• Guide Price: Prices from £2800
  • Leaving on: 31/10/2017
  • Arriving back on: 08/11/2017
  • Location: Houston, USA

  Newsletter

This tour is by flight only.

NEW FOR 2017 - Flights Flying From Manchester With Singapore Airlines

In association with The Quilters' Guild, we are once again delighted to offer this most enjoyable programme to Houston, Texas.

With seven nights staying in downtown Houston, this is an excellent opportunity to see all that America’s fourth largest city has to offer.

Houston has great opportunities for dining - choose from Tex-Mex, barbeque, and international cuisines - as well as being home to a respected and energetic arts scene, bringing you theatre, museums and art galleries. Given that it also enjoys a powerhouse position at the forefront of the oil industry and space travel, Houston really does have the lot!

The International Quilt Festival was first staged in 1974 and is now the largest annual consumer quilt show in the world with over one thousand booths and attended approximately sixty thousand visitors a year from all over the globe. Exhibitors' merchandise includes: antique quilts, new quilts, antique tops, new tops, quilt blocks, quilting supplies, patterns, kits, books, quilt and needlework gift items, baskets, rugs, antique linens and laces, reproduction linens and laces, folk art items, quilt prints and/or paper goods, sewing supplies (both old and new), quilt racks and frames, wearable art, pillows, and antique beds.

Read more about the regions you will be visiting

On 23 January 2016, amid fireworks and celebrations, was the grand unveiling of Space Center Houston's newest exhibit, Independence Plaza, an eight-storey tall, multiple exhibit complex where visitors were able to step inside the shuttle carrier aircraft NASA 905 and the high-fidelity shuttle replica Independence, both presented to the Space Center by Boeing.

Independence Plaza immerses visitors in the science and history of the shuttle era with hands-on exhibit displays inside an unprecedented interactive experience. It honours those who designed, built and flew in America’s Space Shuttle Program by recounting stories from astronauts, engineers, and pilots. Visitors learn about the key role NASA Johnson Space Center played in the shuttle’s development and see firsthand the future of space exploration through the interactive multimedia educational displays.

First occupied by a tribe known as Orcoquisac Indians who depended on fishing and hunting, the first trading posts were established by the French and Spaniards with trade and growth in the Spring area increasing in the early 1800s and flourishing after Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836.

After the Civil War, railroads expanded into South Texas (now part of the US), and rapid industrialisation began for the Houston area. Spring was named by railroad workers that were laying the tracks to the south during a harsh winter; when they reached the area it was spring time and they were so excited about winter ending they named it “Camp Spring”.

Today, the Spring Preservation League Incorporated (SPL), established in 1983 by independent shop owners and property owners in Spring, promotes the development and preservation of the community known as Old Town Spring and maintain the historical heritage of the town. 

Galveston is a 27-mile long barrier island on the Texas Gulf Coast in the United States, about 50 miles south-east of Houston - most of the island falling within the limits of the City of Galveston. Known as the playground of the south, with its attractive beaches and temperate weather, Galveston was a booming tourist destination as far back as the late 1800s and continues, today, to receive many visitors who come to enjoy its numerous attractions and rich history.

One of the attractions on the island is Moody Gardens, set up in the mid-1980s as a hippotherapy (horse - riding) centre for people with head injuries. Today, Moody Gardens is a premier educational/leisure facility, providing horticultural therapy, education, and employment for people with a wide range of physical and emotional disabilities.

Located within Moody Gardens you can find the Rainforest Pyramid where you can enjoy a rare, up-close and interactive experience with endangered plants and animals in one of the truest replicas of a real rainforest. See Giant Amazon River Otters, Saki Monkeys, and Chinese Alligators along with many more exotic plant and animal species from the rainforests of Asia, the tropical Americas and Africa.

 

Flight Schedule

31/10 - Manchester/ Houston - SQ0052 1010/1530

7/11 + 1 = 8/11- Houston/Manchester - SQ0051 1850/0940

31/10 Heathrow/Houston - BA0195 0930/1500

7/11 + 1 = 8/11 Houston/Heathrow - BA0194 1605/0655

 

Itinerary

Meet your tour manager and the other members of the tour group at Heathrow/ Manchester Airport.  A mid-afternoon flight arrives in Houston in the evening, local time.  Transfer to your city-centre hotel where you will beaccommodated for the next seven nights.

