Following in the footsteps of Vermeer and Rembrandt, you’ll visit the atmospheric childhood towns of Delft and Leiden which inspired these great painters along with world class galleries such as the Mauritshuis in The Hague and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, as well as the lovely towns of Haarlem, Utrecht and Gouda.
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Hampshire Delft Centre
The family-owned three-star Delft Centre Hotel is located - as its name suggests - in the heart of Delft just behind the New Church, so within a few minutes' walk of the main square and all the main sights. Facilities here include bar, restaurant, waterfront terrace, wi-fi and comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, air-conditioning, TV, telephone and tea/coffee making facilities.
Hampshire Delft Centre Hotel Website
Thee Hampshire Delft Centre Hotel has been welcoming Travel Editions' guests for nearly a decade now and continue to look after us very well. They are promising to pull out all the stops for this, our first Christmas tour to this stylish, modern hotel in a superb location close to the centre of lovely Delft. The hotel has a lively bar, sometimes with live music and an elegant restaurant serving excellent local cuisine.
Valid passport required by all, except:
(a) EU nationals holding valid national identification cards;
(b) Holders of national identification cards issued to nationals of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland.
Are not required by EU citizens.
As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras and Lille, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform. Porters are sometimes but not always available at St Pancras. The Eurostar and French trains are very long (18 carriages in the case of Eurostar and nearly 400 metres long) so there can be quite lengthy walks from the station entrance to your seat. On all legs of the journey you have reserved seat and carriage numbers which are shown clearly on your ticket.
LUGGAGE DELIVERY SERVICE
Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890
HEALTH & INSURANCE – EHIC CARD
Please note that EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) only allows access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance and will not provide the same level of cover as a travel insurance policy. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS On the EHIC application website, there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad which clarifies all the conditions and inclusions. We strongly recommend that you take out an appropriate travel insurance policy when you travel abroad.
DOMESTIC RAIL TICKETS
Once you have received your Eurostar ticket from us (approx. 10 days in advance of travel) you can use this to purchase return domestic travel from your area. The prices are particularly competitive on Chiltern, South West, Southern and First Capital Connect services. These tickets are referred to as London International (CIV) tickets and you can either try to purchase them at your local station or call 01233 617913 Monday to Friday 9-5pm to speak to the Eurostar travel office. If you choose to phone you must leave at least 7 working days before your tour date, as the tickets are posted to you.
The greatest advantage of these CIV tickets, purchased in advance, is that they are covered by International Conditions of Carriage. So if your UK train is late, then Eurostar are obliged to put you on the next available train if you missed your original departure. The same applies on your return to London and the Eurostar is delayed, the the UK train operator is obliged to honour your UK ticket on the next available train. If you decide to purchase these from your local station the ticket staff are not always 100% familiar with these tickets so be prepared to be polite but firm!
Please note that you must travel using these CIV tickets within 24 hours of departure of your outbound or return Eurostar ticket and so you are not valid if you plan to extend your stay in London pre or post tour beyond this period.
Please see the detailed itinerary for full details
Click here to go to the itinerary
Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Brussels and onwards to The Hague by local train. On arrival, transfer by coach to Delft (approx. 20 mins) and Hampshire Delft Centre Hotel. Dinner is included this evening at the hotel.
Day 2: Morning walking tour of Delft, afternoon visit to Leiden. It isn’t hard to see why Delft is one of the most popular attractions for visitors to the Netherlands – firstly there’s Vermeer, then the town’s famous blue and white ceramics and last but certainly not least the gorgeous centre – a jumble of old tiled houses, tree-lined canals, and lovely little bridges, though it’s the feeling of the place that holds most of the appeal. Wandering the narrow streets is a must, and the Prinsenhof, one of a few fascinating old buildings, has a collection of Golden Age paintings. Home to the birth place of Rembrandt, Leiden is a vibrant and appealing city. Its beautiful and historic old town, crisscrossed by ancient canals and full of lovely antique buildings, is best explored on foot. The Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal houses some 17th century Dutch paintings.
Day 3: Full day tour to Utrecht and Gouda. Canal-lined Utrecht is a delightful town with a wealth of sights including the picturesque almshouses, 15th century St Catherine’s Convent, Oudegracht canal and – for lovers of modern architecture - the Rietveld Schroder House (limited opening, please check for details). A typical Dutch country town, Gouda is charming, its old buildings surrounded by quiet canals, known for its cheese. Although it is a fairly small town, Gouda’s Markt quare is the largest in the Netherlands, an echo of its days at the centre of the medieval cloth trade and you’ll also find some of the world’s best stained glass in St Janskerk.
