Posted by: marymarthatours | April 10, 2011

Planning Ahead…or just dreaming

Martha and I are always one or two or even more steps ahead of ourselves when it comes to thinking about future travel. We have more potential tours in mind than we’ll ever be able to get to, but that doesn’t keep us from dreaming.

For example, we’d love to find a group that’s interested in one of the two itineraries that didn’t sell well enough to go in 2010.

  • Herb Gardens of Southern England

This tour itinerary included so many amazing gardens: Sissinghurst, Denman’s, Mottisfont Abbey, Hidcote Manor, Hatfield House to name a few. And of course, there was a stop for a private tour at our favorite English garden, the Manor House at Upton Grey (www.gertrudejekyllgarden.co.uk).

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The Manor House, Upton Grey, 2007 Tour

  • England in Miniature

This would be a fabulous trip for anyone interested in dollhouses and miniatures. We’d start in the English Lake District with visits to Beatrix Potter sites, the World in Miniature Museum, and the Dolls House Emporium in Carlisle. Then on to York with all its wonderful attractions including our friend Graham Barlow’s great shop, The Miniature Scene (www.miniaturescene.com). The highlight of the tour would be several days at the Miniatura Show in Birmingham (www.miniatura.co.uk), though we prefer to stay in the much more charming Stratford upon Avon.

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The Miniature Scene, York, 2010

In addition to those two tours that already have itineraries, we’ve been thinking of other tours that we’d love to lead. Although we would be happy to design a specialty tour to fit the needs and wishes of your group, the following are some of our ideas. These are just waiting for a group to say, “We’d love to go on a Mary and Martha tour to experience….”

  • The British Arts and Crafts Movement

Some of the wonderful Arts & Crafts locations that could be included in this tour are: Glasgow with its many Charles Renne Macintosh sites; H. M. Bailey Scott’s Blackwell in the Lake District (www.blackwell.org.uk); Wightwick Manor, Kelmscott Manor, and the Red House for their William Morris connections; and of course, lots of time in London where Martha has already visited many important Arts & Crafts locations.

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Martha & Mary at the Willow Tea Room, Glasgow, 1999

  • Early Christianity in the British Isles

This tour would certainly include Iona in Scotland (www.isle-of-iona.com). Martha and I think Iona is one of the most sacred places in Britain. We’d love to stay one or two nights on the island, not just the three hours that most groups spend there. Other locations that we’d suggest for this tour might be St. Margaret’s Chapel in Edinburgh; Rosslyn Chapel in Rosslyn; Lindisfarne, Durham, Whitby, and York in NE England; and London with its churches and chapels from many time periods.

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Oran's Chapel, Iona, 2009 Tour

  • British Quilting and Needlework

Martha finds craft and fabric stores wherever we go in Britain, and is always on the lookout for quilt shows and museums. On our 2007 Magical English Gardens Tour, we were at Hever Castle during the Annual Patchwork and Quilting Exhibition. Take a look at Martha’s Dec 9, 2010 blog posting about needlework in York and the Dec 30, 2010 posting about fabric shops in London to read about her love of English needlework. In addition to fabric shops, a Quilting tour might want to visit The American Museum in Bath (the best collection of American quilts outside the US), the Quilt Museum in York, and the huge international Festival of Quilts Show in Birmingham (www.twistedthread.com). In London, the Victoria & Albert Museum has a vast collection of quilts and textiles.

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Interior courtyard at the V&A, London, 2010

These are tours that we’d love to plan and lead, but we need an interested group to get us from dreaming to reality. If you have a group of 12 or more people that would enjoy the chance to travel together on one of these tours – or on a tour of your own design – with the experienced and fun leadership of the M&M’s, just contact us. We’re ready to design your tour.

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