Britain’s Ale Trail – A New Tour for Groups
Explore London, Manchester and the picturesque Cotswolds and wash it all down with a few pints on this UK ale tour!
Throughout this tour you will have the opportunity to sample Britain’many, delicious ale offerings. You will visit Meantime Brewery in Greenwich, Britain’s oldest brewer – Shepherd Neame Brewery in Kent, The National Brewery Centre and Molson Coors Brewery in Burton-on-Trent, Hook Norton Brewery and Robinsons Brewery in Stockport.
You will also have the chance to dine in some historic and traditionally English pubs including The George Inn (a 16th century establishment and the only surviving galleried coaching inn in London) and The Eagle and Child, made famous by JRR Tolkien and The Inklings; this is where they would meet and discuss literature – included their unfinished manuscripts.
Culture meets liquid refreshment on this UK ale tour; take in the bustling and vibrant London, the picture perfect Cotswolds and the gem of the north Manchester – while discovering the history of brewing and treating yourself to a fair few tipples along the way. (Additional charges apply for lunch where shown.)
This tour is based on groups travelling together by coach. If you are less than 20 persons, it may still be possible to take this tour, and we can tailor make a special itinerary for you. For individual travellers, it may be necessary for you to hire a car and drive yourself around England (car hire can be arranged) and it’s not as scary as you may think!
Please contact us and we will be pleased to tailor make something that will fit to your budget and time restraints, and remember, you are free to choose a day to suit yourself.
Why not also take a look at our‘Let the Tour Be-Gin’ tour – which explore the origins of gin, along with lots of distilleries (and tasting).
2023 dates available on request
Build up a thirst by taking an in-depth walking tour of London. Marvel at the grand structures of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace and revel in the history surrounding Westminster Abbey and The Tower of London. This tour will give you a great insight to London’s past and what it offers to visitors today.
Feeling thirsty yet? This afternoon you will take a tour of London’s historic pubs! This is a great opportunity for you to sample a range of British ales or simply sit back and take in the wonders of traditional British public houses.
This evening you will dine at The George Inn (additional cost). This pub dates back to 1542 and it is believed that Shakespeare himself enjoyed a drink or two here. As you tuck in to a delicious meal try to imagine the sounds of revelry that would have consumed this place hundreds of years ago – it might be easier than you think!
You will stay in London for three nights.
Greenwich Ale Time
Encounter a different side of London as you travel by river to Greenwich on the Thames Clipper Service. Variety is the word of the day as you will fly across the Thames in a cable car, visit the majestic Cutty Sark and, after a spot of lunch, enjoy a tour of the Old Naval College, home to the glorious Painted Hall.
Meantime Brewery will be your next stop, where you will have the opportunity to take a comprehensive tour of the brewery before sampling their many creations!
Return to central London this evening to enjoy some free time.
Follow the Flock to Shepherd Neame Brewery
Travel to Kent this morning to visit Britian’s oldest brewer – brewing for more than 5 centuries – the Shepherd Neame Brewery. Here you will learn more about the art of brewing and have a chance to get up close to some historic brewing memorabilia. Your tour will end with a tutored tasting and the option to pick up some all-important souvenirs in the gift shop!
After your visit to Shepherd Neame Brewery you will return to London to enjoy some free time on your final night in the capital – why not go out in style with a Thames river cruise?
Hop to Oxford for Literary Delights
Upon arrival in Oxford take a walking tour which will encompass some of the university’s colleges as well as a chance to learn about the famous feet that have wandered the halls there. Enjoy a walk down the city’s winding streets and spot the sites used as filming locations for the Harry Potter series.
Lunch will be served at the Eagle and Child pub (additional cost). This 17th century pub hosted the Oxford writers’ group, The Inklings, which nourished the imaginative creations of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.
After lunch, travel to Chipping Campden in the beautiful Cotswolds to discover more of Britain’s ale offerings – pint anyone? You will stay in Chipping Campden for two nights.
