Start your adventure with an overnight flight to London. After you arrive in England in the early morning, you will be picked up by your Stone & Compass guides and take a coach (2 hours) to Harwich. Check in to Pier Hotel and enjoy a warm welcome. The hotel is well known for its superb food and seafront location, with great views of the estuary and the still industrious harbor.
Explore Harwich. Learn about the history of the area and the history of the Mayflower as we celebrate her 400th anniversary.
◦ We start the day with a greeting from some very special local guests, then a tour of all that is Mayflower in the town given by the experts from the Harwich Society – concluding with a visit to Christopher Jones house.
◦ A visit to Ha Penny Pier for lunch in the Cafe by the Pier.
◦ A visit to the Mayflower exhibition at Ha-Penny Pier.
◦ Ice-cream on the promenade.
◦ A trip to the Guildhall where the Mayflower is noted as owned by Christopher Jones.
◦ Saint Nicholas Church where Christopher Jones was married twice and Christopher Newport, who helped found James Town, were christened.
◦ A trip to the Mayflower Heritage center where a replica of the Mayflower is being built.
◦ An evening meal at The Alma, originally owned by the family of Christopher Jones’s first wife and just across the road from his house.
More of the Harwich area. This time we explore the wider history of the town:
◦ A visit to Harwich Redoubt – built during the Napoleonic wars to defend Harwich.
◦ Traditional British fish and chips.
◦ Visit to the Railway Museum – celebrating Harwich’s past as the gateway to the continent.
◦ For those inclined, beer tasting at the local brewery.
◦ Trips to the various small museums in the area:
· The high lighthouse.
· The low lighthouse and maritime museum.
· The lifeboat station.
◦ A meal in Harwich.
◦ A trip to the Electric Palace, one of (if not the) oldest purpose built cinemas in the country and patronized by Hollywood actor Clive Owen.
Colchester, Roman catacombs and Norman castles.
◦ Coach to Colchester (30 minutes).
◦ Tour of Colchester castle with its Roman catacombs.
◦ Lunch at one of the many coffee shops in medieval Colchester.
◦ A walk around Colchester Town Center.
◦ A trip to Colchester Zoo – internationally known for its conservation.
◦ Dinner in Colchester.
Off to the Stour Valley with a visit to Flatford and Dedham, also known as Constable Country. Constable is one of two British grand-master painters and he spent his formative years in the picturesque Stour Valley, painting its beautiful landscape. Dedham remains the quintessential English town.
◦Coach to Flatford (around 40 minutes)
◦ A trip to the John Constable exhibition.
◦ A guided tour of Flatford in Constable’s paintings.
◦ A walk around the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Wildlife Garden.
◦ On to Dedham and a walk around the town including a trip to the Arts and Craft Centre.
◦ An evening meal at the Talbot.
Jimmy’s Farm & Otley Hall
◦ In the morning we will travel to Jimmy’s Farm, made famous in the UK by a BBC series, a working farm that is keeping breeds and traditions alive in the modern day.
◦ Enjoy a lovely lunch in their 200-year-old rustic barn.
◦ In the afternoon we travel to Otley Hall which was originally owned by the Gosnold family. Bartholomew Gosnold voyaged to the New World, where in 1602 he discovered Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, which he named after his infant daughter.
◦ Afternoon tea at Otley Hall
◦ Dinner at a local tavern.
Manningtree and the English witch trials.
◦ A trip on the Mayflower railway line to Manningtree and some more superb views of the river Stour.
◦ Go on a tour of the events that transpired during the English witch trials in Mistley and Manningtree.
◦ Today you you will learn more about Mathew Hopkins, self-defined as the Witchfinder General, who wrote the book “The Discovery of Witches” that ultimately served as a guide to the Salem Witch hunts.
◦ Lunch at the Mistley Thorn – home of the Witchfinder General.
◦ A walk around Manningtree, the smallest town in England, It is a charming town on the banks of the Stour.
◦ Coach back and dinner in Harwich.
Our last day to enjoy Harwich.
◦ Start the day by taking the Foot Ferry to Shotley point, a nice river trip with the possibility of seal watching.
◦ A look around Shotley and have lunch by the river where you will enjoy the view looking back toward Harwich.
◦ Back to Harwich by Foot Ferry.
◦ Free afternoon to enjoy the town of Harwich.
◦ Evening entertainment.
Travel to London for an afternoon and evening tour. Dinner and lodging in London.