Welcome to London & The Cotswolds
Originally settled by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, London is rich with both history and tradition. Today, London is the largest city in Western Europe with a population of over 7 million people, and yet in some ways, life still goes on as it has for centuries. Britain’s monarchs have been crowned here since the coronation of William the Conqueror on Christmas day in 1066!
This historic city is the setting for countless works of literature, boasts a myriad of galleries and museums, and is one of the major music capitals of the world. Fantastic performance opportunities abound for you and your group in this culturally rich and diverse city.
Enjoy a concert tour of London and the Cotswolds, and let yourself by immersed in all that the United Kingdom has to offer as you share your music with local people.
Depart North America for London, England.
Welcome to the UK! Board your motor coach and enjoy an introduction to London and the United Kingdom with your Music Contact International tour manager on a guided visit to Windsor Castle en route from the airport to central London.
Continue to London this afternoon and check in to your London hotel. Pass such sites as the Tower Bridge en route to the hotel. After check in, a rehearsal can be arranged at the hotel.
This evening enjoy a welcome dinner of local specialties as your tour manager previews the days ahead.
Begin your first full day in England with a guided panoramic tour of London. Pass by such sites as, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the Parliament.
Following time for lunch in Borough Market, your ensemble will perform a concert at a local venue such as Southwark Cathedral.
Next, visit the Tower of London.
This evening, explore the Covent Garden Market area and have dinner on your own in one of the great restaurants or pubs in the area. Tickets to a theater performance can be arranged tonight for your group.
This morning check out of the hotel and depart for Bath, England.
En route, stop in Salisbury to perform a mid-day concert at the Salisbury Cathedral.
Take time for lunch after your performance. Next, continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge! This evening, arrive in Bath and check into your hotel. Your tour manager can make suggestions for dinner in town.
This morning visit the Roman remains in Bath, including the Assembly Rooms, Roman Baths, & Pump Rooms.
Take time for lunch in Bath, before your ensemble performs an afternoon concert at Bath Abbey for a local audience.
This evening a visit to Alexandra Park can be arranged to see the sunset and beautiful views of Bath. Your tour manager can make suggestions for dinner in town.
Check out of your hotel and depart for Cardiff, the capital of Wales! En route, enjoy a stop at the hallowed ruins of Tintern Abbey where your ensemble can perform an informal concert for other visitors.
Arrive in Cardiff in the afternoon and check into your hotel before visiting Cardiff Castle.
Your tour manager will provide suggestions for dinner this evening in Cardiff.
Meet a local guide this morning and embark on a tour of South Eastern Wales.
Start with a visit to Caerphilly Castle, which dates back to 75 AD! The current structure, built in 1268, is one of the largest medieval fortresses and remains a pure example of 13th-century military architecture.
This afternoon visit the Big Pit National Coal Museum, including a visit down to a restored coal mine!
Return to Cardiff where you will perform a friendship concert with a local Welsh Choir.
Check out of your hotel and depart for Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Pass through the Cotwolds’ region of the United Kingdom en route.
Arrive in Stratford and perform a mid-day concert at the Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare was both baptized and buried.
This afternoon, visit Shakespeare’s birthplace in the heart of the Tudor lined streets of Stratford.
Check into your hotel before a farewell dinner of British specialties is served to your ensemble at a local pub.
Depart this morning for the London airport and your return flights to North America.
FRIENDSHIP CONCERTS IN CARDIFF
Our friendship concerts are a featured experience on our tours and are at the heart of our mission to foster cultural connections through music. We benefit from a vast international network in the choral world built over our thirty years' experience of helping choirs share their music both in the United States and abroad. Your choir will share a venue and a concert program with a host choir from the region. Your singers will have the chance to hear their host choir's repertoire (often showcasing local musical styles) and to share your own repertoire in turn. Fellowship time usually follows the friendship concert, giving both choirs the chance to mingle and enjoy the camaraderie of creating cross-cultural connections through a shared love of music.
It is estimated a place of worship sat on this site along the bank of the River Thames as early as the 6th century AD. The current cathedral was first built in 1106 and was under the care of the Bishops of Winchester. The cathedral saw many repairs and held service for many congregations until 1905 when it was given its current name of Southwark Cathedral. The current structure offers outstanding acoustics and the large steps leading to the altar act as built in risers. The Cathedral holds five services daily and is known for hosting large musical events. The Cathedral offers a stunning venue for visiting performance groups in the heart of central London.
HOLY TRINITY CHURCH
This beautiful church built along the Avon River is known affectionately as the Shakespeare Church and is one of the most visited churches is all of Great Brittan. The Church of the Holy Trinity was completed in 1492 and boasts fabulous acoustics. A large number of visitors makes this an amazing venue for performances. Make sure to see the meticulously carved 15th-century misericord seats in the chancel of the church!
The castle was begun by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, modified by Edward III in the mid-1300s, and transformed from a medieval castle to a royal palace by George IV between 1824 and 1837. Windsor Castle is the only royal residence which has been used continually by the royal family since the Middle Ages. The Round Tower is its central figure, and surrounding the Tower is the Moat Garden. The lower ward houses St. George’s Chapel, a gorgeous 15th-century building with a breathtaking wall of stained glass dedicated to the Order of the Garter. When the Queen is in her official residence, The Changing of the Guard takes place daily at 11 a.m.