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Town & Countryside
Hall Place & Gardens Guided Tour
Managed by Bexley Heritage Trust, Hall Place is a fine Grade 1 listed country house built in 1537 for Sir John Champneys, a wealthy merchant and former Lord Mayor of London. Extensively renovated in the last ten years, the house boasts a panelled Great Hall with minstrel’s gallery, ornate 17th century plaster ceilings, and many other historic features. There are displays which include an introduction to the house’s history and exhibits from Bexley’s extensive museum collection.
Surrounding the house are award-winning formal gardens with magnificent topiary, enclosed gardens, wonderful herbaceous borders and a tropical glasshouse. Inside the walled garden there is a nursery selling plants fostered in the gardens, and the visitor centre includes riverside views, a gift shop and tea room.
We aim to arrive at Hall Place by 11:00 for a pre-booked tour of the house and gardens, with plenty of time subsequently for private exploration before we leave at around 15:30.
Tue 28 April 2015
£27.50 per adult
Magna Carta River Thames Boat Lunch Cruise
In 1215, King John came to Runnymede in order to place his seal on the Magna Carta. This has proven to be one of the most significant events in history. Many of the World’s constitutions have been based on this historic document, including the United States of America. In 2015 the world celebrates its 800th anniversary.
Join us on a wonderful lunch cruise from Runnymede which takes in some of the areas connected points of interest to the Magna Carta. A special commentary is provided pointing out the sights along with interesting historical facts.
The boat leaves from the Runnymede Boathouse at 11:00 for a cruise through Old Windsor Lock, past the Village of Datchet and through the grounds of Windsor Castle. The boat turns at Romney Lock for the journey back to Runnymede.
While you take in the beautiful scenery of the Royal River Thames, you are served with a delicious Ploughmans lunch.
Traditional Ploughmans Lunch
English Cheddar cheese
Slice of finest ham
Green salad with tomatoes
Pickles and chutneys
Roll and butter
Slice of cake
Cup of tea or Coffee
This lovely coach day trip includes a relaxing 2hrs 30 minutes cruise from Runnymede, followed by free time in Runnymede.
Price includes cruise with Ploughmans lunch and return travel by coach.
Thu 30 April 2015
£42 per adult
Kew Gardens, Kew Palace & The Royal Kitchens
Enjoy two great historic attractions in one single day out.
This unmissable coach day trip takes travellers to the stunning Kew Gardens, London where they can explore glasshouses, landscapes and 250 years of history at the world's most famous garden. Climb to the treetops, delve into rainforest or discover more on a guided tour.
Kew has a pivotal role as a world-leader in plant science and conservation, and giving visitors a glimpse into the important role botanic gardens play in the future of the planet.
Kew Gardens, the greatest of all public gardens in Britain and perhaps the world and is often referred to as the Royal Botanic Gardens. Exotic and unusual plants from around the world, with over 40,000 species in total. With its royal heritage, historic buildings and 300 acres of green space, Kew is much more than just a garden, Kew is a perfect day out.
Some attractions may not be available for reasons beyond our control. The Temperate House is closed for restoration until 2018. For the latest details and information on Kew please click here.
Our visit also includes entry to Kew Palace*, a four-storey brick house built in 1631. First used by the Royal Family in 1728, the Palace was purchased by George III in 1781 as an annex to the White House (located where the sundial now stands) to accommodate his growing family. Subsequently, it became a more permanent home for the Royal Family, and King George IV was born here.
After having lain untouched for over 200 years, you can also now explore the Royal Kitchens at Kew. Step back in time to 6 February 1789 when George III was given his knife and fork back after his first bout of ‘madness’. For more information on Kew Palace and The Royal Kitchen, please click here.
Price includes return travel by coach, entrance ticket to Kew Gardens and Kew Palace. Subject to traffic and travel, we arrive late morning and should have around 4.5 to 5 hours free time. This may be a shared departure with another day trip.
* Entry to Kew Palace may be on a first-come, first-served basis on certain days subject to the number of visitors at the venue.
CLICK HERE FOR OTHER TRIPS THAT YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN
Thu 30 April 2015
£41 per adult
Picardy in Springtime
Join us as we experience another clutch of the great range of parks and gardens of Picardy, and explore the fine city of Arras hosted by a local Tourist Office guide. Again based at the 3* Ibis hotel in Albert, we spend a day in Arras which includes lunch, a guided tour of the centre and the underground gardens of Les Boves. We visit the dramatic hilltop citadel of Laon, taking-in two lovely gardens en route, and we tour two more splendid gardens, in Digeon and Boubers-sur-Canche, as we make our way to and from Calais on arrival and departure days.
We will build our tour around some of the amazing list of 69 parks and gardens making up Les Parcs & Jardins Esprit de Picardie. Departing on Friday 1st May, we enjoy a leisurely ferry crossing to Calais before following the French coastline southwards to Montreuil and into Picardy where we visit our first garden - the wonderful Pépinière et Jardin Hennebelle in Boubers-sur-Canche. This fascinating site is a less a garden than a nursery, founded by Jean-Pierre Hennebelle and now continued by this renowned horticulturalist’s family. Don’t expect to see it all! The nursery is home to thousands of varieties of plants and trees showcased in some 3000m of pathways based on the theme of the seasons, so we can look forward eagerly to the Nursery’s portrayal of Spring, with one of the staff on hand to guide us around the gardens.
