Malvern Hills

Seven days and six nights on a half board basis at the 3* Best Western City Hotel in Woerden. (Given the historic nature of the places visited, a certain degree of walking will be involved, and this holiday may not be suitable for those with mobility problems.)

Day 1 We board our executive coach at our designated pick up points with our tour manager and travel to Dover for our P&O Ferries Channel crossing to Calais. We then continue to the 3* Best Western City Hotel in Woerden for a six night stay on a half board basis

Day 2 Our guided introductory tour of The Hague this morning with our tour manager takes in sights such as Peace Palace and the parliament buildings. We then enjoy a guided tour at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, known as the ‘Royal Gallery of Paintings’. Recently reopened after a major expansion and renovation the gallery is home to an outstanding collection with masterpieces by Rembrandt, Van Steen, Frans Hals, Ruysdael, Rubens, Van Dyck, and Vermeer, including his famous ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’. We visit the Panorama Mesdag this afternoon, a cylindrical painting over 14 metres high and 120 metres in circumference. Depicting the vista of the sea, the dunes and Scheveningen village, this is the largest painting in the Netherlands and was painted by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, the most famous painter at The Hague School. We then drive through the resort of Scheveningen, before visiting the world famous miniature city of Madurodam with a remarkable selection of Dutch monuments and landmarks rebuilt on a scale of 1:25.

Day 3 On arrival in Amsterdam we visit the Rijksmuseum for a guided tour of this world renowned art collection, the most famous of which is Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’, but which also includes many Dutch Old Masters such as Jan Steen, Frans Hals and Vermeer. As well as paintings, the collection includes sculptures, clocks, Delft Blue, porcelain and Asian and Oriental art. The rest of the day is at leisure in Amsterdam and on an individual basis you may choose to visit the Anne Frank House. Later on this afternoon you may choose to join our optional relaxing cruise to admire some of the city’s stunning architecture from the picturesque canals.

Day 4 This morning we visit the Koninklijke Porcleyne Fles in Delft. The Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles / Royal Delft is the only remaining factory of the 32 earthenware factories that were established in Delft in the 17th century. We

take a guided tour through the history of Blue Delft and Royal Delft and its development and production process. We see a master painter at work, visit the dining room of Vermeer and the Dutch Royal family Chamber, the museum with antique Delft pieces, the historical courtyard and visit the factory. The showroom has a comprehensive collection of handpainted Delft Blue by Royal Delft, as well as an extensive selection of Dutch earthenware and souvenirs. We spend some time at leisure in Delft, and on an individual basis you may choose to visit Nieuwe Kerk, located in the market square. The church is the burial place of the Princes of Orange, whilst its tower is the second highest in the Netherlands, after the Domtoren in Utrecht. The rest of the day is at leisure in Leiden.

Day 5 We spend some time at leisure in Haarlem this morning, and on an individual basis you may choose to see the Frans Hals Museum’s wonderful collection of paintings and craft objects from the Golden Age. Hals was a contemporary of Rembrandt and this museum, housed in a 17th century building round a courtyard, is home to some of his finest portraits. This afternoon we visit Zaanse Schans, an old hamlet on the banks of the river Zaan with characteristic wooden houses, small bridges, tradesmen’s workshops and historic windmills.

Day 6 The Royal Palace of Het Loo was built in 1685 as a country residence for William III and his wife, Mary Stuart, and was used as recently as 1962 by Wilhelmina as her royal residence. After free time for lunch in the beautiful Palace gardens, we drive the short distance to the Kröller-Müller Museum, home to a remarkable private collection of late 19th century and early 20th century paintings including 278 works by VanGogh, an outstanding collection of Chinese porcelain and many hundreds of Delftware items.

Day 7 After checking out of our hotel and before returning home we spend some time at leisure for lunch in Ghent. After our P&O Ferries Channel crossing from Calais to Dover, we continue back to our original pick up points.

Cost £809 per person (based on two people sharing a twin/double- bedded room; single room supplement £180).


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