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Autumn in the New Forest

Sail from Poole to Wareham,

SeaCity Museum, Romsey Abbey, Morton Church,

Hillier’s Gardens  and Arboretum, Exbury Gardens

From the Rhinefield House Hotel,

10 – 13 October 2022 (3 nights)

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This early October tour has an itinerary that includes some unusual and rather special places whilst staying at the luxury 4 star Rhinefield House Hotel deep in the New Forest National Park.  Depending on the season the autumn colour should be starting to appear in the forest and also for the visits both to the Sir Harold Hillier Arboretum  and the gardens at Exbury.  There is a day sailing up the River Frome from Poole Harbour to Wareham aboard the Dorset Queen.   Built in 1938 and lovingly restored she is the only vintage motor yacht operating on the South Coast, she is thought to be an ex Dunkirk volunteer boat and is now a proud member of The UK Historic Ships Register.

While waiting for the tide to time for the return cruise to Poole there will be a visit to St Nicholas’s Church Moreton.  World famous as the only church where all the windows are of engraved glass.  Sir Laurence Whistler, the poet and artist, was commissioned to engrave the twelve glass windows - he wanted to donate a thirteenth on the theme of Forgiveness.  The offer was declined, but he made the window anyway and it was eventually installed.  These stunning windows were created as part of the refurbishment of the parish church following the bombing 1940 which had caused extensive damage.  Lawrence of Arabia (Colonel T E Lawrence) who died in 1935,is buried in the separate churchyard following his funeral in the church.  Lunch will be in the small walled garden tearooms adjacent to the church and churchyard so it is possible to visit both places.

Based in the heart of Southampton, the outstanding SeaCity Museum tells the story of the people of the city, their fascinating lives and historic connections with the sea. The Titanic exhibition is based around personalised stories about the men and women who worked on the Titanic culminating in an audio visual presentation in the former Law Court based on the cross-examination responses of witnesses that provided the basis for main findings of the inquiry into the disaster.

The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and arboretum  cover 180 acres with over 42,000 trees and shrubs planted for all year round interest.  Lunch will be in Jermyn’s House, the elegant 18th C manor house in the centre of the gardens, originally Sir Harold’s own home from where he planned this remarkable and comprehensive collection of trees, shrubs and hard hardy plants.   Romsey Abbey is among one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in southern England.  Although a parish church the abbey feels like a small cathedral because of the unity and scale of the captivating architecture and memorials.  It has numerous treasures, famous connections and remarkable social heritage stories.  Exbury is not only renowned for its spring display there is also an extensive collection of Acers, alongside the majestic oak trees and cornus which create vibrant autumnal colour.  Who also could resist a ride on the little steam train viewing part of the gardens!

Monday 10 October:  Stay for three nights at the four star Rhinefield House Hotel near Brockenhurst, a magnificent historic country mansion set in rolling acres of landscaped gardens and ornamental waterways within the heart of the New Forest.   Check into the hotel from 3 pm and then join others for dining in the evening.

Tuesday 11 October: Journey to Pool to join the Dorset Queen for the sailing to Wareham.  There is a three hour break where a visit will be made to Moreton Church, enjoy a light lunch locally and perhaps time in Wareham before the return journey.

Wednesday 12 October:  Morning visit to SeaCity Museum, then to Romsey for the Hillier Gardens with lunch in Jermyn’s House and finishing the afternoon at Romsey Abbey.

Thursday 13 October:  Check out of the hotel before the visit to Exbury gardens – the coach will drop off at Brockenhurst Station on the return 1 pm (tbc) and then the hotel for departure.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 3 nights’ accommodation, breakfast and dinner at the hotel. 2 lunches
  • All entries, donations and boat cruise
  • Coaching and Heritage Touring representative

Tour cost:  £650 per person
Single supplement:  £40 per night (£120)
(double rooms for sole occupancy)
Non-refundable deposit:  £175
Nearest Station: Brockenhurst (3 miles) frequent service to London

Rhinefield House Hotel near Brockenhurst

Each tour, unless stated otherwise in the tour details, includes welcome reception, hotel accommodation, dinner and breakfast, entry fees, guided tours and tickets where appropriate,  lunches and refreshments where stated, professional guide and executive coaching. 

You are asked to make your own travel arrangements to join each break at the hotel listed.  We are happy to give advice and where possible organise shared taxis from a rail station to the hotel and where appropriate the coach will finish a tour at the station. However we cannot take responsibility for individual travel bookings.

We strongly recommend that you take out holiday insurance for protection against any cancellation charges, loss of deposit and other eventualities even for holidays in the United Kingdom and for emergency medical expenses and injury, death, repatriation home if travelling abroad.   Heritage Touring does not offer or sell insurance but can give assistance in locating travel insurance companies. Travel insurance is mandatory for all passengers travelling abroad.