Est. 1985

Britain’s Ale Trail – A New Tour for Groups

  • Meantime Brewery ©Mikael Buck

    Meantime Brewery ©Mikael Buck
  • Meantime Brewery ©Mikael Buck

    Meantime Brewery ©Mikael Buck
  • Robinsons Brewery, Stockport

    Robinsons Brewery Stockport Manchester
  • National Brewery Centre, Burton-on-Trent

    National Brewery Centre, Burton-on-Trent
  • Chipping Campden ©VisitEngland, Cotswolds.com, Cotswolds district council

    Chipping Campden Town Centre. A row of historic houses and shops in traditional Cotswold stone building materials.
8 day tour
From £995 per person

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 many opportunities to sample Britain’s ale offerings. You will visit Meantime Brewery in Greenwich, 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 opportunity to dine in some historic pubs including The George Inn (a 16th century establishment in London) and The Eagle and Child which was made famous by JRR Tolkien and The Inklings. Culture meets liquid refreshment on this UK ale tour.


Dates

2019 dates available on request


Suggested itinerary

Day 1

Liquid London

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. 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.

Day 2

Greenwich Ale Time

Encounter a different side of London as you travel 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.

Day 3

Follow the Flock to Shepherd Neame Brewery

Travel to Kent this morning to visit Britian’s oldest brewer, 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?

Day 4

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. 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.

Day 5

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.

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.

Day 6

Coors Blimey!

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.

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.

Day 7

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.

Stay in Manchester for your final night of the tour.

Day 8

Ale be Back

Return to London or Manchester Airport to travel home.


Suggested hotels

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.


All prices are per person based on sharing a double or twin room. Prices do not include travel insurance. Dates are subject to availability. Prices are based on a minimum of 20 paying persons. Smaller groups can be quoted on request. All rates are net and non comissionable

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