Frequently Asked Questions | Humphreys of Henley

We haven’t worked with you before; can we trust you with our precious leisure time…and money?

Personally, this one resonates with me because I like to know what I am doing, where, when and for how long. Some dear friends may call me controlling…I call it common sense!

In every relationship trust has to be earned, and this is no different. We can tell you all sorts of magical stories about how we care for our customers and the incredible access that you will have to beautiful stately homes, but you don’t have to believe us.

A good concierge will work consistently and transparently to gradually earn your trust. As we get to know you, you will get to know us, and you will start to see that we do what we say we are going to do, and when we say we will do it.

We communicate regularly and personallyEvery experience is tailored to every customer which requires a personal touch. We don’t have computer systems to design itineraries or algorithms to analyse your answers to our questions, we have a team of passionate individuals who love everything about the English countryside and are fully qualified to turn that passion into your perfect itinerary

Our customers will tell you the truth: We will ask you for your honest feedback following your weekend or holiday, and the customer comments that we will share with you are all from people who have taken the same decision that you are thinking about taking. 

The quality of the information you receive: The volume and content of all that you receive will demonstrate the depth and breadth of the concierge’s knowledge and experience. The process will be clearly explained to you and the timelines adhered to. The majority of your questions should be answered before you even ask them – a good concierge isn’t quite telepathic but may appear to be sometimes. 

Not all concierge services are the same, and a little homework on your part can prove to be hugely valuable. Many concierges, like travel agents, have a particular area of expertise, with a number of other complementary services on offer. If you can find their area of core competence and it matches your requirements, that is a great start!

What happens if I don’t enjoy what we have planned?

This is a key issue for us to address early during our partnership with you. I am delighted to say that it is something we have been asked in the early stages of discussions and planning – but it has never been asked once our customers are here and enjoying all that we have created for them.

Our primary approach to this question is to focus on prevention rather than cure! From the moment we create the descriptions and stories on the website to our early discussions with you through to finalising your itinerary, our focus is helping you to visualise and imagine the possibilities to enable you to make the right choices for you. A good concierge goes through a detailed definition stage with you. They will listen and explore all of the nuances of your likes and dislikes to build the right itinerary for you.

The purpose of the initial draft itinerary is to check that we have listened and understood and have a good feel for what does and doesn’t work for you. We also strongly recommend that you spend some time on this before we speak.

When asked “What sort of holiday do you enjoy?” most of us can list the types of trips that stand out as some of the best, whether it’s racing down a black run or listening to opera in the grounds of an English stately home. What would you answer when asked “What made those trips so special for you?” and “Why did you enjoy that so much?”.

Yout holiday or weekend away is important to us, so a checklist seems like a good place to start and will help you to have the perfect trip. At this point we do have to mention the British weather! One of the reasons that we love to talk about the weather so much is that it keeps us on our toes and, if we are planning anything outdoors, we always have to have a Plan B. We will give you lots of advice about the best clothing for each experience, but horizontal rain does not offer the best conditions for you to enjoy a fabulous falconry experience.

The choice is always yours, and we will happily create an alternative plan for you if the weather does defeat us. We think that caution is a very natural emotion when working with a concierge company for the first time or starting to work with one that you haven’t tried before. We all want that reassurance that we are going to get what we want, that we will receive good value for money and that none of our precious leisure time will be wasted doing activities that we don’t enjoy. We have encountered 5 main concerns that our customers have in the early stages of our working relationship, some of them may resonate with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a day in Oxford cost?

Oxford is a truly wonderful place to visit and has something for everybody, whatever your budget and however you would like to see it. If you want to just turn up and join one of the group tours that are organised by the local tourist office, there are plenty of those throughout the day. You may even choose to follow your walking tour by jumping on a punt and seeing the city from that perspective.

If you want to do something in a slightly more organised way, we could arrange for example, for an executive car to pick you up from your location in London or wherever you happen to be, and arrange a privately guided tour of the really fabulous highlights of Oxford, including entrance to some of the colleges, so you can see all of the beautiful architecture. It is just over an hour's drive from London to Oxford. And then maybe follow that with a guided museum tour, after which we'll book somewhere lovely for you for lunch, and then you could end your day having a luxury river cruise with an afternoon tea and see the city from a very different perspective.

If you choose to do that kind of day, it will cost from about £1,600.00 per person for the day, depending on what you want it to include.

The options don’t stop there, if you wanted to add some other treats to the day just described, for example a privately guided tour of the world-famous Bodleian Library with one of the library curators, then the price will be £2,150.00 per person. And these prices both include your return car to the location of choice, within an hour and a half radius.

