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What does a small group tour mean?

Elaine Ellis

Lately I’ve been noticing a number of third-party tours being offered to the United Kingdom, all of them being promoted as “small” groups, where “small” seems to mean as many as 25 people! We thought you should know that with Arts & Crafts Tours we specialize in actual small groups. This means we never exceed more than 12 people in a group. That makes a big difference as you really get to know one another as well as the tour guides, lecturers, hosts and special guests who are at the very heart of our trips.

In our over 25 years we have offered tours that appeal to a range of interests and passions. Our tours have focused on the incredible objects and ideas of the Arts and Crafts Movement as well as the many men and women who were the movement’s makers and creators. Many of our tours acknowledge anniversaries, such as one we organized for the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Court Barn museum which highlighted the work and ideals of Charles Ashbee and his Guild of Handicraft along with works by several other Cotswold designers. And there have been ones celebrating anniversaries of William Morris and John Ruskin.

For those of you who would like to develop your embroidery skills we offered a tour with Elizabeth Elvin, the former Principal of the Royal School of Needlework and plan future tours which combine learning, making and touring. We stay in a wonderful private estates where you have lessons in the morning before a full afternoon of touring and convivial dinners in the evening.

If your passion rests more with architecture we have had and will be offering many tours in Britain and in Europe to study the work of some of the Movement’s most well known and loved architects. These tours have taken us to Liverpool, Manchester, Wales, the Borders, Scotland and to Romania with plans for tours to include Brussels and Budapest.

We have also featured Britain’s glorious gardens and expect to focus on them, and specific designers, in the future. If there is anything else you’d like us to plan, just let us know. We hope one – or more – of these will entice you.

– Elaine

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