey-coloured villages amid emerald hills meet the iconic half-timbered homes of the Tudor era, and everywhere gardens overflow with flowers. The picturesque towns of the Slaughters, Stowe, Burford, Bibury, Chipping Campden and Minster Lovell line up for an opportunity to charm with their relaxed oldworld ambience. Day 2 North Wales Follow the shimmering River Severn along the Wales– England border and linger in the lovely Severn-side villages, which seem to have withstood the test of time. Take a technological leap with a visit to the birthplace of the industrial revolution at Ironbridge and the amazing canal aqueduct at Llangollen. Jump back in time again and explore the walled Roman city of Chester, with its remarkable shopping rows. Day 3 North Wales Take a deep breath early today because the scenery is sure to steal it later. Mountain peaks put on a dramatic parade in Snowdonia National Park and windswept headlands plunge into surging seas along the coast. Enjoy a full circuit, from the mighty Conway Castle to the elegant Victorian resort of Llandudno. Journey through the Vale of Clwyd and skirt Lake Bala. Follow aweinspiring views to Blaenau Ffestiniog and get your hands dirty like a true traveller should by dropping down a slate mine or jumping on board a steam train. Day 4 Dublin Curve along the North Wales coast road through Bangor and Caernarvon, cross the Menai Bridge and venture onto the mystic Celtic Isle of Anglesey for a picnic lunch. Be mesmerised by the idyllic harbour town of Beaumaris before boarding the afternoon ferry to Dublin. Get your bearings in the city and don your dancing shoes for a night at a traditional music bar, a prime place to sample the ‘craic’. Day 5 Dublin Spread your wings and explore Dublin at your own pace today. Trek across to Trinity College to look at the Book of Kells, tag along on a taste-test tour of the Guinness Brewery or light a candle in St Patrick’s Cathedral ... get a briefing from your guide or simply follow your nose. Day 6 Dublin One of Ireland's Lake Districts lies at Dublin’s doorstep and the whimsical Wicklow Mountains make for a beautiful backyard. Pass through the Wicklow Gap to the secluded Valley of Glendalough. Pay a visit to Powerscourt mansion, with its splendid landscaped gardens, and see the dramatic Powerscourt Falls, the highest waterfalls in Ireland. Dance the night away to feisty folk tunes at a fantastic local cultural centre. Day 7 Newton Stewart or Castle Douglas Share the secrets of Europe’s most remarkable prehistoric tomb at Newgrange (entry conditional on availability) and head into the Celtic stronghold, the Hills of Tara. Continue north to Belfast and ferry back across the Irish Sea to south-western Scotland.
Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

16

small group touring Britain & ireland

Britain & ireland

Departing London

Please note: Ferry departure times depend on schedules and sea conditions. Day 8 Edinburgh Follow the ‘Burns trail’ though the beautiful Lowlands and take in the iconic sights of Troon, the Brig O Doon and the lochs of Galloway. Traverse the great River Clyde over the Erskine Bridge, edge past Loch Lomond and venture into Trossachs to see the heather-covered bens, babbling braes and glistening lochs that characterise the Scottish Highlands. Skirt majestic Stirling Castle and step into the energy of Edinburgh by evening. Day 9 Edinburgh Scotland’s capital city comes alive in a tour of all mustsee attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the Royal Mile, Prince’s Street, the New Town and last, but by no means least, Arthur’s Seat. After all the major sights are ticked off, it is time to relax and enjoy the vibrant, friendly city in complete freedom. Day 10 York or Dales Journey to Jedburgh, where a bounty of attractions beg to be explored, before hitting the history trail with a tour of Roman ruins on the English border. Head to market in Hexham and enjoy sweeping scenic vistas of Northumberland en route to your next base. Day 11 York or Dales The bustling market town of Helmsley reveals a wealth of attractions including the 12th-century castle ruins of Helmsley. Compare it to the most spectacular stately home in Yorkshire, Castle Howard. Stop for lunch in the gorgeous gardens before crossing the heather-covered moors to board a traditional steam train. Day 12 Lincolnshire Turn the clock back a few hundred years and wander along the medieval ‘Shambles’, the narrow, cobbled streets of the atmospheric Viking city of Jorvik (York). Lovely Lincoln also beckons, boasting another amazing castle, a spectacular cathedral and character-filled shambolic streets, it is a little-known Back-Roads Touring favourite. Day 13 Tour ends London Finish on the highest of notes with the flat, windmillcovered East Anglican fenlands, Oliver Cromwell’s Ely and picturesque Cambridge. Punt along the River Cam, through the medieval college buildings, and visit England’s finest museum before arriving back in London. IncludEs: • 12 nights accommodation • Cooked breakfast daily • 10 hearty dinners • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sun (10 May–11 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: In Search of King Arthur (take first) or Red Dragon
Twin from

$3805

Single from

$4250

Small groups with unmarked, un branded coaches and stress-free tra vel Leisurely pace d flexible itiner aries Intimate smalle r accommodat ion Well-educated travel guides

What makes us different?

small group touring Britain & ireland

17

Britain & ireland
Departing Manchester

the lake district – 4 days/3 nights
Exquisitely beautiful, this coveted corner of England has inspired generations of poets and painters. don’t be surprised to discover a creative well of your own on this unforgettable 4-day journey. Day 1 Manchester – Lakes Settle into the southern Lake District with an early stop at the stately home of Holker Hall, then escape the comfort zone completely with an awe-inspiring journey alongside Coniston Water, mirroring the majestic mountain peaks behind it. Make sense of the words of Victorian philosopher John Ruskin in his phenomenal home, perched on a precipice above Coniston Water, then sleep on your newfound wisdom in charismatic Windermere. Day 2 Lakes Knock on inspiration’s door once more in Wordsworth's Cottage at Grasmere before tackling the tremendous natural scenery. Scale some of the region’s steepest gradients, traverse babbling Borrowdale, witness thundering waterfalls and totally immerse yourself in the sublime views of Crummock Water, Whinlatter Forest and the prehistoric Castlerigg Stone Circle. Day 3 Lakes Sample the laid-back Windermere lifestyle as you let your feet lead you wherever they may. Drop into Beatrix Potter’s home, paddle across the pristine lake or simply shop, stroll and chat to the locals. Day 4 Tour ends Manchester Wilderness comes alive in the West Yorkshire Dales. Parade past the Three Peaks to world-famous limestone landmarks, and continue on to the Viking grave in Kirkby Lonsdale. Be amazed by the Norber Erratics boulders, stroll through Ingleton’s glorious glens and venture far below village shops to the subterranean world of an immense ice-age cavern adorned with thousands of stalactites. Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, offers a final opportunity to bid the region’s mesmerising beauty goodbye. IncludEs: • 3 nights accommodation • Cooked breakfast daily • Hearty dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Wed departing Manchester (22 Apr–7 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Viking North or North Wales

Viking north – 4 days/3 nights
the norse legacy could not be scattered over a more spectacular landscape. Heather-dusted moors meet northern lakes, and the rugged coastline runs into rolling dales, all host to castles and cathedrals of unrivalled splendour – exactly the sort of scenery best explored via the back roads. Day 1 Manchester – Yorkshire The cobblestoned Lancashire villages of Todmorden, Yorkshire and Haworth will delight, particularly the parsonage of the Brontë sisters. The walled Viking city of York is the real drawcard, however, with England’s greatest cathedral, a city-centre castle and a Roman museum lining its traditional cobblestone streets. Day 2 Yorkshire Head west across the heather-covered moors to Whitby, via true Captain Cook country, and recall the glory of the steam age on a train bound from the station made famous in the Harry Potter films. Experience the extravagance of 18th-century aristocracy at Castle Howard, where the stately grounds immediately ignite palatial daydreams. Day 3 Yorkshire The magnificent West Yorkshire moors make way for skeletons of the many majestic monasteries that once dominated the region, including ancient Rievaulx Abbey. Richmond’s cobbled streets and sky-high castle border the banks of the River Swale, the Dales reveal the famed Highforce waterfall and Ripon rewards visitors with a captivating 7th-century cathedral and meandering medieval tearooms and craft shops. Day 4 Tour ends Manchester Georgian buildings and beautiful gardens mark out Harrogate. Several-times winner of ‘Britain in Bloom’, it is home to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Harlow Carr Gardens, and has hosted many noted films and television shows. No cameras are needed to make the scenery of the High Peaks memorable as we head toward Glossop while the sun sinks. IncludEs: • 3 nights accommodation • Cooked breakfast daily • Hearty dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sun departing Manchester (26 Apr–11 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: The Lakes District

north wales – mountains & lakes – 4 days/3 nights
Meet the locals and make friends with the fauna on a remarkable tour of untouched welsh wilderness. some of the uK’s most impressive sights, often disregarded by the traditional tourist maps, are revealed in this brilliant Back-roads touring adventure. Day 1 Manchester – Llandudno Stroll down the flower-filled promenade and seafront pier of the sophisticated Victorian resort Llandudno, before boarding the train to Great Orme for spellbinding views of Snowdonia National Park. Explore a medley of medieval buildings amid the walled cities of Chester and Conwy, and climb the turrets of one of Edward I’s most imposing fortresses. Day 2 Llandudno Experience the scenic wonder of the highest peaks in England and Wales set off by cascading waterfalls and verdant valleys in Snowdonia. Breech the backroads to find ancient Welsh culture still thriving and venture down working mines at Blaenau Ffestiniog and Sygun. Catch a steam train through mountain passes to Harlech and the stunning Llewyn Peninsular. Day 3 Llandudno After a stop at popular Caernarfon, take the suspension bridge across the Menai Straits to the pristine Isle of Anglesey and enter a whole new world of sightseeing, from prehistoric burial chambers to Celtic and Viking settlements and the breathtaking Beaumaris harbour bordered by castles and pubs dating back 900 years. Day 4 Tour ends Manchester Be inspired by Bodnant Hall, with its magnificent manicured gardens, on the banks of the River Hiraethlyn. Soak up the spectacular view at Lake Bala to Llangollen and embark on a horse-drawn boat trip or a motorised aqueduct cruise. It’s an idyllic way to complete an intimate introduction to the intense natural splendour of north Wales. IncludEs: • 3 nights accommodation • Cooked breakfast daily • Hearty dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All entrance and attraction fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sat departing Manchester (18 Apr–3 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Red Dragon or The Lakes District

Twin from

$1010 Single from $1100

Twin from

$1010 Single from $1090

Twin from

$1010 Single from $1090

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

18

small group touring Britain & ireland

Departing Glasgow & Inverness

Britain & ireland

the Border country – 3 days/2 nights
Extending the average tourist itinerary all the way to the edge, this tour is a rare opportunity to really experience the rich scottish culture. Day 1 Glasgow – Borders Discover why New Lanark is a World Heritage site, pass through pretty Peebles and cruise through the stunning Tweed Valley to Abbotsford. Navigate south via spellbinding wilderness to your accommodation, a lovely working farmhouse in Catlowdy. Day 2 Borders Welcome to the great wall of Britain! Explore the forts and settlements studded along this 70-mile, 2nd-century masterpiece. Rummage through the Hexham markets and make your way through the sprawling moors and prehistoric stone circle of the North Pennines to England’s highest town, Alston. Day 3 Tour ends Glasgow Begin with a breathtaking drive up Liddlesdale to the Royal Burgh of Jedburgh, with its wealth of historical jewels. Get to know the capital, Edinburgh, including Rosslyn Chapel with its Knights Templar links. IncludEs: • 2 nights accommodation • Breakfast and dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • All taxes, surcharges and entrance fees

highlands & orkneys – 4 days/3 nights
one of the world’s most evocative journeys, this tour takes you right back to the stone age. Day 1 Inverness – Orkney Relish Europe's last great wilderness at Loch Fleet. Decadent Dunrobin Castle dwarfs the remote fishing towns, yet it’s all small compared to the stunning Orkney Island sunset. Day 2 Orkney The archaeological sites of mainland Orkney astound, with houses in Skara Brae dating back to the stone age and a host of other amazing remnants of humanity’s beginnings. Day 3 Overnight on board ferry Study the shipwrecks at Scapa Flow, hold the head of a 5000-year-old man and embrace the island’s beauty, from fossilised cliffs to rare moorland primroses. Day 4 Tour ends Inverness Take a wildlife cruise, examine the warrior clans’ castle ruins and witness an unparalleled panorama from Britain’s northernmost point before returning to Inverness. IncludEs: • 2 nights accommodation in hotel, plus 1 nights accommodation on board ferry • Breakfast and dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • Ferry to Orkneys • All taxes, surcharges and entrance fees

dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Fri departing Glasgow (1 May–2 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Highlands & Royal Castles

dEPArts: Selected dates – Sat departing Inverness (9 May/23 May/6 June/20 June/4 July/29 Aug/12 Sept/26 Sept 09) coMBInE wItH: Western Isles of Scotland