Now, if you really want to go for the ultimate opportunity of exploring Oxford: include all of the wonderful things, including your chauffeured car, the private tour of the colleges and the Bodleian Library and your luxurious river cruise, seeing the beauty of Oxford from the river. And then you could wrap it all up with a truly exceptional experience of dinner in one of the university colleges. You've probably seen the pictures of the college dining halls, they are just magnificent. The opportunity to have a really fabulous dinner in one of these hallowed buildings is exceptional. The price based on two guests would be £2,500.00, including VAT per person, the price will obviously vary for larger groups, for which we are happy to cater. So you've got everything from a wonderfully, simple group tour and just having a wander through Oxford, through to incredibly exclusive access to the hallowed halls, - the choice is yours.

Whatever the season and whatever the Oxford weather, you'll create lasting memories of a beautiful city.

If you would like to enquire about a stay in Oxford, please contact us here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a day in Windsor cost?

Windsor offers so many wonderful options for a lovely day out, and you can design the day to suit your budget, your plans and interests. The starting point is quite simply to jump in a car or get a train over to the beautiful little town of Windsor, and buy a ticket for the castle online which will cost you about £22.00 per person. And then just enjoy a lovely amble around the town, maybe stopping at a pub for lunch. Giving you a really simple and lovely day in Windsor.

Alternatively, if you want something a little bit more organized and more structured, we will happily arrange a car to come and collect you from wherever you are in the country and drive you through the beautiful English countryside to get to Windsor. You'll then be met by one of our expert guides who will give you the most incredible tour of the castle, bringing all the stories and the history alive. We always recommend a lovely amble through Windsor Great Park when you've visited the castle, so you can see it from every angle.

We'll reserve a table for you at one of the lovely restaurants or pubs, and that will cost you from £590.00 per person, including your chauffeured journey back to your location.

If you want to add a little bit more and make even more of your day in Windsor, we will collect you from wherever you are and instead of going straight to the castle, your driver will drive you to one of the entrances to Windsor Great Park where you will meet your horse drawn carriage. Your carriage driver will take you gently through beautiful Windsor Great Park, pointing out all of the key points along the way, the castle, Frogmore House and all the key monuments.

He'll then take you to meet your expert guide after which you'll enjoy that fabulous tour around the castle. And then after your tour of the castle, you'll be taken to meet your skipper, climb aboard your luxury river launch and enjoy a rather lovely picnic lunch while cruising down the river Thames, learning all the stories and secrets of the beautiful parts of the river in that part of the town. That price of this fabulous day is from £1,850.00 per person.

You could even choose to go one better. Including your chauffeured journey to and from your location, the wonderful carriage ride through Windsor Great Park and your luxury river cruise... but instead of doing the tour of Windsor castle when it's open to the public, we can arrange for you to have a completely private and exclusive tour of the castle once it is shut. It depends on the time of year, but anytime from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, it's a little bit later in the summer, you will be greeted and guided through the castle. And it's just you and your expert guide, which is just an amazing experience. And based on a couple doing that, including all of those fabulous things during your day, will cost you about £2,500.00 per person.

So whatever you choose to do in Windsor, whether it's a simple walk around the castle through to the private guided tour when it's closed to the public, the stunning castle set in a beautiful riverside town is truly memorable, and it is well worth a visit, whatever the Windsor weather.

    If you would like to enquire about a visit, or luxury stay near to Windsor Castle, please contact us here.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much does a day at Highclere cost?

    The wonderful thing about Highclere Castle is there are so many different options depending on the type of day that you'd like to have. If you go online, you can book tickets for one of the many open days that the castle has, including the castle interior and the grounds. They're normally during spring time, focused around Easter, and then usually two and a half to three months over the summer, and then various dates through the autumn and Christmas. A simple access ticket to the Castle, Egyptian Exhibition and grounds cost anything from £25.00 per person.

    If you would like somebody to arrange it for us, we're happy to do so. For example, imagine arriving in a rather lovely chauffeur driven car, from London for the day. You’ll be collected from your home or hotel, it’s a simple hour’s journey from London, and arrive at the Castle to then embark on your tour of discovery around the beautiful State Rooms, the exhibition and grounds. You will then be returned safe and sound to your destination of choice. This wonderful experience is priced from £1,100.00 per person for the day.

