$4,286.00 | Air from USA
(per person, based on double occupancy)
Land only rates are available at request.
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- OPTIONAL TOUR
- Round-trip airfare from the USA to England.
- First-class hotel accommodations.
- Daily breakfast & some dinners.
- Private deluxe motor coach & driver.
- Professional guide & Craftours escort.
- Drive through the charming Cotswolds.
- Tours in Bath and Stratford-upon-Avon.
- Visit the American Museum in Bath.
- Sightseeing and shopping in London.
- Panoramic tour in Birmingham.
- Visit the textiles exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
- Fabric Shopping at Liberty of London.
- 2-day pass to the Festival of Quilts.
- An optional tour to Warwick Castle.
- Traveling with our special guest, Bonnie Hunter.
Bath is a city in Somerset, South West England, 97 miles west of London and 13 miles south-east of Bristol. In 2011, its population was 88,859. It became part of Avon in 1974; since Avon's abolition in 1996, it has been the principal centre of Bath and North East Somerset.
Birmingham is the largest and most populous British city outside London with over 1 million residents and is the greater Birmingham area is also the 9th largest metropolitan area in Europe.
A medium-sized market town during the medieval period, Birmingham grew to international prominence in the 18th century and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw the town at the forefront of worldwide advances in science, technology and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".
Today the city is a major international commercial centre, ranked as an important transport, retail, events and conference hub. Its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom, and its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham's major cultural institutions - including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts - enjoy international reputations, and the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music, literary and culinary scenes.
The Festival of Quilts is Europe's leading patchwork and quilting show, a celebration of quilting with over 300 exhibitors offering essential supplies, extraordinary galleries from international artists and groups and 1,000 competition quilts, it's the ultimate quilting experience.
Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire, England. It lies on the River Avon, 22 miles south east of Birmingham and 8 miles south west of Warwick. It is the largest and most populous town of the non-metropolitan district Stratford-on-Avon, which uses the term "on" rather than "upon" to distinguish it from the town itself. Four electoral wards make up the urban town of Stratford; Alveston, Avenue and New Town, Mount Pleasant and Guild and Hathaway.
The Cotswolds is an area in south central England containing the Cotswolds Hills, a range of rolling hills which rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. The area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone which creates a type of grassland habitat rare in the UK, and which is quarried for the golden coloured Cotswold stone. The area, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1966, is considered to have unique features derived from the local Cotswold stone; the predominantly rural landscape contains stone-built villages, historical towns, and stately homes and gardens.
London is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium. London's ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its 1.12-square-mile medieval boundaries and in 2011 had a resident population of 7,375, making it the smallest city in England. Since at least the 19th century, the term London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core.
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The V&A is located in the Brompton district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in an area that has become known as "Albertopolis" because of its association with Prince Albert, the Albert Memorial and the major cultural institutions with which he was associated.
Here is information about the textiles exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum:
This exhibition will showcase a collection of patchwork and quilted covers to bring together over 300 years of British quilting history, from the spectacular bed hangings and silk coverlets of the 18th century, to the creative reinvention of the quilt by contemporary artists. Each quilt has a unique story to tell, revealed under the broader themes of consumerism, luxury and utility, creativity and confinement, taste, the domestic interior, travel, national and regional identity, and commemoriation. The exhibition will celebrate the astonishing vision involved in the design and making of each quilt, and attempt to unravel some of the complex and individual narratives embedded in its history.
Quilting can be traced back at least to the Middle Ages. Examples from Europe, India and the Far East can be seen in the Museum, but quilting has also been practised in Persia, Turkestan and Moslem Africa. The word "quilt" seems to have first been used in England in the 1200s, and connects with the Latin word "cucita" meaning a bolster or cushion. Quilting usually means two layers of fabric sandwiching a thickish padding or interlining, all held together by lines of stitching. However, it is not essential to have the middle layer; for instance in early 18th-century English quilting, just the two outer layers of fabric were used, and in "Italian" or corded quilting, strands of cord or thick wool are threaded between parallel lines of stitching to make the raised pattern.
In any quilting, the stitching is very important. It can be just basic running stitch or back stitch, but each stitch has to be made individually to make sure it catches all the layers. In quilts where the stitching is laid down in decorative patterns, it can be extremely fine work. Traditional titles for many popular stitching patterns include such names as Broken Plaid, Hanging Diamond, Twisted Rope or True Lovers' Knot. Because of the large areas to be dealt with, for example on bed covers, it is very easy for quilt making to become a social occasion where lots of people share the sewing. Particularly in America, where early settlers from England and Holland established quilting as a very popular craft, there is still the tradition of a quilt-making "bee" for a girl about to get married, with the aim of stitching a whole quilt in one day.
The earliest quilting was used to make bed covers: very fine quilts are often mentioned in inventories from medieval times and frequently became family heirlooms. In the Middle Ages quilting was also used to produce clothing that was light as well as warm. It was also used for protective wear such as the padded jackets worn under armor to make it more comfortable or even, if very thick, as the top layer for people too poor to afford metal armor. Quilting was at its most popular in this country in the 17th century: in the early years for the quilted silk doublets and breeches worn by wealthy courtiers, and later on for petticoats, jackets and waistcoats.
In England during the 17th century, the desire to create interesting sculptural effects on textiles led to amazing heights of artistry in the hands of skilled needleworkers wanting to decorate boxes such as jewel caskets or make framed three-dimensional scenes. Various embroidery stitches could easily create a textured surface on a fabric with just yarn, for instance laid or couched work, where threads are laid across the fabric and then stitched down, French knots, or Turkey work, where knots are hand tied exactly like a pile carpet. However, there was also an exciting range of trimmings such as lace, cords, tassels, beads, seed pearls, metal sequins (spangles) or even pins arranged so that the heads made a decorative pattern as in pinstuck pincushions, which could be utilised to further decorate or raise the surfaces.
The United Kingdom straddles the geographic mid-latitudes between 49–60 N. It is on the western seaboard of Eurasia, the world's largest land mass. These conditions allow convergence between moist maritime air and dry continental air. In this area, the large temperature variation creates atmospheric instability and this is a major factor that influences the often unsettled weather the country experiences, where many types of weather can be experienced in a single day.
For current weather visit weather.com or click here.
The currency in Great Britain is the Pound (GBP) also known as the Pound Sterling.
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Warwick Castle is a medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068. Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, England, situated on a bend of the River Avon. The original wooden motte-and-bailey castle was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century. During the Hundred Years War, the facade opposite the town was refortified, resulting in one of the most recognisable examples of 14th century military architecture. It was used as a stronghold until the early 17th century, when it was granted to Sir Fulke Greville by James I in 1604. Greville converted it to a country house and it was owned by the Greville family, who became Earls of Warwick in 1759, until 1978 when it was bought by the Tussauds Group. In 2007, the Tussauds Group merged with Merlin Entertainments, which is the current owner of Warwick Castle.
The accommodations you provided were first rate and were in great locations. The rooms were beautiful and the areas felt safe. I also believe my husband would have a great time on one of your trips. We will definitely be checking it out. Mostly I understand you and your staff spent a lot of time planning and executing such great plans for a wonderful vacation for us all and I wanted to tell you I really appreciate it. I am looking forward another trip in the future."