Twin from

$ 805 Single from $ 865

Twin from

$1070 Single from $1010

western isles of scotland – 6 days/6 nights
where Bothwell, Burns and Keats once dined — before embarking on a classic highland scenic course to Kilmartin, where stone circles older than Stonehenge and burial cairns more ancient than the pyramids await. Day 2 Oban Cross the Atlantic Bridge and scale beautiful Seil Island, where Princess Diana’s mother lived, to the little ferry, before scooting over to Easdale, the Slate Island. With its fabulous views and rare wildlife, it is a typical, littleknown, Back-Roads Touring destination. An Argyll Garden tour followed by an evening of Scottish song and dance over dinner round off the day. Day 3 Oban Take to the water, ferrying across the Firth of Lorne to the Inner Hebridean Isle of Mull. A grand view of Duart Castle, ancestral home of the McClean clan, will delight en route to Craignure, and the open, untouched landscape to Fionnphort presents a warm welcome to dry land. Wander around the revered Island of Iona, home to St Columba and a kings’ burial ground since Macbeth’s time, and follow the craggy coastline west for breathtaking views of the Outer Hebridean Islands. Day 4 Inverness Spectacular mountain scenes stretch out in every direction on the way to Grampian via the north-west Highland ranges, and the splendid isolation of the pass of Glen Coe is an ideal contrast to the busy highland lunch-stop of Fort William. Chase the Caledonian Canal and sweeping views of Britain’s highest mountain via Ben Nevis to Fort Augustus and hunt for the monster in Loch Ness en route to Inverness. Day 5 Inverness Circle the fascinating west highlands and surrounding villages with stops at the fabled Isle of Skye and casual coastal harbours nearby. Cross the famed Skye Bridge, and return to Inverness on a visually stunning route via road or railway where scenery is likened to a symphony in three parts: pasture, mountain and sea. Day 6 Inverness Put the local lore learnt so far to good use today and explore Inverness under your own steam or take an optional day tour to the Orkneys. Free time to revisit the region’s riches on your own marks a perfect end to a magical trip. Day 7 (sat) is departure day for those not continuing on to the Highlands and royal castles tour. IncludEs: • 6 nights accommodation • 6 cooked breakfasts • 5 hearty Scottish dinners • Rail Ticket Inverness – Glasgow/Edinburgh • Qualified guide/leaders • Entrance fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sun departing Glasgow (19 Apr–4 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Highlands & Orkneys or Highlands & Royal Castles on selected dates

Head for the highlands, ferry to forgotten isles set in sparkling waters and search for mythical monsters in this extraordinary tour of the timeless scottish high country. Day 1 Glasgow – Oban Prowl around Paisley and its Abbey, which hides the secret pedigree of Britain’s present Queen. Wander up the west side of Loch Lomond, ponder a Viking gravestone and enjoy lunch in a picturesque village – perhaps in the 18th-century George Hotel or the inn

Twin from

$1785 Single from $1980

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

small group touring Britain & ireland

19

Britain & ireland
Departing Inverness

highlands & royal castles – 6 days/6 nights

A fascinating, fairy tale journey into the heart of history, this carefully-crafted tour follows the footsteps of generations of kings and queens and combines them with a sample of common-folk culture to create a 6-day escape unlike any other. Pre-Tour Day (Fri) Make your way to Inverness by today to start the tour tomorrow. Accommodation in Inverness is included, but not dinner. Day 1 Monarch of the Glen Country See the set of Macbeth at the atmospheric castle of Cawdor before cruising along the craggy northern coastline with its stunning seaside scenery. Brave the famous battle site of Culloden and tune into the mysterious magic of the prehistoric Clava stone circle. Capture the scent of the celebrated whisky trail and follow it to one of the many distilleries found in an area, where creating the perfect drop is considered an art. Day 2 Monarch of the Glen Country Set off on a solid exploration of Monarch of the Glen country where timeless villages such as Badenoch, Strathspey, Kingussie and Nethy Bridge are fringed by forests so deep and intense it is easy to imagine a fairy or two flitting through. In fact, from rivers to railways, lochs to fields, everything appears magical in a region of such mesmerising beauty. Take the back roads all the way to experience this country in its true, untouched form. Day 3 Fife Get lost in the grandeur of ‘the granite city’, Aberdeen, be admitted to Balmoral, the splendid Scottish home of the royal family or give in to the romance of the dramatic Dunnottar Castle ruins. Options today depend on the time of year, local weather conditions and personal interests, so be prepared to make it up as you go along. Sojourn in

the southern fishing town of Arbroath, stroll around the arches of an outstandingly beautiful 12th-century abbey ruin and see some picturesque Pictish stones. Call into glorious Glamis Castle, the Queen Mother’s childhood home, and get caught up in the myths and mysteries of the family or just relax amid the extravagant gardens. Alternatively, carry on to Kirriemuir via Dunsinane for more authentic Macbeth country. Day 4 Fife Slow the pace down to the leisurely lifestyle of those settled on the charming coastline of the Kingdom of Fife. Witness the action of a working fishing port at Anstruther and its quaint neighbouring villages, then wind up the coast to examine the timeless beauty of Crail and be tempted by a lunch of fresh local crab. Put on a few aristocratic airs for a tour of the Royal Stewart Castle, Falkland Palace, touted as the site of the world’s very first tennis match. Prowl around the elegant palace, which was beautifully restored in the late 19th century, before switching sports to find the golfing home of St Andrews. Day 5 Stirling/Trossachs Relive the glory of generations of royalty with a rich and varied itinerary of captivating iconic sights. Abernethy is first with its amazing peel tower, where Malcolm pledged allegiance to William the Conqueror. Perth also boasts its royal connections, once being the crowning place of Scottish Kings, and powerful Scone Palace shows off its revered national treasure status as the historic jewel in Scotland’s crown. It is a tough act to follow for the Trossachs Highland region and the pretty town of Callander, but this is Braveheart country, rich with regional significance. Take time to soak up the stunning scenery long enough to understand Rob Roy’s sincere love of country as we

explore his homeland and visit his family grave on the banks of a sparkling loch. Day 6 Tour ends Edinburgh/Glasgow Stirling Castle and its adjoining esplanade provide the perfect perspective from which to admire the surrounding countryside. The centuries-old gateway to the Highlands, it resonates with a history of great battles and celebrated victories, such as the triumph at Bannockburn, where the Scots trounced the English. See a complete Scottish burgh of the 16th and 17th centuries in Culross and drive through Dunfermline, where Robert the Bruce lies, before heading south over the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh, where it is time to descend from our throne and mix with the commoners once again. IncludEs: • 6 nights accommodation • 6 cooked breakfasts • 5 hearty Scottish dinners • Road or Rail Ticket Glasgow/Edinburgh – Inverness • Qualified guide/leaders • Entrance fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sat departing Inverness (25 Apr–3 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: The Border Country

Twin from

$1785 Single from $1980

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

20

small group touring Britain & ireland

Britain & ireland

Departing Glasgow

combination tour – scottish highlands, islands & royal castles – 12 days/11 nights
see the real scotland – a land of rugged mountains, breathtaking lochs and heather-covered highlands marked by fortressed castles, quaint villages and glorious gardens. this fascinating tour makes the most of the warm scottish welcome, with accommodation and experiences that reflect the rich celtic culture. Day 1 Glasgow-Oban Glasgow gives way to the peaceful town of Paisley and its intriguing Abbey, which is filled with secrets regarding Britain's present Queen. Hear the real tale of the famous Loch Lomond song as we wander its western banks and visit a Viking gravestone in the picturesque village of Luss, then breach the breathtaking scenery into Inveraray for lunch. Carry on to the mysterious stone circles and burial cairns in the ancient glen of Kilmartin. Day 2 Oban It may be too early for a pint in the 18th-century inn, Tigh an Truish (the House of the Trousers), but there is plenty of time to get swept away by the scenery on a stroll around beautiful Seil Island, where Princess Diana's mother lived, before boarding the ferry to Easdale Island where a wealth of rare wildlife awaits. Soak up the earthy aroma and graceful design of a real Argyll Garden, then relax and while away the evening with traditional Scottish song and dance. Day 3 Oban Ferry across the Firth of Lorne to the Inner Hebridean Isle of Mull. Call into the quaint town of Craignure and traverse the pristine landscape to Fionnphort in the south. Be among the few lucky souls to discover the special atmosphere of the revered island of Iona, steeped in royal history and blissfully serene all year round, before crossing the windswept water once again and edging back along the breathtaking coastline in a whirlwind of spectacular views. Day 4 Inverness Experience the magic of the Scottish mountains in true highland country. Enter the spectacular solitude of the Glen Coe pass, discover the truth behind the tragic massacre of the MacDonalds and become immersed in the bustling activity of Fort William. Follow the Caledonian Canal, framed by majestic views of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, en route to Fort Augustus and search for the famous Loch Ness monster on the way to Inverness. Day 5 Inverness Relish the land of fables on the Isle of Skye and be captivated by the quaint coastal harbours of Kyle of Lochalsh and Plockton. Stunning west-highland scenery will embrace us all the way. Voyage, via road or rail, through the spellbindingly beautiful landscape leading to Dingwall. Day 6 Inverness Set out on an independent adventure around Inverness and enjoy some individual recreation time today. Seek out Scottish treasures in the shops, strike up a local friendship in the pub or simply take a stroll and spoil yourself with a leisurely lunch. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to continue the guided exploration, you can join an optional day-tour to the Orkneys. Day 7 Monarch of the Glen Country Revisit the Shakespearean soap opera of Macbeth with a tour of his castle at Cawdor and soak up the equally dramatic seascapes of the northern coastline. Learn the brutal history of the battle site of Culloden and capture the mysticism of the prehistoric Clava stone circle, before following the famous Scottish whisky trail to one of the region’s many distilleries for a taste test. Day 8 Monarch of the Glen Country Make the most of the memorable Monarch of the Glen country with visits to the pretty, timeless villages of Badenoch, Strathspey, Kingussie and Nethy Bridge. The postcard-perfect railways, rivers, lochs and forests are truly a sight to behold, an unforgettable snapshot of a land abundant in natural beauty. Day 9 Fife Options abound today. Mix with the Royals at Balmoral in certain months of the year, venture into the granite city of Aberdeen, or revive the romance of the Dunnottar Castle ruins. Sample the famous smoked fish of Arbroath, take the opportunity to inspect the town’s outstanding 12th-century abbey ruin or ponder local Pictish stones. Be tempted by a tour of the Queen Mother’s childhood home, Glamis Castle, skirted by beautiful gardens. Day 10 Fife Be charmed by the picturesque coastline of the Kingdom of Fife. Prowl around the fishing port of Anstruther and delight in the timeless beauty of Crail while enjoying a feast of fresh crab. The Royal Stewart Castle, Falkland Palace, reveals a stunning 19th-century restoration, and elegant St Andrews showcases more than the birthplace of golf. Day 11 Stirling/Trossachs Tour the amazing peel tower of Abernethy, then carry on to the crowning place of Scottish kings, Scone Palace in Perth. Call into the pretty town of Callander in the Trossachs Highlands. True Rob Roy country, it reveals his loch-side family grave. Loch Tay Crannog may also be on the cards. Day 12 Tour ends Edinburgh/Glasgow Admire the surrounding countryside from Stirling Castle and be captivated by Culross, the most complete example of a 16th-century Scottish burgh. Pass through Dunfermline and over the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh, where we can watch the sun go down on the perfect Scottish experience. IncludEs: • 11 nights accommodation • 11 cooked breakfasts • 10 hearty Scottish dinners • Qualified guide/leaders • Entrance fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sun departing Glasgow (19 Apr–4 Oct 09)

