Day 1: Leave Des Moines, Iowa, morning or early afternoon. Fly to
Chicago, leave Chicago late afternoon. Arrive London early morning
Day 2: Arrive London, stow our bags at the hotel, and take off to
explore and beat the jet lag! You’ll learn how to use the subway as we
get around London and take in some of the sights.
Day 3: Depending on what we did the day before, we’ll hit the sights in London—Big
Ben? Westminster Abbey? Buckingham Palace? Tower of London? You decide! If you
choose, for this evening you may book theater tickets ahead for the West End or take
your chances on half-price, same-day sales at the ticket booths around the city.
Day 4: We can take a day trip to Leeds Castle or stay in the city and do more sightseeing.
Leeds is about 100 miles south of London and was where Henry VIII stayed when he was
courting Anne Boleyn at nearby Hever Castle. We’ll have tea and explore the beautiful
grounds and castle. OR, we can take in another day at London seeing things we haven’t
seen yet. OR, we can hop on a train and go to Oxford for the day. Again, it’s up to you!
Day 5: We’ll be picked up at the hotel by Lynott Tours on our
own, personalized bus and head to Salisbury, England. This
medieval city is gorgeous—and boasts the Salisbury Cathedral,
begun almost 1500 years ago. Plans are to have a private tour of
Stonehenge either after closing time on this day or before
opening time on Day 6. Instead of standing 50 yards away with
hundreds of other tourists, we’ll get up close and personal with the stones and be able to
talk with security guards who have great stories about summer solstice happenings—
and the ghosts they’ve seen there. Stay overnight near Salisbury.
Day 6: Enter Wales and visit Tintern Abbey (Welsh: Abaty Tyndyrn),
the subject of Wordsworth’s famous poem. Founded by Cistercian
monks in 1131, Tintern is a beautiful ruin, full of mystery and history.
In the 1500s, it was the target of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the
monasteries, after which time it became property of the British
monarch. Stay in the area that evening.
Day 7: Hay-on-Wye. This town of 1,500 located on the Welsh/English border is world-renowned for its
more than 40 antiquarian and second-hand bookstores, some of which are located in very interesting
places (like the town’s castle). Bring a carry bag and allow extra room in your luggage, because it’s
guaranteed you’ll find the perfect book….or two…or fifty. Stay overnight in Hay-on-Wye.
Day 8: We’ll explore the Welsh countryside, taking in a coal mine (in conjunction with our book How
Green Was My Valley). Coal mining was a major industry until the mid 1900s, and the country is dotted
with abandoned mines and miners’ cottages. Who knows what else we’ll do today—find a castle? Go to
a medieval banquet at night? Stay overnight in Hay-on-Wye.
Day 9: Time to head back to London; on the way, we’ll stop and find something to do…maybe poke
around in a Cotswold village, or find a market to explore. That evening, we’ll be staying somewhere near
Day 10: Fly back to Des Moines!
Proposed Books for the Trip:
Sarum, by Edward Rutherfurd. Rutherfurd's sweeping saga of the area surrounding Stonehenge
and Salisbury, England, covers 10,000 years and includes many generations of five families. Each
family has one or more characteristic types who appear in successive centuries: the round-
headed balding man who is good with his hands; the blue-eyed blonde woman who insists on
having her independence; the dark, narrow-faced fisher of river waters and secrets. Their
fortunes rise and fall both economically and politically, but the land triumphs over the passage
of time and the ravages of humans. Rutherfurd has told the story of the land he was born in and
has told it well.
How Green Was My Valley, by Richard Llewellyn. Richard Llewellyn's bestselling -- and timeless
-- classic and the basis of a beloved film. As Huw Morgan is about to leave home forever, he
reminisces about the golden days of his youth when South Wales still prospered, when coal dust
had not yet blackened the valley. Drawn simply and lovingly, with a crisp Welsh humor,
Llewellyn's characters fight, love, laugh and cry, creating an indelible portrait of a people.
And of course….Tintern Abbey by Wordsworth.
Financial and Registration Information:
This trip is different from other tour groups, in that I do not charge one “set” fee that covers
everything. I charge a flat fee for my time and work, and everything else is exactly your cost.
This gives you a great deal of flexibility on meals, entrance fees, etc. If you want to skip a
meal or not go to something, you can do that, as you only pay for what you do.
Rough estimation of the cost of the trip (depending on final numbers going, pound exchange,
Due by Aug. 1:
• $850 by August 1, 2011, secures your spot. $300 is Val’s fee for setting up and guiding
the trip and does not apply to the cost of the trip. Other tour companies “package” this fee into
the trip, but I’d rather you know exactly what the cost of the trip is and make your own
decisions regarding meals, sightseeing, etc. The other $550 is your deposit for the Lynott Bus
Travel company, which includes hotels and breakfasts in Salisbury and Wales (3-star hotels),
medieval banquet, Tintern Abbey and coal mine entrance fees, Stonehenge entrance fees, and
all travel by bus.
Due by Sept. 1:
Deposit for our hotel s in London and payment for last night’s hotel near airport.
Due Fall or Winter 2011/2012:
• Plane fare and shuttle from airport to hotel. I will contact Sue Johnson at Pella Travel
after Aug. 1 with a list of those going. She will research the best fares and let us know when she
finds one (she has indicated that it would probably be November or December); she will let me
know and I will immediately get a hold of you. You will have 24 hours to contact Sue with your
credit card to reserve your ticket.
Due 100 days before Tour:
• Remainder of Lynott Tour money ($900-$1,000)
Due at the Time of Trip:
Fees that can be paid in London: 1) the remainder due on our London hotel; 2) meals (breakfast
is included in the hotel fees); sightseeing for anything not set on our agenda.
*You are able to purchase flight insurance for both Lynott Tours and for the airline tickets. I
strongly recommend that you do that to provide peace of mind in case of a family emergency,
illness, death, etc. Once airline tickets are purchased, the $300 fee to Val is non-refundable.
Recommended Dates for Trip:
Option #1: Leave Thursday, June 14, and return Saturday, June 23.
Option #2: Leave Monday, Aug. 13 and return Wed., Aug. 22.
This will be decided based on hotel openings in London.
Registration Form for England/Wales Trip 2012
Full Name as it appears on Passport (or will appear on passport)
Date of Birth (including year)________________________________________________
*I am enclosing a check for $850 made out to Valerie Van Kooten as a deposit on the trip to
England/Wales summer 2012. I have read the preceding form as to financial commitments and
agree to pay on the dates required. I understand that if we cannot get a minimum of 12 people
for this trip, that the $850 will be refunded.
Valerie Van Kooten
2051 Old Hwy. 163
Pella, IA 50219
(PLEASE DO NOT DROP OFF CHECK AT BOOK VAULT OR SEND TO VAL VAN KOOTEN AT
CENTRAL COLLEGE….things tend to get misplaced that way.)