Northcott are an international distributor of cotton printed fabrics; celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their most popular brand, Stonehenge, with an unforgettable getaway experience.
Visit the landmarks and museums of London, York, Cardiff and Bath and take a private behind-the-ropes tour of Stonehenge!

This is a tour for enthusiasts – but also for friends and family of quilters!  There will be ample opportunity for “break out” visits for husbands/partners with other interests!

Tour Cost – $3399 USD plus airfare and insurance.

Day 1 – June 4th, 2022
Flights from Toronto (YYZ) and New York (JFK)

Day 2 – June 5th, 2022

View from Victoria Tower of the Houses of Parliament, the River Thames, Westminster and Westminster Bridge, with the London Eye in the distance, London, England.

Arrive in the UK, claim your bag and clear customs and immigration.  You will meet your tour guide in the arrival’s hall.  Transfer to central London. Orientation tour of London’s most famous sights by coach including Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. Welcome Dinner in central London.
Overnight:  Park Plaza London Waterloo Hotel, London (B, D)

 

 

 

Day 3 – June 6th, 2022

Meet in the hotel lobby. Visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects.  It was founded in 1852 and name after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

This exhibition showcases a collection of patchwork and quilted covers to bring together over 300 years of British quilting history, from the spectacular bed hangings and silk coverlets of the 18th century, to the creative reinvention of the quilt by contemporary artists. Each quilt has a unique story to tell, revealed under the broader themes of consumerism, luxury and utility, creativity and confinement, taste, the domestic interior, travel, national and regional identity, and commemoration. The exhibition celebrates the astonishing vision involved in the design and making of each quilt and attempts to unravel some of the complex and individual narratives embedded in its history.

Quilting can be traced back at least to the Middle Ages. Examples from Europe, India and the Far East can be seen in the Museum, but quilting has also been practiced in Persia, Turkestan and Moslem Africa. The word “quilt” seems to have first been used in England in the 1200s and connects with the Latin word “cucita” meaning a bolster or cushion. Quilting usually means two layers of fabric sandwiching a thickish padding or interlining, all held together by lines of stitching. However, it is not essential to have the middle layer; for instance, in early 18th-century English quilting, just the two outer layers of fabric were used, and in “Italian” or corded quilting, strands of cord or thick wool are threaded between parallel lines of stitching to make the raised pattern.
Non-Quilters – The famous Natural History and Science Museums are right next door to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

 

This afternoon experience the London Eye.  It’s a thirty-minute ride but feels much more than that as you travel on one of the world’s finest ferris wheels – in a superb position by Westminster Bridge over looking Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. On a clear day you can see 20 miles in every direction to the outskirts of this great city.

River Cruise & Dinner

Dinner and cruise on the River Thames.   A great way of enjoying dinner as you sail past the icon sights of the city. From the center of the river you get a unique view of the Houses of Parliament, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, the Docklands and the Millennium Domes whilst at the same time enjoying first class service, delicious meal and to complete the evening a live entertainer sings song from West End musicals!
Overnight:  Park Plaza London Waterloo Hotel, London (B, D)

 

Day 4 – June 7th, 2022
Visits to more iconic London sights – the Tower of London.

9.00am Depart hotel by coach.  10.00am “Beefeater tour” of the Tower of London.The famous Yeomen of the Guard (popularly known as Beefeaters) provide expert (and colorful) guides to the Tower. This is no ordinary guided tour although of course the Beefeaters know the Tower and its history extremely well. They are renowned for adding in that extra detail and humor with makes this a “wow” moment in the visit. The Tower of London has a long and stormy history beginning with the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Tower evolved from William the Conquerer’s stronghold to a royal palace, armory, royal mint, prison, and gruesome execution place. You will want to see the famous ravens that perch near Wakefield Tower and lose yourself in myth and history as you visit the White Tower and its Royal Armories collection, the Bloody Tower and Traitors’ Gate. Hear the tale of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s unfortunate second wife, who passed through Traitors’ Gate in 1536 and was

Free afternoon & evening in London.
Overnight:  Park Plaza London Waterloo Hotel, London (B)

 

Day 5 – June 8th, 2022

This morning you will board your luxury motor coach and travel to the capital city of Wales – Cardiff.  On route we will explore textile collections at the American Museum where vintage American quilts include 18th century examples by Sioux and Amish women.

Cardiff Castle, a major visitor attraction, is a traditional castle with Roman foundations, Norman origins and Victorian additions. View of the Victorian facade.

Our next stop is Bath for an exploration of this culturally and historically rich city. See the 18th-century Royal Crescent, a street that boasts some of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture in England. Other fine examples of Georgian architecture – the Circus, a circular space surrounded by large townhouses.  And Pulteney Bridge (1774), which crosses the River Avon and was designed by Robert Adam. The Abbey Church of St Peter and St Paul, more commonly known as Bath Abbey, began as a Benedictine monastery founded in the seventh century.  In 1090, its status was elevated to that of cathedral. Bath Abbey remains one of the largest examples of perpendicular Gothic architecture in England’s West Country. Visit the Grand Pump Room, a great historic building from the 18th century. You can sample the waters from the hot spring that fill the adjacent Roman Baths. Consider taking high tea here.

 

Jane Austen is perhaps the best known and best loved of Bath’s many famous residents. She paid two long visits here at the end of the 18th century, and from 1801 to 1806 Bath was her home. Her intimate knowledge of the city is reflected in two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

No visit to the city would be complete without time at the Roman Baths. The first shrine at the site was built by Celts, but the temple we see was constructed by Romans between A.D. 60 and 70, and the complex was enhanced over the next 300 years. The ancient baths grew up around a natural hot spring. During the Roman occupation of Britain, and possibly on the instruction of Emperor Claudius, a stone chamber was built at the spring.