Twin from

$3520

Single from

$3865

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

small group touring Britain & ireland

21

Britain & ireland
Departing Dublin & Galway

northern ireland – ulster & donegal – 6 days/6 nights

OUT ER H EB RID INNER HEBR ES IDE S

ISLE OF SKYE

Inve

SCOTLA
Oban Glasgow

Atlantic Ocean

NORTHERN IRELAND
Sligo

BELFAST ISLE OF MAN

Galway

IRELAND
Limerick

DUBLIN

Irish Sea Liverpo

Killarney

Waterford Cork

WALES
Celtic Sea

CARDIFF

DEVO
L AL

Make your way beyond the typical tourist traps for a firsthand look at the real Ireland, steeped in history and surrounded by pristine scenic wilderness. this idyllic tour blends sightseeing and private exploration to perfection. Day 1 Dublin – Omagh/Derry Relive a defining moment in Ireland’s history at the site of the Battle of the Boyne. Sense the power in the ambient Hills of Tara, Ireland’s spiritual and political centre for 1000 years. Step back in time at Newgrange to study the new stone age Passage Graves, regarded among the most impressive prehistoric monuments in Europe, and brave entry to the astounding prehistoric tomb itself, depending on the time of year. Day 2 Omagh/Derry Chase spectacular scenic views across Lough Neagh all the way to the Victorian city of Belfast, which is currently enjoying a cultural and economic resurgence. See both sides of this divided, sectarian city, following the Falls Road and descending the Shankill for a firsthand glimpse of the famous political murals that are fast disappearing as the communities learn to live side-by-side. Relax and soak up the breathtaking scenery once again on the way to Armagh, the seat of the high kings of Ulster and site of Saint Patrick’s first stone church. Day 3 Omagh/Derry Embark on the fascinating walk of the ‘walls’ in Londonderry and listen to the spellbinding story of how shutting the town’s forted gates in the face of a king of England led to more than 300 years of ‘troubles’. Cruise the Northern Ireland coastline in the afternoon and visit a varied list of iconic sites such as Bushmills, the Carricka-Rede rope bridge and, last but not least, the famous Giant's Causeway. Stagger at the sheer peculiarity of

this place, where the bizarre regularity of its 37,000 basalt columns has given rise to a host of remarkable legends. Tour back to home base through the stunning Sperrin Mountains as the sun sets on another richly rewarding day. Day 4 Sligo Investigate your own Irish roots at the Ulster–American Folk Park. Thought to be the best of its kind in the world, it examines why 2 million people left Ulster for America and Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries. It features more than 30 historic buildings, including a reconstructed emigrant ship, and a Pennsylvanian farmstead comes alive with costumed guides. Bid goodbye to this unique part of the country and set sights on the stunning Sligo region, which boasts beautiful coastal harbours such as renowned Mullaghmore, all backdropped by classic WB Yeates country, where the words of the great 20th-century poet can’t help but leap off the page. Day 5 Sligo Embrace the wild, western side of Ireland in County Mayo, a relatively unspoilt region ideally designed for Back-Roads Touring, with its glorious green pastures, windswept Atlantic coast and quaint settlements full of friendly faces. Westport provides the perfect snapshot of a harbour town, and the coastal scenes of the Island of Achill are achingly attractive. Meanwhile the 16th-century Irish tower house used by legendary pirate queen Grace O'Malley and the deserted village at Slievemore add an intriguing architectural element to the day’s discoveries. Day 6 Galway Breach Ireland's midlands via the back roads and step out in Strokestown with its wide streets and fascinating famine

museum. Board a pint-sized train at Shannonbridge for W firsthand insight into the iconic bog- and peat-gathering RN O industry. Take an ancient chariot route to Clonmacnoise C to explore the 6th-century monastic burial grounds of ancient Irish kings and trek the roads less travelled to Birr, set in Ely O'Carrol country. Not normally found on tour itineraries, Birr is one of Ireland's gems. Almost 2000 years of habitation reward it with an authentic Georgian street layout, the Steffin Stone marker of Ireland’s centre and breathtaking Birr Castle. It is a fantastic finale to a fabulous 6-day sojourn. Day 7 (sat) is departure day for those not continuing on to the classic south tour. IncludEs: • 6 nights accommodation • 6 cooked breakfasts • Hearty dinner daily • Qualified guide/leaders • Entrance fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Weekly – Sun departing Dublin, tour ends in Galway (19 Apr–4 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Classic South Ireland

Plym

Twin from

$1785 Single from $1935

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

22

small group touring Britain & ireland

Britain & ireland

Departing Dublin & Galway

classic south ireland – 6 days/6 nights

Iconic sites and phenomenal scenery abound on this remarkable journey through some of Ireland’s most treasured towns. Beat the crowds and experience this charismatic country via the beautiful back roads, an ideal introduction to a diverse land dominated by wild, breathtaking vistas and a vivacious people prone to easy smiles. Pre-Tour Day (Fri) Make your way to Galway by today to start the tour tomorrow. Accommodation in Galway is included and you will get to know the other members of your group over dinner. Day 1 Galway Jump on board a boat bound for the untouched beauty of the Arran Islands. With customs as exquisitely exotic as its scenery, a tour of the islands is an experience you will simply never forget. The city of Galway is similarly exciting and bound to be just as memorable. Let your hair down and explore it at leisure tonight, perhaps with a jig or two in one of many pubs still jiving to the upbeat tempo of traditional music. Day 2 Killarney/Tralee Mix the must-see iconic sights with a medley of additional attractions unique to Back-Roads Touring. Begin with the world-famous Cliffs of Moher before pulling off the captivating coast road into some breathtaking Galway Bay harbours, such as Kinvarra, where the Irish spirit is still very much alive and well. See turf-cutters at work along the way and stop to cast a blessing at the commemorative Great Famine site. Traverse the lunar landscape of the Burren and discover some incredible prehistoric burial sites as we add personal interest stops to the itinerary at every turn.

Day 3 Killarney/Tralee Crowds are unavoidable today, but the captivating scenery of the Dingle Peninsular and the famous Ring of Kerry are so spectacular they are simply essential on any trip to Ireland’s southern stretches. The back roads add an extra element to the adventure, however, as we explore the lesser-travelled northern parts of the Ring and add an awe-inspiring stop to see the sky-high peaks of MacGillycuddy's Reeks. Save time to become familiar with the streets of Killarney as well, and enjoy free time to indulge in some independent sightseeing – an ideal time to jump on a jaunty car or tour majestic Muckross House. Day 4 Cork/Blarney Ascend the hair-raising mountain road from Killarney to Kenmare, where heaven appears close enough to touch as we become immersed in some of the most magnificent views on earth. Wind down to the charming harbour of Bantry Bay to linger over a delicious seafood lunch or troll the local shops for treasures. Healy Pass is the next dramatic driving route, rising up from the landscape in full scenic splendour, it rivals even the Ring of Kerry. Outmanoeuvre the crowds and call in to the key Irish drawcard of Blarney Castle after the main tour parties have left to explore the place in relative peace. Day 5 Cork/Blarney Comb the streets of Cork with their wealth of true Irish culture and take a history lesson in nearby Cobh, which was used a naval base during the Napoleonic wars and abounds in traditional architecture. If you claim Irish heritage, you can follow the footsteps of your ancestors to one of the major departure points for Irish people who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950, and also for the men, women and children who were

deported to penal colonies such as Australia. It was also the final port of call for the RMS Titanic on 11 April 1912, as she set out across the Atlantic on her ill-fated maiden voyage. Shake off the macabre mood with a sparkling water vista across the fine harbour of Kinsale, considered by many to be Ireland's prettiest. Day 6 Tour ends Dublin Icons line up in full finery for our final day in Cork. Call into Waterford and the famed crystal outlet, then carry onto the remarkably preserved Cathedral of St Candice in Cashel, the classic medieval town of Kilkenny or to the glorious Vale of Glendalough (glen of the two lakes) to traipse through the atmospheric remains of an ancient Celtic village, the 6th-century church of St Kevin, the 9th-century cathedral ruin and amazing 33-metre tall Round Tower. Dublin calls and entertainment is now left to your own devices, however, the Jameson Distillery ‘shindig’ is highly recommended for a fantastic evening out. IncludEs: • 6 nights accommodation • 6 cooked breakfasts • 5 hearty dinners • Entrance fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Weekly – Sat departing Galway, tour ends in Dublin (25 Apr–10 Oct 09) coMBInE wItH: Northern Ireland

Twin from

$1785 Single from $1935

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

small group touring Britain & ireland

23

Britain & ireland
Departing Dublin & Galway

combination tour – grand ireland – a hundred thousand welcomes – 12 days/11 nights
Explore the iconic Irish coastlines in a wonderful tour that combines the best-known icons of the south and the west coast with a taste of ulster. Enjoy a Guinness or two off the beaten track to get a taste of the true Irish way of life. Day 1 Dublin – Omagh/Derry Before beginning a journey into the Irish heartland, a thorough understanding of the country’s colourful history is critical, so the Battle of the Boyne site is first stop, followed by a trek up the Hills of Tara and on to Newgrange to see why the new stone age Passage Graves are regarded among Europe’s most impressive prehistoric monuments. Day 2 Omagh/Derry Chase sparkling Lough Neagh all the way to Belfast to find a thriving city in the process of shaking off its challenging history. Discover the secrets on both sides of this sectarian city, soak up some stunning Irish scenery in the Mountains of Mourne and, if time permits, move onto Armagh to the seat of the high kings of Ulster. Day 3 Omagh/Derry Walk the ‘walls’ of Londonderry, which, when closed, led to over 300 years of conflict and unrest. Contrast this with the breathtaking beauty of the Northern Ireland coastline and see the sensational Giant’s Causeway before slowly working your way through the spectacular Sperrin Mountains. Day 4 Sligo Step back into the history books again and find out why 2 million Irish folk left their emerald country to emigrate to the USA and Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries at the Ulster–American Folk Park. Put poetry in motion with an exploration of the verdant lands of WB Yeates, where inspiration is abundant. Day 5 Sligo The rugged west coast of Ireland comes alive in County Mayo, the very best place to experience the vivid energy of the trademark cliff faces crashing with waves and the famous fertile fields that flank it. Unspoilt and full of friendly faces, it is a prime example of how Ireland comes alive on the back roads. Day 6 Galway The famine museum makes more sense of Irish history, and if you have Irish heritage it may make sense of your forefathers as well. Yet it will struggle to compete with dramatic wetland landscape that we’ll have a chance to wander through on the way to Birr, the true heart of Ireland, with its magnificent castle. Day 7 Galway Relax today as we take a rest from touring and give you the opportunity to explore Galway independently. Get your basic bearings and optional excursion advice from your guide, then head out into the city streets to make friends with this fabulous walking city. Visit the theatre or perhaps drop into the local pub for a pint and a fish supper in the evening. Day 8 Killarney/Tralee Beautiful Galway Bay could be considered the star of the stunning coast road, but it finds stiff competition in the world-famous Cliffs of Moher. Tour the dramatic surrounding landscape in the afternoon or go underground at the Burren and Aillwee caves. Day 9 Killarney/Tralee Discover the pride of Ireland, the Dingle Peninsular and the Ring of Kerry. Avoid the crowds without missing any of the popular highlights, soak up the spellbinding scenery and still leave time to thoroughly explore Killarney. Day 10 Cork/Blarney From Killarney to Kenmare and onwards to Bantry Bay, drive through the lush west Cork countryside before arriving at breathtaking Blarney Castle, another of the great Irish icons. Day 11 Cork/Blarney A brief tour of renowned Cork gives way to Napoleonic Cobh, which reveals the site of the mass emigration to North America and Australia and the fateful port from which the Titanic departed, never to see land again. Day 12 Tour ends Dublin In a grand finale, cross awe-inspiring Cashel en route to Kilkenny. Visit the Vale of Glendalough, one of the oldest and most interesting towns in Ireland, before heading back to Dublin. Explore the vibrant capital at leisure and reflect on magical memories of one of the UK/Ireland's richest and most rewarding tours. IncludEs: • 11 nights accommodation • Cooked breakfast daily • 10 hearty dinners • Entrance fees • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Weekly – Sun departing Dublin (19 Apr–4 Oct 09)
Twin from

$3520 Single from $3865

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

24

small group touring Britain & ireland

Battlefield tours

an

the Back-roads touring way
connect with your ancestors
Trace the steps of your ancestors by designing your own tour. We can personalise a day tour for groups to have a special focus on family connections, a particular regiment or battle, guided by ex-army personnel or a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
En gl ish

Bruges
ne l Ch

what our traVellers say aBout us ...
The tour was everything I had hoped it would be. The remembrance celebration at Vimy Ridge was life changing. With the help of Back-Roads Touring’s office in the UK, Barrie, our guide and driver, located the cemetery where my uncle, a casualty of World War I, was buried. The whole bus load helped me commemorate his death. I was the first in our family to visit his grave. It was a memorable experience. Ken reeves, canada 2007