From Boubers-sur-Canche we make our way south-eastwards via Doullens to our hotel, the 3* Ibis in Albert. Familiar to us as the base for our occasional visits to the wartime memorials of the Somme, this modern and quietly-situated hotel is very conscious of its setting in the heart of the Western Front from 1916, and its poppy-motif carpets confirm the sense of welcoming respect that the hotel staff extend to their guests. The hotel offers free wifi.
For this trip we will eat out on the Friday and Saturday evenings to give ourselves the chance to savour the best in French cuisine, so after checking-in at the hotel we will make the short trip into Amiens where there will be time to enjoy a stroll around the waterfront and to visit the magnificent UNESCO-listed cathedral before choosing one of the many reasonably-priced restaurants alongside the canalised RiverSomme. We will then rendezvous around 10pm for the trip back to Albert.
Saturday is our day in Arras, and after breakfast we make the short trip to this historic city, pausing at Thiepval to visit the great monument to the more than 70,000 British and Commonwealth missing of the Great War.
The Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval
In Arras we are hosted for the day by the Tourism Department as we enjoy a guided tour of the main sights on board the coach and a visit to Les Boves (a few steps), for which the Tourist Office web site sets the scene thus:
Discover an astonishing aquatic world beneath the paving stones of the squares of Arras.
The Boves were first dug in the 10th century. Every year in springtime these underground limestone quarries host the “Jardin des Boves”, an event created by the plastic artist Luc Brévart.
For this new season, aquatic plants and lush vegetation are revealed in all their beauty. Just a few metres beneath the paving stones of Arras, enjoy a remarkable stroll among water lilies and lotus flowers reflected in waterfalls and pools. In reference to water gardens designed across the globe, this trail feels like an invitation to roam the world. Imagination will run wild along this extraordinary circuit in the centre of the earth.
Well, perhaps it is going too far to talk of the centre of the earth, but it promises to be a fascinating visit! Next we enjoy lunch (included) at a restaurant in Arras centre, before a further visit in the afternoon to Wellington Quarry. Again we pick-up on the Tourist Office’s description, viz:
20 metres below the pavements of Arras, discover the Wellington Quarry, a site immersed in memory and emotion. In November 1916, the British started preparing for the 1917 spring offensive. Their stroke of genius: to have the New Zealand tunnellers connect up the town’s chalk extraction tunnels to create a real network of underground barracks large enough to accommodate up to 24,000 soldiers. After a 20-metre descent in a glass-fronted lift, the audio guided and escorted visit plunges the visitor into the site’s atmosphere. A strategic location as well as a living space, the Quarry, named Wellington by the New Zealand sappers, preserves the memory of those thousands of soldiers quartered underground just a few metres from the front, before launching themselves onto the field of battle on 9th April 1917 at 5.30 in the morning, in a surprise attack on the German positions. Through the projection of a film, coming to the surface in the soldiers’ footsteps bring the shock of battle to life.
That should still leave enough time to continue exploring the city later in the afternoon or doing some shopping. We complete our day in Arras by lingering in the city centre to enjoy the weekend atmosphere and once again to choose our own restaurants.
For Sunday we set off first for the Jardins de Nouveau Monde at Blérancourt, south-east of Noyon. These gardens are situated in the grounds of the Château de Blérancourt, now the Musée national de la Coopération Franco-américaine The gardens were established on the site of the castle's previous kitchen garden by the American Friends of Blérancourt, and comprise four areas:
- Le jardin de printemps (Spring Garden) - columbine, iris, jasmine, peony, poppy and wisteria
- Le jardin d'été (Summer Garden) - Virginia tulip trees with flowers of the new world including ornamental tobacco American lily in parterres
- Le jardin d'automne (Autumn Garden) - asters, cosmos, dahlias, heliotropes and sunflowers
- Arboretum - liquidambar, maple, oak, sequoia, etc
Next we visit the remarkable city of Laon. Many of us will have journeyed down the A26 towards Reims and noticed an extraordinary hilltop citadel a few miles off to the west. This is the old upper town of Laon which boasts many a building dating from medieval times. Its Nôtre-Dame Cathedral is celebrated for its beautiful stained glass windows, and of more modern times the SNCF-operated cable car connecting lower and upper town runs on rubber tyres – the only such funicular in the world. It is worth a try for the novelty of it!
We pause a couple of hours in Laon for some sightseeing and a bite to eat before heading on to our next garden at the Abbaye de Vauclair. After the morning’s interesting example of a contemporary classic garden, we revert here to a much more historical setting as we visit a botanical garden of more than 400 medicinal plants laid out in chequer-board pattern along with ancient varieties of apple and pear tree. The gardens are set against the remains of a 12th century Cistercian Abbey which is classified as a historic monument. From Vauclair we head back to Albert for our supper at the hotel.