A Pint with a View
Explore more of what the Cotswolds has to offer today as you travel through picturesque villages, making stops to admire the scenery and sample the ale on tap. Your day will begin with a visit to Stow-on-the-Wold, a magnificent market town well-known for its antiques stores. Travel onward to Bourton-on-the-Water, the village often referred to as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ because of the many little bridges which cross the River Windrush. You will make an extended stop in Bibury which William Morris called ‘The most beautiful village in England’ and it’s easy to see why. Enjoy lunch at The Swan Hotel on the banks of the River Coln (additional cost).
After lunch visit Hook Norton Brewery for a two hour tour which includes a look at the brewery’s original steam engine, an explanation of the brewing process, a visit to see the Shire Horses and an all important tasting session!
This evening you will return to your hotel in Chipping Campden.
Start your day by travelling to The National Brewery Centre in Burton-on-Trent. Here an experienced guide will take you through each step of the brewing process. The museum also explains the role of steam engines in the development of the industry and offers the opportunity to view stunning vintage vehicles. After your tour of the museum you will visit the neighbouring Molson Coors brewery, the UK’s largest brewery, which brews major brands such as Carling and Coors Light. Finish your visit at the Brewery Tap Bar where you can sample some of the local beers you have learnt about and enjoy a delicious lunch included in the price.
This afternoon you will travel north to Manchester, where you will visit a local pub in the evening for some scrumptious food and thirst-quenching drinks.
You will stay in Manchester for two nights.
Manchester on Draught
Begin your second day in this magnificent city by embarking on a two hour walking tour. Your expert tour guide will introduce you to the heritage and culture of the city, taking in many historical sites such as the Britannia Hotel (formerly a cotton warehouse), Chinatown, Free Trade Hall, John Rylands Library, the Abraham Lincoln Statue and Manchester Town Hall.
Britain’s Ale Trail ends with a visit to the famous Robinsons Brewery in Stockport. This family of independent brewers have been operating since 1838 and Robinsons is one of the most respected names in British brewing history. Take a guided tour of the brewery before sampling some of their creations. Why not try the legendary Unicorn which was first brewed in 1896? Or perhaps you fancy trying a new creation such as TROOPER, an ale made in collaboration with Iron Maiden? Finish your evening with a delicious supper served at Robinsons (included in the price).
Stay in Manchester for your final night of the tour.
Ale be Back
Return to London or Manchester Airport to travel home.
Copthorne Tara Hotel, London ****
This contemporary hotel has an enviable location in Kensington, with Knightsbridge and the Royal Albert Hall just on the doorstep. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, tea & coffee making facilities, a mini fridge, safe, and TV, and the hotel has a range of dining options onsite.
Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London ****
The Millennium Gloucester is located in a fashionable area of South Kensington. Rooms have free Wi-Fi, a safe, fridge, tea & coffee making facilities and individual climate control. The onsite restaurants serve a range of cuisines from British to Indian and major tourist attractions such as Hyde Park and Kensington Palace are just a short walk away.
Noel Arms Hotel, Chipping Campden ***
Antique furnishings meet modern comfort in this traditional Cotswolds inn. Relax by the log fire in the bar, snack on homemade cakes in the coffee shop and taste one of Chef Indunil’s famous curries in the onsite restaurant. This hotel is rich in history and it is even said that Charles II stayed here during the English Civil War!
Macdonald Manchester Hotel and Spa ****
Located in the heart of Manchester, the Macdonald hotel is the city’s largest 4* hotel. Every room comes with free Wi-Fi, a flat screen TV and iPod dock as standard, along with luxurious furnishings and en suite bathrooms. You can dine at the award-winning Scottish Steakhouse Restaurant or relax and unwind in the onsite spa and gym facilities.
Double Tree by Hilton, Manchester Piccadilly ****
The Double Tree has a fantastic city centre location, just a two minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly Station. All rooms have free Wi-Fi and Skype plus all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay including air conditioning and a mini fridge with complimentary mineral water. Rooms also have floor to ceiling windows so that you can enjoy views of the city.
This tour is suitable for small groups of minimum 20 persons.
Prices start from GBP£1499 for 2023 Tours. This is based on your group of minimum 20 persons travelling together.
Please contact us for prices for individual travellers or smaller groups.