Calais Lille

Ypres Salient

BELGIUM
Vimy Ridge

Loos

Arras

The Somme

Amiens

FRANCE

saturday tour the somme, france
Day tour departing London or Lille For most people the Somme signifies one day – 1 July 1916 – the day the British Army suffered nearly 60,000 casualties, its greatest ever loss in a single day. But the actual battle raged until November and saw massive fighting again in 1918. What remains is truly awesome. Relive the tragedy and heroism with the help of a specialist battlefields guide in an unforgettable tour. Trek across the Somme battle sites, from Delville Wood to the Welsh memorial at Mametz Wood, and witness the huge Lochnagar mine crater and the sunken road where the Accrington Pals were virtually wiped out. See Sausage Valley, the Pozieres battlefield, Windmill Hill and Courcellette. Embrace the unforgettable atmosphere of Albert, the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing and the Ulster Tower, take a guided walk around the incredibly preserved Beaumont Hamel battlefield site and feel free to suggest visits to key sites of interest for an individually tailored itinerary. dEPArts: Weekly – Sat (21 Mar–14 Nov 09) coMBInE wItH: Ypres Salient and Triumph & Disaster or Battle for France

sunday tour ypres salient, Belgium
Day tour departing Lille (London departure not available) ‘The Salient’ was the hottest spot on the 70-mile front held by Imperial and Empire troops. More than 250,000 men gave their lives to hold this last bit of Belgium from the Germans. While history records three great battles at Ypres, soldiers had a constant battle against shells, bullets, bombs, gas, water and rats. Just as it struck fear into their hearts, so too will it strike a chord with you. Follow a first class guide through the German trenches at Kemmel, ‘Shot at Dawn’ execution sites, the first gas attack zones, John McRae’s Essex Farm site, the grave of double VC winner Noel Chavasse, Hoogt crater and museum, the Passendaele dug-out and Tyne Cot cemetery. Walk the moonscape of the Hill 60 battlefield and see literally dozens of memorials to British, Australian and Canadian regiments. Sojourn in Ypres itself and visit St George’s Chapel, the Menen (Menin) Gate Memorial. dEPArts: Weekly – Sun (22 Mar–15 Nov 09) coMBInE wItH: Somme or Triumph & Disaster

monday tour triumph & disaster – loos, arras & Vimy ridge
Day tour departing London or Lille Join an expert guide on this intensely emotional, evocative journey through some of Europe’s most renowned World War I relics. Walk the Western Front line between Armentieres and Arras. Envisage the 1915 battles of Aubers Ridge, Festubert, and Neuve Chapelle on the actual sites. See where Adolf Hitler served and the bunker he reputedly used as a billet. Examine the current archaeological investigation uncovering the mass grave of over 400 diggers killed near the Fromelles memorial, tour the infamous Loos battlefield of 1915 and the trenches of Vimy Ridge. After considering the imposing Vimy memorial, move on to Arras to contrast the tragic legacy of the huge battle of 1917 with the city’s pretty streets. See the recently discovered underground tunnels near the French National memorial at Notre Dame de Lorrette. As always with Back-Roads Touring, special requests may also be included on the agenda for a full day of historical discovery. dEPArts: Weekly – Mon (23 Mar–16 Nov 09) coMBInE wItH: Ypres Salient or Battle for France

• choose a 1, 2 or 3-day tour starting in london (via Eurostar) or lille • Please note that tours starting on sunday are available from lille only • All tours include mini-coach tour and entrance fees • Battlefield tours run every weekend from 21 March-14 november, 2009

1-day tour
Choose Saturday, Sunday or Monday
Sunday tour departs Lille. (London departure not available)

2-day tour
Choose Saturday/Sunday or Sunday/Monday
Sunday/Monday tour departs Lille. (London departure not available)

IncludEs: 1 night accommodation (bed and breakfast)

3-day tour
Saturday/Sunday/Monday IncludEs: 2 nights accommodation (bed and breakfast)

PrIcEs 1 Day Tour 2 Day Tour 3 Day Tour

From london $255 $489 $630

From lille $145 $405 $549

single room supplement n/A $35 $60

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

small group touring Britain & ireland

25

Battlefield tours
Extended Battlefield Tours

Battle for france 1940 -1945 – 4 days/3 nights

Day 1 Lille – Dieppe First to the Dunkerque beaches and surrounding areas to study the ‘miracle’ of the withdrawal, see the famous mole and the area of Dunes where the ‘small ships’ came to prominence. You’ll also learn about the fighting in and around Calais, the ‘Last Stand’ and see the Green Jackets Memorial which stands at the entrance to Calais harbour and the site of the Le Paradis massacre. Also the Citadel, Fort Neuilly, the Cathedral Bunker and nearby Fort Lapin that features in the battles of Boulogne. Finally to Griz Nez, the museum at Todt Battery with its immense Railway Gun and the V3 London Cannon site at Mimoyecques which round off our gripping day before following the Atlantic Wall to Dieppe. Day 2 Bayeux Today begins with sites connected to the Dieppe landings of 1942 where Canadian Infantry, British Commandos and American Rangers were badly mauled in an early attempt at a coastal invasion. The Canadian Museum at Dieppe and the site of the commando landings will be highlights. We then continue to the first of the Normandy Beaches. We spend a day covering various British and Commonwealth landing and dropping zones, visiting Arromanches, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches and following the advance inland. We also visit Bayeux Cemetery and Museum, Pegasus Bridge, Cafe Gondree (the first house liberated), Ranville, Merville Battery, Troarn Bridge and many other places of interest, including Divisional and Unit Memorials. The length of time we spend at each site will vary according to the interests of those on board the tour.

Day 3 Bayeux We spend a day looking at aspects of the American involvement, visiting Utah and ‘Bloody’ Omaha Beaches, Sainte Mere Eglise (with its famous church on which US paratrooper John Steele landed), Pont Du Hoc (where Col. James Rudder and his Rangers scaled the sheer cliffs) and the very poignant American Cemetery at Omaha Beach. We also cover part of the advance from the beaches, through the Normandy bocage, including Operation Epsom. Day 4 Tour ends Lille Today to La Coupole, an incredible and massive subterranean bunker where Hitler’s V1 and V2 rockets were developed. Today the site is dedicated to displaying a history of the rocket/missile, the history of transportation and forced slave labour and a variety of ad hoc, special commemorative events. ‘Mind-blowing‘ is the description most often used by past participants on this tour and it provides a fitting climax to our four days. Then back to Lille where the tour ends. IncludEs: • 3 nights accommodation • Continental breakfast daily • Hearty dinner daily • Entrance fees • Qualified guide/leaders • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Selected dates – Tue departing Lille (5 May/2 Jun/7 July/11 Aug/8 Sep/13 Oct)

see where some of the most seminal events of the 20th century were played out. our tour encompasses both wars but the greater emphasis is on world war 2. the tour includes sites evocative of the dunkerque evacuation, the ‘shield’, the nazi Atlantic wall fortifications, the dieppe raid, Hitler’s secret weapon and, of course, the normandy Beaches.

Twin from

$1325 Single from $1395

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

26

small group touring Battlefield tours

Battlefield tours

Extended Battlefield Tours

forging of a nation – canadian theatres of war – 7 days/6 nights

Young canadians entered the Great war as representatives of a dominion. they fought and fell as representatives of a new nation. More a pilgrimage than a tour, this trip takes you to the exact sites of their heroism and follows soldiers’ experiences firsthand, from the trenches to the impact zone. It’s a mesmerising journey, which will leave an indelible mark. Day 1 London/Lille – Amiens Follow the Western Front trench line across the evocative Loos battlefield with informative commentary from your specialist guide. Travel the short distance to Vimy Ridge, where the Canadian Nation was forged over Easter 1917. Tour the underground tunnels (subject to restricted opening times), reliving tragedy at every turn and learning the tactics that made this tremendous victory possible. Celebrate successes and recall losses by the side of the magnificent memorial, then carry on to Albert’s museum via Courcellete, the scene of savage fighting in September 1916. Day 2 Bayeux Capture the heroic yet heartbreaking atmosphere of the Somme. Venture on a walking tour of the amazingly well-preserved battlefield at Beaumont Hamel, site of the Newfoundland Regiment’s bloody loss of innocence. It is an experience likely to be forever imprinted on your memory, providing a lot of food for thought as we pursue the battle lines to Amiens before continuing on through the Normandy bocage to our stop at Bayeux. Day 3 Bayeux Commence the Normandy Beaches experience at the Juno Beach memorial and museum, then track the battle from the initial beach landing all the way to Caen along a line of significant sites including Bene cemetery, Carpique and Courseulles-sur-Mer, where troops

engaged in house-to-house combat and liberated the town. Just north of the Caen–Bayeux road, where the first tank battles took place against the 12th SS Panzer Division, the town of Authie provides a real sense of the stakes. See where Kurt Meyer’s 25th SS Panzer Grenadiers encircled the Royal Winnipeg Rifles at Putot-en-Bassin, and the terrible Abbaye d’Ardenne, where Canadian prisoners, most of whom were wounded, were shot or bayoneted to death. Day 4 Dieppe The true tragedy of Operation Spring will be discovered today, the Canadian Army’s costliest operation of the Second World War aside from the Dieppe raid. Emotion runs high at May-sur-Orne and Tilly-la-Campagne and the atmosphere is rife with regret at Verrieres Ridge, the burial ground of the Black Watch, where only 15 of 320 came back to be counted. But the French port of Dieppe is undoubtedly the darkest site. Visit the local museum, Canadian cemetery and the actual beach battle site for a comprehensive understanding of the consequences. Day 5 Ypres Go into battle beside the Canadians, where they fought tooth and nail along the Atlantic Wall through France to Belgium. Follow the fortifications that were successfully captured as Canadian forces moved up the coastline – the Citadel, Fort Neuilly, the Cathedral Bunker, Fort Lapi, Griz Nez and arrive finally at the museum at Todt Battery, with its immense Railway Gun. Step across the V3 London Cannon site at Mimoyecques and the incredible underground rocket launching zones, evidence of Hitler’s last-ditch attempt to blast the UK into submission. Day 6 Ypres Return to the Great War and trace the Canadian involvement in perhaps the bloodiest of all Imperial-held

lines, the Ypres Salient. So many sites make this such a special area for Canadians. Visit them all, including Hoogt, John McRea’s Essex Farm, Passchendaele, Hill 60, Princess Pat’s memorial, St Julien, Vancouver Corner and Maple Copse. Finally, in a fitting celebration to mark the end of an amazing journey and the start of a brand new understanding of national spirit, attend the moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menen Gate in medieval Ypres. Day 7 Tour ends Lille/London Take a look at the lighter side of a soldier’s life, catching the train to London from Lille or recrossing the Channel by ferry, to be met by a guide familiar with Churchill’s Cabinet War rooms, as well as the favourite haunts of Canadians on leave from both wars. IncludEs: • Return train fare London/Lille • 6 nights accommodation • Continental breakfast daily • Dinner daily • Entrance fees • Qualified guide/leaders • Bilingual driver • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Selected dates – Mon departing London (11 May/22 June/27 July/28 Sept 09)

Twin from

$2195

Single from

$2435

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

small group touring Battlefield tours

27

france

France

Welcome to

28

small group touring france

ENGLAND
Calais

Bruges FLANDERS
BRUSSELS

Cologne Bonne

france
GERMANY
Frankfurt

Lille

BELGIUM
se l

CHANNEL ISLANDS

Amiens Le Havre Honfleur
NO
RM

LUXEMBOURG
LUXEMBOURG

Mo

English Channel

Mannheim
ne

AND

Y

PARIS

Nancy

Strasbourg

Chartres Rennes Orléans
Loire Valley

Seine Aub

FRANCE
Basle Zurich Dijon Luzern

Chambord Nantes Loire

ore than magnificent wine and divine six-course meals, more than world-famous art and captivating cathedrals, more even than a centuries-old dedication to lavish architecture and lush landscapes, France is about a fervent desire to live life to the fullest. It is an invitation to indulge yourself, fulfil your dreams and find inspiration. You’ll fall in love with it instantly.

SWITZERLAND

the Back-roads touring way
why Back-roads touring?
Back-Roads Touring’s French tours are a celebration of the France with a reputation for romance. It’s the France of the great Loire valley chateaux and vineyards, the France of the calvados and the rolling Normandy countryside and it’s the France of Monet and his contemporary impressionists. It is about fortified hilltop towns and medieval castles, spectacular cathedrals and world-famous artworks, serene rural villages and thriving modern towns. Swoon at the sight of the traditional accommodation, be enchanted by the rarely-seen sights revealed by your native guide and relish the freedom to follow your whims and adapt the itinerary at every breathtaking turn.