On Monday we make for Calais and home, but we have all day...
Our first stop of the day, not to be passed without a visit, is Albert itself, where we allow ourselves a couple of hours to tour the Somme War Museum (there is a small entry charge), visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Brebières, or simply wander the local shops for some produce of Picardy. Albert is of course closely associated with the history of the Great War having been juxtaposed to the Western Front, and it repeatedly changed hands between Allied and German forces between 1915 and 1918. By the end of the conflict Albert had been reduced to rubble and it was completely reconstructed through the 1920s, including the widening and re-orientation of its main streets. Its Basilica, however, was faithfully rebuilt according to its original design by Eduoard Duthoit, the son of the architect who had overseen its original construction in 1885-95. Incidentally the underground shelters in which the museum is located served as protective bunkers for Albert's residents during aerial bombardments in World War II
The Basilica in 1916 showing the part-toppled statue of the Virgin.
In later fighting the Basilica was completely destroyed
From Albert we move on to Amiens to visit one of the out-of-town hypermarkets before we continue by early afternoon to the delightful Jardin Floral de Digeon. Here we can wander over 5 acres of parkland and garden surrounding a listed 19th century château. Adorned by ancient trees and banks of flowers, the park is also home to a vegetable garden, orchard, rose gardens and a floral path.
On this high note we finally head back to Calais for our early-evening ferry crossing.
Please note that whilst this is a May trip and we will be unlucky to be badly disrupted by the weather, we may need to adapt or shuffle some of the itinerary if the conditions are especially windy or wet.
Fri 01 May 2015
£325 per adult
Wingham Wildlife Park
Our new series of “Closer to Home” day excursions introduces us to lots of exciting new destinations here in Kent or just into East Sussex. No worries about traffic on the M25 or in Central London, we can expect a short and easy journey giving us maximum time to experience our destination.
Today’s trip takes us to the wonderful wildlife park at Wingham, midway between Canterbury and Sandwich. Set in 24 acres of beautiful Kent countryside, the park homes more than 200 species of animal and won the award of Kent’s favourite attraction in both 2012 and 2013.
Our programme is timed to arrive at the park around 11am so pick-up arrangements will be to a relaxed schedule and probably no earlier than 09:30. Some feeder vehicles may run direct to the Park.
There is a splendid on-line gallery of all the animals and birds. The Park also includes its own café, though visitors can bring a packed lunch if preferred.
We plan to give ourselves a good 5 hours to enjoy the Park before heading for home at around 4pm.
Sat 02 May 2015
£27.50 per adult
Black Forest Inspiration
PLEASE NOTE: ITINERARY REVISED 19/3/15, HOTEL, DETAILS & PRICING DIFFER TO HOLIDAY ORIGINALLY ADVERTISED
Enjoy a springtime trip to the Black Forest with Buzzlines as we use both our coach and the excellent local railway network to make the most of the Black Forest scenery. This will be a dinner, bed & breakfast holiday with an overnight stop in the Ardennes on the outbound journey. For the return trip we will head straight for home.
Our adventure starts with a Sunday departure and channel tunnel crossing timed to get us to our overnight stop – the 3* Hotel Husa de la Couronne in Liège - by mid-afternoon. There is plenty to savour in our brief stop in Liège – the hotel is situated opposite the railway station with the architectural wonder of its vaulted canopy, soaring 145 metres above the platforms; and the River Meuse and the city centre just a short walk away.
On Monday we continue our journey south, enjoying the delightful scenery of the Ardennes as we follow a route through Luxembourg and down the valley of the River Saar to the industrial city of Saarbrucken. From here we take a motorway route south eastwards towards Strasbourg, onwards past Freiburg and to our home for the week – the 3* Hotel Adler Post in Lenzkirch in the heart of the Southern Black Forest.
This ideally-located family hotel is situated in the centre of the village of Lenzkirch , just a few kilometres east of the famous lake resort of Titisee. Lenzkirch is located in the High Black Forest between the well-known attractions of Lake Titisee, the Feldberg mountain, Lake Schluchsee and Wutachschlucht Gorge. Lenzkirch also lies on the “German Clock Road”. The village is located on a slightly undulating, largely open plateau, which offers marvellous views over the High Black Forest.
The hotel website is at http://www.adlerpost.com/index_01.html and although written in German it includes a useful video tour of the hotel and its facilities, which include a sauna and massage parlour! We stay at the hotel on half-board terms, with a 3-course evening meal.
Lenzkirch is situated in an idyllic spot with lots of walking trails close by, the neighbouring peaks rise to around 3,500 feet with their spectacular forested slopes so characteristic of the area. It should be an interesting week for birdwatchers – the dipper is a regular sight in local rivers, crested tits are often seen in garden feeding stations, and Griffon Vultures are amongst the birds of prey to be seen. The Spring Flowers should also be something to behold. Because of the area’s elevation we might actually be too soon for the rhododendrons – but we should enjoy a great show of tulips in the flower beds and lots of other early blooms.
