Jane Austen and Literary Heritage Tours

  • Small Groups
  • Interesting Itineraries
  • Personalized Service

Literary Heritage Tours are general sightseeing tours with an extra layer incorporating where authors lived, worked and were inspired. It is quite an experience to stand in the place described in your favorite novel, images leaping from the page! Some people get so excited, for them it is a pilgrimage. There is also plenty for those with a more casual interest. We incorporate a few film sites for fun too!

 

Our literary tours visit sites you would probably visit anyway – stately homes, gardens, iconic places like Stonehenge and Bath - the theme is almost an excuse to get more in depth, including some lesser known gems that visitors might miss otherwise.


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Join us as we follow in the footsteps of one of the world's most beloved writers, Jane Austen...and all of classic authors and their inspirations across UK, Ireland, France and Italy. Shakespeare-Dickens-Wordsworth-James Herriot-Brontes-Tolkien-Lewis Carroll-Beatrix Potter-’Downton Abbey’-‘Harry Potter’-'James Bond'-'Dr Who'-'King Arthur'-'Sherlock Holmes'-James Joyce-Yeats-Rabbie Burns-Dylan Thomas-Ernest Hemingway-F Scott Fitzgerald-Tennesee Williams and more

Our aim is to introduce you to the ‘real’ country and its people. Our Small Group Touring Concept allows for a leisurely touring pace and flexibility, incorporating local events and special requests from traveling companions whenever possible. Who travels with SGT? Everyone. All welcome!

LITERARY INSPIRATIONS - AUTHOR TRAILS

Multiple Dates
'Week' with Jane Austen: Hampshire, Bath, Cotswolds villages & stately homes of the Peak District
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Multiple Dates
Jane Austen Hampshire & Bath
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Custom trip - As you please!
Jane Austen’s Family Heritage in Northern Ireland & Donegal
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Custom trip - As you please!
Downton Abbey and Jane Austen: Stately Homes and Country Villages
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Day Trip!
Shakespeare Country: Stratford-Upon-Avon & Cotswolds MONDAY Day Trip
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Day Trip!
Jane Austen's Chawton & Winchester TUESDAY Day Trip
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Day Trip!
Jane Austen's Bath & Lacock WEDNESDAY Day Trip
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Day Trip!
London Antique Markets and Globe Theatre FRIDAY Day Trip
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Day Trip!
Outlander Adventure Day Trip
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Day Trip!
Alnwick Castle, the Northumberland Coast & the Borders Day Trip
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Day Trip!
English Lake District Tours
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Day Trip!
Dickens' Kent: Rochester & Chatham Historic Dockyards Day Trip
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Custom trip - As you please!
Roman Spring of Tennessee Williams Italy
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Custom trip - As you please!
Inspirations of Tennessee Williams: Dylan Thomas Wales & William Shakespeare England tour
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Custom trip - As you please!
Ian Fleming, the 'Birth' of James Bond and the Battle for Dieppe
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Custom trip - As you please!
'World of Downton Abbey' Stately Homes & Country Villages Weekend
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Custom trip - As you please!
Celebrating Shakespeare & Tudor England: London, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Heart of England
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Multiple Dates
12 Day Classic Literary England
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Multiple Dates
6 day Classic Literary England
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Custom trip - As you please!
Irish Literary Heritage: Sligo, Connemara, Galway, Cliffs of Moher -- coincides with Joyce's Bloomsday in Dublin
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Multiple Dates
Devon & Cornwall – West Country Writers, the ‘Mystery Writers Trail’
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Multiple Dates
South Wales Sampler – Land of Song, Literature and Dr Who
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Custom trip - As you please!
Yorkshire Literary Landscapes
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Custom trip - As you please!
Highlights of Scotland: Scottish Literary Trail...coincides with Edinburgh Festivals
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Multiple Dates
Highlights of Wales: The Classic Route
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Custom trip - As you please!
Brighton & “Bloomsbury in Sussex” Weekend
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Custom trip - As you please!
Literary Heritage in Southern England and Wales
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Custom trip - As you please!
Kent & Sussex Literary Landscapes: Dickens, 'Bloomsbury Group,' 'James Bond' & Jane Austen
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Custom trip - As you please!
Victorian 'Christmas Carol' - London and Dickens' Kent
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Custom trip - As you please!
Wartime Kent & Ian Fleming/James Bond Weekend...including Dover & Canterbury
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Small Group Touring?

Small Group Touring is traveling with just 6 - 14 guests per departure. It is our aim to introduce you to the 'real' country and its people, not just ticking the boxes of a standardized route and treating you as an individual and not a number. Our concept allows for a leisurely touring pace and flexibility, incorporating local events and possibly special requests from traveling companions. Of course you'll see the major sites but so much more too! See Why Our Tours for more info about the advantages of the Small Group Touring Concept.

Why do small group tours cost more than big bus tours?

We believe that you get what you pay for, quality over quantity. It is the difference of shopping at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods versus somewhere like Sam's Club. Our tours offer more personal service than big bus tours. You will be in the company of just ten or twelve other guests and not fifty. Your driver/guide will know you by name and, quite often, become a friend by the end of your tour. Many tour companies advertise a low initial price to attract you. Once you're on the tour, you find your purse or wallet is constantly open as you pay for additional options and extras. Our tours are designed to be as inclusive as possible for value's sake while allowing for some flexibility and independence.

Where will my traveling companions come from?

Mainly North America but, as tours are all conducted in English, we welcome any guest fluent in English. Your traveling companions may hail from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe and sometimes even Britain!

What style and quality of accommodation will be used on my tour?

