Australia's Leading Specialists in French Barge Cruises

Ultimate England & Ireland – Cotswolds & “Shannon Princess”

jones and campbell

Imagine a week in a beautiful 16th century stone Manor house, exploring charming Cotswolds villages, Sudeley Castle & Bath as well as enjoying typical English past-times such as a local farmers market, cream tea at a polo match! Your Welsh hosts Joe and Angharad worked on and managed luxury hotel barges in France for many years, and now they have combined their passion and extensive hospitality experience to create the ultimate Cotswolds dream. Their attention to detail and exceptional love for people will ensure your every expectation is exceeded during your stay.

Staying in this idyllic setting, each day brings a new adventure combined with plenty of free time to relax at the Manor, and stunning cuisine and wine is all part of this superb itinerary. Next, we continue on to a week-long barge cruise on the beautiful luxury barge “Shannon Princess”, discovering the stunning scenery, history and traditions of southern Ireland.

On “Shannon Princess”, we enjoy a quintessential barging experience complete with exquisite landscapes, charming towns and villages, fascinating history and classic Irish traditions such as fabulous musicians, Irish whiskey and haunted castles! 

Your fabulous Irish crew go out of their way to ensure your every need is accommodated. Your chef was trained at the Ballymaloe School and distinguishes herself at every meal with her signature dishes (and is well known as an excellent baker!), and your captain has piloted and managed the Shannon Princess II for many years.

2018 Tour Dates:
June 17th – 30th June, 2018

OR if you have a ready-made group or are a family that would like build a holiday around this beautiful combination, please ask us for availability on other dates!

Tour Price:
Twin/double share: 12,130 euros per person

Detailed Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Sunday 17th June, 2018 – London to the Cotswolds
Greeted by your host, you will depart London in our luxury private transfer service direct to The Manor house. A champagne reception will welcome you as you are introduced to the staff. After you settle in to your state rooms, enjoy a cocktail on the terrace overlooking the rolling hills of Bisley before indulging in a delicious five course dinner, prepared by your private chef.

 

Monday 18th June – Sudeley Castle and a free afternoon relaxing
After breakfast, depart for a visit to the famous Sudeley Castle & Gardens; a fifteenth century castle in North Cotswolds which is one of the few castles in England which is still in residence.  The castle contains many fascinating treasures from ancient Roman times to the present day. Outside, the castle is surrounded by award-winning gardens and a breathtaking 1,200 acre estate. Sudeley Castle & Gardens is also the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within its grounds; Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six wives!

Return to the manor for your first lunch, followed by either a relaxing afternoon by our heated pool or a gentle stroll to the local village.

Enjoy cocktails and another superb five course dinner at the manor.

 

Tuesday 19th June – Bath
After breakfast today you will explore one of Britain’s most beautiful cities; the city of Bath, made famous by Jane Austen. Visit Bath’s iconic landmarks including the Royal Crescent, The Circus and Bath Abbey. Indulge in a magnificent lunch at a Michelin starred local restaurant in the heart of the city, before continuing to the Roman Baths – the most popular attraction in the city! Enjoy some free time browsing Bath’s exceptional boutique shopping before returning to the manor in the late afternoon ready for sipping cocktails on the terrace and enjoying another gourmet meal.

 

Wednesday 20th June – Farmer’s Market & Polo Match
After a leisurely breakfast, the chef will accompany you where you visit the bustling multi award winning Stroud Farmer’s Market which is well known as one of the biggest, busiest and most popular farmers’ markets in the UK. Select local ingredients and delicacies and return to the manor to share some of the chef’s culinary secrets over a cooking demonstration and a beautifully prepared market lunch.

This afternoon you will attend a quintessentially British sporting match – polo! Established in 1894, amid 3000 acres of parkland and woodland on one of the country’s most beautiful parks, enjoy cream tea or a glass of Champagne at Cirencester Park’s Country Polo Club.

Return to the Manor for a relaxing afternoon and enjoy evening cocktails and another delicious meal.

 

Thursday 21st June – Burford and Bibury – Quintessential Cotswalds!
After a relaxing morning and delicious lunch, set off for your tour of medieval Burford, one of England’s prettiest villages. Discover the hidden treasures through intriguing alleyways and courtyards between the seventeenth and eighteenth century buildings and see the splendour of the parish church built from the wealth of the wool trade. From here, continue on to Cotswolds Woollen Weavers, where you will learn of the heritage of textiles in the area and how it was the source of the infamous wealth of the Cotswolds. On your homeward journey, stop briefly at Bibury, home to the famous Arlington Row; built in 1380 as a place to store wool for the monastery, which were then converted to Weavers cottages in the seventeenth century.

