Great West Way

Great West Way ‘Excursions’ Familiarisation Visit

Saturday 25 January – Sunday 26 January 2020

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Twitter @theGreatWestWay


Introduction to England’s Great West Way

Follow the paths taken by generations of travellers and discover an essential strand of England. Based on one of the first Great Roads commissioned by the Kings of England, the Great West Way winds its way through lush green landscapes filled with the world-famous and the yet-to-be-discovered.

On the Great West Way, extraordinary history rubs shoulders with everyday life. Traditional pubs and inns with World Heritage Sites on their doorsteps, serving craft ales and local farm food. Churches which have watched over their parishes for centuries. Independent shops and galleries filled with contemporary designs and creations.

You don’t have to travel far to explore further and delve deeper into England. The Great West Way links London with Bristol through miles of twists and turns and new discoveries. Explore by road, by railway or by waterway. Slow right down, base yourself along the route, walk it or cycle it.

Welcome to the real England. It’s England undiluted. It’s England concentrated. 



Saturday 25 January


Depart Excursions at Alexandra Palace


Overnight at

17.00 Arrive at Hotel Novotel Reading Centre

Welcome and show around hotel to view executive and superior rooms, all boasting airy, contemporary designs and warmth, plus a welcome cocktail

Dinner at Bill’s Restaurant
Set within St Mary's Church House, Bill’s is a fabulous restaurant in an elegant Georgian building and also offers private dining for up to 50.

Sunday 26 January


Depart Hotel in Reading

08.45 – 09.45

Thames Rivercruise
Established in 1974, now with a diverse fleet of river boats that offer both a scheduled tripping service and private charter. Based at the heart of the Upper Thames and cruising through some of the most stunning reaches of the Thames from Henley and Sonning up to Goring and Streatley.

10.00 – 11.00

Museum of English Rural Life
England’s most extensive museum dedicated to farming, food, craft, rural life and countryside issues. Visit the Ladybird Gallery - the world’s first and only permanent exhibition space dedicated to the art of the iconic Ladybird Books.

12.00 – 12.30

Short stop off at Marlborough College to hear about their annual Summer School. For 4weeks over the summer, Marlborough College Summer School has grown beyond compare into one of the largest multi-generational learning experiences of its kind.

13.15 – 14.30

Lunch at The Old Bell Hotel Nestled in the beautiful medieval Cotswold town of Malmesbury, this comfortable Grade 1 Listed, country hotel is full of character and charm and is reputed to be the oldest purpose-built hotel in England (c.1220).

14.45 – 16.30

Westonbirt – The National Arboretum
Westonbirt is a remarkable place for people to enjoy and learn about trees. Borne of a Victorian passion for plant collecting, around 15,000 trees from all over the globe and its combination of maturity, species diversity and landscape style make it one of the most extraordinary arboretums in the world.


Return to: Hotel Novotel Reading Centre

to collect cars or drop off at  Reading Railway Station.


To book call: 023 8062 5516


Useful Contacts:

VisitWiltshire/ Great West Way:

Florence Wallace - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +44 (0) 7436488860

Visit Reading:

Alex Brannen - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +44 (0) 7914 762601

Visit Thames:

Karen Roebuck - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +44 (0) 7714 338998

Cotswold Tourism:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.