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Holidays 2015 Archive

The Splendours of Sicily:  Wednesday 19 - Sunday 26 September 2015

Photos of this successful holiday to Sicily are now available

                 Il Duomo, Syracuse

                                     The Temple of Hera at Selinunte

     Al Madarig Hotel, Castellammare del Golfo


Due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been influenced by the Greeks, Normans, Phoenicians and the Moors, each leaving their mark, and providing a rich collection of stunning temples, churches, medieval towns and hidden gems.

Our 7 night tour (based in two centres) covered Sicily’s best kept secret, the South East, full of unspoilt and enchanting towns and breath-taking baroque architecture, including Siracusa and Noto. 

We then explored Western Sicily including Palermo and the Cathedral  at Monreale, as well as the towns of Erice and Selinunte, site of an ancient Greek city and location of several Greek temple ruins.

               Mosaics at Piazza Armerina

En route between the two sides of the island we visited the  magnificent mosaics at Piazza Armerina & Villa Romana del Casale.

                 Villa Romana del Casale

We spent three nights at the Mercure Hotel in Syracuse on bed & breakfast basis plus dinner on the first night, before travelling west to Castellammare del Golfo where we were based at Al Madarig for four nights on bed & breakfast basis, with two dinners included. 

                     Il Corso, Noto

            Interior of Monreale Cathedral


                        Mercure Hotel, Syracuse

The visit was led by Alvi Shaw and accompanying Art Lecturer Sue Jenkins.  Cost £1089 per person in a shared twin/double room (plus £185 single room occupancy supplement).   The price of the tour included return airport transfers in the UK, return flights, accommodation as described, coach travel in Sicily, entrance fees and guides as necessary, gratuities and the services of the tour leader and art lecturer.   

Our first holiday in the spring of 2015:  

Sunday 29 March - Wednesday 1 April 2015

                       Lee Wood Hotel

                        Kedleston Hall (NT)

                              Eyam Hall



We stayed at the Lee Wood Hotel, a recently re-decorated converted Victorian mansion with well appointed en-suite bedrooms and comfortable lounges. 

The first port of call on our four day trip was a visit to Kedleston Hall (NT), where we had lunch.  Kedleston Hall was designed by Robert Adam as a house to rival Chatsworth and is the seat of the Curzon family. 

We also visited Tissington Estate, owned by the Fitzherberts since Elizabeth I, and Eyam, the Plague Village, with its story of courage and sacrifice.

Also on the agenda was the David Mellor Factory and Design Museum (David Mellor is an internationally renowned silversmith and designer of beautiful kitchenware). 

                        The Peak District

No trip to Derbyshire would be complete without a visit to Chatsworth, perhaps the finest of all the stately homes, as well as visits to Bakewell and Castleton, with free time to explore the spa town of Buxton.

                   Castleton Village Green

On our last day we visited Renishaw Hall, home of the eccentric Sitwell family for four hundred years and on the way home, Calke Abbey (NT), for a cup of tea.

                        Tissington Estate

               The David Mellor Factory and
                           Design Museum



The visit was accompanied by Alvi Shaw and Art Lecturer Sue Jenkins, with Jeremy Brabyn our driver.   The cost of £445 per person (plus single supplement of £45) was based on 40+ members.  This included accommodation on dinner, bed and breakfast basis, three lunches, all entries, guiding and coaching.