On arrival in Lenkirch we will be issued with our KONUS passes – free public transport passes that hotel guests can use on any of the regional train, tram and bus services. As guests on our previous Black Forest tours have discovered, the joy of these passes is that you have a good deal of independence for your holiday, so that if you don’t fancy the itinerary on any particular day you can simply make off on your own. Lenzkirch is situated on the main road running from Freiburg and Titisee-Neustadt down to the Swiss border and on to Schaffhausen, so there is a very good bus service connecting with the main railway stations situated on the Hollentelbahn (“Hell’s Railway) at Titisee-Neustadt or Rötenbach.
Map showing the route of the Hollentelbahn – thanks and acknowledgements to Wikipedia and to the contributor – Mr Lencer. Lenzkirch is shown – just above Lake Schluchsee
On Tuesday we relax after all the travelling and enjoy a free morning in Lenzkirch. Then in the afternoon we will visit nearby Lake Schluchsee, the highest lake in the Southern Black Forest and the largest lake in the Bundes State Schwarz Wald. This is a glacial lake, now dammed to serve as a hydropower reservoir with a 30 metres elevated water level. Despite the dam, which was built between 1929 and 1932, the Schluchsee still appears very natural. The lake is 7.5km long, 1.5km wide, and 63 metres deep. Almost all of its shoreline is easily accessible, and for the most part level for easy walking.
On Wednesday we travel further afield as we drive via a smooth main road journey to the small town of Balingen where we pause at the delightful Pflanzen Mauk Gartencenter, a treat for the gardeners amongst us. We then move on by 1pm to the spectacular setting of Burg Hohenzollern, sitting atop what is known locally as Zoller Mountain at a height of over 800m and with excellent views of the surrounding countryside as far as Stuttgart, just 30km to the north.
The third construction of this originally 11th century castle was built for King Frederick William IV of Prussia between 1846 and 1867 under the direction of architect Friedrich August Stüler, who based his design on English Gothic Revival architecture and the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. In 1945 it became home to the last German/Prussian Crown Prince - Wilhelm - who is laid to rest there with his wife, Crown Princess Cecilie. Among the historical artefacts of Prussian history contained in the castle are the Crown of Wilhelm II, some of the personal effects of King Frederick the Great and a letter from US President George Washington thanking Baron von Steuben for his service in the War of American Independence. Incidentally don’t be concerned at the thought of a long and steep climb on foot to reach the castle, our admission ticket includes use of a shuttle bus operating between castle and car park, and an English Language guided tour (at 2pm) of the castle’s state rooms and Royal quarters. There are only a few steps on the guided tour. There is also an excellent souvenir shop, and both garden centre and castle offer us good and reasonably priced light lunch facilities.
On Thursday we turn our attention southwards as we head across the Swiss border and make for the majestic Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen, less than an hour from Lenzkirch. Aiming to arrive at the falls by 10:30, we will have a good two hours to explore the site and its wonderful views, and for those of us who are more intrepid you can take a short boat trip out to the immediate vicinity of the falls (not included).
Rheinfall at Schaffhausen
At around 12:30 we rejoin the coach for the short journey up into the centre of Schaffhausen, and here we join one of the regular Rhine passenger vessels which run between Schaffhausen and Konstanz. We take the 13:25 departure and enjoy magnificent riverside scenery for the next two hours before alighting, still in Switzerland, at Stein am Rhein, where the coach meets us for the hop back to Lenzkirch. There is catering on-board so you can enjoy a late lunch whilst cruising, or grab a baguette before we leave Schaffhausen – there are plenty of shops close by.
On Friday we offer a three-way choice. Those who would like a quiet day are welcome to stay local in Lenzkirch and enjoy the springtime scenery. The coach will head off at around 9am for Freiburg, offering a free day in the city followed by a mid-afternoon visit to Lake Titisee; or for those who fancy a rail odyssey, our tour guide will take us on a circuit of the southern Black Forest from Freiburg first following the Rhine Valley northwards to Offenburg, where we will change for a train taking the famous Black Forest line to Doneauschingen. Here we again change for a train along the Hollentahlbahn and back to Titisee-Neustadt where the coach be waiting. We will keep our rail programme flexible but plan to stop for lunch in Triberg.
Those lingering in Freiburg will enjoy an almost endless list of must-see sights including its cathedral, widely held to have the most beautiful tower in Christendom. The cathedral square is also remarkable for its Old Granary and Trading Centre buildings, in addition to which the Square offers a daily produce market. The Zum Röten Baren (Red Bear) tavern in Oberlinden Square traces its owners back to the year 1311. And there are innumerable museums including the Kleine Welt which presents 250 dolls houses and 500 dolls dating back to 1800. For further information on Freiburg see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freiburg_im_Breisgau
The Old Town in Freiburg
Customer feedback from our recent visits to the Black Forest has underlined that many of us love simply to relax in these wonderful surroundings, so on Saturday we leave the morning clear, but we’ll offer a mystery local excursion in the afternoon to round-off our stay in the Black Forest.
