Albion Journeys puts the ‘great’ into Great Britain for heritage-loving Australian travellers, writes Alexander Dale
You’ve seen The Crown, read Pride and Prejudice, savoured all six series of Downton Abbey, and sat dutifully through every royal wedding. And how many times have you asked yourself: where is that gorgeous country home, castle, garden and landscape?
No one does period drama, literature, royal pageantry and ancient history quite like the British, and now a UK-based tour company is offering Australian travellers the chance to discover the finest heritage experiences in the kingdom.
New to the Australian market, Albion Journeys creates fascinating escorted tours and carefully crafted itineraries that unlock Britain’s remarkable history with behind-the-scenes tours, expert guides, guest lecturers and personal insights from the owners of the properties themselves.
Many Albion journeys are themed – Queen Victoria, London’s Hidden Houses, Jane Austen, Glorious Gardens, Literary Classics, among others – each delivering an in-depth and bespoke tour experience at a relaxed pace.
Most itineraries are designed around eight to 10 days, staying in only two luxury city or country hotels, and include breakfast daily, selected lunches and dinners, all transportation, the services of a tour director throughout, and special features such as private guided tours.
“Many Australians are in Europe for four weeks on a combination of a cruise, a villa or visiting family and friends, so this is the perfect tour to slot into their itinerary,” says Diane Patrick, managing director of Sydney-based Wiltrans International, which represents Albion in Australia.
“For travellers who have been to the UK before, this is a great option that’s different, further afield and offering a specific focus,” she adds. “You don’t change hotels every night and you’re not travelling great distances each day, which is a plus for people wanting a more leisurely pace.”
Regional highlights for 2019 include Edinburgh, Northumberland and the Scottish Borders; Liverpool, Cheshire and Northern Ireland; the gardens of North Wales; Brontë country in Yorkshire; Cambridgeshire and the origins of the Mayflower (celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2020); Stratford-on-Avon, Oxford and London in the footsteps of William Shakespeare; and a tour of England to the aristocratic mansions of Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) , Chatsworth House and Castle Howard (Brideshead Revisited).