Exploring St Albans & The Home Counties

Staying at The Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel

5 DAYS | 1st September 2019

One of England’s best kept secrets, the ‘Home Counties’ boast a spectrum of quintessential English villages, coastal towns and rolling countryside alongside bustling city life, shopping and culture. Our tour takes us to the stunning county of Hertfordshire and to St Albans, with its cathedral dedicated to the Roman soldier who became England’s first Christian Martyr. We also venture into the county of Essex with the great and ancient Epping Forest, as well as the wonderful Hyde Hall Gardens.

Our tour is based at The Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel, situated in a tranquil location within the woodlands of Epping Forest. This 4* hotel offers a leisure club with an indoor pool and a gym, the Cast Iron Grill Restaurant featuring seasonal English cuisine and the Brew Bar and lounge. The modern and stylish bedrooms boast air conditioning, a TV, en suite bathroom, and tea and coffee making facilities.

We depart Macclesfield calling for coffee enroute to Stockwood Park, where we make our lunch stop. We will have time to take a stroll through the gardens and to visit the fabulous museum with its internationally famous Wenlok Jug and the Mossman collection, Britain’s largest public collection of horse-drawn vehicles. Mid afternoon we continue south to arrive in St. Albans with time for a dip in the pool before dinner.

This morning we meet our guide for a tour of St Albans and the beautiful surrounding countryside. We call for coffee and lunch enroute. The tour will be part walking and part on the coach.

After breakfast we take the short journey to Waltham Abbey with time to browse the local market and to visit The Abbey Church. Late morning, we board the coach for the short journey to Lee Valley for a cruise on the picturesque River Lee. We will also have a Ploughman’s lunch served on board as we sail through the delightful Essex countryside.

Today we visit Greensted Church near Chipping Ongar; an ancient place of worship, it is the oldest wooden church in the world and has a nave dating back to between 998 and 1063 AD. After our visit we continue on to RHS Hyde Hall Gardens where we spend the remainder of the day. With sweeping panoramas, this Essex garden is an inspiration to visitors of all ages.

Before we begin our journey home we will visit the intriguing Audley End House. Explore the decadent Jacobean mansion house, and visit the Victorian Service Wing and Organic Kitchen Garden, and take a stroll around the gardens and stable block. Mid-afternoon we board the coach and head for home, making a comfort stop en-route and aiming to arrive in the Macclesfield area early evening.

Tour includes: Luxury coach travel throughout, 4 nights dinner bed and breakfast, guide for tour of St Albans, River Lee cruise with lunch, donation for Greensted Church, entrance to RHS Hyde Hall and Audley End House.
£450.00 per person sharing twin/double
£84.00 single room supplement
£28.50 insurance per person, inc. IPT

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