Rail trails of Europe and England plus Oberammergau 2020- OBT
Number of Days: 21
Enjoy some of the best in 2020. Combine classic trains of the UK and Europe, with the Oberammergau Passion Play with Keukenhof Tulips, top UK sightseeing and gardens and the Chelsea Flower Show, all in one easy 21 day tour.
The world famous Oberammergau Passion Play is a re-enactment of a play pledged at a moment of mortal threat.
After suffering and death from the plague in the 17th century, the villagers of Oberammergau in Bavaria made a pledge that if the village was spared further suffering, they would perform a play dedicated to the passion of Christ, every 10 years.
They have maintained this pledge, from the first in 1634, right through until now. Don't wait until 2030! This is your chance to experience this "once in a decade" event for yourself in 2020.
Our escorted tours include 1st class tickets, transfers, coach transport, cruises, meals and entrances as per itinerary. We can also recommend pre and post tour extensions.
Day 1, Tues May 5- Amsterdam
The tour commences at check-in to our Amsterdam city centre hotel, our home for four nights. Rest from the flight, or take an afternoon canal cruise to get your bearings, before meeting our fellow travellers for a Welcome Drink and Dinner. D
Day 2, Wed May 6- Keukenhof Tulips
Today and every day on your Great Train of Europe begins with a full buffet breakfast. We spend a full day in one of the world’s finest bulbfields, the Keukenhof Gardens, with 80 acres of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other flowering bulbs, shrubs, ancient trees, exhibitions, gurgling streams, flower parades, and seven themed gardens. There are restaurants and tea shops.B
Day 3, Thurs May 7- Het Loo
We head into the countryside today (who will be first to see a windmill?) to the Gardens of the Dutch Baroque Palace Het Loo, the Royal Palace from the 1680s until 1982. Established by LeNôtre, the gardens feature perfect symmetry, axial layout with radiating gravel walks, parterres, fountains, basins and statues.B
Day 4, Fri May 8- Aarlsmeer
A visit this morning to the world's largest Flower Market at Aarlsmeer, then to the Dutch city of Delft, home of Vermeer, and imagine what Amsterdam might have looked like centuries ago.B
Day 5, Sat May 9- North York Moors
One of the great rail journeys of the world as we farewell Amsterdam and join the 300 kph Eurostar through the Chunnel. Customs requires that we travel with our luggage today. In London we join British Rail in the tracks of the Flying Scotsman to the mediaeval city of York. We see the Minster and the Shambles, then transfer to our inn in the North York Moors village of Pickering. A pub dinner tonight.B,D
Day 6, Sun May 10- Castle Howard, Heartbeat village, Steam Rail
This morning we visit the gardens of Castle Howard, laid out by Sir John Vanburgh in the early 18th century. Castle Howard is the palace of the Flyte family in “Brideshead Revisited”. We lunch (with Claude Jeremiah Greengrass?) in the village of Goathland, “Aidens field” in the TV series “Heartbeat”. Here we join the historic North York Steam Railway, home to Pickering.B
Day 7, Mon May 11- Capability Brown, Harrogate
This morning we visit historic Harewood House. Its garden is classic Capability Brown. - forming an idyllic rural setting. We move on to the spa and garden town of Harrogate for a cream tea or a stroll around Harrogate’s famous public gardens.B
Day 8, Tues May 12- Yorkshire Dales, James Herriot, Lake District
We journey this morning through the Yorkshire Dales, immortalized in James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small” novels and television series. A village pub lunch stop, then on to the Lake District where we settle into our Lakeside hotel.B,D
Day 9, Wed May 13- Holehird, Lake District
This morning we visit a very special Lakeland garden, Holehird, which specialises in Lakeland flora and offers sweeping views of Lake Windermere. A bit of whimsy on the way home: we drop in on Beatrix Potter’s garden.B
Day 10, Thurs May 14- Dales, Settle to Carlisle Rail
We take a magical rail journey today through some of the Dales’ and England’s finest scenery on the historic Settle to Carlisle Railway. A pub lunch, an afternoon cream tea and visits to some more of the Yorkshire Dales’ picturesque villages.B
Day 11, Fri May 15- Peak District, Cotswolds
Our British Rail journey south today brings us to the Peak District of Derbyshire, to visit the gardens of historic Chatsworth House, dating from 1687. Another Capability Brown garden, Chatsworth has been famous for its beauty since Jane Austen’s Day. We move on in the late afternoon to the Cotswolds where we stay in a village inn in the pretty riverside village of Bourton-on-the-Water.B,D
Day 12, Sat May 16- Cotswolds
This morning’s sightseeing takes us to picturesque Cotswold villages of honey-golden stone: Lower Slaughter, Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden. After a village pub lunch we visit one of England’s favourite gardens - Hidcote Manor, designed and developed by Maj. Lawrence Johnston, who scoured the world to secure rare and exotic species for this extremely pretty garden, a series of ‘outdoor rooms’.B
Day 13, Sun May 17- Cotswolds
Today we visit Stowe Landscape Gardens, covering 750 acres and including 40 listed historic monuments and temples. It is considered one of England’s most important landscape gardens and the greatest names in English garden design were involved in its creation from Bridgeman in the 1710s to Vanbrugh, Kent, Gibbs and “Capability ” Brown. Afternoon tea in the Cotswold village of Burford, serious about antiques.B
Day 14, Mon May 18- London
Back on British Rail today we journey through more of the Cotswolds’ rolling hills, as our luggage is taken on ahead to await our arrival in our London hotel. We enjoy London’s sights from a double-decker bus. The Oxford Street shops are only a bus ride away from the hotel. A West End Show tonight?B,D
Day 15, Tues May 19- Changing of Guards, RHS Wisley
The Changing of the Guard this morning before an afternoon excursion to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley Garden, where keen English gardeners have gone to be inspired for over 100 years. Spread out over 240 acres, Wisley is a lovely, peaceful place for a stroll as well as a demonstration garden full of practical garden design ideas and cultivation techniques.B
Day 18, Fri May 22- Oberammergau
Pack an overnight bag, for our transfer to the village of Oberammergau where we arrive in time for lunch and settle into our overnight accommodation, returning to the theatre in the village for the first half of the performance this afternoon. Prepare for an inspirational experience as we re-live the last week of the earthly life of Jesus. There is a break for dinner and, then we return for the climax of the performance. At the end of the play we are transferred to our overnight accommodation.B,L,D
Day 19, Sat May 23- Innsbruck, Igls
This morning we return to our hotel in the village of Igls, for a relaxing afternoon.B
Day 20, Sun May 24-Innsbruck
We explore of the city of Innsbruck today, and a ride to the top of the Alps for a breath-taking view from 7,000 feet. Our Farewell Dinner tonight.B,D
Share twin accommodation in city centre hotels and inns.
Meals B= Buffet breakfasts, L = Lunch, D= Welcome and other dinners as per final itinerary.
First Class rail travel throughout,
An economy class flight - London to Innsbruck,
Sightseeing and garden entrances with local guides,
Entry ticket to Chelsea Flower Show.
Guaranteed seating at the Oberammergau Passion Play.
- TOUR CLOSED - WAITLIST