Our accommodations cover a wide range of lodging types including inns, farmhouses, manor houses, quaint b&bs, small family run hotels and even the occasional castle. Each is chosen with care, with reference to architecture, comfort, location, cuisine, and friendliness of the host. All lodgings are three or four star category/similar rating in converted historical properties, not custom built hotels. Please see our accommodations page for further details and some photos.

Who will be my tour guide?

SGT works with an exceptional team of driver/guides. Please meet a few on our Meet Your Team page.

How much walking do we do on tour?

Our tours are designed for the reasonably active traveler. On all itineraries, there will be some walking. Some itineraries involve more walking than others. It is strongly suggested that all tour participants be in good health.

The flexible nature of our tours means that there will be some free time during your touring day, allowing the opportunity to sit in a cafe or elsewhere if you wish. You can of course go at your own pace and there is always the option to opt out of an activity or attraction if you do not feel up to it. Please do note that you will be visiting places with cobbled streets, uneven surfaces and most of the accommodations do not have lifts/elevators so stairs may be involved. Low floor rooms can be requested, when required. Tours cannot always access historic town centres/villages solely by mini-coach as vehicles of any size are forbidden entry in certain locations. Please consult us if you are in any doubt about tour suitability.

Are taxes and tips included?

Yes, all tour packages include taxes and tips except for those you may choose to offer your driver/guide. You are welcomed to supplement in accommodations and restaurants if you feel that their exceptional service deserves such.

 

Why SGT?

With Special Group Tours (SGT), you will have the advantage of expert advice from those who have not only visited, but have years of experience living in and loving the cultures you will visit. We hand pick our suppliers with your comfort and expectations in mind. Special Group Tours is a tour operator, specialty travel agency and custom design tour service dedicated to giving YOU the vacation you deserve!

Who Travels with SGT?

Everyone from age 7 to 97 is welcomed on a SGT tour. We welcome women, couples, families, teachers, students, professionals and retirees. Our clients are active, fun-loving, educated people looking for a safe and comfortable adventure off the beaten track. Please note that there is ample walking on our itineraries so, if you have mobility issues, please discuss suitability options with us.

On the longer scheduled tours, guests tend to be in the 40+ range as they have a bit more time to travel while the shorter, mini-tours are a great fit for younger professionals with week long American vacation breaks.

Some scheduled itineraries are suited for children while others are less so. We can assist families with younger children on private, custom departures. Harry Potter, children's literary and King Arthur themed tours are popular family favorites. SGT designs many student tours for high school and university groups, so we certainly can cater to all ages on both scheduled and custom, private departures.

What type of vehicle will be used on my tour?

The majority of the fleet is 16 seat Sprinters but the size of the vehicle is dependent upon the size of the group. Each vehicle is chosen with your safety and comfort in mind. We utilize 2 person saloon cars, 6 - 7 seat MPV/SUVs and 13 - 16 seat mini-coaches. Full details and photos, please see our vehicles page.

Will I have my own bathroom in my room?

Yes, all rooms are private/en-suite facilities. Some have bath-tubs with a hand held shower while others have stall showers. If you have a special need or preference, please discuss your requests with us at time of booking and we will do our best to accommodate.

Note that washcloths/facecloths are not readily used in the UK and Europe so, while towels are of course provided in your bathroom, if you want a facecloth/washcloth then you will have to bring it with you.

How much luggage can I bring?

We request that you only bring one suitcase, and one piece of hand luggage per person. Hand luggage is defined as a purse, day pack or camera bag - whatever you will have with you on the mini-coach during your touring day. Your main case will be stored in the vehicle's specially designed luggage section. Space is limited to accommodate all guests so we do ask your cooperation for the comfort of all tour companions.

If you are on an extended, multi-tour vacation, we can request bag storage in one of the hub city hotels but please do note that this is subject to availability. Please discuss your needs with us and we will do our best to accommodate.

How much driving do we do on tour?

Our tours are designed to travel off the beaten track, on the ‘a’ and ‘b’ roads as much as possible. Most itineraries are based in one location for several nights running so you can get in-depth in your local touring area, minimizing the distance between your accommodation and areas visited. Inevitably, each tour participant will have a different idea as to the ideal driving time but we strive to have guests off the vehicle as much as possible.

 

The length of drives varies per itinerary but you should not be on the vehicle for longer than 2 hours in any one stretch, many times less. Once in a while, a longer drive may be required. There will occasionally be a bit of motorway driving on the longer tours when traveling between regions, especially on the ‘sampler’ or ‘highlight’ type of itineraries that visit several different counties. It is important to us to avoid the motorways as much as we can so you can maximize the opportunity for local experiences in the smaller towns and villages.

How much to tip your guide?

Well, that is up to you based upon what you think he/she deserves. Tips are usually approximately 15 USD per person per day; some people give more if they can afford it, some less if that is all they can manage. It is totally to the guide’s performance and your discretion & budget. It is appropriate to offer your guide a tip in the local currency (Pounds Sterling or Euro.)

Call us Toll Free on: 1 866 725 5250

Email: tours@specialgrouptours.com

Email us here

Private and Custom Enquiries >

Don't see a suggested itinerary that perfectly fits your wishes? Let us provide you with the solution. All you have to do is choose the dates!

 

Please get in touch and discuss options with us.

 

Literary Heritage tours are among are most popular theme tours and SGT creates dozens of literary themed custom trips each year for individuals, small groups of friends, book clubs, universities, alumni groups and more. We would be delighted to help you too!

 

http://www.specialgrouptours.com/private-custom-designed/tailor-made-tours

  • Small Groups
  • Interesting Itineraries
  • Personalized Service