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Baltic Cities Knitting Tour

Baltic Cities Knitting Tour Following the overwhelming popularity of our Christmas Markets tour to Tallinn and Riga, we are now offering you the chance to visit both cities in summer along with the third ‘Baltic city’, Vilnius. Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city. The architecture in the largest baroque Old Town in Eastern Europe is well known and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. We’ll take a sightseeing tour of the city and visit the National Museum of Textiles, where we’ll learn about the homemade fabrics and traditions of the everyday clothing worn by the local population. Riga is the largest city in the Baltics and is a fascinating mixture of proud Latvian traditions and influences of the various countries that have occupied it. The Old Town’s architecture is stunning. We’ll visit the highlights of the city with our local guide and explore the rich heritage of Latvian costume, taking part in a mitten knitting workshop with a local expert. Tallinn is one of Europe’s newest capitals and boasts a rich mix of architecture and culture. The Old Town was almost untouched by war and remains perfectly preserved. We’ll visit the highlights of the city with our local guide and learn about Estonian handicrafts. A message from our expert: Our project is inspired by the beautiful, knitted mittens from Latvia and Estonia. Over the course of the trip we will work through the techniques needed to create a colourful slipper sock. The project is worked in the round from the toe up using magic loop technique. For the foot upper, you will have a choice of traditional stranded knit patterns to work from or can go crazy with the stripes. We will also look at adding embellishments such as embroidery or surface decoration to give your slippers their own personality! We aim to cover the following skills: Turkish / Eastern cast on Magic loop technique Increasing Changing colour - jogless stripe Stranded knitting in the round Carrying yarn over more than 3 Carol Meldrum

9 days from £2,529pp Departure Dates

Your Tour Includes

  • International flights from Gatwick to Vilnius (via Riga) and Tallinn to Gatwick with 1 piece of 20kg hold luggage
  • 8 nights in four-star accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 1 lunch and 4 dinners
  • Three half day workshops with Carol Meldrum, kit included
  • Local Latvian mitten knitting and Estonian arts & crafts workshop
  • Tours of Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn old town & Trakai Castle
  • The services of an experienced tour manager
Experts
Carol Meldrum

Carol Meldrum

Carol Meldrum is a textile designer, workshop tutor and author of many popular knitting and crochet titles. She is also the creative force behind the fashion accessories label Beatknit. She has worked within the textile industry as a designer for many High Street fashion outlets as well as internationally renowned hand knit label Rowan. Carol is also a successful workshop tutor teaching all aspects of knit and crochet on an informal basis to both groups and individuals.

Itinerary

Overview

Meet Carol and your Tour Manager at London Gatwick airport for your flight to Vilnius, via Riga. We will meet our local guide on arrival and transfer by coach to our hotel. Dinner is included this evening.

Includes Dinner

Overview

Vilnius is a charming city with a beautiful Baroque Old Town. During this morning’s walking tour our local guide will lead us through the narrow streets and squares highlighting the most significant and interesting sites: - Gates of Dawn; part of defensive fortifications for the city. Of the ten city gates only the Gate of Dawn remains while the others were destroyed by order of the government at the end of the 18th century. - St Anne’s Church; a prominent landmark in the Old Town and one of the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture in Lithuania - Dome Cathedral; the main Roman Catholic Cathedral in Lithuania - Town Hall Square; the traditional centre of trade and events in the city - Vilnius University; one of the oldest Universities in Eastern and Central Europe We’ll take a lift to the top of Gediminas’ Hill, from where we’ll enjoy a birds-eye view over the city. At the National Museum of Lithuania, we will learn about the homemade fabrics and clothing of everyday Lithuanians including weaving techniques, colour combinations and patterns. Examples include skirts, aprons, blouses, shawls, overcoats, and headwear as well as mittens, socks, wristlets and shawls. We’ll also have time for some retail therapy at a couple of the city’s yarn shops. After some free time for lunch, we’ll take a short drive to Trakai. Once the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Trakai is home to a small Turkish-speaking ethnic minority group from Crimea who were settled here in the 13th century. We’ll visit Trakai Island Castle, located on picturesque Lake Galve. Dinner is included this evening.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

We start today with a walk to Gediminas Hill, where we take a lift to the top to enjoy a birds-eye view over the city. At the National Museum of Lithuania we’ll learn about the homemade fabrics and clothing of everyday Lithuanians including weaving techniques, colour combinations and patterns. Examples include skirts, aprons, blouses, shawls, overcoats, and headwear as well as mittens, socks, wristlets and shawls. After some free time for lunch, we’ll return to the hotel for the first of our workshops with Carol.

