Special Interest Trips

EGT Tours Group Travel’s Inbound Department specialize in operating bespoke tours for special interest groups and organisations. We have extensive tour planning experience, access to a wide selection of products throughout the UK and Europe and we provide a professional, personalised service. This enables us to arrange very detailed and often complicated tours that meet your group’s specialist requirements.

Below are some examples of the groups and types of organisations we work with, together with some themes that have formed the basis for specialist tours. This list is not exhaustive, so if you have an idea you would like to share with us, we will work together to produce something unique and personalized for your group. All private group tours we arrange are done so on an exclusive basis, so you will not find your tour offered to any other tour operator, travel agent or group travel organiser.

Alumni and Non-Profit Organisations

We organize tours in conjunction with a number of American, Canadian and Australian Alumni and non-profit organisations. We understand their specific needs and have the flexibility, knowledge and experience to make their tours a success. Whether it is a study trip to remote islands in Scotland or a tour to well-known heritage sites in Britain, but with private out of hours access, we have the contacts to offer something unusual and unique. For a number of years we have been Community Members and regular exhibitors in the International Bazaar at The Educational Travel Conference, so please come and visit us.

Orchestras and Performing Arts Groups

We work very successfully with orchestras and choirs from all over the world. We offer arrangements to complement performances at a particular festival or event and have worked in conjunction with festival organisers in the UK and Ireland. We are pleased to liaise either directly with group leaders, or via an overseas-based tour operator or travel agent, to put your programme together.

Garden Tours

Garden tours of Britain and Ireland are very popular. Rose, Fuchsia and Rhododendron Societies are just some of the specialist garden groups we work with. There are a wealth of gardens to visit throughout the UK and Ireland enabling us to plan horticultural tours to any part of the country. Our tours include visits to the grand, classic gardens such as Kew, Sissinghurst, Great Dixter and Hidcote Manor. Yet we also seek out the lesser-known sites and private gardens that are not generally open to the public. We work closely with the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Garden Finder’ and with charity gardens, via the National Garden Scheme’s ‘Yellow Book’.

Many garden enthusiast groups like to coincide their UK visit with one of the major garden events such as the RHS Flower Shows at Chelsea, Hampton Court Palace or Tatton Park and we can provide tickets as part of our tour arrangements. For a general introduction to British gardens take a look at our Kent and the Garden of England – 7 day tour.

War History Tours

We have been operating tours with a war history theme in Britain, Belgium and France for many years. Examples include:

The Life and Times of Winston Churchill

Includes visits to Blenheim Palace, Chartwell and the Cabinet War Rooms, whilst based in a central London hotel.

Lincolnshire and the Dambusters

Enjoy a stay in a charming, period hotel that was once the Officers Mess for 617 Squadron. Visits to RAF Cosford and the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre are included plus an illustrated presentation on the Dambusters by a local expert.

Battlefields of Northern Europe

Starting in Kent this tour explores Dover Castle and the fascinating Secret War Time Tunnels before crossing the Channel to visit the memorials and sites associated with the battlefields of World War I and II. See the Normandy Beaches, Caen, The Somme and Vimy Ridge plus the ‘In Flanders Fields Museum’ and the Menin Gate at Ypres.

We have arranged special tours for Canadian and American ex-service personnel and their families, in conjunction with public and private anniversaries. All tours can be tailor-made to suit your group’s interests.

Aviation Enthusiast Groups

We have operated tours for Aviation Museums where special visits have been arranged to the Shuttleworth Collection, The Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare, RAF Cosford and The Newark Air Museum. Such tours can be planned to coincide with the major Airshows at Duxford, Fairford, Farnborough and Biggin Hill.

Literature and Set-Jetting Tours

Britain has a long association with literary greats, both modern and classical, and is also benefiting from the growth in film tourism, referred to as Set-Jetting. Our literary trail and Set-Jetting tours include:

Jane Austen in Fact and Fiction

Explore the life of Jane Austen by visiting her home in the village of Chawton, the nearby church at Steveton and Winchester Cathedral, where she is buried. Combine this with an exploration of some of the locations that inspired her writing, including a themed walking tour of Bath and visits to the outstanding locations used in the film adaptations of her novels. See Chatsworth House, Bowood House and Cottesbrooke Hall, which are thought to have inspired the fictional Pemberley, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park. We can also offer the opportunity to stay in the same charming coaching inn used by Keira Knightley and Donald Sutherland in the acclaimed 2005 version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. In addition, Bath is home to the annual Jane Austen Festival and tours can be arranged to incorporate this event.

