Multi-Day Tour

The London Season (8 days)

Dream Escape - Scotland/UK/Northern Ireland

London, United Kingdom To London, United Kingdom

Valid for Departures Now Through: 03 Mar 2018

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
London, United Kingdom
The Haymarket Breakfast

Day One: Arrival in London

Arrive in to London Heathrow Airport where you will be met by your chauffeur who will accompany you to your hotel in one of the fashionable districts of Mayfair, St James’s or Knightsbridge.

This afternoon, your guide will escort you down to the River Thames. Board a small luxury cruiser that is privately chartered to take you on a circular cruise at a relaxed and leisurely pace. Your guide will point out all the major landmarks as you journey serenely upstream, including the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, and Shakespeare’s Globe.

Day 2
London, United Kingdom
The Haymarket Breakfast

Day Two: Outfits and Millinery for Ascot

Today a personal shopper will join you to spend some time visiting some of the famous stores in London to help the ladies pick out an outfit for Royal Ascot. Your personal shopper will give you the benefit of a professional eye, and an expert opinion. Once your needs and requirements have been assessed via a questionnaire, a pre-shop will be done for you.

The best-known luxury store is of course Harrods, where the Food Halls themselves are a work of art. Nearby Harvey Nichols stocks the very best ready-to-wear fashions; and the boutiques of Sloane Street and Bond Street offer the finest jewellery and accessories. In Piccadilly, Fortnum and Masons is one of the most stylish of all stores.

The most distinctive item required for Royal Ascot by ladies is a hat, which must be worn in both the Royal and Queen Anne Enclosures. Your personal shopper will take you to one of the finest milliners in London for you to purchase a hat that will be a work of art. Lock and Co. are known to many as the best hatters in the world for both ladies and gentlemen.

Well known to numerous historical figures including Sir Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, this is one of the oldest milliners and the store holds two Royal Warrants to this day. Gentlemen who are attending the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot who wish to purchase a top hat will also be able to obtain this here before heading to the formal wear hire company to collect their pre-ordered morning suits.

Day 3
Ascot, United Kingdom
The Haymarket Breakfast

Day Three: Royal Ascot – Showcase of the Season

Unquestionably the centrepiece of the London season is Royal Ascot. This horse racing festival dates back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne. Every year Royal Ascot is attended by HM The Queen and other members of the British Royal Family who arrive each day in a horse-drawn carriage; the Royal procession takes place at the start of each race day prior to the raising of the Queen's Royal Standard. This festival is as much about fashion and high society as it is about racing; coverage of the ladies apparel often exceeds coverage of the actual sport!

Your chauffeur will take you to Ascot Racecourse where you will have a day to remember, with access to one of the two top enclosures attended by guests on Royal Ascot week. The Royal Enclosure is the most prestigious of the three enclosures. Access to the Royal Enclosure is restricted, but this is the place where the finest and most formal of dress is required. The Queen Anne Enclosure is the second level; dress codes are somewhat less strict here.

Luncheon will be served before the racing starts, with afternoon tea and refreshments being served throughout the race programme. There will be plenty of time to study the race card and place bets on the day’s races. During the course of the festival, there are a number of Group One races including the Gold Cup and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Day 4
London, United Kingdom
The Haymarket Breakfast

Day Four: Glyndebourne – Opera in the Sussex Countryside

During the summer months, the Glyndebourne Festival is a major attraction for socialites. Taking place in the unlikely surroundings of rural Sussex to the south of London, this festival of opera has been held annually since 1934, except during World War II and 1993 when the theatre was being rebuilt.

After a leisurely morning, your chauffeur will accompany you to the Glyndebourne Opera House; surrounded by beautiful gardens in the idyllic Sussex countryside, it is home to some of the world’s leading opera productions and opera-going traditions. Each year Glyndebourne introduces new artists and a number of rising young stars. The primary resident orchestra for the Glyndebourne Festival is the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the festival's associate orchestra is the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Performances start in the late afternoon and intervals are of decent length to enable patrons to dine in one of the restaurants on site. In late June, scheduled performances include Hipermestra, La Traviata, Hamlet and Ariadne auf Naxos. Whichever opera you see, this will be a gala evening to remember as you join your fellow opera goers in this celebration of classical music.

Day 5
London, United Kingdom
The Haymarket Breakfast

Day Five: Symbols of the London Season

Spend a leisurely day in London with your guide, starting with a visit to Spencer House for a private tour. The finest surviving townhouse in London was commissioned by John, 1st Earl Spencer in 1756 (ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales) who required a large London house to cement his position and status; it represents the type of property that aristocracy owned during the heyday of the London season and where society balls and parties were held. The grand state rooms replete with some of the most elaborate gilding in England have been fully restored to their original appearance.