    You also have the opportunity to enjoy the full Downton Abbey experience and be driven to Highclere, as described, and enjoy the tour of the Castle, and the grounds, and the Egyptian exhibition, but also to visit Cogges Manor and Bampton. You can learn the stories of the 13th century farm that has been featured in the series a number of times during your private tour which is the farm in a number of the series of Downton Abbey, and also Bampton, which is the beautiful little village where they filmed so many of the village scenes. It's a beautiful little village, only about 45 minutes away from Highclere. This fabulous Downton Abbey experience including a driver for the day, and all admittance and so on, is priced from about £3,400.00 per person per day.

    We are also delighted to offer you the ultimate experience. You can soak up every moment of a private tour of Highclere Castle: it is just you, the expert guide, and possibly even the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon too. You'll be greeted at the door by the butler and you can take your time as you walk through the rooms, listening to your expert guide, hearing the stories, and the history, and just soaking up all of that fabulous atmosphere as you go from room to room. You'll be greeted with a coffee and pastries, or a glass of bubbles and you can even enjoy a delicious three-course lunch or dinner in the main dining room with the incredible Van Dyck painting overlooking the dining table. This is an incredibly special day and costs a little more, it’s priced from £9,400.00 per person. And we can't guarantee it but the Earl and Countess Carnarvon are hugely generous with their time when they're in residence and, if they can, they will pop in and have a chat.

    So there are all sorts of different ways of enjoying Highclere. In addition to the public open days, Highclere put on some fabulous different events, from intimate drinks parties at Christmas, so you can see all the glorious Christmas decorations and the Battle of the Proms, in September time, during which you can enjoy the grounds and the castle. The tickets for these special events usually range between about £150.00 and £250.00 per person.

    There are so many wonderful ways to have a fabulous day at Highclere. Whether you know it as Highclere Castle or Downton Abbey, you'll have a memorable time at this magnificent estate.

    If you are interested in more information about Highclere, please see our guide

    When you are ready to enquire about a visit to Highclere castle, please contact us here and we will get to work on your special getaway

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much does a day at Stonehenge Cost?

    You can choose to visit Stonehenge in a number of different ways. If you just want to have a lovely, gentle wander round on your own at leisure, then you can book a ticket online for your chosen day. The average adult ticket is about £21.00, turn up at your appointed time and enjoy the incredible history that you'll see in front of you.

    Obviously, there are other ways of seeing Stonehenge too, and here are a few other options that you might want to explore.

    If you wanted to be driven down there, and just sit back and enjoy the countryside, we can pick you up in a chauffeured car from your location. When you arrive at Stonehenge, you'll meet your personal guide, who will then give you the full inner circle experience. The inner circle experience is available at the very beginning or the very end of the day, outside of public opening hours, but it's quite extraordinary to be able to go inside the ring of stones and hear all the stories, without lots of other people around. If you choose to go that option with your private guide and the inner circle access and your chauffeured car the price is £900.00 per person.

    Stonehenge isn't the only location of incredible prehistoric world heritage attractions in the area. If you want to make a full day of it, as we said before, you can transfer by chauffeured car, have your amazing inner circle experience at Stonehenge with your private guide, and then your private guide will stay with you and you can go and explore the extraordinary sites that are all fairly close by, at Woodhenge, Avebury, Stone Circles, West Kennet and Silbury Hill and so on.
    So you'll have a full day immersed in the incredible history and building your understanding about why these stones were there and how they made these incredible structures. And obviously, we will very happily book you lunch in a rather lovely British pub. If you choose to visit all of those sites with your guide, including a car, the price including vat is £1400,00 per person.

    You can then choose to go one better. There is nothing like seeing Stonehenge from the air. So if you want to pop along to Battersea, if you're in London or your closest helipad, we will arrange for a helicopter flight to Stonehenge. And you can see the incredible perspective of the stones from the air. You then obviously have your full day exploring from ground level and seeing Stonehenge and the other prehistoric heritage sites of Avebury and West Kennet and Silbury Hill.

    David, our favourite guide, has a couple of real favourite pubs to which he will happily take you. And if it's a lovely sunny day, you can sit in the garden and enjoy a traditional pub lunch which is rather lovely. If you choose this ultimate experience, including seeing Stonehenge from the air, it is priced at £10,300 per person, including VAT. So you can choose any options from £21.00 upwards. Whatever your choice, and however you want to see Stonehenge, the options are all there for you to pick your favourite. Here is what the day might look like for you. You might also wish to check out our guide - 10 interesting facts about Stonehenge.

    Please enquire here to make your booking.