When, as a tourist in England, you've read all the tourism brochures and "done" the popular tourist sites with a tourist guide book or tourguide - Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Stratford, York and the other English tourist hot spots, take a moment or two to pause and wonder if there is not another England which you are completely missing. You've seen the tourist England of Kings and Queens, of the greatest names in English literature, and of the Church but what of the ordinary people, cut off from State affairs?
At the time of Henry VIII there were about 46,000 churches
in England. Half of these survive to this day. The finest 30
of these are the subject of tours operated by John David Tours.
No two English country churches are the same; their construction and the treasures they contain are a revelation. Frequently they stand in beautiful, quiet locations seemingly stuck in the time of long ago; in an England which has been almost lost. They were built in the spare time of the country dwellers who may well have been your ancestors of 600 to over 1000 years ago.
One extraordinary church lost its entire population in the Black Death of 1349, so almost overnight it became disused. It had already been disused for 150 years when Colombus discovered America; it remained disused until 1996. But you can visit it. The atmosphere is extraordinary and owes almost nothing to the times since 1349.
Then there is the church which inspired Charles Dickens to write "Great Expectations"; there is another which is the smallest medieval church still in use, standing virtually on cliffs above the sea; another is built from stones left over from Canterbury Cathedral; there is a 1000 year old timber church, the last survivor of many such buildings. All these, and the others featured in the tours, are special in their own ways, and for the peace which they enclose. They evoke something unique which can never be found in the towns and cities. They are a marvellous seam of the English heritage to explore.
Tours can be arranged to include any other particular interest of your own: castles and palaces,castles and palaces, for example, and the major tourist towns and cities are not ignored. Far from it. The itinerary of each tour is personalised to your own particular requirements. Travel is by comfortable car; the tour duration is anything from one whole day to 2 weeks.
The start point of your tour and its finish point may be different so that you can use your hidden history experience as a diversion while you travel from one vacation centre to another. For example, although your tour must start in the London area, your final set-down point could be Edinburgh (Scotland).
John David Tours aims to be very flexible over arrangements. Overnight hotel stops are arranged as necessary and there is always a copy of "The Good Pub Guide" in the car. Changes can usually be made to your itinerary as we travel, should you wish.