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In response to reader suggestions and encouragement, we are introducing a series of 'groupless' tours.

A 'groupless tour' is a very different travel experience to a typical group tour.

You have much more freedom and independence on our groupless travels, and many fewer fellow travelers.

For more information, see Our Groupless Philosophy.

 
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Spring 2004 Tour Choices

 

 

Here are three tours, designed and timed so that you can take one, two or all three of them in a convenient combination.

All tours are extremely flexible, allowing you freedom to add extra time and travels before or after, and sometimes even during the tour as well.

Scotland's Castles and Monsters

Full details of this tour can be found here.

You'll want to leave the US on or before Saturday 8 May to join this tour in London on Sunday 9 May.

The next day, we travel by first class train up to Scotland for a special tour by luxury coach through the Scottish highlands.  Our first two nights are spent in a haunted castle dating back to 1296 - but don't worry, the ghost, who infrequently makes herself known, is a 'musical' and benign ghost; nothing to be afraid of.

We continue north through the highlands, with a visit to Loch Ness where you just might possibly see Nessie - the Loch Ness monster, herself.  We'll spend two nights in the Inverness region in the lovely little village of Beauly, at a family owned small inn.

Another highlight of the tour is when we travel all the way north to John O'Groats - the famous northernmost point in Britain.  If you also do the second tour, you'll travel down to Land's End - Britain's other extremity, and become one of the special few people to have traveled 'From John O'Groat's to Land's End' in a single tour.  We also include a stop at Dunrobin Castle on this day's touring.

We then drive down to Edinburgh, where the tour concludes with two nights in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.

You can then return back to London by first class train in time to join the start of our Mysteries of Beautiful Britain tour if you wish, on Sunday 16 May.  Or, if you prefer, you can extend your stay in Scotland or go elsewhere.

Full details of this tour can be found here

Option :  Travel two days (or more) earlier to London and enjoy a steam train day excursion on Saturday 8 May to Oxford and Worcester.  Ask David for details.

Mysteries of Beautiful Britain

Full details of this tour can be found here.

You'll want to leave the US on or before Saturday 15 May to join this tour in London on Sunday 16 May.

The next day, we travel by train down to Cornwall, arriving in Penzance in the south west corner of England that afternoon.  We spend two nights overlooking the sea in the beautiful town of St Ives.  We'll visit 'Land's End' - the southwestern tip of England, and if you were on the Scotland's Castles and Monsters tour the previous week, you'll now be a member of the elite group of travelers who can claim to have traveled Britain 'from John O'Groats to Land's End' in a single tour.

We see some fascinating mysterious stone circles that are not as well known as Stonehenge (due to being much more remote and smaller) and visit a Tin mine.  Another highlight of our time in Cornwall is a visit to Tintagel, where we see the ruined castle associated with the story of King Arthur.

King Arthur is a feature of our visit to Glastonbury Abbey as well, where his probable grave will be seen.  Glastonbury Abbey is believed to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea and is associated with the Holy Grail.

We spend a night in the stately Roman town of Bath, and then travel on to the beautiful Cotswolds where we spend two nights in Burford, one of the beautiful 'picture postcard' villages in the region.

Our last day takes us to Oxford, and then we travel back to London by train for one last night.  The tour concludes on the morning of Sunday, 23 May.  You could then travel on to join the start of our Russia - Land of Imperial Splendor tour if you wish, or stay longer in Britain.

Full details of this tour can be found here.

Option :  Travel five days (or more) earlier to London and do a steam train day excursion on Wednesday 12 May.  Ask David for details.

Russia - Land of Imperial Splendor

Full details of this tour can be found here.

You'll want to leave the US on or before Saturday 22 May to join this tour in Moscow on Sunday 23 May.  If you're joining the tour after enjoying our British touring, you can simply fly from London to Moscow on Sunday 23 May - it is about a 3.5 hour flight.

This tour exposes you to the imperial extravagance that was Russia in the time of the Tsars, tempered with the effects of 70 years of Communist rule and 13 years of independence.  Russia today is a heady mix of evolving opposites, anchored by centuries of unchanging tradition that is quickly being restored.

We first spend four days in Moscow, then as a special experience, we travel by first class overnight sleeper train to St Petersburg, the glorious former imperial capital, and now largely restored to its former grandeur.  We spend four more nights in St Petersburg.

You'll have a chance to see the major sights and sites, including the Kremlin complex and Red Square, Lenin's Tomb, the distinctive St Basil's Cathedral, and also an interesting visit into the countryside to Sergiev Posad where we visit the Orthodox Monastery, considered to be the holiest place in Russia.  Drink some of the holy water from the spring there - it is reported to have miraculous powers.  We also add a visit to Moscow's best circus, and its Tretyakov Gallery and Pushkin Museum.  If you'd like to attend a performance at the Bolshoi or elsewhere, we can help you arrange that, too.

In St Petersburg we'll visit the astounding Hermitage Museum - with over 3 million items in its collection, possibly the largest and greatest museum in the world.  We'll also travel by high speed hydrofoil to the former imperial palace of Petrodvoretz, an amazing palace and gardens that rivals Versailles for its water fountains and beauty, and then continue on by coach to the opulent Catherine Palace, home of the now restored Amber Room.

We'll visit the Peter Paul fortress, where the last Tsar has now been formally buried, and spend time enjoying and absorbing the atmosphere of this stately city.

St Petersburg is entering its 'White Nights' season at this time - due to its northern location, the sun barely sets at night during this festive period.

The tour ends on Tuesday 2 June.  You are free to extend your time in St Petersburg or to then travel on elsewhere, or back home again.

Full details of this tour can be found here.

 

Originally published 7 Jan 2004, last update 14 May 2014

 
 
 
More Information
Our Groupless Tour Philosophy
Why You Should Choose a Travel Insider Tour
Standard Terms and Conditions
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