This lovely tour places particular emphasis on its flowers and gardens at the time of year when they look their best. From sensational Keukenhof with its six million bulbs to the botanical gardens in Leiden and the charm of the Kinderdijk windmills, this tour is a scenic and historic delight.
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All details can be found in the itinerary for this tour
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Hampshire Delft Centre Hotel, Delft
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
OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
The Hampshire Delft Centre Hotel has been welcoming Travel Editions' guests for nearly a decade now and continue to look after us very well.
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. All other nationalities should enquire at the French consulate (PO Box 57, 6A Cromwell Place, London SW7 2EW
Tel: (020) 7838 2000/1. Information Service: Tel: (0891) 887 733. Fax: (020) 7838 2046. Opening hours: 0900-1130 (and 1600-1630 for visa collection only) Monday to Friday (except French and British national holidays).
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 TO YOUR HOTEL
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.
Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Brussels. On arrival, transfer by coach to Delft (approx. two hours and 30 minutes) and the Hampshire Delft Centre Hotel.
Day 2: Early morning visit to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction and walking tour of Delft with the afternoon free. Early morning (06.30) visit to the spectacular Aalsmeer Flower Auction, set in the heart of the bulb-growing region, a sea of colour at this time of year. Return to Delft for midmorning walking tour. 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.
Day 3: Full day tour to Amsterdam including the Van Gogh Museum. 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 sites. In the morning we will visit the Van Gogh Museum, home of the largest collection of works by Van Gogh in the world. The afternoon will be free for you to explore at your leisure.
Day 4: Full day tour to the Keukenhof Gardens. One of the most spectacular public gardens in the world, Holland’s iconic Keukenhof Gardens were set up in 1949 as a showcase for bulb growers. A 79-acre site is planted with some six million bulbs of narcissi, hyacinths, tulips, Japanese cherry trees, azaleas and rhododendrons.
Day 5: Full day tour to Haarlem and Leiden. A relaxed pace of life and lovely historic centre makes Haarlem a delightful town to explore. A former centre of cloth-making, 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. Home to one of Europe’s most prestigious universities and the birth place of Rembrandt, Leiden is a vibrant and appealing city. It’s beautiful and historic old town, crisscrossed by ancient canals and full of lovely antique buildings, is best explored on foot, with its historic, riverside botanic gardens a particular delight at this time of year.
Day 6: Full day tour to Dordrecht and Kinderdijk. Dordrecht is the oldest town in Holland, dating from 1220 and was the country’s most important port, despite its inland location, until the 1500s. Sites include its Grote Kerk church, Museum Simon van Rijn and city gate, dating from 1325. This afternoon we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Kinderdijk collection of 19 windmills which encapsulates Dutch history in a single image. Used to drain water from the Alblasserwaard, they are situated where the Noord and Lek converge and serve as an historic reminder of how Holland began.
Day 7: Morning visit to Antwerp. Belgium's second city, Antwerp, is one of the world's largest ports, with a characteristically Flemish old town at the heart of a thriving modern city. Home and birthplace of Rubens, the city has a strong artistic heritage reflected in its host of churches and musuems. Early afternoon transfer to Brussels to board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of itinerary 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.