Shakespearean England

Discover the life and times of William Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon and enjoy a tour of the picturesque Cotswolds villages. In London see a performance at the famous Globe Theatre.

An Insight into Charles Dickens

Visit the sites associated with Dickensian London before proceeding to Portsmouth to see the house where he was born. Travelling to Kent we visit his former home in Broadstairs and walk in his footsteps in Rochester, Chatham, Canterbury and Gad’s Hill.

Literature in the Lakes

The Lake District inspired the gifted poet William Wordsworth and children’s author Beatrix Potter. Visit Miss Potter’s Hill Top farm and enjoy a private Wordsworth poetry reading with wine and gingerbread at Rydal Mount and Gardens.

The Da Vinci Code/Angels and Demons

Tour the famous Louvre in Paris and visit the magnificent cathedral in nearby Chartres. In Britain visit Westminster Abbey, Temple Church and London’s National Gallery before ending the journey in Edinburgh with a guided tour of mysterious Rosslyn Chapel.

The Other Boleyn Girl

A journey around Tudor London and on to Kent to see the dazzling castles and historic homes associated with the film. Private out of hours guided tours of Hever Castle and Penshurst Place are included.

Other Ideas

Tours based around the life and works of authors Agatha Christie, Lewis Carroll, CS Lewis, AA Milne, Dylan Thomas, Sir Walter Scott, Yates and Joyce are also available. Additional movies that have always proved popular for set-jetting tours include Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Wuthering Heights, The Bond Movies and even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Contact us for further details.

“Hub and Spoke” Regional Tours

Hereford Cathedral

Our regional tours generally appeal to groups who have visited the UK, Ireland and Europe before and second time around are looking to explore one area in depth. The concept of “hub and spoke” is based on using a single hotel base (the hub) with day excursions operating in all directions (the spokes). This style of touring also appeals to groups who don’t want to be packing and moving hotels every couple of days. Tours can range from short stays to combinations of two or three contrasting regions to create a longer tour. Some of our most popular options include:

Rural Herefordshire, England

Staying in Hereford, day trips include Cardiff and the Brecon Beacons, the Wye Valley, the Cotswolds, historic Shropshire towns and the black and white villages trail.

Perth, Scotland

Perth’s quality hotels provide the ideal base for excursions to Edinburgh, Stirling, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Dundee and Balmoral Castle and Highland Perthshire.

Limerick, Ireland

The perfect base for excursions to the Cliffs of Moher Coast, Killarney and the Dingle Peninsula.

The Swiss Alps

Stay in a hotel high up on a Swiss Mountain with stunning views and within easy access of Lucerne and Interlaken.

Pre and Post Cruise Groups

Many groups travelling to the UK, Ireland and Europe arrive on cruise ships and we can offer a one-stop shop for privately arranged shore excursions and motor coach transfers. We have done this in association with the docks at Harwich, Dover, Tilbury (London), Southampton, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin and Galway.

The Geology of Britain and Ireland

To many people, Britain was the birthplace of modern Geology and we are lucky to have an almost complete geological record. This varies from the World Heritage Coastline of Jurassic Dorset and the White Cliffs of Dover to the limestone Karst environments of Yorkshire and the metamorphic rocks of the Lake District. In Ireland the geological formations of the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim and the rugged limestone landscape of The Burren should not be missed.

Industrial Heritage Tours

The industrial heritage of Britain, from the Industrial Revolution right through to Victorian times and beyond, has produced some marvellous structures and sites that cannot be equalled anywhere else in the world. Britain boasts unique World Heritage Sites such as Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, the Derwent Valley Mills in the Peak District and Blaenavon’s iron and coal heritage in Wales. Architectural wonders, created by the likes of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Thomas Telford also frequently feature in our industrial themed tours.

