As on previous tours we aim to maximise the horse-related opportunities while not sacrificing general sightseeing activities.
Of particular interest in this tour itinerary are-
- A visit to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford where we’ll get up close to Spitfires, Lancaster and B-52 bombers and Tiger Moths etc
- A visit to the historic university town of Cambridge and nearby Ely Cathedral.
- a race meeting at Newmarket’s famous July Course.
- Arrive on or before Sunday June 14. Participants are asked to organise their flights to arrive in London on or before June 14, then check in to our hotel. We’ll have welcome drinks together that night. If you will arrive before June 14 and would like to book the same room as you will be in for the tour, just let Geoff know and he can arrange this.
- Monday June 15. After breakfast we’ll be escorted on a leisurely half-day walking tour of London. It’s a real eye opener as the guide knows all the historic nooks and crannies. The afternoon is yours to explore further. In the evening we’ll have our Welcome Dinner and really get to know each other more.
- Tuesday June 16. Day 1 of Royal Ascot. After brekkie we’ll put on our raceday best and board our coach for the trip to Ascot. The Queen doesn’t arrive until 2pm but there is plenty to see and do if we arrive early. Traffic as we approach the course may be heavy so we’ll allow plenty of time.
- Wednesday June 17. Free@leisure day. London is a smorgasbord of sights and things to do, but we are all different, so we’ll let you loose on London to do your own thing.
- Thursday June 18. Gold Cup Day. Off to Ascot again in our coach for what is commonly referred to as Ladies Day. The Gold Cup is a stamina test that really sorts the men from the boys. In 2012 The Queen’s horse Estimate won in fine style. Her Majesty was suitably pleased. We met Estimate a few days later at the yard of her trainer Sir Michael Stoute in Newmarket. The remarkable Stradivarius has won the last two Gold Cups and if he returns in 2020 we may see an amazing threepeat.
- Friday June 19. Another free@leisure day for you to explore London.
- Saturday June 20. Off to Royal Ascot in our coach again. Today will see larger crowds, being a Saturday, so we’ll head off early again. Today sees the running of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, the race an Aussie visitor is most likely to contest. Time will tell if an Aussie horse makes the trip but if one does, we’ll be there to cheer him/her on.
- Sunday June 20. And now for something different. We’ll make our way to Newmarket via a visit to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. Here we’ll see the famous Spitfires that helped win the Battle of Britain plus Lancaster and B-52 bombers etc. Then another stopover for a walk around central Cambridge to observe King’s College etc and a very quick pitstop at Ely Cathedral on our way to our digs in Newmarket.
- Monday June 21. Before breakfast Geoff’s daily routine is to wander up the road to the base of Warren Hill to observe ‘the gallops’, Newmarket’s version of trackwork. From 6am through to 11am, up to 1200 horses file past and take off up the two tracks up the hill which has been the home of racehorse training for over 350 years. After breakfast we’ll head off for a stable visit and then on to the National Stud, home of several stallions but many more broodmares and foals.
- Tuesday June 22. After observing morning gallops and breakfast we’ll head off to visit a leading stud followed by visits to the National Horseracing Museum and Tattersalls sales complex.
- Wednesday June 23. A big day today as we are off to visit the Royal Stud of HM The Queen at Sandringham. It’s a full day excursion in our coach. We’ll lunch at HM’s excellent cafe/restaurant near Sandringham House souvenir shop before heading around to the stud. Those who would rather take the tour of Sandringham House may do so and we’ll pick you up on the way home- I promise.
- Thursday June 24. Morning gallops again. By now the locals will recognise us and you’ll be on first name terms with a few jockeys and trainers. We may get a tip for the race meeting we’ll attend in the afternoon at the famous July Course, one of Newmarket’s two racecourses; the other being the Rowley Mile, which we’ll call into at some stage, if only to see the statue of Eclipse, the progenitor of all modern racehorses. In the evening we’ll get together for our Farewell Dinner and toast an amazing two weeks.
- Friday June 25. Our last day together as we head off from Newmarket towards London, stopping off at Heathrow if anyone is flying out that afternoon. If you leave Friday arvo you’ll get back to Oz by Sunday morning. If you leave Sat morning you’ll get home Sunday arvo/evening. Either way you can be home for work Monday, although it’s doubtful you and your colleagues will get much done as you regale them with details of your trip.