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Pre-congress Tour of England & Wales

Day 1 - Sun 7th May 2017

Meet London

Farmer’s Club, Whitehall Court - get together and dinner. Preceded by Thames Cruise/Visit to Greenwich Observatory/Trip on London Eye….details to be confirmed.

Overnight – Farmer’s Club, Whitehall Court

Day 1 - Mon 8th May 2017 

Romney Marsh

Courier – Hugh Skinner

Morning - Arrive around 10.30-11.00 am - Farm visit and Romney Marsh tour avoiding dykes! Fairfield Church, one of the oldest and smallest churches in the country is on the farm. Farm lunch & meet the locals.

Afternoon - Hop farm, Sandhurst (also has Sussex cattle). Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst for afternoon tea.

Overnight - Rose & Crown Hotel, Tonbridge or Dale Hill Hotel, Ticehurst.

Day 2 - Tues 9th May 2017


Courier – Chris Trower

Morning – Commercial Sheep Farm, Wormsley Estate, Buckinghamshire. This estate also has some other interesting attractions.

Pub Lunch

Afternoon – Pass Windsor Castle in distance on way to Salisbury (rated by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 cities to visit in the world). It is a cathedral city and Tuesday will be Market Day.

Evening – Visit to Stonehenge including the Inner Stones Tour 18.45/19.45 (if possible) (only 30 people allowed on each tour).

Overnight – Cathedral Hotel, Salisbury.

After Dinner - Traditional English pub quiz night.

Day 3 - Wed 10th May 2017


Courier – Mike Prettejohn

Morning – coffee in the small market town of Honiton, an important centre of the medieval cloth trade in the South-west of England and famous for its lace (as seen in its museums), nowadays a centre of the English antiques trade.

Lunch – Dartmouth - home to the Britannia Naval College, Agatha Christie and the First steam engine.

Afternoon – Farm visit featuring Devon and Cornwall Longwool sheep. Pass Slapton Sands where rehearsals for D-day were carried out. 

Overnight - Boconnoc Country House (home of Pitt the younger and elder).

Cornish themed dinner.     

Day 4 - Thurs 11th May 2017


Couriers – Richard Rowland, Mike Glover

Morning – Coffee stop at Dartington Glass, on to Lynmouth for a trip on the Victorian cliff railway.

Lunch – in Lynmouth with a talk on Exmoor’s history.

Afternoon – tour of Exmoor, including a traditional Devon cream tea in the medieval village of Dunster, the old yarn market on Dunster’s high street was once the focal point of the Exmoor wool and cloth trade.

Overnight - Near Bristol, Webbington Hotel and Spa, Loxton, Somerset.

After Dinner – local folk music

Day 5 - Frid 12th May 2017

South Wales

Courier – Kate Hovers

Morning - Cardiff, Millenium Stadium, Cardiff Arms Park, CVO’s Reception at Welsh Assembly

Lunch at the Big Pit

Afternoon - go down a coal mine, tour through Brecon Beacons National Park then down the Wye Valley (an Area of Outstanding National Beauty) to Forest of Dean.

Overnight – Speech House Hotel near Coleford or Chase Hotel near Monmouth.

After Dinner Speaker - Derek Hurst – author of “Sheep in the Cotswolds: The Medieval Wool Trade”

Day 6 - Sat 13th May 2017


Couriers – Liz Genever, Lesley Stubbings

Morning - Visit  Adams Farm (Cotswold Farm Park/ Rare Breeds Survival Trust), home of Adam Henson, well known broadcaster and presenter on BBC’s Countryfile. Visit a 'Sheepwash'.

Lunch at Moreton in the Marsh

Afternoon – Church of St Peter and St Paul, Northleach (Cathedral of the Cotswolds and a famous wool church); Stratford upon Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace

Evening - evening performance at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon,

Overnight - Stratford-upon-Avon

Day 7 - Sun 14th May 2017

Welsh Marches & North Wales

Courier - Trish Sutton

Morning – through the Welsh Marches passing Pontcysyllte aqueduct

Lunch - Rhug Estate, driven farm tour in two groups, buffaloes, sheep and more….

Afternoon - up the A5 through Snowdonia to Caernarfon and view Caernarfon Castle

Overnight – Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon

Day 8 - Mon 15th May 2017

North Wales

Courier - Trish Sutton

Morning - Anglesey for photo shoot at station at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantisiliogogogoch (the longest place name in the UK and arguably the world!). Over the Menai Straits’ two bridges.

On to Llanberis for funicular train trip up Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.

Lunch – Snowdon or Bodnant Gardens

Afternoon – Bodnant then Chester for free time

Overnight - Mill Hotel & Spa, Chester

Day 9 - Tues 16th May 2017


Free time.

Evening - dinner cruise on Shropshire Union Canal.

Overnight - Chester Mill Hotel & Spa

Day 10 - Wed 17th May 2017

Lancashire/South Pennines

Courier – Judith Charnley

Morning – visit the village of Howarth and the Parsonage home of the Bronte sisters, view Wuthering Heights, have a coffee then on to Ing Heys Farm in the south Pennines. This is Tom and Judith (former SVS President) Charnley’s working sheep farm where we’ll meet an assortment of local agricultural worthies, see a dry stone walling demo, a mole-catcher in action (and hear their stories), spinning and weaving demo, tea and cakes, local archaeology, butcher’s demo.

Lunch: "The War of the Roses ", Lancashire Hotpot served in a big Yorkshire Pudding followed by Yorkshire tea loaf/fruit cake and local Lancashire cheese "Fruitcake without some cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze".  

Overnight – Lake District, Windermere Hotel

Day 11 - Thurs 18th May 2017

Lake District

Couriers – Iain Richards, Matt Colston, Amanda Carson

Morning – Stop off in Grasmere to sample their famous epongmous gingerbread.  Visit the Herdwick Sheep Society:s annual show, see the judging, see display of other hill breeds and first crosses and of course some wonderful scenery.

Lunch – Pub lunch at Threlkeld

Afternoon – cruise on Ullswater to Pooley Bridge - View Hadrians Wall on the way to Bellingham

Overnight – Riverdale Hall Hotel, Bellingham, Northumberland

Day 12 - Frid 19th May 2017

North Pennines/Borders

Courier – Felicity Chirkowska, BBQ - Fiona Lovatt

Morning –  Visit Rochester for coffee and on to Bamburgh to view Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Bamburgh Castle, Farne Islands

Lunch – Alnwick area, visit to Alnwick Castle and Gardens

Afternoon – Travel through the land of the Prince Bishops to Redworth Hall

Evening - BBQ at David Nisbett’s Alwent Hall Farm (Texel sheep and Charolais Cattle)

Overnight - Redworth Hall Hotel, Co Durham

Day 13 - Sat 20th May 2017


Courier – Neil Spedding

A day out in God’s own country of Yorkshire (at the last Olympic Games athletes from Yorkshire were third in the medal table for several days!!). The Tour will be led by Yorkshire’s ‘other James Herriot’, Neil Spedding, and will include a visit to ‘Skeldale House’ in ‘Darrowby’ (the James Herriot Visitor Centre in Thirsk).

Late afternoon - Tour Finishes in Harrogate - at delegate’s selected conference hotel in time for tea.



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