At a Glance
Visa & passport
Australian, NZ, Canadian and American citizens may stay up to 90 days without a visa. Other nationalities need to consult their licensed travel agent.

tipping
Leaving a tip at a restaurant is at your discretion. Most restaurants add 10–15% to the bill, however it is customary to leave a few coins if the service is satisfactory.

what our traVellers say aBout us ...
Our group got along perfectly. The small size truly proved to be fantastic. Thanks again for offering a trip that turned out as described. John Hawck I can’t speak highly enough of your tours, guides etc ... the flexibility of the itineraries was a good feature and we found the guides to be very accommodating in all aspects, and good drivers as well. Alison charmley, new Zealand 2006 I hope to be able to take another tour with you. Your tour was the best I have ever taken. August ‘Gus’ Greyhosky The tours met or exceeded our expectations and the two guides were exceptional – their knowledge, their conscientiousness, their attentiveness, and their pleasant and stimulating company made the whole experience delightful. Bill & Mary Phillips

local customs
Shaking hands is a common greeting and close friends often exchange kisses on both cheeks. Topless sunbathing is tolerated on most beaches. Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places, including restaurants and bars.

languages
French, with some English spoken in tourist areas.

currency
Euro (EUR)

electricity
220V 50Hz

temp (°c)
Paris Nice

J 7 13 J 54 85 J 8

f 8 13 f 44 60 f 10

m 12 15 m 49 61 m 12

a 15 17 a 53 70 a 13

m 19 20 m 65 49 m 15

J 22 24 J 55 38 J 16

J 24 27 J 63 15 J 16

a 25 27 a 43 24 a 14

s 21 24 s 55

o 16 21 o 60

n 10 16 n 52

d 8 14 d 59 88 d 8

rainfall (mm)
Paris Nice

76 144 94 s 13 o 11 n 9

daylight (hours)
Paris

small group touring france

Rhi

Reims

29

france & Belgium
Departing Lille & London

champagne & the ardennes – 4 days/3 nights
A feast for the eyes and titillation for the taste-buds, this 4-day tour is a cunning combination of popular sights and regional secrets, creating a fascinating adventure amid the charming villages, flourishing wine fields and dense forest of the Ardennes. Day 1 Lille – Epernay/Reims Overflowing with unrivalled architectural attractions, Reims is a showpiece city with no less than 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Cross the hallowed halls of Cathédrale Notre-Dame, a Gothic masterpiece hailing back to the 6th century that has seen 33 royal coronations and still hosts more than 2300 statues, including the famous Smiling Angel. Palais du Tau, the basilique Saint-Remi and the brilliant musée-Abbaye Saint-Remi also beg for exploration, spectacular highlights of an animated art-deco city famed for being the setting of Nazi Germany’s 1945 surrender. Better yet, we’ll access it via the back roads for a thorough cultural introduction to one of Europe’s most underrated regions. Day 2 Epernay/Reims Champagne anyone? Evocative, indulgent and devastatingly delicious, an exploration of this classic French countryside is simply unsurpassable. Wander through the vineyards, sample the most select wines in some of the world’s most famous vineyards and descend into the underground cellars of internationally renowned Moët & Chandon, a magnificent maze measuring more than 18 miles. Day 3 Epernay/Reims Sober up quickly today as the rich, undulating landscape on the way to Verdun sets a serious tone. Follow one of France’s most sacred sites, from parts of the awful battlefield still riddled with shell craters to one of the famed ‘indestructible’ forts, the amazing, atmospheric Ossuary and the site of a decimated hilltop village. Verdun itself lightens the mood, a charming town on the banks of the Meuse and an idyllic spot to stop for a cup of rich French coffee. Day 4 Tour ends Lille Venture beyond the walls of a unique fortified town at Rocroi, the setting of a famous battle in the Thirty Years’ War between France and Spain. Cross the Belgium border to Chimay with its magnificent château, explore the Bavay Roman ruins in an intriguing interactive museum, investigate operations at a micro brewery in Gussignies and complete a vibrant and varied day with a tour of Henry VIII’s only Belgian possession, the medieval Tournai. IncludEs: • 3 nights accommodation • Continental breakfast daily • Dinner daily • Entrance fees • Bilingual driver • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Tues departing Lille (28 Apr–06 Oct 09)

Twin from

$1325 Single from $1395

medieval Belgium – 4 days/3 nights
this tour of the fascinating Flanders province of Belgium showcases some of Europe’s most magnificent art and architecture. It’s ideal for those who like to travel at leisure, surrounded by the finer things in life. Day 1 London/Lille – Leuven area Depart London and meet your Back-Roads Touring guide in Lille, then hit the streets of Brussels, capital of Belgium, to view the most important of the many splendid sites that make the city unique – the busy Grote Markt and Grand-Place, amazing La Monnaie, the stunning cathedrals of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula and the newer EU administrative buildings. Day 2 Leuven area Discover why Leuven is often called the open-air museum of the past and meet the most magnificent medieval building in the world. Striking architecture abounds, from the flamboyantly Gothic Saint Peter’s Church, with the famous 15th-century painting of Dirk Bouts ‘The Last Supper’, to the impressive Romanesque Gate, and don’t forget the unrivalled baroque beauty, Park Abbey. Move on to the exquisite history of Mechelen. Walk the medieval square lined with guild houses, tour the 14th-century town hall and see works by Van Dyck and other Flemish masters in the cathedral. Experience it all, with ample time left over to wander through the shops or simply sit back and soak up the atmosphere from a street cafe or bar. Day 3 Ostend coast Genteel Ghent really lives up to its reputation as an ‘art city’. The capital of East Flanders, it boasts 2 medieval
Twin from

castles, 19 museums, 5 abbeys and 3 beguinages, plus beautiful waterways lined with gorgeous, gabled buildings and a fine cathedral adorned with priceless art. Seek modern inspiration in the SWAK Museum of Contemporary Art, scour the intriguing streets and compare it to the spectacular natural scenery we pass through on our way back to our Flanders coast accommodation. Day 4 Tour ends Lille/London Saving the most famous Flanders city for last, Bruges comes alive in Back-Road Touring’s knowledgeable hands. Fall in love with its criss-crossing canals and cobbled streets, shop for truly original artefacts and sample the wares of a local brewery. Jump on board a horse-drawn carriage or play the culture vulture at the Flanders Folk Museum. If it is too hard to return to Lille just yet, ask about possible Back-Roads Touring extensions. IncludEs: • Return rail London/Lille • 3 nights accommodation • Continental breakfast daily • Dinner daily • Entrance fees • Bilingual driver • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Selected dates – Tues departing London (28 Apr/19 May/16 June/30 June/ 28 July/25 Aug/22 Sept 09) coMBInE wItH: The Somme

$1325 Single from $1415

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

30

small group touring france

Departing Paris

france

palaces and châteaux of the loire – 6 days/5 nights

compare the luxurious abodes with the lush landscapes of the world-famous loire region. Architecture of unsurpassed elegance and gardens of unrivalled glory are unveiled on an epic exploration of France’s most fascinating homes in a unique 6-day tour. Day 1 Paris – Chartres Leave Paris at 8.30am for the picture-perfect Palace of Fontainebleau. One of the largest French royal châteaux, it features the fancies of many French monarchs, arranged around a series of courtyards in the stunning city of Fontainebleau, with its thick fringe of breathtakingly beautiful forest. Chartres is equally exquisite. Wander through the stunning Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres and discover why it’s widely considered to be the finest Gothic cathedral in France as you marvel at some of the world’s most spectacular stained-glass windows. Day 2 Montsoreau Nr Saumur Drive through a parade of pleasant traditional villages set in picturesque countryside to Le Mans. Be captivated by its Cathédrale St-Julien and explore remnants from Roman times, including the riverside baths. Survey the imposing castle that dominates the medieval town

of Angers and examine the amazing ‘Apocalypse Tapestry’, hand-woven in the late 1300s. Linger over a late lunch amid the shops and museums in the narrow streets of the old quarter, then move onto Saumur for a sumptuous feast in true French style – usually a minimum of 3 courses, starting late and spanning the full evening. Day 3 Montsoreau nr Saumur Relish the first day on the Loire in the pretty and peaceful town of Montsoreau. Visit the local wine caves, view the troglodyte hill dwellings and find mesmerising finery in the local château at Saumur. Spend time amid the natural splendour of charming Chinon, a fantastic 16th-century relic, and stop in to see Fontevraud, the famed abbey where Richard the Lion Heart is buried. Expect a few hidden treasures as well, courtesy of BackRoads Touring’s flexibility and a flourishing tourist region full of attractions. Day 4 Beaugency Find out why the Loire Valley is justly famed for its incredibly opulent châteaux by experiencing the region’s finest jewels firsthand. The only issue will be deciding which of the decadent displays to view over the next few days, according to weather and group interests. Inspect Château d’Usee to see why it is reputed to have inspired the Sleeping Beauty story. Vote for Château de Villandry and be beguiled by the imaginative 20th-century recreation of a renaissance castle garden in the moated grounds. Taking time out to touch the magic of the medieval city of Tours is an absolute must. Wander through the town’s historic streets, take in the sights or sample the gourmet fare from a streetside cafe.

Day 5 Beaugency Trace the entire development of secular French architecture, from feudalism to classicism, at Blois Château. Medieval towers, Gothic roofs and walls, and sumptuous renaissance interiors abound in this captivating display of decadent design. Venture just a few kilometres down the road to yet another château at remarkable Amboise, a few kilometres further to Chambord, the first great, classical French palace, once used as a retreat for Louis XIV, or take a peek at the jewel of renaissance architecture, Chenonceau château. Beaugency itself also boasts a small palace and, like the others, it is set in a garden so magical it could easily have slipped from the pages of a fairy tale. Day 6 Tour ends Paris Visit the relatively modern city of Orléans, made famous by Jean, Maid of Orléans, before moving on to Chartres. Stroll through the picturesque streets and be sure to catch any sights missed on the previous trip, including the intriguing St-André quarter, with its fine houses, restored mill-races and laundry-houses. Return to a central Paris location and bid farewell to a fascinating journey. IncludEs: • 5 nights accommodation • Continental breakfast daily • Dinner daily • Entrance fees • Bilingual driver • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sun departing Paris (10 May–11 Oct 09)
Twin from

Small groups with unmarked, un br coaches and anded stress-free tra vel Leisurely pace d flexible itiner aries Intimate smalle r accommodat ion Well-educated travel guides

What makes us different?

$1995 Single from $2225

small group touring france

31

france

Departing Paris

la Belle france – 12 days /11 nights

A French love affair of the most enticing kind, this tour is about passion, ardour and infatuation. Passion for fine wine and long, lingering lunches. Ardour for ornate architecture and rich history. Infatuation for breathtaking scenery and a laid back lifestyle. It is la Belle France, a delightful discovery for both the first time visitor and those who’ve already fallen in love with France and wish to unveil more of its secrets. Please note however, it is only suitable for those who are mobile and reasonably fit. Day 1 Paris – Honfleur Leave Paris along the shimmering course of the Seine and discover the magic of France through a master painter’s eyes, with the first major stop of the day at Monet’s home in Giverny. Meander through the magnificent countryside to the city of Rouen and wander around the famous Place du Vieux-Marché. Follow the footsteps of generations of artists to our accommodation in the picturesque harbour of Honfleur, one of the bestpreserved old ports of Normandy. Day 2 Honfleur A splendid scenic drive along the ‘Normandy Corniche’ showcases views over the stunning surrounding countryside and Seine estuary. Find out why this part of the northern French coastline is famed for its luxury resorts in postcard-perfect Deauville and its sister town of Trouville. Stroll along the elegant boardwalk, ripe with a high society history, spy on the magnificent boats in the marina and maybe try your luck in the casino before returning home to become more familiar with our own Honfleur harbour. Day 3 Bayeux Watch the history books come alive today at the site of one of the greatest military achievements of modern times – the liberation of France following the Normandy beach landings on D-Day. Follow a line of towns with recognisable names and find a war museum in every one: Utah, Omaha, Sword, Juno and Gold, Arromanches, Pegasus Bridge and Caen. Travelling through this time-honoured region is an unforgettable experience, tinged with inevitable sadness.

Day 4 Bayeux Lighten the mood today and set out independently to discover the magic of the medieval town of Bayeux. A remarkably well-preserved ancient city, it is an obvious highlight of the Normandy region. Inspect the worldfamous tapestry depicting the battle of 1066 and the captivating Cathédral Notre-Dame. Wander through the atmospheric streets or simply sit back and soak up the culture in a sidewalk cafe. Day 5 Fougères/Rennes Bid goodbye to Bayeux and cross the Normandy countryside to Brittany and the amazing fortified towns of St Malo and Dinan. Marvel at Mont St-Michel, the 10,000-year-old religious complex that appears to rise from the surrounding waters, and explore the intriguing streets of Fougeres. Day 6 Chinon/Saumur Suspend the animation and let yourself be caught up by the Arthurian tales that radiate around Forêt de Paimpont. Be charmed by the lively medieval cathedral and chaotic streets of Vannes and be intrigued by the 2000 mystical menhirs at Carnac. Day 7 Chinon/Saumur Take advantage of our position at Saumur, in the eastern Loire Valley, to spend time enjoying the pretty and peaceful town of Chinon. Home of famed writer Rabelais, it is overflowing with intriguing sights. Explore its evocative stone streetscapes to reveal an ancient fort, wonderful wine caves and a medley of museums. Day 8 Chinon/Saumur Choose which of the incredibly rich châteaux you want to tour today. Villandry is almost unsurpassable for its heavenly gardens alone. For fairy tale perfection, opt for the Château d’Usée, said to be the setting of ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Relive the extravagance of the Renaissance at Azay-le-Rideau, or focus on the wow factor at the local chateau with the largest collection of Cadillacs outside the US. Alternatively, feel free to wander around the charismatic medieval town of Tours.