Today is free to explore Houston.  Included is a mid-morning city tour by coach with a local guide to show you all the principal sites and districts and learn about the history of Houston, from its more humble origins as a swamp near the junction of the Buffalo and White Oak Bayous to its powerhouse position at the forefront of the oil industry and space travel.

Today is given over to the opening day of the International Quilt Festival and provides an opportunity to indulge in all it has to offer. 

A complimentary shuttle bus runs between the hotel and the George R. Brown Convention Center, allowing you freedom to plan your own schedule. You may opt to join a lecture or workshop (separate cost); otherwise, a wide variety of exhibits displaying impressive craftsmanship awaits - as well as a chance to stock up on supplies.

These two days are also set aside for attendance at the International Quilt Festival.

 Today you will travel by shuttle bus to the Houston Space Center, where you will have the full day to explore its extensive range of attractions.

See a replica of the Space Shuttle and experience the sights and sounds of a real launch in the multi-screen Blast-Off theatre.  Glimpse life on the International Space Station via the interactive presentation, ‘Living in Space’.  See spacesuits, moon rock and space vehicles and trace the history of space travel by immersing yourself in an interactive, virtual journey across the solar system and into the future of space exploration.

A 90-minute tram tour is included to take you behind the scenes of NASA and Mission Control.  Such a lot to see!  Comfortable shoes are required for this day trip as there is plenty of walking.  The trip returns to the hotel late afternoon where the rest of the day is at leisure.

Today’s excursion takes you fifty miles south of Houston to Galveston Island on the Gulf of Mexico.  Galveston is a relaxed retreat with mile upon mile of beaches, and boasts a wealth of stately historic homes belonging to generations of the most powerful families in Texas.  Although many of the island’s buildings were destroyed in the Great Storm of 1900, many, too, survived and have been well preserved, helping to add to Galveston’s charm and character.  There is time to wander and have some lunch in the Strand shopping district.

This afternoon, you visit Moody Gardens which houses the Rainforest Pyramid, a fascinating 40,000 square foot tropical habitat for exotic and endangered flora and fauna.  Re-joining the coach, the tour heads back to Houston with the rest of the day at leisure.

After checking out of the hotel, this morning takes you for a visit to historic Old Town Spring, just thirty minutes from Houston.  Old Town Spring was put on the map in the 1930s when the infamous Bonnie and Clyde robbed the town bank; the bullet holes are still there to see today. Explore the many delights of this popular little town with its art galleries, antique stores and lovely independent Victorian-style shops, with time for lunch at one of the many enticing eateries.  Do find GRS Creations, ‘the hidden quilt shop in Old Town Spring’, now with eleven rooms stocked with more than 18,000 bolts of fabric.

From here, you will transfer directly to George Bush Intercontinental Airport for a late afternoon flight departure, arriving back in the UK early on Wednesday 8th November.

 

 

 


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Tour price per person


London HeathrowGuild MemberOthers
£3860*£3935*
£3335*£3410*
ManchesterGuild MemberOthers
£3325*£3400*
£2800*£2875*
LAND PACKAGEGuild MemberOthers
£2910*£3165*
£2385*£2640*

Please note: Land Package prices do not include a local airport transfer - Contact us today for more information.

*Purchase price will be guaranteed upon payment of a £500 deposit.

The above prices are valid until 13 February 2017.

Tour Includes

  • Return British Airways flight to Houston
  • An ECT tour manager
  • Seven nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at the Crowne Plaza Downtown (or similar)
  • Airport transfers and excursion transportation
  • International Quilt Festival Full Show Pass, covering entrance for all four days plus preview night
  • City tour of Houston with local guide
  • Entrance to Moody Gardens and Houston Space Center 
Not included
  • Any workshops/lectures booked at the International Quilt Festival
  • Gratuities for your tour guide, coach driver, local guides and coach driver
  • Travel insurance

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