Downton Abbey, the Queen Mary 2 and England


If you recognize that music, then you’re a “Downton Abbey” fan!  Prairie Public Broadcasting is sponsoring a fabulous trip that will include a visit to Highclere Castle, the setting for the hit PBS Masterpiece series, “Downton Abbey.” The group will enjoy a champagne reception at the Castle, followed by small group private tours of the elegant venue.  Included is viewing the Egyptian collection collected by the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon.

Participants will receive a copy of the book, “Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey,” written by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Duchess of Carnarvon.

Along the way we’ll visit other “Downton Abbey” filming sites such as the Bampton Library which doubled as the Cottage Hospital in the Series, and St. Mary’s Church that was filmed as St. Michael’s and All Angels Church in the story line. We’ll also see the Dowager Violet’s home, a private residence steeped in history and surrounded by gardens. Tea will be included here.

The tour is hosted by John Harris, President and CEO of Prairie Public Broadcasting.  The grand journey begins with an overnight in New York City, before embarking on the iconic Queen Mary 2 for a TransAtlantic Crossing.  En route, visit the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Enjoy the marvelous amenities and myriad of activities on board this beautiful vessel.  According to Cunard Cruise Lines, the Queen Mary 2 is the “grandest, most magnificent ocean liner ever build, a true heir to the timeless elegance, legacy and inspiration of the great Cunard Lines of legend. “  Experience the famous Cunard White Star Service.   I’ve sailed on the Queen Mary 2, and can vouch for the quality, unique and fun experience on board!

The ship offers entertainment and workshops from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.  You can see shows in the only Planetarium at sea, work out in the gym, enjoy the pools and spa, or read in the library or on a deck chair.

Partake of Afternoon Tea in the Queen’s Room, the quintessential British experience.

Enrichment is offered on board through highly qualified presenters on a number of topics.  Prairie Public will offer sessions that relate to British entertainment and “Downton Abbey.”

Evenings offer fine dining, lavish musicals, dancing, a variety of lounges with music, and a casino.

After disembarking in Southhampton, the group will enjoy many highlights of England in addition to Highclere Castle.  In London, you’ll see the city’s best known landmarks including the West End, Piccadilly Circus, and Trafalgar Square.  You’ll drive by Big Ben and Parliament, and stop to tour Westminster Abbey. Visit Buckingham Palace which has served as the official London residence of Britain’s rulers since 1837! Stop at the famed Tower of London and see the Crown Jewels.

We’ll tour Stonehenge and Bath, which since Roman times has been known for its natural hot springs. We visit Bath Abbey , the Royal Crescent and Queen’s Square.

Included in Oxford is the excellent Ashmolean Museum, and Christ Church College where Harry Potter was filmed.

In Stratford Upon Avon, Shakespeare enthusiasts will delight in our visit to the bard’s birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s cottage. An opportunity will be offered to see a production at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon.

You’ll also tour Waddeson Manor, including its wine cellar where you’ll have a tasting.

Since you are already over the pond, an optional post-tour to Scotland is offered.

For more information on this spectacular trip hosted by Prairie Public, call 1-800-833-8787.

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