Plantagenet Heartlands Tour
Led by James Friedenthal 8th - 14th September 2020
The Richard III Society is an international society founded in 1924 to promote in every possible way research into the life and times of Richard III and to secure a reassessment of the material relating to this period and of the role in English history of this monarch. Our patron is HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO.
The Croydon Group warmly invite all fellow Ricardians and friends to join us on our trip to Anjou, a historic province of France and the original home of the Plantagenets; our tour will take us to many places associated with them and culminate in visiting their royal mausoleum, the Abbey of Fontevraud where lie the tombs of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. We shall be based mainly in Tours with visits to Poitiers, whose cathedral was founded by Henry and Eleanor, Blois (birthplace of King Stephen c1096) and Amboise. The royal château of Amboise was the residence of the young King Charles VIII (d1498) once - as was Richard - a candidate for the hand of Joanna of Portugal. Towards the end of our trip, we transfer to Fontevraud to stay in the splendour of the Abbey hotel where we will celebrate with a group dinner. As always Pax Travel will be providing us with good local guides, and I hope many of you will want to come with us on this our third adventure.
DAY ONE: Stansted - Tours
Our afternoon scheduled flight (the schedule for September 2020 is currently unavailable) by Ryanair departs from London Stansted to Tours Loire Valley Airport. On arrival we transfer by coach to Tours and check into the Hotel Ibis Tours Centre Gare for a five-night stay. Tours is a university town between France's Cher and Loire rivers. Once a Gallic-Roman settlement, today it's a university town and a traditional gateway for exploring the chateaux of the Loire Valley region.
DAY TWO: Tours - Blois
Our morning begins with a guided walking tour of Tours city centre to include the cathedral, Saint-Gatien, whose flamboyant Gothic facade is flanked by towers with 12th century bases and Renaissance tops. We will also visit the Cloître de la Psalette and the Basilica of Saint Martin. After lunch at choice our coach departs from our hotel to take us to Blois, a hillside city on the Loire River for time at leisure. We return to our hotel in Tours in the late afternoon.
DAY THREE: Angers
This morning we drive to Angers, where in the cathedral Anne Neville and Edward of Westminster were married. Angers, a city beside the Maine River at the edge of the Loire Valley, is the medieval seat of the Plantagenet dynasty. Here, we will visit Château d’Angers founded in the 9th century by the counts of Anjou. It is situated overhanging the river Maine, and was expanded to its current size in the 13th century. Lunch at choice. There will be time at leisure to explore the town before we return to our hotel in Tours in the late afternoon.
DAY FOUR: Château de la Grille - Amboise
This morning we drive to Château de la Grille. One of the few châteaux in the Loire Valley surrounded by its vineyards. Visit the vines, the grounds and make the most of the wine cellars to discover “L’Exception du Chinon”. Afterwards, we drive to Amboise to visit the Château Royal d’Amboise. Here Anne Neville was engaged to Henry VI's son Edward. A place of residence for French kings from the 15th to the 19th centuries, the château’s destiny is inextricably linked to the history of France. We return to our hotel in Tours in the late afternoon.
DAY FIVE: Poitiers
This morning we drive to Poitiers to visit its Romanesque church of Église Notre-Dame la Grande known for its intricately carved facade, which illustrates episodes from the Bible. We will also visit the Cathedral and Baptistère Saint-Jean with a local guide. This afternoon will be at leisure. You may wish to explore some of the city’s excellent museums and the Palace of Poitiers, now home to the city's courthouse, which features the Salle des Pas Perdus, a cavernous assembly hall with massive fireplaces.
DAY SIX: Tours - Chinon - Fontevraud
Morning at leisure to visit other sights and landmarks in Tours. Those who wish can attend Sunday Mass in the Cathedral. After lunch at choice our coach departs from our hotel to take us to Chinon to visit the Forteresse Royale de Chinon. Château de Chinon is a castle located on the banks of the Vienne River. It was founded by Theobald I, Count of Blois. In the 11th century the castle became the property of the counts of Anjou. After visiting the castle, we depart by coach for a short journey to Fontevraud Abbey where we will be accommodated in this four-star hotel. Dinner will be in our hotel tonight.
DAY SEVEN: Fontevraud - Poitiers
After breakfast we meet the abbey guide for a tour. The Royal Abbey of Our Lady of Fontevraud was a monastery in the village of Fontevraud-l'Abbaye, near Chinon, in the former French duchy of Anjou. It was founded in 1101 by the itinerant preacher Robert of Arbrissel. In the early afternoon, we transfer to Poitiers-Biard Airport for our late afternoon scheduled flight (the schedule for September 2020 is currently unavailable) by Ryanair.
This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.
This itinerary is a guide and subject to change.
Single room supplement: £258
8/09/20 - 14/09/20
The price includes: Scheduled flights by Ryanair (the schedule for September 2020 is currently unavailable): Stansted to Tours. Poitiers to Stansted. 1 piece of checked in luggage up to 20kg. Current (as of August 2019) UK and France airport departure taxes. Six nights’ accommodation in shared* twin-bedded rooms with private facilities as follows: 8 - 13 September at Hotel Ibis Tours Centre Gare (or similar), Tours. https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-1431-ibis-tours-centre-gare/index.shtml. 13 - 14 September at L’Abbaye Royale Hotel (or similar), Fontevraud.http://www.fontevraud.fr/en/.6 breakfasts.1dinner at L’Abbaye Royale Hotel. Transfers and touring by private coach in France. Half-day guided visits of Tours, Poitiers and Fontevraud Abbey. Audio guided visits of the castles; Angers, Amboise and Chinon. Entrance fees appropriate to the itinerary. ATOL and ABTA financial protection.* If you select to share a twin room when booking but have no one to share with, we will try to pair you up with someone of the same gender in the group. However, if there is no one available to pair you up with we will charge a supplement of £200 as you would have single occupancy of the room.
Travel Insurance. Single room supplement of £258 for the 6 nights (limited availability). Lunches, 5 dinners, drinks. Catering during the flights. Fuel surcharges and increases to airport departure taxes if passed on by the airline. Transport within the UK. Gratuities.
Terms of Payment:
To reserve your place on the tour you will need to complete a booking form and return it to Pax Travel with a non-refundable deposit of £300 per person. Cheques are to be issued in favour of Pax Travel Ltd. The tour price is guaranteed** for bookings Pax Travel receives by 29th November 2019. You can of course submit a booking after this date, but any bookings Pax receives after 29th November may be subject to a flight surcharge. If this arises, we would advise you before processing your booking. The balance payment is payable no later than 8th July 2020.
**The guarantee does not cover fuel surcharges, increases in airport departure taxes or currency surcharges. Please read our Booking Conditions for details.
A minimum of 15 people is required for this tour to operate.