 

(none of the Bath attractions are booked, on ones own)

 

Our final visit is to Midsomer Quilting where you will see wonderful fabrics including a wide variety made by Northcott. Meet with Emma for a chat about the facility. This evening enjoy a Welsh themed dinner and entertainment at your hotel.

Overnight:  Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff (B, D)

Day 6 – June 9th, 2022

After breakfast enjoy a scenic drive to Lampeter, a small market and university town in the middle of the beautiful Welsh countryside.  Here you will enjoy a visit and tour at the Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Center.  Have some free time to enjoy and explore the smallest town in Wales.  Stop for a visit in the Calico Kate Quilt Shop, Red Apple Yarn Shop and the independent shops and cafes in Lampeter.  There is also an opportunity to visit Jen Jones’ 1735 Cottage Shop in Llanybydder where thousands of vintage and antique quilts and blankets are for sale. There are 4 rooms and a short, steep staircase to access the 2 upper rooms.  return to further explore the Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Center.  Return to Cardiff. Dinner on your own.

Overnight:  Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff (B)

 

Day 7 – June 100h, 2022

The centre of York, surrounded by walls whose foundations date back to medieval times. There is a wall walk around the city. York Minster at sunset. This image must be reproduced with the credit ‘VistBritain/Andrew Pickett’

Travel through green English countryside to York.  Lunch at your hotel on arrival. where you can stroll through the narrow streets of this medieval city. Meet with Prof. Prior at The Tempest Anderson Lecture Theatre – lecture followed by 20 minutes for questions. Meet in front of the Yorkshire Museum to walk to York Castle Museum.

 

Other attractions in York you may wish to explore on your own include GB’s best-known railway museum, The National Railway Museum. Enjoy dinner in your hotel followed by a Ghost Walk in the ancient mediaeval streets of York
Overnight:  Hilton Hotel, York (B, L, D)

 

Day 8 – June 11th, 2022

After breakfast, visit an ancient market town – Barnard Castle and 19th century French chateau housing the Bowes Museum, Britain’s largest and best European textile collection, with tapestries, needlework, lace and quilts from the 15th to 19th centuries.  Return to York.

Non-Quilters Optional Excursion:
Additional Cost:
 $100 based on a minimum of 20 people
A visit to Whitby famous for its Abbey but also strongly associated with Captain James Cook cartographer and explorer who began his career as a seafarer here. There is an excellent museum, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum.

Return to York. Free evening

Overnight:  Hilton Hotel, York (B, D)

 

Day 9 – June 12th, 2022

Depart York and travel south.  Stop to visit Macclesfield. Macclesfield Museums  Paradise Mill gives a glimpse into the North-West’s industrial past and the fabulous craft of silk making.  At Paradise Mill you will experience silk making machinery in action including your only opportunity in the UK to see demonstrations of hand-loom silk weaving.  A skilled and knowledgeable guide will tell you about the rise and decline of the industry as they weave into the story details of the weaver’s daily lives.

The light and airy Silk Museum tells the story of silk from cocoon to loom.  The museum is unique in being able to tell the stories of individual weavers who trained a t the school, with portfolios of their work, exam pieces and awards.  It shows you how silk cloth was designed, dyed, woven, printed and much more.

 

A light lunch will be served during the visit. Dinner tonight at your hotel.

Overnight:  Mercure White Hart Hotel or The Red Lion, Sailsbury (B, L, D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 10 – June 13th, 2022
5.30am – Depart hotel for Stonehenge. One of the most mysterious sights in Europe, Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The earliest portion of the stone complex dates to approximately 2950 B.C. Most likely built by Druids, high priests of the Celts, the site might have been used for sacrificial ceremonies. Yet questions about Stonehenge remain unanswered. Now for the climax of the tour. A private and exclusive “behind the ropes” tour of Stonehenge lead by Curator. Each year just a small number of select visitors are allowed to enter the stone circle itself! You will be part of that select number!

Marvel at the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths of Stonehenge and learn about the primitive builders who managed to create such an enduring monument.  After your tour enjoy breakfast at Stonehenge.

Free time in Salisbury a charming old city where the cathedral boasts the tallest spire in England.  Gather this evening for a farewell dinner at the Salisbury Cathedral. A stunning location and a fitting place to end this very special tour.
Overnight:  Mercure White Hart Hotel or The Red Lion, Sailsbury (B, D)

 

Day 11, June 14th, 2022
This morning after breakfast transfer to London Heathrow for flights to Toronto and New York. (B)

B – Breakfast
L – Lunch
D – Dinner

Admissions Included/Tour Highlights:

  • Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Dinner cruise on the River Thames
  • City Tour of London
  • London Eye
  • Tower of London “Beefeater Tour”
  • Ghost Walk in York
  • Bowes Museum
  • Macclesfield Museums Paradise Mill
  • Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Center
  • Midsomer Quilting
  • Town of Bath
  • American Museum
  • Private and exclusive “behind the ropes” tour of Stonehenge lead by Curator

 

 

Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5C (satellite 2) viewed from airfield, May 2011. David Dyson

Group air will be available in late August 2021 from YYZ (Toronto) & JFK (New York) direct to London Heathrow (LHR).  Registered participants will be notified.

 

 

 

 

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