With Don Giovanni, Dialogues des Carmélites and L’elisir d’amore at the Glyndebourne Festival, Il trovatore and ballet at Covent Garden, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Ariadne auf Naxos at the Garsington Festival. Tours of the Churchill War Rooms, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The British Museum, Westminster Abbey, Oxford and more. Grand Hotel Brighton; Firmdale Covent Garden Hotel London; Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons (Oxford-Garsington).
Our annual trek to the UK is one of our most popular tours—always sold out, and always eliciting superlative feedback.
Tickets for the Glyndebourne Festival are notoriously difficult to get, and it is easy to understand why: the productions, singing and playing are truly world-class, the venue—a lovely dedicated opera house on the Christie Estate in the East Sussex countryside—is unique and welcoming, and the overall experience is one of the finest to be had at any festival, anywhere. It is posh without being pretentious, and the sublime music, superb cuisine (especially the formal picnic with butler service!) and even the friendly and extremely helpful Festival volunteers make for an unforgettable opera experience. We hear three performances at the Festival in 2023 (TBA). Our accommodation will be the luxurious, “Old World” Grand Hotel Brighton, where we enjoy Deluxe Ocean View rooms.
London is one of our favourite cities, with so much history and majesty in every direction. We will attend three performances at the Royal Opera House (TBA). Our hotel is the Firmdale Covent Garden, a true gem, just a short walk from ROH. Touring will include Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The British Museum, the Churchill War Rooms and Westminster Abbey.
The Garsington Festival is held each summer on the grounds of Wormsley Estate, a 2500-acre park which includes an 18th century country house once owned by Sir Paul Getty. Getty purchased the property in 1986 and spent several years restoring the house and estate back to its former glory. Our performances and meals here are always a highlight of the tour, and this year we see three operas (TBA). Our hotel is the stately Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, one of the finest hotels in England, and whilst there, we dine in its Michelin 2-starred restaurant.
Space is limited to 18 members. Click here to register now.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7
Independent departures for overnight flights to the UK.
THURSDAY, JUNE 8
Arrivals and transfers (included) to the Grand Hotel Brighton.
18.30 Gather in the lobby for a Cocktail Reception prior to our Welcome Dinner at The Ivy.
FRIDAY, JUNE 9
10.00 Today we tour Brighton and visit the Royal Pavilion, built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV.
15.45 Depart for Glyndebourne for a performance Don Giovanni. An elegant picnic is included during the long interval.
20.45 Return to hotel.
SATURDAY, JUNE 10
10.00 Depart for a tour of Anne of Cleves House, with time in Lewes. Back by 14.00.
15.30 Depart for Glyndebourne for another performance of Dialogues des Carmélites. Dinner is included at the Mildmay during the long interval.
21.20 Return to hotel.
SUNDAY, JUNE 11
Enjoy the morning at leisure in Brighton.
14.45 Depart early for Glyndebourne to explore the grounds before our final performance of the festival, L’elisir d’amore. Dinner is included at Middle & Over Wallop.
21.00 Return to hotel.
MONDAY, JUNE 12
10.00 Today we depart for London, stopping on the way to tour Chartwell House, Winston Churchill’s charming country estate.
15.00 Arrive in London and check in at the Firmdale Covent Garden Hotel.
19.00 Dinner is included this evening at The Ivy.
TUESDAY, JUNE 13
10.00 This morning we meet guide for a highlights tour of historic London, with an inside visit at Westminster Abbey.
17.00 Meet in lobby and walk to the Royal Opera House for pre-curtain dinner in Balconies Restaurant.
19.00 Curtain for a performance of Verdi’s Il trovatore, conducted by Antonio Pappano. Cast includes Yusif Eyvazov, Ludovic Tézier, Jamie Barton, Roberto Tagliavini.
22.00 Return to the hotel.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14
09.45 Depart for a private tour of the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms.
13.00 Lunch is included at The Swan at The Globe Theatre, followed by a private inside tour there.
19.00 Depart for Covent Garden once again for a performance of old and new British works by the Royal Ballet. 19.30 curtain.
22.00 Return to the hotel.
THURSDAY, JUNE 15
10.00 Depart for a guided tour of the British Museum.
13.30 Lunch is included at J Sheeky.
19.00 Tonight we include a performance (TBA).
FRIDAY, JUNE 16
09.00 Depart for Oxford, stopping first to tour Hampton Court.
15.00 Check in at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is one of the UK’s most cherished manor house hotels. It received two Michelin stars in 1984, the first year of its opening, and, remarkably, has held them ever since. Surrounded by lawns, flower borders and orchards, the setting is postcard-perfect. But beyond the eye-catching displays are vegetable and herb gardens that provide the kitchen—and the acclaimed Raymond Blanc Cookery School—with ultra-fresh, organic produce.
18.30 Gather in the bar at Le Manoir for cocktails prior to an exquisite dinner in the Michelin 2-starred restaurant on site.
SATURDAY, JUNE 17
Enjoy the full day at leisure to stroll the grounds of Le Manoir.
16.45 Depart for a performance of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia at Garsington Opera. Dinner is included during the long interval.
SUNDAY, JUNE 18
09.30 Depart for Oxford for a guided tour with Shelagh Scott, including a college and the Bodleian Library. There will be time to explore the Ashmolean Museum on your own.
14.30 Return to the hotel.
16.45 Transfer to Garsington Opera for Ariadne auf Naxos. Farewell Dinner is included during the long interval.
MONDAY, JUNE 19
Transfers (airport/rail/London) are included. Details will be imparted a few days prior.
Top Category seats for 6 operas, 1 ballet and one additional performance
11 nights Deluxe accommodations (4 at the Grand Hotel Brighton, 4 at the Covenrt Garden Hotel London, 3 at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons Oxford)
Full breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 9 dinners
Private tours as listed
On-site Tour Direction
Comprehensive Tour Guidebook
Flights are not included in tour pricing. Return flights should be booked to London for arrival on June 8, departure on June 19.
We provide airport/rail station—hotel transfers to Brighton for arrivals and on departure, within within 3 days of the start/end of our tour from the cities listed above. We also provide transfers for group meals and performances that are beyond a 10 minute walk.
There is minimal walking with some stairs and cobblestones during the guided tours. As for all of our tours, we are happy to accommodate you regardless of your mobility level. Please make clear your mobility concerns at the time of registration. We provide transfers for group meals and performances that are beyond a 10 minute walk.
We strongly recommend that all tour members purchase cancellation insurance upon registration. We can assist you with this, though you are welcome to purchase a policy at your own discretion. For more information about our travel insurance, click here.
Your Tour Director
Pam spent many years working in radio broadcasting in Vancouver but decided that travelling for work is more enjoyable than working to travel. She is also rather proud of the fact that she can say “thank you” in at least 40 languages. She has led tours to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Central & Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Caucasus, Iceland, Caribbean Islands, the Guyanas, the Gulf States, "The Five Stans" & Southern Africa.