For our return journey on Sunday we will choose a direct route due to arrive in Kent by early evening.
Sun 03 May 2015
£585 per adult
Romney Marsh & Rye
Our new series of “Closer to Home” day excursions introduces us to lots of exciting new destinations here in Kent or just into East Sussex. No worries about traffic on the M25 or in Central London, we can expect a short and easy journey giving us maximum time to enjoy our destination.
Today we see Romney Marsh by road and steam train before taking lunch in the lovely village of Appledore. We then follow the path of the Royal Military Canal where we can enjoy a free afternoon to explore the delights or Rye, for good reason labelled by Jonathan Copeland as “The most beautiful town in England”.
Our day begins with normal pick-up arrangements timed to get us into Hythe at around 10:30am. We then enjoy a 40-minute steam train ride on the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway to New Romney, passing through Dymchurch and St Mary’s Bay. We allow ourselves a half-hour pause at New Romney to allow time for anyone interested to visit the Toy and Model Railway Museum on the Station, which also has a café.
Next we head about 15 minutes away to the picturesque village of Appledore where we break for lunch. Your choices in Appledore include the well-rated Black Lion Pub, or the equally popular Miss Mollett’s Tea Rooms just opposite. Given favourable weather, you might just like to bring a packed lunch and picnic in the village.
Our next hop is another short one as we follow the course of the Royal Military Canal down to the lovely fortified town of Rye. As well as being a Cinque Port and with all its Royal credentials, Rye makes for a fascinating visit. Its elevated High Street is a haven for antiques lovers, with the lovely St Mary’s Church close by and the Castle Museum just beyond. Down by the harbour there is an interesting Heritage Centre with a hand-thrown pottery shop next door, whilst gorgeous cottage gardens spill over into the narrow streets. In all, quite a delight – we can see why Sir Paul McCartney has made it his home.
Please note that a little uphill walking is necessary to make the best of Rye. The coach is unable to negotiate the narrow streets in the upper part of the town and will therefore set-down and pick-up at the lower level and close to the Heritage Centre.
We are timed to leave Rye at 16:30 for our homeward journey.
Sun 03 May 2015
£24.50 per adult
London Eye, Carvery Lunch and River Cruise
A coach day trip not to be missed!
We combine the The iconic and ever-popular London Eye, a superb 3-course carvery lunch and an enjoyable Thames river cruise together to make this a special day out for all occasions.
The journey on The London Eye takes approximately 30 minutes to experience the spectacular views of London from high above the River Thames. We then take you to a 4-star hotel; the elegant Rembrandt Hotel in Knightsbridge opposite the Victoria & Albert Museum; for an unhurried all-you-can-eat 3 course carvery lunch (be warned do not eat during the morning!) with everything from a salad bar to smoked salmon, freshly carved meat off the bone, pasta, fish, meat and freshly prepared vegetables concluding with a sweet of your choice and teas and coffees - you will have around 2 hours at the hotel for lunch. We then travel to join our cruise back to Greenwich. See London from a different perspective with a unique sightseeing cruise on the River Thames. Why not treat somebody on this special day? Price includes journey on the London Eye, 3-course carvery lunch and one-way river cruise. (At certain times, we may reverse the itinerary, i.e. Cruise, Lunch then London Eye.)
Sun 03 May 2015
£78 per adult
Brighton - time by the Sea in Sussex
Spend the day in Brighton on this coach day trip, with its traditional seaside attractions including the superbly restored Victorian Palace Pier together with its excellent shopping areas including the famous 'Lanes' with antique shops abound. Or maybe take in the spectacular Royal Pavilion, seaside palace of the Prince Regent (George IV) transformed by John Nash between 1815 and 1822 into one of the most dazzling and exotic buildings in the British Isles.
Price includes return travel by coach.
This is a shared departure with another day trip. The coach for this excursion serves more than one destination in the same general area. Please note that this may mean that the journey to your destination could involve a slightly indirect route. If you are at all concerned about this the Buzzlines sales staff will be happy to advise further.
For further information on Brighton, please click here.
Mon 04 May 2015
Buy one get one free per adult
The Royal Pavilion Brighton
Take in the spectacular Royal Pavilion, seaside palace of the Prince Regent (George IV) transformed by John Nash between 1815 and 1822 into one of the most dazzling and exotic buildings in the British Isles and it is remarkable for its exotic oriental appearance both inside and out. The Royal Pavilion is also home to some of the finest collections and examples of the chinoiserie style in Britain.
Please note the Prince Regent gallery is on the first floor of the Royal Pavilion and is currently accessed via a staircase.
For further information on the Brighton Pavilion, please click here.
You can also spend free time in Brighton on this great value coach day trip, with its traditional seaside attractions including the superbly restored Victorian Palace Pier together with its excellent shopping areas including the famous 'Lanes' with antique shops abound. For further information on Brighton, please click here.
Price includes return travel by coach and entry to The Royal Pavilion.
This may be a shared departure with another day trip. The coach for this excursion serves more than one destination in the same general area. Please note that this may mean that the journey to your destination could involve a slightly indirect route. If you are at all concerned about this the Buzzlines sales staff will be happy to advise further.