Day 9 Argenton-sur-Creuse Visit one of the world’s first deliberately planned towns and contrast it to medieval hilltop city of Poitiers. Examine one of the most idiosyncratic churches in France, the Notre-Dame-la-Grande, and slip into the serenity of the back roads on the scenic route to the small town of Argenton-sur-Creuse, via a host of delightful towns such as Chauvigny and St Savin, which are simply crawling with culture. Day 10 Argenton-sur-Creuse Hide well away from the tourist hordes today in delightful Argenton, a picturesque petri-dish of traditional French customs, or spend the day exploring the captivating Creuse valley, then follow the artist’s route to Gargilesse. Day 11 Beaugency Be amazed by the ostentatious wealth on display on the drive back north to the Loire. Stroll through a montage of classical, Gothic, renaissance and medieval architecture in Blois and try not to get lost in Chambord, the largest of the Loire châteaux. Compare it to the unpretentious riverside town of Beaugency, where we’ll enjoy a gourmet farewell dinner, the last in a long line of memorable dining experiences on the tour so far. Day 12 Tour ends Paris The most divine cathedral of all in Chartres makes for a fitting climax. Relish the vibrant atmosphere of the charming streets, which reflect the bustling activity of a medieval meeting of merchants and craftsmen, before returning to your Paris hotel. IncludEs: • 11 nights accommodation • Continental breakfast daily • Dinner daily • Entrance fees • Bilingual driver • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Mon departing Paris (13 Apr–05 Oct 09)
Twin from

$3725 Single from $4130

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

32

small group touring france

Departing Paris

france

alsace lorraine, Burgundy and champagne – 12 days/ 11 nights
scenery, history, culture, fine wines and gourmet eating! see magnificent and ancient cities such as dijon, strasbourg, colmar, nancy and reims. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Vosges, the Ardennes, the mountainous swiss-French border, and the côte d’or. there are palaces and cathedrals, museums and art galleries, shopping and eating. And, as we are touring through three of the greatest wine growing areas, there will be visits to vineyards and wine tasting. You should note that this tour can be quite strenuous, so please check with us first if you have any concerns in this area. Day 1 Paris – Dijon/Beaune Today starts with Fontainebleau, a city with royal roots stretching back in the 12th century. It was here, from the famous horseshoe staircase of the magnificent palace, that Napoleon bade his men farewell following his abdication in 1918. The palace can only be described as magnificent. Next to Sens, the site of France’s first gothic cathedral (12th century). There’s also a fine covered market here where we’ll get our first insight onto the wonders of French food! Finally we’ll drive through glorious countryside to the ancient and atmospheric town of Beaune. Day 2 Dijon/Beaune This tour covers three very special wine regions, the first being here in Burgundy. The first vine was planted here in Roman times and the produce of ‘La Côte’ has been revered virtually ever since. We’ll visit a vineyard and the Burgundy Wine Museum. Our exploration of Beaune will take the form of ‘organised independence’. You will be fully briefed by your guide and will be free to experience the delights of the city at your own pace. Alternatively your guide will offer a walking tour for those who prefer that option. Beaune offers a wealth of delights including the Hôtel-Dieu, a marvel of Burgundian-Flemish art. There are also the Musée des Beaux-Arts, and a museum sure to delight any of the many physicians who travel with Back-Roads Touring Co., that of the great experimental doctor and physiologist, Etienne-Jules Marey. Others will enjoy shopping in the old town or walking the 15th century town ramparts. Day 3 Dijon/Beaune We’re going to spend a full day in Dijon to really appreciate this ancient university city, the seat of the Dukes of Burgundy. Highlights will include strolling pedestrian streets of the old town, such as the Rue des Forges, and exploring the rich remains of the Palais de Ducs (the Salle des Gardes in the Musée des Beaux– Arts cannot be missed). There’ll be an opportunity to visit the archaeological museum (including fantastic local finds from Neolithic and Gallo-Roman periods), the botanic gardens, the cathedral and numerous smaller chapels. Or perhaps a visit to the Mustard Museum! Dijon is a gourmet’s and shopper’s delight! We’ll find the Auger shops for local products such as mustards, sweets, blackcurrant liqueurs and spicy ginger cake. Tonight dinner is not included to allow for some individual choice in dining and there are many excellent restaurants from which to choose! Day 4 Colmar We drive east, passing the ancient city of Besançon and into the mountains where we’ll follow the Vallée du Doubs. The Gorges du Doubs between the towns of Morteau and Monteliard, is breath-taking. Alsace is, of course, another area famed for its wines. No doubt we’ll find time over the next few days to sample a glass or two! We might get an opportunity to stop at a scenic location in the mountains where we can enjoy a picnic of local produce, and simply enjoy nature in her magnificence. Day 5 Colmar This morning you’re free to rise late and to explore Colmar. Highlights will include exploring the old town with its picturesque timbered houses, and perhaps enjoying a canal ride around ‘petite Venice’. There is also the Musée d’Underlinden, a fantastic collection of art housed in an old convent, a magnificent cathedral, and a small museum dedicated to the man who designed the Statue of Liberty. Gift shopping here is good so you’ll enjoy your day of ‘organised independence’. And for those with a taste for beer and wine, the cafes and bars here afford ample opportunity to sample some of the local brews in the company of friendly locals. Dinner is taken independently this evening and not included in your tour price. Day 6 Colmar We leave early this morning and follow the German border to the capital city of the European Union, Strasbourg. Your day here will illustrate why the politicians chose it! Not only is this an historical crossroads for Europe, but it has an intellectual history that claims both Guttenberg and Goethe. It is rich in art treasures, has a fine gothic cathedral, has superb shopping, and last but certainly not least, some of the best eating and drinking possibilities in the whole of the Union! We visit on a Saturday to take advantage of it being market day (there is both a traditional market and a flea market to explore and both are great for interesting souvenirs and presents), and to give you an opportunity to join a special themed walking tour. Day 7 Nancy Another scenic day as we discover the Route des Crêtes. This was a strategic road built during the First World War to ensure communications on the Vosges front line. We’ll obtain an amazing panorama of the area at Hohneck, from the Vosges to the German Black Forest, and later see the Vieil-Armand battlefield monument. This afternoon we enjoy a two-hour drive west, through the hills and woods of the Vosges Forests to Nancy. Our description hardly does justice to the day’s wonderful sightseeing. We’ll arrive in time for your guide-companion to offer a short orientation tour. Day 8 Nancy Nancy is the former capital of the Dukes of Lorraine. It’s quite different in character from the towns of the Alsace and owes its elegance to 18th century town planning, though its roots go back to the 11th century! Art Nouveau is also much in evidence in Nancy’s architecture. There’s much to see and do here, especially for those with an interest in arts and craftsmanship. There is the Ducal Palace, the superb glass and crystal collection in the Musée des Beaux-Arts (and paintings by Monet, Modigliani and Manet), the wonderful art gallery at Musée de L’École de Nancy and the old town with its buildings of architectural and historical interest. For those whose prefer to sit and stare, what finer way than at a pavement café in the Place Stanislas. Go on, shut your eyes and imagine yourself sitting in the shade, glass of fine wine to hand, a plate of regional snacks before you, perhaps some street musician providing the entertainment while you watch life go by without a worry in the world! Day 9 Nancy Today we visit another country, Luxembourg. En route

we’ll visit Metz, a pretty and busy city on the river Moselle. This city was at the centre of 20th century Franco-German history and following the war of 1870 between France and Germany, the town took on a very Germanic character with the cathedral, post office and railway station all being re-built or re-fashioned in some form. As this city was so important in France’s defences against the Germans, it’s not surprising that it is ringed by forts and we’ll take the opportunity to visit one of those that made up the famed Maginot Line. Day 10 Epernay/Reims You will have noticed many signs of the age-old conflict between France and Germany over the Alsace and Lorraine as we’ve travelled through the region but at Verdun, scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the Great War, we’ll stop to contemplate this aspect of European history. Our time here will include a visit to the Citadelle Souterraine where there’s an imaginative tour that takes us on a recreation of life in the trenches. We’ll also visit the battlefield and associated museums and memorials. Day 11 Epernay/Reims It’s time to raise our glasses for today we explore the famed Champagne region! Naturally, our day will include visits to well-known vineyards in the Marne valley, and to Champagne cellars (perhaps Moët et Chandon or Mercier) in Épernay itself, or maybe the excellent wine museum. Day 12 Tour ends Paris Our final day sees us first in the ancient university town of Reims. It was here, in the magnificent cathedral, that French kings were traditionally crowned. Architectural and cultural highlights here include the cathedrale Notre-Dame (considered one of the finest in the world), the Basilica and Museum de St Rémi and the Palais du Tau (the archbishop’s palace). We can also visit the fascinating Salle de Reddition, General Eisenhower’s HQ and see where the act of German capitulation was signed. The actual room remains exactly as it was on May 7th 1945. We return to Paris by late afternoon and you’ll be dropped at a central Paris location. IncludEs: • 11 nights accommodation • Continental breakfast daily • 9 dinners • Entrance fees • Qualified guide/leaders • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Mon departing Paris (13 Apr–21 Sep 09)

Twin from

$3725 Single from $4130

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

small group touring france

33

italy

Italy

Welcome to

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small group touring italy

A

L

P

S

SLOVENIA
Milan Verona Adige Po Gulf of Venice Bologna
P
P

ZAGREB

Venice

CROATIA

Turin

italy
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Cinque Terre

A

FRANCE
Lucca Pisa Ligurian Sea

E

A rn o Florence
Chianti

N

SAN MARINO
I
N E

SARAJEVO

Split
S

Volterra

Siena
T ib e r

Perugia Bastia

Adriatic Sea Dubrovnik

ELBA

ITALY
Chieti

CORSICA
Vatican City

ROME

SARDINIA

Tyrrhenian Sea

Caserta

Bari

s tantalizing as a rich pasta sauce, as vivacious as a spicy red wine and as emotive as an evening at the opera – Italy will steal your heart in seconds. From rustic country villages to forted medieval towns, from glossy green olive groves to laden vineyards, and from the vibrant cities filled with luxury fashions to the world-class art galleries framing the masters, it is absolutely overflowing with adventure.

the Back-roads touring way
why Back-roads touring?
View the Vatican, take a gondola ride on the Venetian canals and ponder the leaning tower of Pisa, but don’t forget that the real magic of Italy is not in its international icons, it lies in the relaxed evening revelry of quaint Tuscan villages, in the handiwork of remote island artisans and the contagious laughter of its charismatic people. These are the features that Back-Roads Touring Co. showcases on its unique tours. Stay in the villages and dine with the locals, devise your own list of attractions in the major cities and go straight to your favourites and, best of all, simply relax and soak up the atmosphere from a street-side espresso bar when the whim takes you.

