TOUR OF ENGLAND
July 1-10, 2017
Saturday July 1
Depart via Air Canada to London
Sunday July 2
A quick breakfast by the airport then on to London via the Paddington Express – our first London tube experience. After an orientation session you will have some time to freshen up and rest before we begin our adventure. We begin our tour in the heart of London, with walking and tube access to Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and the Tower of London.
Dinner on our first evening in London will be at the historic Rock & Sole Plaice. Established in 1871, Rock & Sole Plaice features locally sourced, sustainable, British fish and chips. It has been described as the best in London and is still prepared using their 145 year old traditional recipe.
What better way to end our first day than to take in a West End musical. The Cambridge Theatre will host us for our viewing of “Matilda” – the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl.
Monday July 3
Our London EBL (Experienced Based Learning) will be a small group adventure through the sites and history of this great city. Special clues in sealed envelopes will guide you through the wonders of London. But there is more here than we could possibly see, so choose your envelopes wisely and craft an extraordinary adventure.
Groups will merge in the afternoon for our Harry Potter Studio Tour. As the Harry Potter series was still being written, the film production crew saved many of the iconic sets, props and costumes that were created especially for the films – just in case they were ever needed later on in the series. Once filming wrapped up on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the production crew preserved these iconic props, costumes and sets so that Harry Potter fans could experience the magic of filmmaking first-hand. Many of the original cast and crew returned to reassemble the sets and record their memories from filming.
Set adjacent to the working film studios where all eight Harry Potter films were made, the Studio Tour offers visitors the unique opportunity to explore two soundstages and a backlot filled with original sets, animatronic creatures and breathtaking special effects. Get ready for a truly magical afternoon!
Evensong at Westminster Abbey, where we will hear one of the finest boys choirs in the world, followed by a late dinner of “Bangers & Mashed”, will cap off our day.
Tuesday July 4
Following an outdoor performance, or a performance at Southwark Cathedral (we haven’t decided which one yet), we will board a coach bus and head to Oxford. As per our choir tradition, all touring choristers will be assigned to their “houses” by the sorting hat on our first evening in Oxford.
London Inclusions – click to visit links
All dinners, entrance fees, theatre tickets, hotels and transportation and breakfasts are included, with the exception of your first breakfast as we arrive at the airport on July 2 (we will look for a McDonald’s or something similar, just in case the food on the plane is insufficient).
Wednesday July 5
St. Hilda’s College will be our host for our stay in Oxford. Founded in 1893, St Hilda’s was the last of the women’s colleges established in Oxford to give women the right to continue their education. A mixed-gender college for the past 10 years, St. Hilda’s remains true to its pioneering roots. The historic college is set in beautiful gardens overlooking the River Cherwell. We will enjoy croquette on the lawn, some pretty spectacular games of Quackenbush, and punting on the river.
A bike excursion around Oxford will have us suitably oriented to our home for this leg of the tour. After an outdoor performance and our tour staple “pizza in the park”, a Haunted Tour through the streets of Oxford by night will cap off our daily adventures.
Thursday July 6
Continuing with our Harry Potter theme, we will explore many of the settings in Oxford used to create the atmosphere at Hogwarts. A special Harry Potter group EBL will come complete with your own unique wand and instructions for geocaching your way through Potter’s home away from Privet Drive.
We have a performance and tour scheduled on this day in Christ Church Cathedral. Rich in history and significance, Christ Church is perhaps the most famous of all the Oxford Colleges. It boasts many significant landmarks from the Harry Potter films, and Lewis Carol’s “Alice In Wonderland”. Then on to the river Cherwell where we will learn the fine art of punting aboard our boats.
What trip to Oxford would be complete without a visit to a local pub for dinner? The Turf Tavern will host us for a traditional Oxford pub dinner. The foundations of the pub date from the 13th century, though the actual main building is merely from the 18th. Like many old pubs, it has that ramshackle feel to it with several rooms bolted together.
Oxford Inclusions – click to visit links
All breakfasts, entrance fees, tickets, bike rentals, boat rentals, accommodation, performances, transportation and dinners are included, with the exception of one dinner on our sight-seeing day where we will be taking dinner in smaller groups at local establishments.
Friday July 7
Our stay in Oxford concludes, and we begin the car trip portion of our adventure. We’ll pack our bags and load in vans to begin the northward journey to the Lakes Region, in search of Weasley’s dragons and other Fantastic Beasts. Off the beaten path of the typical London tourist, the Lakes Region is the vacation destination for Londoners – walks, hikes and the natural beauty of England await.
Our destination is the stunning Forest Side Country Hotel. A gothic mansion, Forest Side is set in the magical landscape of Wordworth’s beloved Grasmere. Enchanting gardens emerge from the wilderness in an landscape fit for any prince or princess. Sheltering beneath steeply sloping woodland, Forest Side is an imposing building of Lakeland stone.
Saturday July 8
While in the Lakes District we will have opportunity to explore the National Park, which contains the famous Castlerigg Stone Circles. Castlerigg is perhaps the most atmospheric and dramatically sited of all British stone circles, with panoramic views and the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat as a backdrop. It is also among the earliest British circles, raised in about 3000 BC during the Neolithic period. If you were in Italy with the choir, you will undoubtedly remember our day on Lake Maggiore. Lake Windermere carries a similar mystical charm. We will hire boats and explore this magical countryside from the water. And yes, you will be able to swim from the boat!
Sunday July 9
This is Michelle’s morning, so you can bet we will be starting off our day with a hike! And here in the Lakes District we will use the natural environment to create keepsakes with Michelle, and forge memories that will last a lifetime. Sometime after lunch we will board our vans and begin the journey back to London.
Monday July 10
After a night back at the Hilton Metropole in London, we’re on to the airport for our return flight to Toronto.
Lakes District Inclusions – click to visit links
All breakfasts, rentals, accommodation, tours, transportation and dinners are included, except the dinner en route back to London which will be at a travel stop.
TOUR FEE: $4260 INCLUSIVE
Payment is currently due in full.
The tour registration deadline has past. If you still wish to tour, we cannot guarantee space will be available at all hotels, events, concerts etc. but we will make every effort to accommodate you. As most of the tour fees, including flights and hotels, are due in their entirety at the time of booking, UCC will have paid or committed to fees on your behalf long before the final payment is due. As such, there is no possibility of refund, and your deposit represents a commitment to the full cost of the tour.
Prices are based on student double occupancy. If a single room is required, please contact email@example.com for a revised rate. Parent double occupancy carries the same fee as student double occupancy for this tour. UCC reserves the right to make suitable changes to the itinerary for the benefit of the tour.
If you are intending on participating in this tour we ask that you fill out the form below prior to , and bring your cheque to your next rehearsal. We’re looking forward to an amazing tour!