This afternoon, your guide will escort you to visit the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in Burlington House, Piccadilly. The opening of this exhibition used to mark the official start of the London Season; the first Summer Exhibition took place in 1769; it has been held every year since without exception. When the Royal Academy was founded, one of its key objectives was to establish an annual exhibition which could be visited by the public. Today, around 1,000 works are selected each year from as many as 10,000 entries representing some 5,000 artists; it includes paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, architectural designs and models, and is the largest and most popular open exhibition in the United Kingdom. Most pieces are also for sale.

Day 6
Oxford, United Kingdom
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons Breakfast

Day Six: Leaving London Behind

This morning your chauffeur will accompany you to Heathrow Airport for your departure. Alternatively, if you visited Royal Ascot on the last days of the festival, you may like to extend your stay to include another of the major events of the London Season that takes place in Oxfordshire.

Spend today exploring Oxford, the city that is home to England’s oldest university. You may like to spend time wandering through the streets and lanes that surround the university. Visit Christ Church College, the largest of its kind, where the chapel serves as the Anglican cathedral, and where the Hall was used to inspire the Harry Potter movies. The Ashmolean Museum has been beautifully updated in recent years, and the Oxford Dodo still awaits visitors in the Natural History Museum. The Sheldonian Theatre, the Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Camera are some of the university’s most iconic structures.

Just outside Oxford is Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, one of the most famous hotels and restaurants in Europe. Owned by French chef-patron Raymond Blanc, this place is a paradise for epicureans. The restaurant has held two Michelin stars for many years and has long been instrumental in introducing the ideas of French haute cuisine into England. The house is surrounded beautiful gardens where all the produce for the kitchen is grown and the lavender beds give the place a distinctive Gallic charm. The accommodations are split between the manor house where they are traditional in style, or the stable block where each room has a very distinctive and cutting edge design.

Day 7
Henley On Thames, United Kingdom
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons Breakfast

Day Seven: Henley Royal Regatta

The town of Henley-on Thames is blessed with a straight mile of clear water on the River Thames. Due to this natural advantage, the town has staged the most important a rowing regatta in England since 1839. The regatta has been known as “Henley Royal Regatta” since 1851, when Prince Albert became the first royal patron. Since his death, every reigning monarch has agreed to be the patron. As such, this has also become another one of the defining events of the London Season.

Today, with your chauffeur you will journey through the Chiltern Hills to Henley where you will have the chance to enjoy the world’s most prestigious rowing event in style. Indulge in exceptional lunch, afternoon tea and drinks situated along the picturesque bank of Fawley Meadows. Enjoy an enticing array of features including a river boat cruise, private outdoor area and live entertainment throughout the day. This will ensuring a memorable occasion for you as you mingle with the other guests and watch the boats race past.

Day 8
London, United Kingdom
None Breakfast

Day Eight: Homeward Bound

Your chauffeur will accompany you to Heathrow Airport for departure.

End of Services

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Food & Wine
  • Romance & Honeymoons
  • Sightseeing

Description

The London Season thrived in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The great and the good descended on the capital to see and be seen at a wide range of social engagements in both public and private venues. Young ladies coming out into society would see this as the ideal opportunity for finding a husband! Although things have changed since WWII, many of the events that formed part of the traditional still continue, and are attended with great enthusiasm by the higher social echelons. The culmination of the season still takes place in late June to this day.

About Us

Dream Escape is your Virtuoso on-site providing the ultimate luxury tailor-made travel service in England, Scotland & Ireland, specializing in the following experiences: Private boxes at events including the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo; Country pursuits and golf with access to private clubs and estates; Equestrian - Stud visits, polo and racing; Whisky Experiences. Private distillery visits and tastings; Exclusive Villa Collection; Incentive and board meetings; Private Castle stays; Celebrations and Events; Bespoke City breaks in London, Edinburgh & Dublin, ; Shorex; Chauffeur guided touring; 'Set Jetting.'

Insider Tip

Our in-house Head of Guiding, Rosie Peattie, is the Mary Poppins of guiding. She knows everything and everyone and adds extraordinary vibrancy to each programme she accompanies!

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Reviews and Recommendations for Dream Escape - Scotland/UK/Northern Ireland

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recommend


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Perfect Itinerary

By: Jordan D


Reviewed on: 12 Sep 2016

Dream Escape put together a wonderful array of activities, lodgings, and restaurants for us to enjoy on our first trip to Scotland. Not being familiar with the lay of the land, it was nice to have expert help in ensuring we experienced a great deal of the pleasures the country has to offer. We would highly recommend using them for your next trip.
Travel Advisor:  Susan Sparks
Not Recommended

Edinburgh

By: Struie


Reviewed on: 23 Sep 2017

We had a very poor experience with Dream Escapes - numerous issues continued to plague our trip - one thing going wrong can be overlooked but their were many issues that greatly affected our ability to enjoy our trip.

Scotland Ireland

By: lola


Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2017

We had a terrific experience but our van in Scotland could have been better..
Travel Advisor:  Michael Distler