This tour follows a highly popular format developed to run alongside our own-brand Music Festival on the Rhine. While most of the participants on the festival eat and sleep on board a river cruiser, a small group stays in hotels and undertakes walks through some of the most attractive stretches of the countryside in the vicinity of the river and the concert venues. They join the larger audience for seven of the ten concerts and are accompanied by their own musicologist who gives talks en route. Further details of the festival can be found here or in the dedicated brochure.
Fly at c.11.45am from London Heathrow to Amsterdam (British Airways). Drive to the city centre and after checking in depart for a walking tour in the city centre. First of two nights in Amsterdam.
Morning walk, the Dutch Polder landscape: 9 km, c. 2 hours. This is an easy walk taking in the alluring landscape of the Grecht Canal towpath and the fields towards the village of Kanis. Return to Amsterdam for some free time before the first of the daily lectures on the music and the early evening concert in the Concertgebouw with Dorothea Röschmann (soprano) and Malcolm Martineau (piano): Lieder by Brahms and Schumann. Dinner follows the concert. Ovenight in Amsterdam.
Drive south to the lower Rhine for a easy, circular walk on level paths through the heathland and woodland of the De Hoge Veluwe National Park: 3.5 km, 1 hour. Visit the Krolle Müller Museum, an excellent collection of mainly 19th and 20th century art. Centrepieces include the large collection of work by Vincent van Gogh and the sculpture garden. Break for lunch here before continuing to Schloss Lembeck for the afternoon concert with the Mandelring Quartet: Beethoven, String Quartet Op 59 No 3. Dinner and overnight at Schloss Lembeck.
Drive south for a moderate morning walk: Rhein Ufer to Petersberg via Heisterbach Monastery: 6.5 km, 1 hour 45 minutes. Starting out from the river bank at Niederdellendorf, the first 4 km (c.1 hour) of this walk moves inland, rising steadily passing wood-timbered houses, fields and then through woods to Kloster Heisterbach. After a refreshment break at the Kloster’s café, the last 2.5 km (c.45 mins) is more challenging, following woodland paths that wind uphill to the Grandhotel Petersberg. Lunch here before leaving for Bonn. Evening concert in the Electoral Palace with the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Valeriy Sokolov (violin). Overnight in Bonn.
Drive into the picturesque Rheingau. Lunch before a moderate afternoon walk on the so-called ‘Riesling Route’ from Am Rebhang to Schloss Vollrads: 8 km, c. 2 hours. This walk traverses vineyards and follows marked woodland paths above the Rhine, where the vines of prestigious wine producers cover broad, south-facing slopes. Early evening concert with Per Sonat Ensemble: Hildegard von Bingen. Dinner and overnight in Ingelheim.
Drive south to village of Römersberg outisde Speyer, from which there is an easy walk to our hotel in the city centre: 7 km, 1.5 hours. The walk traces a branch of the Camino de Santiago on country lanes and paths. Lunch at the hotel before driving to Schloss Bruchsal for the afternoon concert with the Esmé Quartet: Mozart, String Quartet No.14 in G, K387; Schubert, Quartettsatz; Mendelssohn, String Quartet in F minor, Op.80. Return to Speyer for some free time and dinner before the evening concert in the Church of the Holy Trinity with Cantus Cölln: Cantatas by Johann Christoph (1642–1703) and Johann Sebastian Bach. First of two nights in Speyer.
Late morning walk in the vineyards near Baden–Baden: 7.5 km, c. 2 hours. This is a moderate, circular walk through diverse, deciduous forests up to the Yburg Castle, whose tower offers an impressive view of the Rhine Valley and Black Forest. Stop here for a picnic lunch before re-joining the path for views of surrounding vineyards. Drive to Baden-Baden for the afternoon concert in the Kurhaus with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic: Brahms, Piano Concertos No.1 and No.2. Dinner and overnight in Speyer.
Some free time before departure for Frankfurt Airport for the flight to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 3.30pm.
Music writer, lecturer and broadcaster for BBC Radio 3. He writes for BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone and has taught classes in Lieder history and interpretation at the Guildhall, Trinity College of Music and Birkbeck College. He read French and German at Cambridge and later studied Music at the Guildhall. His publications include Schubert: the complete song texts and Pocket Guide to Haydn. Twitter: @wigmoresworld | Website: wigmoresworld.co.uk
Price, per person
Two sharing: £3,020 or £2,840 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,430 or £3,350 without flights.
Flights (Euro Traveller) with British Airways; admittance to 7 private concerts on the Music Along the Rhine Festival; hotel accommodation as described below; travel by private coach; breakfasts, 4 lunches and 7 dinners with wine, water, coffee; admission to museums etc.; tips for waiters, drivers, guides; the services of the lecturer and tour manager.
Hotel NH City Centre, Amsterdam: modern and simply furnished in an excellent location on the Singel canal. Schloss Lembeck: 17th-century castle with traditionally decorated rooms. Königshof, Bonn: modern rooms and a restaurant with views of the Rhine. IBB Hotel, Ingelheim am Rhein: 4-star conference hotel 15 km from Bingen.Hotel Domhof, Speyer: small and traditional, in an old building around a courtyard close to the cathedral.
This is a walking tour, graded ‘moderate’. Of the 6 walks, 3 are ‘easy’ and 3 are ‘moderate’, with some steep climbs. It is essential that you are in good physical condition and used to country walking with uphill content. There is not always the opportunity to return to the hotel to freshen up before every concert or dinner. (Please see www.martinrandall.com/about-us for our walking tour grading system.)
Between 10 and 22 participants.
Before booking, please refer to the FCO website to ensure you are happy with the travel advice for the destination(s) you are visiting: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
'This is our fifth Martin Randall tour and we have been satisfied with each one and particularly the quality of the lecturers.'
'Very enjoyable altogether.'