Mon 04 May 2015
£39 per adult
The Wallace Collection London
Art-lovers will relish this splendid day out to one of London’s foremost collections, located in Manchester Square just north of Oxford Street. The Wallace Collection is a national museum in an historic London town house. In 25 galleries are unsurpassed displays of French 18th-century painting, furniture and porcelain with superb Old Master paintings and a world class armoury. Its Great Gallery is now re-opened after a two-year refurbishment. Trip Advisor reviews of the Wallace Collection are consistently outstanding – do see for yourself at http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186338-d187558-Reviews-Wallace_Collection-London_England.html
Your coach departure will be timed to set-down in Manchester Square at around 11am. We have arranged a guided highlights tour of the Collection from 1.30pm for about an hour, but either side of that passengers can then take in Collection at their own pace, and perhaps enjoy a stroll around the local area where Portman Square, Oxford Street and Selfridges are just a few minutes’ walk away. The Wallace Collection has its own restaurant and café, and of course there are innumerable lunch options in the immediate vicinity.
For further information about The Wallace Collection, please click here.
We will aim to depart around 3.30pm to be back at our first interchange point ahead of peak hour traffic.
This may be a shared departure with another day trip. The coach for this excursion may serve more than one destination in the same general area. Please note that this may mean that the journey to your destination could involve a slightly indirect route. If you are at all concerned about this the Buzzlines sales staff will be happy to advise further.
Tue 05 May 2015
£32 per adult
Piccadilly & Marble Arch Day Explorer
Enjoy a bargain trip to Central London to visit the iconic sights at your own pace.
Journeying into the capital once the morning rush has subsided, we will sightsee our way first to Piccadilly. If you drop-off here, your options include backtracking down via Leicester Square to Chinatown or Covent Garden; there are all the shops along Piccadilly itself and Regent Street plus of course the Royal Academy of Arts; and you can wander down through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, the Mall and St James’s Park.
The coach will next continue along Piccadilly to Hyde Park Corner and up Park Lane to Marble Arch. You can alight here for Hyde Park, offering a pleasant walk across to Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine or the Museums, or down to Knightsbridge.
We then continue to Manchester Square, where those who have booked for our visit to the Wallace Collection will leave the coach. You can also alight here for Oxford Street, Baker Street and Madame Tussauds.
We will aim to offer around 5 hours in the centre before we depart for home. We will ask passengers on the day to nominate for the driver which pick-up point they would like for the return journey, but if you need to you will be able to telephone the driver to change that choice.
If you would like to book for the separate guided visit to the Wallace Collection please go to http://www.buzzlinestravel.co.uk/itineraries/1062-the-wallace-collection-london
The planned timetable for the day is:
Depart Maidstone 09:30
Arrive Piccadilly 10:45
Arrive Marble Arch 10:50
Arrive Manchester Square 10:55
Depart Manchester Square 15:45
Depart Marble Arch 15:55
Depart Piccadilly 16:00
Arrive Maidstone 17:10
This will be a shared departure with another day trip to London. The coach for this excursion will serve more than one destination in the same general area. Please note that this may mean that the journey to your destination could involve a slightly indirect route. If you are at all concerned about this the Buzzlines sales staff will be happy to advise further.
For more information on what to see and do in London, please click here.
Tue 05 May 2015
£19 per adult
Cliveden - 25,000 Tulips (National Trust)
Buzzlines is delighted to return again in 2015 to Cliveden, once the home of the fabulous Astors and now a magnificent Grade 1 Listed garden in the capable hands of the National Trust.
Cliveden is situated near Maidenhead. Our schedule will aim at arriving soon after 11:00 and we will plan to depart at 15:30 to be ahead of peak hour traffic.
We visit in May to savour the great display of spring flowers in the Long Garden and the Parterre, with lots more to see in the water garden, the grand approach to the house - now a luxury hotel - and the miles of integral woodland walks with occasional stunning views over the Thames Valley.
The Long Garden, already noted for its impressive topiary, is also a Springtime spectacle for its 25,000 tulips!
Lunches and teas are served in the Orangery, with plants and produce available from the gift shop.
A reduced price of £25 is available for National Trust Members
Wed 06 May 2015
£31.50 per adult
Groombridge Place Gardens
Another in our easy-travel series of excursions to places so easily missed here in Kent .
This time we visit another of the celebrated “Seven Wonders of the Weald” at Groombridge Place, the setting for the 2005 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.
There is so much here for all ages, with a delightful mix of gardens and woodland, lots of interesting wildlife including a bird-of-prey sanctuary, and plenty of constructive activities for children amongst which are what Groombridge describe as “Forest Fun” which encapsulates the magical spirit conjured up by the books of JK Rowling and JRR Tolkien and was designed in the most part by TV gardener and land artist Ivan Hicks; and “Crusoe’s World” - two tree houses linked together with rope bridges and a central viewing tower. They are on several levels with decking and platforms, sheltered under sail roofs. There is a lookout post high above one of the tree houses, providing fabulous views over the canal, open countryside and the steam trains of the nearby Spa Valley Railway. And there are giant swings to entice gymnasts of all ages!