Return to the manor for cocktails and another wonderful five course dinner.

 

Friday 22nd June – Cirencester and a free afternoon relaxing
After breakfast, depart for a short drive to Cirencester – one of Britain’s oldest cities, where you will take a guided stroll through the town, visiting its architectural landmarks which span over several centuries. You will then visit the award winning Corinium Museum, home to one of the largest collections of Romano-British antiquities. Enjoy some free time to roam Cirencester’s antique & craft market before returning to the manor for an exquisite lunch and a relaxing final afternoon at The Manor.

Before the cocktail hour is upon you, enjoy a traditionally English game of croquet on the lawn with your companions and staff, before indulging in a memorable seven course gala dinner.

 

Saturday 23rd June – London
Enjoy your final breakfast at The Manor, before returning to London with our host via private transfer. This evening we will enjoy a night in London at a beautiful 5 star hotel. We can arrange dinner reservations or a show.

 

Sunday 24th June – Dublin
Today we fly to Dublin where we will be met by the crew of the “Shannon Princess”. Your Captain and the rest of the crew welcome you on board with champagne, Black Velvets or Irish coffees, then time for a stroll and perhaps a visit to St. Flannan’s Cathedral. Dinner on board.

 

Monday 25th June – Killaloe to Mountshannon
Today we begin our cruise, moving through from the fjord-like reaches of the River Shannon into lovely Lough Derg and on to our mooring at Mountshannon. After lunch on board, we set off on our excursion to a unique project set in the grounds of Craggaunowen Castle, designed to bring Bronze Age & Celtic culture to life. Also on display is a reconstructed hide boat used by Irish Monks to sail to North America in the 5th century. Later, we visit a traditional Irish hand-weavers workshop and studio, where guests will experience a step back in time, whilst also learning how these thriving small cottage industries are dealing with technology and the future. Dinner on board.

 

Tuesday 26th June – Mountshannon to Terryglass
This morning, during a leisurely cruise across beautiful Lough Derg with its ever-changing backdrop, we pass the island of Illamore to moor in the harbour of Terryglass, a picturesque, waterside village. After lunch we visit Leap Castle, reputed to be Ireland’s most haunted house. You will be given a personal tour by the eccentric owner Sean Ryan, whom with traditional Irish musicians, will relate to you the fascinating history of the castle and its part in founding the American Constitution. Dinner on board.

 

Wednesday 27th June – Terryglass to Banagher
Today, our tour is firstly, to the walled gardens of Portumna Castle, then on to Galway, a lively University City and cultural centre for Irish-speaking regions in Western Ireland. Visit the Galway crystal, craft and linen shops and then lunch at a traditional Guinness & Oyster pub. We return to Shannon Princess and enjoy an afternoon cruise, negotiating the Portumna swing bridge and Meelick lock along the way, as we enjoy our dinner and sunset cruise to arrive at Banagher on the County Offaly shoreline.

 

Thursday 28th June – Banagher to Athlone
Our cruise today is towards the riverside town of Athlone, mooring en route at Clonmacnoise ruins, a famed 6th century university and early monastic settlement. Following a tour, we continue our cruise north through Europe’s richest example of “Callow” landscape, countryside little changed in over 1,000 years and one of Ireland’s premier wildfowl reserves, to arrive in Athlone. Time to explore the town at your leisure. Dinner on board.

 

Friday 29th June – Athlone to Glasson
Our final cruise to Glasson is northwards around the beautiful “Inner Lakes” of Lough Ree and we explore some of the 365 islands on the lake. After lunch, we visit the Kilbeggan whiskey distillery, dating from 1757 and the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in Ireland, for a tour and, of course, a tasting. ‘Salinte’ cocktail reception and Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

 

Saturday 30th June – Glasson to Dublin
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Dublin. From here you may wish to make your own arrangements, or ask us to assist!

 

Tour Inclusions: This tour is all-inclusive apart from the evening in London where you are free to make your own arrangements for meals. Otherwise all meals, beverages including premium wines, accommodation, private air conditioned buses on day tours, private guides, all entries and excursions, and the full time services of your tour director are included in the tour price.



Cotswalds & Ireland Photo Gallery