Includes Breakfast

Overview

We leave Vilnius and Lithuania today and travel by coach to Latvia and our base here, Riga. On route we will stop in Bauska, once a centre of trade between the two cities, where we’ll visit the Applied Folk Art Studio and have some free time for lunch, before continuing our journey. The studio is a department of the Bauska Museum and brings together people of different ages and professions with the aim of preserving, promoting and reviving Latvian cultural heritage for future generations. Dinner is included this evening.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

This morning we’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Town. The tour will include: - Town Hall Square, completely rebuilt after being destroyed in World War II - House of the Blackheads, reconstructed between 1995 and 1998 the original building was erected in the 14th Century for the Brotherhood of Blackheads, a guild for unmarried merchants, shipowners and foreigners in Riga - Dome Square, deemed to be the heart of the city, this square is the largest in the Old Town - Riga Cathedral, commonly known as Dome Cathedral, is the Evangelical Lutheran cathedral in Riga and the seat of the Archbishop of Riga - The Three Brothers is a collection of three houses that form the oldest dwelling complex in Riga. Each represents a period of development in housing construction - Riga Castle was founded in 1330 and rebuilt between 1497 and 1515. Today it is the official residence of the President of Latvia - Riga Central Market; the market buildings consist of five pavilions constructed using old German Zeppelin hangars and incorporating Neoclassicism and Art Deco styles During the tour we’ll also have time to visit some yarn shops.  After some free time for lunch we’ll visit the National Costume Centre; the storehouse for the magnificently rich heritage of Latvian national costumes. Every item here has been lovingly handmade by Latvian craftspeople. Latvia was founded nearly 100 years ago, but the history of the national costume is many centuries older. Archaeological findings and costumes restored from 1000-year-old fragments have allowed them to recreate the traditional costumes that are worn today. Mittens are a very important part of several Latvian traditions. Probably the most popular role played by mittens was at a wedding. Tradition says that before an unmarried girl entered marriage, she had to fill a hope chest and mittens were an important part of the chest. A bride would knit between 100 and 300 pairs of mittens and no pair could be identical to another.  Our final visit today is to Tines, a Latvian handmade knitwear company. Tines is a family run business and offers a wide range of high-quality knitwear. Only natural materials are used, 100% wool and linen.

Includes Breakfast

Overview

This morning we’ll enjoy another workshop at the hotel with Carol. After some free time for lunch, we’ll make a short journey to the Latvian Ethnographic Open-air Museum. Located on the banks of Lake Jugla, it is one of the oldest and largest open-air museums in Europe. 118 historical buildings from all four of Latvia’s provinces are on display, along with demonstrations of traditional crafts.

Includes Breakfast

Overview

This morning we leave Riga and make our way to Tallinn. On route we’ll stop in Limbazi to visit a wool factory.  Founded in 1914, Limbazu Tine has a long tradition of wool production and home textile design. The company produces woollen yarn, woollen and linen fabrics, blankets, rugs, plaids and tablecloths. The company is especially proud to be amongst just a handful of producers of ethnographic fabrics based on authentic examples from the rich cultural heritage of the Baltic region. We’ll watch the wool being processed using historical equipment. Lunch is included today, after which we’ll complete our journey to Tallinn. Dinner is included this evening