The Gardens include a formal Knot and Oriental Garden, a Secret Garden, an Oriental Garden, the white rose garden and the wonderfully named Drunken Garden, a favourite of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There is the additional delight of a canal boat ride, a giant chess set, and the recently refurbished Peacock Bistro, where we are treated to a Ploughman’s lunch with a choice of ham, mature cheddar or brie with home-made apple chutney and tea, coffee or mineral water. If you take along any youngsters who would prefer a lunch of something-and-chips we will be pleased to arrange that with Groombridge!
Although not open to the public, the 350-year old moated manor house provides a lovely period backdrop to these delightful surroundings.
Thu 07 May 2015
£36.50 per adult
Hole Park Gardens
Another of our series of closer-to-home excursions to the best attractions of Kent and East Sussex.
Today’s trip takes us back into the Kentish Weald to enjoy the lovely gardens of Hole Park, near Rolvenden. We will make a relaxed start to the morning as we head first for Tenterden where there will be an opportunity to visit the town centre and enjoy a morning coffee and a stroll along the High Street. The western end of Tenterden High Street is a particular delight, with its wide grass verges studded with Plane Trees and with a number of pubs and tea rooms inviting you to pause awhile. There is also the option of a short stroll town to the heritage railway station where you can view the steam trains and perhaps visit the Colonel Stephens Railway Museum (small entrance fee).
At around 1pm we aim to leave Tenterden for the short onward journey to Hole Park Garden. Spread over 15 acres, this is a garden for all seasons set in the heart of a country estate.
Formal, walled, meadow and woodland gardens are a feature and Hole Park is best known for its extensive topiary, fine lawns and specimen trees, plus a spectacular display of Spring colour from the bluebells and rhododendrons, followed in the early summer by stunning wisteria and herbaceous borders.
If you would like to bring your own lunch there is a picnic area, but the gardens also offer us homemade tea and light lunches, plus a plant stall and gifts.
We will aim to leave Hole Park at about 4pm to be en route home before peak hour traffic.
Fri 08 May 2015
£27.50 per adult
Marks Hall Gardens & Arboretum - Coggleshall
This weekend excursion takes us into Essex as we make for the expansive gardens and arboretum of Marks Hall, set on a site of fully 200 acres between Braintree and Colchester.
Please note that depending on the volume of interest this coach may be shared with passengers going on a separate trip to Colchester Zoo. No significant delays or deviations are involved however and we can expect 4-5 hours of free time to make the most of the gardens.
If you are not fully mobile you make like to be aware that there is a buggy service available to help you see more of the estate – but do please ask Buzzlines to book for you in advance.
The Marks Hall collection is planted on a geographical theme, with plants from the temperate regions of the world grouped together. There are areas representing Europe, Asia, North America and the Southern Hemisphere, set in a historic landscape providing interest and enjoyment throughout the year.
Highlights include the Millennium Walk, designed for structure, colour and scent on the shortest days of the year; the largest planting in Europe of Wollemi Pine and the inspired combination of traditional and contemporary planting in the 18th Century Walled Garden.
Located on the west side of the brook is the massive Honeywood Oak, which is probably over 800 years old. Along with the Screaming Oak, it is one of the last survivors of the 300 or so oaks that once graced the 130 acre deer park which now forms part of the Arboretum.
Marks Hall has developed an area it calls Gondwanaland – after the ancient southern super-continent - for Southern Hemisphere species. It is situated in an area that was devastated by the 1987 storm and has therefore been cleared of the former conifer crop. It is an undulating landscape of low mounds, which are sheltered on the western edge by the planting of Nothofagus (southern beech). Since the start of development in 1999, 200 Eucalyptus trees have been planted and on warm days the oil aroma provides a heady scent.
Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) are an important feature. With less than 100 trees known to exist in the wild it is now the focus of extensive research to safeguard its survival. In addition to the Wollemi Pine, there is also an experimental planting of Cordyline australis, the Cabbage Palm, Agapanthus and Cortaderia richardii New Zealand Pampas.
There were originally three lakes that have now been modified to form two, with brickwork dams and cascades. The lakes have a thriving population of fresh water mussels along with roach and carp. Next to the lower lake is an original nuttery containing Cob Nut trees. This area is now a ‘spring flower area’ with snowdrops, species of daffodils, cowslips and other wild flowers.
With so much to see you might like to follow one of three woodland walks marked-out for you to follow – they vary from 0.75 to 2.5 miles – with light lunches and refreshments available on your return at the tea rooms. Marks Hall also offers a visitor centre, shop and plant centre – plenty for a complete day out!
RHS Card holders can get a discount of £4 on our May visit only. Please present your RHS card on arrival to gain entry.
For further information on Marks Hall, please click here.
