England Originals previews new tours designed to bring more international visitors to Durham

England Originals previews new tours designed to bring more international visitors to Durham

Wednesday 26th September 2018 – Quirky historic stories, fun facts and amazingly Instagrammable locations; for the very first time Durham along with 14 of England’s top ranked historic cities and the City of London, have come together as England Originals from England’s Historic Cities* and are previewing their five new, hassle-free, easy to book itineraries. And there’s an exciting twist, new augmented reality shines a light on the city, with interesting tales uncovered by historian Jonathan Foyle.

Available as pre-built packages or as a build-your-own-itineraries, the tours are aimed at international visitors and are easy and simple to book through England Originals’ new website, www.visitlondon.com/englandoriginals. Customers will experience England close-up as they hop on and off the train straight into the heart of the cities, during each of the five multi-destination trips.


Easy to complete in three-to-four-days, Durham is one of three cities featured in the Treasure Trove Tour.


Visitors are invited to delve into history at Durham Cathedral and grasp hold of the sanctuary knocker– in the Medieval period it ensured criminals right of sanctuary or protection in the cathedral. Discover groundbreaking York visitor experience the Jorvik Viking Centre and journey through the reconstructed Viking streets of the city. Then head to Lincoln and its magnificent Gothic style cathedral home of a little charmer who became the symbol of the whole county, the Lincoln imp.


Working with Jonathan Foyle, England Originals has uncovered interesting historical stories about Durham and brought them to life through technology. Via the England’s Historic Cities app, customers can traverse Durham prior to their arrival with new table-top tours that project a 3D model of the city onto the table in-front of them. When in the city there are also nifty virtual portals that reveal Durham Town Hall, Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle in a new light.


Whether it’s train travel, boutique hotels, attractions or experiences, England Originals has partnered with tour operator Golden Tours and developed a seamless customer booking experience available through its website. In addition, the handy one-stop-shop, features an array of hints, tips and ideas, ensuring customers make the most of their visit. (All products and packages are commissionable for the travel trade.)


Michelle Gorman, Managing Director at Visit County Durham said “We’re incredibly excited to be featured in the Treasure Trove Tour and we’re really looking forward to welcoming new and returning visitors to our city, to discover our fantastic history, attractions, hotels, restaurants, shops and so much more.”   


Melanie Sensicle, chair, England’s Historic Cities commented; “We’re delighted to be previewing these five new itineraries. England has an incredibly diverse history and these new tours are sure to capture the imagination of international visitors. Our use of story-telling and augmented reality gives a fresh, new perspective on our history, which we’re excited to share.”


Jonathan Folye, Historian said; "England is studded with ancient and beautiful cities of castles, cathedrals, and myriad sites of historic events. Their variety and character can now be explored online and on foot through cutting-edge technology- for a historian, broadcaster and writer, this step-change in communication is a really exciting moment."


The four other England Original tours are: Thinkers and Writers Tour visits Oxford Worcester and Stratford Upon Avon; the Time Travellers Tour visits Greenwich, Canterbury and Cambridge; the Wall to Wall Tour visits Chester, Lancaster and Carlisle; and the Western Wonders Tour visits Truro, Bath and Salisbury. It’s also possible to combine the tours, allowing customers to visit numerous cities.


Those beginning or ending their visit in London are being encouraged to explore the City of London. The area is steeped in history, dating back to the Romans, and is home to many iconic sights including St Paul’s Cathedral and its intriguing Whispering Gallery.


*England Originals from England’s Historic Cities is one of a number of projects to benefit from funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitEngland and involves a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time. The Fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.


All tours will be bookable on the www.visitlondon.com/englandoriginals website from Sunday 30th September 2018.


Table Top Tours and virtual portals will be available on the England’s Historic Cities app from Monday 5th November 2018.



For general information about England’s Historic Cities visit www.heritagecities.com

Published: 26, September, 2018

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