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Overview

Our walking tour of Tallinn Old Town includes: - St Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral; built in a typical Russian Revival style during the period when the country was still part of the Russian empire. The cathedral is richly decorated and has eleven bells cast in St. Petersburg - Toompea Castle; an ancient stronghold site in use since the 9th century. Today the castle houses the Estonian parliament - Dome Church, also known as St Mary’s Cathedral, is the oldest church in Tallinn and mainland Estonia. Originally a Roman Catholic cathedral, it became Lutheran in 1561 and is now the seat of the Archbishop of Tallinn. - Kohtuosa viewing platform provides excellent views over the roofs and spires of the Old Town as well as the high-rise buildings in the newer part of the city. In the background is the Gulf of Finland and the port. In the Lower Town we’ll see: - Danish Kings Garden, named after the Danish reign, that lasted for over a century in Tallinn and northern Estonia - Town Hall Square, also known as Raekoja Plats, is the centre of the Old Town. In winter it is filled with the magical Christmas market, the centerpiece of which is a towering spruce tree - Viru Gates, a pair of picturesque ivy-covered towers, were built in the 14th Century as part of the Tallinn city wall. The towers are all the remains of a much more complex gate system was, most of which was pulled down in the 1880s to make room for traffic. We’ll also visit the Estonian Handicraft House, the location to buy authentic Estonian handicrafts. Works of the best artisans are represented here, including textiles from natural materials as well as wood, metal and ceramic. We’ll have the opportunity to visit the workshop of Riina Tomberg, a lecturer in Estonian native textiles and expert on Estonian traditional knitting. At Katariina Lane we’ll see the various open studios of the Katariina Guild craftswomen. After some free time for lunch, our tour will continue to: - charming Kadriorg Park & Palace, the grandest example of palace and park design in Estonian architectural history - Pirita seaside area, a breathtakingly beautiful location with a refreshing scent of pine trees. It was also the home of the sailing regatta at the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980 and is still a busy sporting location - Tallinn TV Tower, home to the highest view point in Estonia Our visit will end at Eesti Käsitöö Kodu, the largest handicraft centre in Estonia selling high quality beautifully crafted items. With the help of the local experts we’ll learn how some of the items are made.   Dinner is included this evening.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

This morning we’ll enjoy our final workshop with Carol at the hotel, before transferring to Tallinn airport for our flight to London Gatwick via Riga.

Includes Breakfast

Created for Crocheters

Created for Crocheters

Uniquely crafted for lovers of crochet, this Stitchtopia crochet holiday is the ideal opportunity to meet like-minded crafters and indulge in your favourite hobby. Our talented crochet expert will be on hand throughout the holiday and host inspirational workshops with a beautifully designed project to spark your creativity.

Accommodation

You will be staying at the 4-star Nordic Forum Hotel in Tallinn for 3 Nights, the 5-star Pullman Riga Old Town Hotel in Riga for 3 Nights, and the 4-star Congress Avenue Hotel in Vilnius for 2 Nights

Travel Options

When it comes to getting you to your destination. Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you to choose from

Meet us at the ship

Meet us at the ship

For complete flexibility, make your own transport arrangements to and from the ship. We will provide you with times and locations as well as some useful information for you to make your own arrangements to join your cruise.

If you require any further information to assist with your travel plans, please contact our Holiday Advisors who will be happy to help.

Meet your Coach at Dover

Meet your Coach at Dover

Travel down to Dover and jump onboard your coach for your ferry crossing.

Alternatively, travel the day before your departure and enjoy an overnight stay, with complimentary parking for the duration of your cruise, before being collected after breakfast the following morning.

Travel by Eurostar

Travel by Eurostar

Step aboard Eurostar at London St Pancras for a fast and comfortable journey to mainland Europe. You can even upgrade your reserved seat to Standard Premier – speak to our Holiday Advisors for more information. On arrival in Paris, Lille or Brussels, you will then join connecting services for your onward journey.

Travel by Air

Travel by Air

Return flights from London Heathrow with transfers to and from the ship are included in our package on our specific arrival and departure dates. We also include one item of checked in luggage per person.

If our included flights are not suitable, alternative flights may also be available from other airports on our arrival and departure dates. These may have an additional supplement and are subject to availability at the time of booking.

More flexible travel options

Travelling by Eurostar?

Travelling by Eurostar?

Why not stay overnight in London?

For those travelling from further afield, you can also book overnight accommodation in London, before and after your holiday. Speak to our Holiday Advisors for more information.

Travelling by Eurostar?

Stay overnight near the port

For an even more relaxed start to your European holiday, why not stay overnight in Dover or nearby Ashford the night before your cruise from only £65pp? All our quoted prices include car parking for one vehicle for the duration of your cruise and cooked breakfast the following morning. Our coach will collect you and return you to the hotel on its way to/from the port of Dover. And if you don’t want that holiday feeling to end, why not do the same on your return journey?

Departure Dates