Sat 09 May 2015
£26.50 per adult
We visit St. Albans - Hertfordshire's oldest town - which has risen from an Iron Age settlement into a vibrant modern city over the course of 2000 years of human occupation. There is an abundance of shopping streets overflowing with just about every type of shop selling many varied goods. Alternatively there are a number of museums plus St Albans Abbey, the jewel in the historical crown of St Albans - with something to interest everyone.
Click here for more information about St Albans.
Price includes return coach travel. This may be a shared departure.
Sat 09 May 2015
£26 per adult
Join us on our coach day trip to the wonderful Colchester Zoo.
Colchester Zoo is now one of the finest Zoos in Europe due to a constant programme of development and has won the coveted "Large Visitor Attraction of the Year” Award and the “Sustainable Tourism Award” for its efforts in recycling and green practices from the East of England Tourist Board.
With over 270 species to see, set in 60 acres of beautiful parkland and lakes, Colchester Zoo is well worth a visit. There are over 40 daily displays, an undercover soft play area, 4 adventure play areas, 2 road trains and much more!
For more information on Colchester Zoo, please click here.
Price includes return travel by coach plus entry costs. A discount is available for children aged 3 - 14 yrs.
This may be a shared departure. The coach for this excursion may serve more than one destination in the same general area. Please note that this may mean that the journey to your destination could involve a slightly indirect route. If you are at all concerned about this the Buzzlines sales staff will be happy to advise further.
Sat 09 May 2015
£39 per adult
Hatfield House & Gardens Coach Day Trip
Travellers on this coach day trip will visit the beautiful Hatfield House and stunning surrounding gardens.
Home of the 7th Marquess of Salisbury, the Estate has been in the Cecil family for 400 years. The House was built by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury from 1607-11. Superb examples of Jacobean craftmanship can be seen throughout Hatfield House. The House is steeped in Elizabethan and Victorian political history. On display in the House are many historic mementoes collected over the centuries by the Cecils, one of England's foremost influential families. There is a marvellous collection of pictures, furnishings and historic armour.
The Victorian kitchen has been recreated to show life below stairs in a grand house as the staff prepare for the Queen Victoria's banquet and the royal visit to Hatfield House in 1846.
Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood happily at the Old Palace of Hatfield. Elizabeth held her first Council as Queen in the Great Hall, which is still in use today as a venue for social and corporate functions. The beautiful Knot Garden in front of the Old Palace was recreated in the Tudor style and can be viewed from the West Garden.
In the Park, an oak tree marks the place where the young Princess Elizabeth first heard of her accession to the throne.
The Garden at Hatfield House dates from the early 17th century when Robert Cecil employed John Tradescant the Elder to collect plants for his new home. Tradescant travelled all over Europe to bring back trees, plants and fruit trees, which had never previously been grown in England. The West garden includes a scented garden, new borders and a spectacular sundial commissioned for the anniversary year.
Our visit includes entry to the House, Park & West Garden. You are not able to visit Lord and Lady Salisbury's private East Garden except on Wednesday visits. For further information about Hatfield House, please click here
Our visit on Saturday 9th May 2015 coincides with the extra special Living Crafts event taking place at Hatfield House. For an enjoyable and entertaining creative day out, this leading UK craft experience includes ‘Have a go’ workshops, art lectures, spectacular live craft demonstrations, a sculpture school and entertainment and features hundreds of acclaimed British designer-makers. Entry to the event is included in our price. Further information at www.livingcrafts.co.uk
Image: Permission Hatfield House
Sat 09 May 2015
£40 per adult
This wonderful coach day trip takes you to one of Europe's most beautiful and best-preserved medieval cities, with something to see at every turn.
Not many people realise that the historic Belgian town of Bruges, or Brugge in Flemish, is in fact within easy driving distance from Calais to make an ideal day trip destination. Bruges has been called "The Venice of the North" due to its canal-lined streets and stunning architecture. It is easy to explore on foot, by horse-drawn carriage or canal cruiser. Tempting Belgian chocolates, beautiful hand-made lace and world-famous beers make Bruges one of our most popular destinations.
Bruges boasts a rich cultural heritage. The majestic past of Bruges lives on in the many works of art that can be seen in the many museums, often housed in historic buildings. The many places of interest, too, are silent witnesses to the city’s rich heritage. Bruges has a lot to offer from a culinary perspective too. Many restaurants, cafes and bars offer typical regional dishes of Bruges as well as exotic delicacies for different tastes and budgets. Trip Advisor may be able to help you choose a suitable venue.
Normally a minimum of 4 hours in Bruges subject to travel time. So as to preserve its unique heritage for locals and visitors alike,coaches are not allowed into the inner city. We therefore park at the coach park which is a flat, leisurely 20 minute walk to the main city centre or closeby there is a bus stop where a frequent bus service runs to and from the city centre.
Price includes return travel by coach and scheduled Eurotunnel crossing.
PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE NO STOPS AT ANY WAREHOUSES, SUPERMARKETS OR OTHER OUTLETS SCHEDULED TO BE INCLUDED ON THIS TRIP.
For our other trips to Bruges, please click here
For more information on Bruges including maps and other practical information plus city highlights and places of interest, please click here
Sun 10 May 2015
£38 per adult