Water, Wings & Ware – Group Tour
Includes pub lunch, river cruise and visit to Bentley Priory Museum
Just north of London, Hertfordshire and the bordering Essex has plenty to offer. This tour will give you an overview of the wonderful countryside, a River Lea cruise flowing through the Lea Valley with its idyllic meadows either side, and a chance to see some of the quaint towns and villages along the way including Waltham Abbey, Stanstead Abbotts and Ware. Your full day out will be with an experienced local guide who will ensure that your get the most out of the day. You will start with a Norman church, reputably the burial place of King Harold and of course there will be a relaxing 2.5 hour cruise on the river after lunch with a bit of free time thrown in.
To add to the interest in the tour, we are also making a visit to Bentley Priory Museum in Stanmore, which tells the fascinating story of the beautiful Grade II listed country house, focusing on its role as Headquarters Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, which can either be on the day of arrival or day of departure as suits your tour (and subject to opening hours at Bentley Priory).
August - October 2021 & April - October 2022
Suggested itinerary by coach
Travel to Hertfordshire / North London and Bentley Priory Museum
Travel to Hertfordshire / North London to arrive early afternoon and your first stop will be Bentley Priory Museum in Stanmore.
Explore the important stories of ‘The One’– Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, ‘The Few’ who took to the air to defend our skies and ‘The Many’ without whose tireless work on the ground, victory would not have been possible and discover how technology, leadership and courage forged victory, allowing Britain’s darkest hour to also be her Finest Hour.
You will have a one hour guided tour at the Museum followed by some free time. You can take a light lunch on arrival or an afternoon tea in the lovely cafe overlooking the spectacular Italian Gardens, and if the weather is nice, outside seating is available.
(Please contact us for supplements for lunch or afternoon tea. Bentley Priory Museum is closed on Sundays.)
After the visit continue to your hotel.
Dinner will be served in your hotel this evening.
A full day – Hidden Hertfordshire and Essex
The Abbey Church Waltham Abbey
After breakfast in the hotel, travel to Waltham Abbey, where you will meet with your guide for the day. Your first stop will be at the Abbey Church, a fine Norman Abbey founded in 1060 by King Harold, who is reputedly buried here. The Lady Chapel and crypt (now a visitors’ centre and shop) date from the 14th century and the tower from the 16th century. The east end was restored in the 19th century; the rose window was designed by Edward Burne-Jones. Other notable features are the painted ceiling, the Denny monument, the “Doom” painting in the Lady Chapel, the pulpit, altar and font.
River Lea boat cruise and lunch
After the visit, continue to Hoddesdon where you will enjoy a fish & chip lunch at a delightful riverside pub, before embarking on your boat for a delightful 2.5 hour cruise along the River Lea to Ware. As you pass through numerous locks and open meadows, you will pass through the village of Stanstead Abbotts, and then to the town of Ware, passing the riverside Gazebos.
The Gazebos date from the 18th century gazebos and are a unique feature of Ware. Whilst there may be individual gazebos elsewhere in Britain, nowhere else do they survive as a group as they do on the River Lea in Ware. These riverside summerhouses stand in the former gardens of the High Street coaching inns that used to run down to the river.
On arrival at Ware Priory, disembark from the boat, where there will probably be some free time to explore this charming small market town. There are numerous pubs and cafes just a short walk along the High Street, as well as a small museum and St Marys Church which dates back over 900 years. Rejoin your coach for a short guided drive out of the town and into the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside and back to your hotel.
Dinner in the hotel this evening.
Return home – More to see and do
After breakfast in your hotel, if your route allows, can we suggest a visit to St Albans.
The Cathedral dominates the city’s skyline from every approach. Its architecture is a blend of many different periods, and its great tower includes Roman bricks salvaged from the ruins of Verulamium. It is best known for the shrine of St Alban, Britain’s first Christian Saint, which continues to attract pilgrims from far and wide.
Or visit the award-winning museum, displaying beautiful objects from the Roman City of Verulamium, featuring superb mosaics and re-created Roman rooms giving the visitor an opportunity to discover the life and times of a major Roman city.
Alternatively you may wish to visit Bentley Priory Museum this morning, if you didn’t get the chance on your day of arrival.
We have a selection of hotels in Hertfordshire which are ideal for your visits, including the Marriott Hotel in Waltham Abbey, the Hilton Hotel, Mercure Hotel, and Jurys Inn Watford
All hotels offer free parking (except the Jurys Inn Watford which does not have any coach parking facility) and all offer a good standard of accommodation.
The tour is available for Monday to Thursday arrivals between April & October.
Please note Bentley Priory Museum is closed on Sunday and Monday.
There will be a small supplement payable for groups of less than 30 persons – please see below for details.
|Dates||2 nights / 3 days|
|August – October 2021||From £185.00 per person|
|April – October 2022||From £189.00 per person|
Prices are based on minimum 30 paying persons.
A supplement of £15 per person will apply for groups of 25-29 paying persons.
Single room supplements apply – details on request.