Heritage transportation attractions are popular inclusions in our tours of Britain and we offer a wide range of rail and canal excursions. Preserved steam train lines exist all over the country varying from miniature enthusiast lines like the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch railway in Kent to iconic rail journeys across the Yorkshire Moors and through the Scottish Highlands. When it comes to waterway trips choose from nostalgic horse-drawn canal boat rides and journeys over aqueducts to more modern feats of engineering, such as the unique rotating boatlift, the Falkirk Wheel.

British History Tours

Chesterfield Spire

The existence of organisations such as English Heritage and the National Trust ensures that many of Britain’s historic monuments are well preserved and continue to offer an educational insight into the UK’s past. For special interest groups we can provide in-depth studies of specific periods of history from the Neolithic and Roman eras through to more modern times. Specialist expert guides and private behind the scenes tours can be arranged. Some examples of our tours include:

Neolithic

The wonders of Orkney and The Isle of Lewis in Scotland.

Roman Times

Explore the remains of Hadrian’s Wall with an expert guide and visit Roman Forts such as Segedunum, and Birdoswald. Visit the Roman Baths in Bath, one of the best Roman sites in England, which can be easily combined with the Chedworth Roman Villa in nearby Gloucestershire.

Georgian Britain

Marvel at the elegant Georgian crescents and circuses in Bath and visit showpiece homes of the period such as Harewood House in Yorkshire.

Regency Architecture

Discover the grand Regency terraces, such as those designed by John Nash, on a tour of London, Bath, Cheltenham and Brighton.

Victorian England

Follow a ‘rags to riches’ trail through Victorian times in the East Midlands. Visit a pauper’s workhouse before experiencing life at the opposite end of the scale with a tour of one of the region’s grand historic houses.

Handicrafts, Needlework and Quilting Groups

Handicrafts tours are very dependent on the interests of the group. We have arranged meetings with local groups and special craft demonstrations in both museums and private homes. Tours are often arranged to coincide with major exhibitions in London and Birmingham. Many groups are also interested in the historical aspects of these subjects and we are able to organise specialist talks with conservators and historians.

Afternoon Tea Tours

The majority of our tours in Britain will include a quintessential English afternoon tea at some point in the itinerary. However, we have also operated tours where the tradition of ‘taking tea’ is the focus of the tour. London boasts some grand venues for afternoon tea, including The Ritz, The Notting Hill Tea Palace and Fortnum and Mason. For rural charm we favour tearooms in the traditional Cotswold villages. Further north Betty’s is a household name in Yorkshire as is The Balmoral in Edinburgh and The Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow, with its Charles Rennie Mackintosh associations. Also enjoy an Irish tea at Bewley’s in Dublin.

Food and Drink Tours

A Traditional Distillery, copyright Visit Scotland/Scottish Viewpoint

Whether your tipple is a glass of crisp white wine or a wee dram of whisky we can organise a scenic tour of Britain and Ireland that travels via some of the best food and drink producers. Our most popular themes include:

English and Welsh Wines

It may surprise you to learn that England and Wales are becoming better known for their home-grown wines. Tour Kent, Sussex and Herefordshire in search of white wines before continuing to Wales for some extremely good red wines. Private vineyard and winery tours are arranged, plus tutored tastings with gourmet meals to match.

The Whisky Trail

Scotland is famous for its malt whiskies and we have an excellent knowledge of both the well-known and smaller distilleries in the various producing regions. Access can often be arranged to distilleries that are closed to the public and connoisseur tastings can be done at the likes of Glenmorangie and Glenfiddich. The Irish are also very fond of their whiskey and have a heritage dating back further than the Scots. Distillery tours of Bushmills, Locke’s and Jameson can be incorporated into an Irish tour.

Pubs and Breweries of Britain

Britain has an incredible history associated with pubs and breweries, from small local establishments to internationally recognised brands. On one of our tours we visit Britain’s oldest pub, the highest pub, the smallest pub and the one with the longest bar, enjoying the ever-changing scenery along the way! One of the additional benefits of a pub tour in Britain is that the ale is accompanied by wholesome, hearty food and friendly banter with the locals.