Erin enjoyed a vacation to England with her mom! Read what she has to say about her trip with Tenon Tours below.
“We had a lot of places that we wanted to visit all over England and were overwhelmed with how to organize travel, accommodations, tickets and time. We knew we needed some professional guidance. Tenon Tours listened to all of our wants and somehow checked off all of our boxes throughout the entire trip. I just don’t think you would get that level of personalization with a mega-travel company. I can’t thank Manisha and Gracie enough for making this the perfect vacation. The Tenon Team accommodated all of my asks while maintaining my budget and I applaud them.”
What was the most interesting experience you had in England?
Burton-upon-Trent to tour the National Brewery Museum. This area was especially meaningful because Burton is where William Bass, one of my direct ancestors, founded Bass brewery in 1777! We learned so much about the history of brewing in Burton, specifically the roll Bass brewery played in the rise of mass beer production for England and beyond. The old Bass brewery facilities are now owned by Molson Coors. Its obvious that my love of craft beer is hereditary.
What were three highlights from your trip?
1. White Cliffs of Dover were absolutely stunning! Rolling hills spotted with wildflowers meeting the chalk cliffs was picture perfect. After taking a nice long hike, that was also very accessible, we were able to recharge with afternoon tea in the visitor center. A funny observation was that our cellphones reminded us how close we were to France (22 miles) by bouncing towers.
2. The Roman architecture in Bath was so beautiful and very different from what we have seen so far! While staying in Bath our self drive tour allowed us to spend time roaming the Cotswolds, meandering through quant villages and of course we found a castle! Sudeley Castle has 3 generations of family living in it today. Fun fact: the owner (wife) and daughter-in-law are both American!
3. In our hunt for old castles and abbeys, we found the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. It was founded in 1132 as the first monostary of the reforming Cistercian order in the north of England. What we have seen in our tour of England is that King Henry VIII is a jerk! He dissolved the monasteries in 1538 and many beautiful places, like this one, didn’t make it through the dissolution.
Did you learn anything new or surprising?
The most surprising part was the lack of knowledge behind Stonehenge. It is amazing that such a prominent place in England is still shrouded in so much mystery.
What are your favorite souvenirs that you brought home?
While in York we strolled the Shambles which is the inspiration of Harry Potter’s famous Diagon Alley. My niece was ecstatic to receive her wizard wand from the “real place.”
Did you meet any locals?
While touring the National Brewery Museum, we were accompanied by the most delightful tour guide. It turns out his grandfather had been one of the lead firefighters for the Bass Brewery specific fire department in the past.
Do not be afraid to self drive! I was initially nervous at the thought of that responsibility but if we didn’t have a car we would not have found all the hidden gems. The flexibility and freedom we had was perfect since we drove ALL over the country.