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From our base in Himley, we are ideally placed to explore some of the finest attractions the Heart of England has to offer. The dreaming spires of Oxford, site of England's oldest university which has produced many world famous academics, lies just over an hour's drive away. Magnificent architecture, impressive yet intimate colleges, romantic rivers and hidden nooks and crannies make for an intriguing visit.

The town of Stratford upon Avon is also easily accessible; renowned as the birthplace of the world's finest bard, the town has many interesting Shakesperian sites, including the 'World of Shakespeare' and Anne Hathaway's cottage.

And no trip to this region would be complete without a visit to the beautiful Cotswolds, an expanse of gently sloping hills and honey-coloured limestone cottages which is the epitome of all that is quintessentially English!

We use the Himley Country Hotel, which was originally a nineteenth century schoolhouse and offers comfortable accommodation.

Town Centre
The village of Himley lies approximately four miles from the large town of Dudley and around five miles from Wolverhampton. Its most prominent feature is Himley Hall, a magnificent Grade II listed building and former home of the Lords of Dudley. Himley also has a golf club and two parks, one which is located in the grounds of Himley House..

Activities and Attractions
Tourist Information Tel:01902 556110

Black Country Living Museum Tel:0121 557 9643
The history of the Black Country has been authentically re-created as trams and trolley-buses transport visitors from the modern exhibition hall to the canal-side village, which features an old fashioned school, coalmine and 1920's cinema amongst its attractions.

Dudley Zoological Gardens Tel:0844 474 2272
The zoo is not only home to a large collection of endangered species, but also an 11th century castle, the world's largest single collection of Tecton buildings and an important geological site.

Bantock House and Park Tel:01902 552195
A grade II listed building, the ground floor of the house has recently been restored to its former Edwardian glory revealing the Bantock's elegant lifestyle. The first floor displays some of the town's finest examples of decorative art including enamels and steel jewellery. Other features include hands-on interactives and displays about famous people associated with the town.

Oak House Museum Tel:0121 553 0759
The museum boasts some fine panelling and is furnished with 17th century furniture. The museum has a lively programme of events and activities throughout the year.

Ironbridge Gorge Tel:01952 433424
The gorge is a World Heritage Site, set in a beautiful wooded valley in the heart of the Shropshire countryside. There are ten award winning museums spread along the valley beside the delightful River Severn, still spanned by the world's first Iron Bridge.

Warwick Castle Tel:0871 265 2000
Home to the Earls of Warwick since the 11th century, the castle tells the story of more than 1,000 years of history, through dramatic shows, interactive experiences, storytelling and demonstrations.

Stratford on Avon Ghost Walks take place several times a week all year round. The walks feature terrible tales and sinister stories of ghosts, witches, murder and misery and are guided by highly qualified professional magicians and entertainers.

Godiva Festival takes place in July in Coventry and features music, dance, visual arts and family events and is free of charge.

Bridgnorth Music and Arts Festival is held in the last week of August. Features a range of musical and performance artists

Places of Interest
The details below are intended as a general guide only. For specific tour details, first check Availability and then follow the link from the Tour Description.

Stratford on Avon is renowned the world over as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Set in the beautiful rural Warwickshire countryside on the banks of the river Avon, Stratford has numerous attractions dedicated to the famous Bard, including the 'Shakespeare Experience' and Anne Hathaway's cottage. But there are other attractions too, including a range of shops, tea rooms and pubs and of course, the delightful river.

Oxford is home to England's oldest and most respected university. Visitors will find a city steeped in rich and fascinating history, incredible sights, quaint cafés and diverse shops. Its 38 colleges have produced world famous academics and the charming scenery has been the inspiration for many, including Lewis Carroll and JRR Tolkien. The city has also provided the setting for TV and film productions, such as 'Inspector Morse and scenes from 'Harry Potter'. The best way to appreciate the sights is by embarking on a guided walking city tour, or for the less ambulent buses operate a hop on-hop off service for around 20 stops.

The Cotswolds is an area of gently sloping hills, interspersed with honey coloured limestone villages and bustling market towns. Quintessential England is brought to life in villages such as Moreton-in-the-Marsh which is one of the principal market towns of the region, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-in-the-Water, often described as the 'Little Venice of the Cotswolds'.

Birmingham is England's second city and with a traceable history going back over 10,000 years, there is plenty to see and do. The industrial revolution created abundant wealth in the region, producing Georgian and Victorian architecture which mixes perfectly with modern buildings to create a vibrant and exciting city. Learn about Birmingham's rich history in the numerous museums, browse the vast array of shops or visit the city's famous 'Balti Triangle', the centre of Asian cuisine.

Coventry, surrounded by breathtaking Warwickshire countryside, boasts a wealth of attractions for all ages. The striking medieval Guild Hall, which served as the centre of King Henry VI's court during the Wars of the Roses and as a prison to Mary, Queen of Scots, is one of the finest in the country. Coventry Cathedral, built on the site of a medieval church which was destroyed in WW2 bombing raids, boasts the third highest spire in England. Other attractions include the Transport Museum, Herbert Art Gallery and Coombe Park, comprising of 500 acres of woodlands, gardens and lakeside walks.

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