At a Glance
Visa & passport
Australian, NZ, Canadian and American citizens may stay up to 90 days without a visa. Other nationalities need to consult their licensed travel agent.

tipping
Leaving a tip at a restaurant is at your discretion. Most restaurants add 10–15% to the bill, however it is customary to leave a few coins if the service is satisfactory.

what our traVellers say aBout us ...
Perfect in every way. This holiday was certainly the best I have taken in 20 years or more of travelling. What made it so was not only the varied and interesting itinerary, and the choice of accommodations, but the absolute enthusiasm of our driver-guide. You can really see that everyone in this company just loves what they do. And it makes such a difference! Mona slitz Because we were a small group, we went places and saw things we would have missed with a large group. susie Brown We had the most wonderful experiences of our lives thanks to the two trips we took with Back-Roads Touring. Arlys J Krech Arrangements for this trip were well planned on your part from beginning to end ... Our accommodations were a delight, from the beautiful settings to the friendly hosts and hostess ... Best of all were the places we went and the people we met! sue Porsch

local customs
Conservative clothes are required when visiting religious buildings. Beachwear should be confined to the beach. When buying a coffee, check what the price difference is between sitting and standing.

languages
Italian, with some English spoken in most tourist areas.

currency
Euro (EUR)

electricity
m 22 24 m 32 80 m 15 15 J 26 29 J 16 75 J 16 16 J 26 32 J 15 60 J 15 15 a 29 31 a 33 65 a 14 14 s

220V 50Hz

temp (°c)
Rome Florence

J 13 10 J 81 50 J 9 9

f 14 12 f 75 60 f 10 10

m 15 16 m 65 95 m 12 12

a 18 20 a 55 95 a 13 13

o 22 21 o

n 17 15 n

d 14 10 d 80 d 9 9

26 27 s 68

rainfall (mm)
Rome Florence

93 110 90

75 110 90 s 12 12 o 11 11 n 10 10

daylight (hours)
Rome Florence

small group touring italy

35

italy

Departing Rome

renaissance italy – 14 days/13 nights
carefully crafted to create an intimate, indulgent introduction to one of the world’s most popular peninsulas, this 2-week tour takes in all the major, must-see attractions in classic Back-roads touring fashion. Breach the typical tourist barriers to become totally immersed in the romance of Venice, the creativity of Florence and the history of rome, then move beyond the signature cities to scale the hills of umbria, take in the tuscan countryside and stroll through the coastal towns around sirolo. Day 1 Rome - Fregene Make a grand entrance at Rome’s Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci) airport, where you’ll be met by your specialist Italian guide. Rest and recover from your flight, or immediately adopt a ‘when in Rome’ attitude and enjoy a seaside ‘passeggiata’ (leisurely evening stroll). Meet the group over a glorious Italian meal as the sun sinks. Day 2 Todi Region Watch regional Italy come alive as we avoid the capital city traffic and head for Lago di Bracciano and the little-known town of Sutri, with its ancient Etruscan burial grounds and amphitheatre. Angle in to the fertile fields of Umbria and the intriguing flat-top volcano town of Orvieto. Day 3 Todi Region Travel through the enchanting hilltop towns of central Umbria, where the definition of lifestyle is dramatically redefined and the scenery is heavenly, as we make our way St Francis’ Assisi. Stroll, shop and stop for an espresso in Spello. Take a seat in the smallest theatre in the world in quaint Monte Castello di Vibio. Day 4 Greve in Chianti Rich with pre-Roman Etruscan history, alive with lavish architecture and full of easy embraces, Tuscany is a true feast for the senses. Stop for a cappuccino before arriving in Siena, with its spectacular town square, then wind down in the attractive village of Greve in Chianti. Take a seat in one of the small cafe bars overlooking the piazza and fall instantly in love with the evening atmosphere. Day 5 Greve in Chianti Unveil the magic of medieval Florence at your own pace today. Parking issues make it hard to travel as a group, so get guided directions and set off on your own adventure. Lines at the major galleries can be long, so book tickets for entry after 10.30am before leaving home. Day 6 Greve in Chianti Meet the master of the last millennium, Leonardo da Vinci, with a visit to his birthplace in Lucca (or Vinci). Delve into the art world again in Deruta, a town famous for its ceramics, and call into the captivating city of Pisa to see its famous ‘torre pendente’ (leaning tower). Day 7 Mogliano Veneto Opt for the road less travelled and traverse the striking Apennines, stopping to explore the quaint, little-known villages and test the hospitality of the country hostelries. Pay your respects at the poignant American World War II cemetery astride the sparkling River Greve, before carrying on to Ferrara for lunch. Relish the experience of modern Italian life in Mogliano Veneto and dine in a typical local restaurant, blissfully free from any other tourists. Day 8 Mogliano Veneto Mingle with the locals on a brief train trip over the lagoon to the Pearl of the Adriatic. Share the insights your Back-Roads Touring guide has garnered from years of scouring Venice streets and enjoy the hidden beauty to be found in the favourite haunts of the Venetians, rather Continued ➤
Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

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small group touring italy

Departing Rome

italy

than the visitors. Enjoy a private dinner, or perhaps climb aboard a gondola to coast the canals. Day 9 Mogliano Veneto Choose to spend another day exploring Venice or take a trip by vaporetto (water bus) to enchanting Murano and Burano Islands. Majestic scenery, interesting artefacts and friendly faces seem to appear at every turn, so take advantage of Back-Roads Touring’s less structured travel experience and follow your feet wherever they take you. Alternatively, join your guide on a tour to Padua or Vicenza. Day 10 Pesaro Cross the flatlands of the Po delta, homeland of Guareschi’s Don Camillo, and revel in the rich regional vistas. Be charmed by Chioggia, where there is ample time to survey the shops and collect some fresh local produce, fine wine and a few gourmet specialties for an indulgent picnic. Continue a full day of discovery through the picturesque pine forests to Ravenna, with its Byzantine mosaics and irresistible historic mystique. Day 11 Pesaro Answer the call of the market in Rimini and mix with the locals in the relaxed seaside atmosphere. Scale the hilltops and cross the border to the independent, tax-free state of San Marino. Be captivated by San Leo, with its fairy tale castle showcasing glorious views over Romagna and the Marches. Day 12 Sirolo Explore the splendid gallery and active streets of the vivacious university town of Urbino and tour the largest caves in Europe before moving on to serene accommodation under the enchanting Conero mountain. Day 13 Fregene Head towards Rome again today. Cross the Apennines, via a tunnel through the 9000-foot-high stone of Italy, and visit Tivoli’s world-class gardens or Hadrian’s majestic villa, followed by a leisurely lunch in town. Day 14 Tour ends Rome Bid the beauty of Italy goodbye on the arranged transfer to the airport. If you are staying on in Rome hail a local taxi or take public transport to your next port of call. IncludEs: • 13 nights accommodation • Continental breakfast daily • 11 dinners • Entrance fees • Bilingual driver • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Selected dates – Sun departing Rome (26 Apr/10 May/24 May/07 June/ 21 June/6 Sept/20 Sept/4 Oct 09)

Twin from

$3845 Single from $4525

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

small group touring italy

37

italy

Departing Florence

tuscan treats and the cinque terre – 8 days/7 nights

savour the culture of this renowned region in true Italian tradition – slowly, like a glass of fine wine or an indulgent 6-course feast. this remarkable tour is flexible enough to allow a cappuccino stop or theatre visit when the whim takes you, but it is also cleverly crafted to reveal tuscan treasures often overlooked by the typical tourist trail. Every meal is an adventure of fresh produce and divine wine and every accommodation stop is a showpiece of the region’s rich culture and creativity. Bello! Day 1 Florence Embrace the charisma and colour of Florence from the moment you arrive at the airport. Alive with culture, art, theatre, fantastic food and first class shopping, it is the capital of the Tuscan region and an ideal base for the next 2 nights. Head to the hotel at your leisure to relax and recover from your flight, before meeting the group over the first of many delicious dinners. Day 2 Florence Savour a true Italian cappuccino over breakfast before embarking on a fascinating walking tour of Florence, Italy’s outdoor museum. Marvel at the Ponte Vecchio, the beautiful bridge spanning the River Arno. Visit the Uffizi Art Gallery, with its showcase collection bequeathed to the people of Florence by the Medici family, and get lost amid masterpieces by some of the greatest artists who have ever lived, including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Rembrandt. Choose from one of Florence’s many fabulous restaurants for a private dinner. Day 3 Florence – Lucca Yesterday’s introduction will have whet the appetite for further adventures in Florence, so spend the morning visiting your favourite personal attractions – tour the landmark 3rd-century cathedral, scour the elegant shops

or simply sit back and soak up the atmosphere over coffee in the Piazza del Duomo. Enjoy the picturesque drive to Lucca after lunch, an enchanting base for the next 2 nights. Try climbing the 207 steps of the Torre dell Ore, a 13th-century clock tower, and the 230 challenging steps to the Tower of the Palazzo Guinigi, or enjoy a more leisurely stroll around the town’s renaissance walls. Day 4 Lucca – Cinque Terre – Lucca Ease into things with a relaxing day wandering the medieval streets of Lucca, or jump on the sightseeing bandwagon and explore the steep coastline and the 5 captivating villages that make up the Cinque Terre, backdropped by breathtaking sea views. View the villages from the famous walking track through the National Park, or visit them via boat or train and unveil the secrets of this stunning UNESCO World Heritage site. Day 5 Lucca – Pisa – Volterra Meet an international icon today and marvel at the extraordinary structure of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Take in the rural romance and timeless beauty of the Tuscan countryside on the way to Volterra, a magnificent medieval town perched high on a rocky plateau. Day 6 Volterra – San Gimignano – Volterra Relax and soak up the traditional ambience of Volterra with a cappuccino around the central Piazza dei Priori. The grandeur of the Tuscan countryside will call again before lunch on a magical visit to one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. San Gimignano, with its striking skyline of 800-year-old towers, evokes images of medieval Tuscany better than anywhere else in the province. Spend time wandering its cobbled streets and choose from one of the many renowned restaurants for dinner. Day 7 Volterra – Siena – Volterra Siena showcases its breathtaking array of majestic

buildings today. Tour the famous cathedral and discover the hidden secrets of its traffic-free streets. Immerse yourself in the full flavour of Italian cuisine, courtesy of Siena’s abundance of pavement cafes and great eateries. Day 8 Tour ends Florence Watch the rolling hills adorned with vineyards and olive groves glide past on the way to Chianti, a region that produces some of the country’s best-known wines, including the famous Chianti Classico. Explore the culinary delights of the area at your leisure before returning to Florence by mid-afternoon. IncludEs: • 7 nights accommodation • Continental breakfast daily • 6 dinners • Entrance fees • Bilingual driver • All taxes and surcharges dEPArts: Every 2 weeks – Sat departing Florence (2 May – 31 Oct 09 with extra departure 10 Oct)

Twin from

2445 Single from 2955

Prices are based on twin share when specified as twin & adult. Child price is based on 1 child sharing with 2 adults. Some tours not suitable for children under the age of 13. All tours subject to change according to weather, seasonality & attraction openings. Tour price includes most breakfasts & dinners, lunch at own expense. Airport transfers not included, but can be arranged at an additional charge.