Day 4: Full day tour to Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum. The largest city and capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam started life as a small fishing village and became one of the world’s most important ports during the Dutch Golden Age. Wander the narrow atmospheric lanes and canals lined with 17th century merchant’s houses and visit some of the many cultural and historic sights – two of which are included. Fully reopened in 2013 after extensive renovation, the Rijksmuseum is one of the world’s greatest art galleries with a large collection of Dutch works, particularly Rembrandts, several excellent Vermeers and a huge cache of sculptures and applied arts.
Day 5: Full day tour to Haarlem, with Christmas Eve festive dinner at the hotel. A relaxed pace of life and lovely historic centre makes Haarlem a delightful town to explore. A former centre of clothmaking, in the 17th century Haarlem became the place to be for a flourishing school of painters, much of whose work is displayed in the excellent Frans Hals Museum. Housed in a former almshouse, where Hals himself lived the last years of his life, the museum’s collection consists of works by Hals and a sample of Dutch paintings from the 15th century to the present day. Return to the hotel mid-afternoon for Christmas Eve dinner.
Day 6: Full day free to explore the lovely streets and canals of Delft with Christmas Day dinner at the hotel.
Day 7: Full day tour to The Hague. Full day tour to The Hague and the Mauritshuis collection which has reopened with a new exhibition space and reception area. The museum retains its intimate atmosphere and has an outstanding collection of Rembrandt, Vermeer, van Dyck and Rubens.
Day 8: Transfer back to The Hague station to catch the return local train to Brussels. At Brussels, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Offering a wide range of extended tours and cultural short breaks for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions was established in 1994 and is now one of the leading specialist independent escorted tour operators in the UK. The company started with the idea of creating itineraries that were not readily available on the high street, and the team still remains focused on offering escorted tours that appeal to travellers rather than tourists.
Over the years, Travel Editions has developed and diversified its range of escorted tours to include rail tours, air tours, history tours, Christmas tours and even specialist interest tours that have specific appeal for walkers, foodies, art lovers, music addicts and flower enthusiasts. From enjoying wonderful walks and tasty local cuisine in Crete to visiting the art nouveau buildings of Milan and exploring the architectural gems of the Netherlands, Travel Editions creates amazing tours to suit every budget and interest.
As rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, the company has carefully developed nearly 30 exciting escorted rail tours that include trips to France, Spain, Brussels, Arnhem, Luxembourg and the Italian Riviera. Travel Editions believes that the journey becomes part of the holiday, and is why this specialist tour operator also offers a range of tours by air, such as Delphi and Mount Pelion in Greece, the beautiful Italian city of Florence, and Paphos, Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Whatever the escorted tour or the destination, Travel Editions provides holidays that are packed full of cultural and historic treasures, as well as plenty of free time to relax and soak up the local atmosphere and the regional food and wine.
One of the best things about Travel Editions is that the team can tailor-make all tours to your group’s budget and specification, be it shopping till you drop in New York or tasting the most delicious gastronomic delights of Sicily. Not only can the activities be tailored to meet your requirements but so can the travel options, hotel selection (three, four or five-star hotel) and the whole itinerary. Alternatively, you can simply pick one of the many carefully curated escorted tours listed on the Travel Editions website.
In almost all cases, daily excursions are included in the price of a trip, and all excursions are taken by private coach. The size of the group varies depending on the escorted tour, and Travel Editions limits some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the specific holiday. Walking, culinary and special interest tours are limited to approximately 20-30 passengers, and the Europe by Rail and Europe by Air holidays are limited to a maximum of 35 passengers. Then there’s the UK British Heritage Tours with a maximum capacity of 49, however, some are much less than this. No matter which tours you choose, you will never feel as though you are in a big group.
Travel Editions is passionate about delivering a personal service every step of the way, and its team of experts will arrange your holiday with minimum fuss and maximum effort. Customer service and attention to detail are at the heart of everything they do, plus you will always be treated as an individual and get the benefit of affordable prices by travelling as a group. Another bonus is that Travel Editions is ABTA and ATOL protected, which means your money and your holiday will be protected from the moment you book.
In addition to offering extended tours and cultural short breaks, Travel Editions offers a large range of special events in the UK that bring the culture and history of the United Kingdom to life. These events can be found in the Art & History Abroad programme and include expert speakers, entertaining concerts and impressive dinners in historic locations.