British holiday tours on tap

SAN DIEGO -- Sterling Tours, based here, is offering two opportunities to sample various seasonal activities and celebrations that are part of a traditional British Christmas.

A tour called Ladies on the Loose is described by the firm as a "fun-filled British pre-Christmas escapade."

It is designed to have special appeal to the ladies, but "spouses and significant others will be equally welcomed."

Departing on Dec. 3, the itinerary visits the Cotswolds, Lincoln and London.

Among the highlights are antiques and crafts shopping in Cotswold villages, visits to the Royal Worcester and Royal Crown Derby factories, the Christmas Market in London and a traditional Christmas pantomime in London's West End.

Additional shopping opportunities are found in the London street markets. Meals provided include a welcome pub dinner, lunch at the Lygon Arms, afternoon tea in Cheltenham and a gourmet dinner at Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds, where three nights are spent.

Other stays are two nights at the historic Golf Hotel at Woodhall Spa and three nights at the Vanderbilt Hotel in the Kensington district of London, where the tour ends on Dec. 12.

Transportation is by deluxe motorcoach, with the group limited to 24 participants.

The per person rate, double occupancy, is $2,698; single supplement is $684.

Air fares can be quoted from any U.S. departure point.

Another Sterling program, the Sandy Allen Theater Tour, departs on Dec. 26 and spends New Year's Eve and day in the British capital, before returning on Jan. 2.

Accommodations are provided at the Vanderbilt Hotel.

A full English breakfast will be served daily.

Arrangements include a morning sightseeing tour by bus, accompanied by a tour guide; a walking tour and welcome drink; all transfers, porterage and taxes, plus three theater visits to two musicals and one drama or comedy., selected by the participants.

Prices will be quoted for departure from any U.S. city. From San Diego the rate, including roundtrip air on British Airways, is $1,738 per person, double; single supplement is $364.

For further information and reservations, contact Sterling Tours at (800) 727-4359 or e-mail [email protected].

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