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small group touring italy

terms & conditions
BooKInG condItIons All tours outlined in this brochure are operated FC by Back-Roads Touring Co. Limited incorporated in the United Kingdom (U.K. registration number 02473373) (“Back-Roads”). The Purchase of your Travel Booking is offered by The Flight Shops, Inc. DBA, Flight Centre, FCm Travel Solutions and Flight Centre Associates as a disclosed agent for Back-Roads (collectively “FC”, we, us) constitutes a contractual agreement between FC and the booked travellers. The purchase of the travel booking is and implies acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. It is our intention to set out clearly and simply the responsibilities which we at FC have to You, your heirs, executors and assigns and any member of your party and their heirs, executors and assigns (“You”) and which You, in turn, have to us when a contract is made between us. You should therefore read and understand the contents. All tours in this brochure are sold subject to the following conditions (“these Conditions”). BooKInG Your trIP 1. A contract between You and us will exist as soon as we issue an invoice in response to your request for a booking and the deposit has been paid. Bookings can be made through your FC travel agent and must be secured with a deposit of $200 per person paid at the time of booking. This deposit is nonrefundable unless we cancel your trip. If You are making a booking within 42 days of departure, then full payment is required at the time of booking. Your booking is taken to be confirmed, and accepted, when we issue an invoice. If your booking is made through an FC travel agent, Back-Roads will address all correspondence to that travel agent. All monies paid by You to the travel agent will be held by it on behalf of Back-Roads. If You arrange your trip direct with Back-Roads, all correspondence and communications will be sent to your email address in our booking file unless You specify otherwise. Balance of all payments is required at least 42 days prior to your tour departure date. If You do not pay within this period we may deem your booking cancelled and your deposit forfeited. 2. Alterations or cancellations by You after your booking has been accepted will be effected subject to the provisions of clauses 5, 6 and 7 of these Conditions. 3. All prices in this brochure are in Canadian dollars. Prices quoted in our brochures are calculated on costs and exchange rates at January 1, 2009. These prices may increase or decrease and we reserve the sole right to alter prices and other particulars contained in our brochures and on our website. Price changes in trips featured in subsequent brochure versions will supersede the prices in this brochure. (The version date is indicated on the back cover of this brochure). Before You make a booking we will provide You with details of the current price of your chosen trip. This will also be displayed on the website. Once You have accepted this price and your booking has been confirmed in accordance with clause that price will remain fixed and will not be subject to surcharges. 4. You must clearly state all your requirements at the time of booking. If You want to change any aspect of your booking including but not limited to a change to a trip of shorter duration or different departure date You must notify us as soon as possible in writing. We will do our best to accommodate your requested changes but You will be required to pay an amendment fee of $60 per person per change. If a request is made less than 42 days before departure, normal cancellation fees will apply in accordance with clause 7 unless the transfer or change is to an earlier departure of the same trip. In the event of a request for a change to be made a new invoice will be issued by Back-Roads and cancellation charges/ amendment fees will be shown. All amendment fees are payable within 7 days of the issue of a new invoice or on the date of departure, whichever is the sooner. 5. If You are prevented from travelling as a result of illness, the death of an immediate family member, jury service or other significant reason beyond your control, we will agree to your booking being transferred to another person who satisfies all the conditions applicable to the trip, subject to You and the other person accepting liability for full payment of the trip cost and any additional costs arising from the transfer PROVIDED THAT we must be given at least 21 days written notice of the proposed change. cAncEllAtIon BY You 6. Cancellation of a booking by You must be made in writing. We will not regard a booking as cancelled unless and until written notice is received by us. On cancellation the following charges will apply: days before departure Over 42 days 42-29 days 28-14 days 13-7 days 6-3 days 2-0 days deposit Nil 40% 60% 80% 90% 100% % of trip cost forfeited – 40% 60% 100% 100% 100% compensation as stated in the scale below. Period before scheduled departure date that we notify You or your travel agent together with the compensation offered. Over 42 days 42-29 days 28-14 days 13-7 days 6-0 days nil $50 $75 $100 $200 assistance to You throughout your trip. Your lIABIlItY to us 21. You will not be permitted to embark or continue on the tour if your mental or physical condition is, in the reasonable opinion of any representative of BackRoads, such as to render You incapable of caring for yourself, or whereby You become objectionable to other passengers, or You become a hazard to yourself or other passengers. We will not be responsible for expenses resulting in You being precluded from completing the trip for any reason, nor will we refund You any part of your trip cost. In all cases we will notify You of the reasons why we have taken this action. We will have no obligation to arrange for your return to the point of the trip departure where your condition manifests itself after the trip departure. trAVEl docuMEnts 22. Please ensure You carefully read your invoice, tickets and all other documents we send to You as soon as You receive them, and contact your travel agent, or us immediately if any information appears to be incorrect. We will not accept any liability if You fail to notify us of any inaccuracy in any document within 14 days of us sending them to You or your agent. While we will do our best to rectify any changes made outside this time, it is your responsibility to meet any additional costs which may be involved, except in the case of an error made by Back-Roads and where there is reasonable justification for You not contacting us within the specified time. You are responsible for ensuring that all necessary travel documents including, but not limited to, passports, visas and vaccination certificates are valid and subsisting. We strongly recommend that You verify current documentation requirements and all other relevant protocols and procedures associated with your trip with your travel agent or us. Please note visa requirements change and you must check with your Consulate for the most up to date information. Passports must have an expiry date of at least six months after completion of the trip. InsurAncE 23. Many of the problems for which we cannot be held responsible for can be insured against. We highly recommend that you take out insurance to provide adequate cover for medical expenses, personal accident, loss of baggage and curtailment or cancellation of trip. Individuals are responsible to finance on the spot medical treatment and other contingencies, and then to reclaim this from insurance, if covered. You will be required to provide documentation to the insurance company to facilitate a claim. Please note that there are exclusions to coverage of insurance. It is your responsibility to be familiar with the insurance coverage purchased and ensure that the coverage meets your travel needs. Please refer to our preferred insurance provider, RBC Insurance website, for the benefits and coverage for their various packages: http://www.rbcinsurance.com/ travel/travel-insurance-policy.html Insurance has to be purchased and paid for in full as soon as the booking is made to become fully effective. coMPlAInts 24. In the event of any dissatisfaction with the accommodation or any other service provided by Back-Roads, You must report it immediately to the Tour Guide so that action can be taken to remedy the problem. Failure to notify the Tour Guide of any problem immediately may prejudice Back-Roads and may result in your ability to claim compensation from us being extinguished or reduced. Any complaint made to Back-Roads following the conclusion of the trip should be made in writing within 28 days of completion of the trip. In the event that You do not notify us in writing within 28 days, our ability to investigate the complaint may be prejudiced and may extinguish your claim. dAtA ProtEctIon 25. Back-Roads has measures in place to protect the personal booking information held by it. However, in order to make your booking and ensure that your travel arrangements run smoothly, we need to use the information You provide and pass it on to the tour operator or other relevant suppliers who are responsible for your travel arrangements. In making this booking, your consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons is deemed to be given unless You object and advise Back-Roads of your objection at the time of booking. The information may also be provided to public authorities such as Customs or Immigration if required by them, or as required by law. This consent applies to any sensitive information that You give to us such as details of any disabilities or dietary/religious requirements. sMoKInG 26. Back-Roads operates a non-smoking policy on our coaches (although we make frequent stops for breaks). GEnErAl 27. You understand that future Back-Roads advertising and publicity material may include statements made by passengers, or their photographs, and You consent to such use of your comments or photographic/video likeness. 28. No servant, agent, employee or representative of FC or Back-Roads has any right to alter, vary or waive any of these Conditions, nor undertake any activity likely to lead to increased liability whatsoever on behalf of FC or Back-Roads unless such be in writing and signed by a duly authorised person. 29. All contracts for bookings made with Back-Roads, for tours in this brochure, are governed by Canadian law and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of Ontaio, Canada, should any dispute between us not be otherwise amicably agreed. 30. Interpretation • In these Conditions, any words importing the singular or plural numbers shall include the plural or singular number respectively or words importing a particular gender shall include all genders. • Notice required to be given in writing in these Conditions may be given by mail, facsimile transmission or email to Back-Roads care of its Corporate Headquarters.

10. Back-Roads reserves to itself the sole right to require a minimum number of participants for certain trips and in the event that there are insufficient bookings recorded by not later than 42 days before the scheduled departure date we will be entitled to cancel the scheduled trip, whereupon all monies paid by You for your Back-Roads tour shall be refunded but no further compensation will be paid and You and Back-Roads hereby agree to mutually release each other from any further obligations which would have been enforceable had the trip not been cancelled. our lIABIlItY to You 11. It is strongly recommended that all participants on a Back-Roads tour be in good health as walking is a fundamental part of these vacations. BackRoads tours are not suitable for anyone with physical disabilities or restriction of movement. Back-Roads tours are specifically not geared for the senior traveller and your fellow travellers maybe of a wide age range and from various nationalities. Please note all tours are conducted in English. 12. Save where the provisions of Force Majeure apply, in the event that the trip does not reasonably comply with the description in the brochure, Back-Roads may compensate You to a maximum value equal to twice the price of the trip but excluding insurance premiums and amendment fees AND Back-Roads will only be liable to pay the maximum amount of compensation where there has been a total failure of consideration for your payment. Where the failure to provide such trip is not caused by any fault of Back-Roads, its agents or suppliers or is caused by or contributed to by You, Back-Roads will not be liable to pay any compensation. 13. If You are killed, injured or become ill during or as a result of, carriage by aircraft, ship, train or coach forming part of the trip in circumstances where such death, injury or illness is not caused by or contributed to by You our liability to pay damages and/or the amount of compensation we will be liable to pay is limited in accordance with the liability of a carrier under any international Convention applicable to such events, including, but not limited to: • In respect of carriage by air, the Montreal Convention 1999 or the Warsaw Convention 1929 (including as amended by the Hague Protocol of 1955 and by any of the Montreal Additional Protocol of 1975); • In respect of carriage by sea: the Athens Convention 1974; • In respect of carriage by rail , the Berne Convention 1961; and, • In respect of carriage by road, the Geneva Convention 1973. 14. The terms of these Conventions are incorporated into and form part of our contract with You. In respect of death or personal injury, the liability of an air carrier under the Montreal Convention and the Warsaw Convention is limited to death or bodily injury caused by an accident which takes place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking. You should also note that these Conventions may limit or remove the carrier’s liability to You and the amount which the carrier has to pay to You. You should also know that the carrier will rely upon its “conditions of carriage” which may limit or remove the carrier’s liability to You and limit compensation under any international Conventions. 15. In the event that Back-Roads (or its insurers) make any payment to You for death, personal injury or illness, You must give us or our insurers all and any rights You may have to take action against the party responsible for causing the death, personal injury or illness and You must co-operate fully with us in seeking recovery of any payment we may make from such party. 16. Your booking is accepted on the understanding that You appreciate the possible risks inherent in travel and that You undertake the tours featured in this brochure of your own volition. Every effort will be made to operate all tours featured in this brochure but because of the nature of Back-Roads tours, it may be necessary to change the itinerary or accommodation whilst the tour is in motion. Not all sites listed in the itineraries will be visited as each tour is moulded to individual interests of participants, weather and daily timing constraints. The need for a flexible attitude to this type of travel is stressed in our publication. The final decision on the itinerary and the content of the trip will be taken by the Tour Guide, as appointed by us in the interest of the group as a whole. 17. No refund will be made for services made available by Back-Roads but which for whatever reason are not used by You once the trip has departed. ExclusIon oF lIABIlItY - ForcE MAJEurE 18. We do not accept liability for any loss, damage or expense resulting from war or terrorist activities threatened or actual, civil unrest, industrial action threatened or actual, weather conditions, fire, flood, drought, closures, unforeseen alterations to public transport schedules, rescheduling of aircraft or boats, epidemic or outbreaks of illness or any other event outside our control which either delays or extends or reduces the trip, or compels a change in the trip arrangements after departure. contrAVEntIon oF lAw 19. We will not be responsible for any loss or damage sustained by You as a result of a contravention of any law or regulation of any of the countries visited while on the tour. HEAltH And MEdIcAl condItIons 20. If You have a medical condition or disability which may affect your trip, we ask that You inform us in writing at the time of booking the trip of any special arrangements required by You so that we are able to advise as to the suitability of those arrangements. If we reasonably feel we are unable to satisfactorily accommodate your particular needs, we reserve the right to decline the booking or ask for You to be accompanied by a person who is able to provide full

cAncEllAtIon or ModIFIcAtIon BY us 7. Every effort will be made to operate all trips as advertised but it must be remembered that our trips are planned up to twelve months in advance. We therefore reserve the sole right, at our discretion, to modify or cancel any trip, flight schedule, accommodation or arrangement at any time. We will notify You as soon as possible of any changes and they will form part of our contract with You. In the case of any material modification or cancellation, we will, if possible, provide You with three alternatives: (1) a trip of an equivalent or closely similar standard and price, if available; (2) a trip of a lower standard together with a refund of the difference in price; or (3) cancellation with a full refund of all monies paid. 8. A material modification is one which has a serious effect on your trip and includes a change of departure date, departure point or airport, or change of departure time of more than twelve hours, which would cause substantial inconvenience to You. 9. We will endeavour not to materially modify or cancel the trip within 42 days of the date of the scheduled departure unless compelled to do so because of circumstances beyond our reasonable control. If a material modification or cancellation is made by us within six weeks of the scheduled departure date for reasons other than Force Majeure in accordance with clause 19 You will receive

small group touring italy

39

2009 issue 1

Back-roads is a product distributed by GoGo worldwide Vacations.

traVel agent reserVations
P: 1 888 797 1040 F: 1 604 687 3853 600 - 1133 Melville Street VANCOUVER, BC CANADA V6E 4E5 www.gogowwv.ca
The Flight Shops Inc trading as GOGO Worldwide Vacations

ask your consultant aBout the flight centre Brochure range
UNBEATABLE EXPERIENCES UNBEATABLE EXPERIENCES UNBEATABLE EXPERIENCES

Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific
2008

Asia
2008

Mexico, Caribbean & Central America
2008

What makes Back-Roads Touring Co. different?
Small group size
• Max. group size 16 • Like minded travellers • Average age – young professionals to baby boomers

UNBEATABLE EXPERIENCES

UNBEATABLE EXPERIENCES

UNBEATABLE EXPERIENCES

Europe
2008

United Kingdom & Ireland
2008

USA & Canada
2008 First Edition

Knowledgeable trained guides
• Companion/guides both male and female • Authors, college professors, photographers and historians • Intensive driving and safety training

Quality vehicles
Book at your licenced travel agent:

• 16 seat Mercedes Sprinters and 13 seat Renault Masters • Small enough to get onto the back roads and into the city centre (anywhere a car can go) • Extra leg room • Non-branded discreet touring coaches • Air-con or air-forced • Forward-facing seats

Tailor made touring – small group
• Hundreds of possible tailor-made tours for friends, family and groups • Groups from 2–16 people • Average GBP130 per day, fully inclusive

Flexible itineraries
• Tours designed to be flexible according to group wants • Flexible enough to work with the weather • Plenty of free time and not too many early mornings • Multiple tours can be added together seamlessly

Unique products and itineraries
• Battlefields • Gardens • Food and wine • Political and historical • Literature • Art and music

Unique accommodation and meals
• Inns, farmhouses, castles and B&Bs • Local restaurants, pubs, or on a sunny day we will pack a picnic! • Most meals included

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