AIA Spring Tour
13th - 18th May 2019
5 nights, full-board, from £635
Discount for AIA Members
Book online now
Hungary has about 10 million inhabitants, spans about 93,000 square kilometres in the Carpathian Basin and borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language.

Budapest, the capital city, is the most populous in the country and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population. The population of about 1.8m people is distributed over a land area of about 525 square kilometres and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area with a total population of about 3.3m i.e. about 33% of the population of Hungary.

This concentration of population also means that most of the preserved heritage is centred on sites within reach of Budapest where our tour is based.

Hungary has been lax in preserving its industrial heritage and much of the industrialisation of the communist era has been eradicated but there is still much to see which is of interest.

The tour is all-inclusive: Dinners, lunches, bed & breakfast.

The tour starts and ends at our hotel in Budapest. Optional coach transfers will be provided between Budapest airport and our hotel at the start and end of the tour.

Non-AIA members are most welcome.

Paid-up members of the AIA at the time of the tour enjoy a £20 discount per booking, one of the many benefits of becoming a member.
Several of the visits are still subject to confirmation. We cannot at this time guarantee that they will all be included but we will make every effort to do so or find suitable alternatives. The order of visits may also change.

All prices are quoted in Pounds Sterling (GBP) whilst most of the costs are in Hungarian Forint (HUF). In these more than usually turbulent times changes to exchange rates, accommodation, transport costs or taxes may necessitate a price change.
Monday 13th May
Members of the group make their own way to our hotel in Budapest.

16:45 Optional coach transfer from Budapest Airport
19:00 Dinner at the hotel.

Tuesday 14th May
  In the morning we will ride on the unique Children's (or Pioneer) railway - not a railway for children but rather one that is operated by children. (left)

Then we will go to the Füsti, as it is known locally, which hosts more than a hundred railway vehicles including several rare locomotives and a 34 bay roundhouse.

The 70,000-square-metre park presents the development of railway history from the 1870s till today.
After lunch we will visit the “Skanzen” at Szentendre. This vast open air ethnographic museum recreates Hungarian life in all the regions of Hungary from the 18th to the 20th Century and includes farms, houses, workshops, water mills and windmills moved from their original locations, furnished as they were and containing many examples of tools and other equipment.
Dinner at the hotel.
Wednesday 15th May
  In the morning we will have a brief stop to have a look at the Biatorbágy Viaduct (1893) before proceeding to the site of the last deep coal mine in Hungary at Oroszlány, specifically shaft XX of the Márkushegyi pit. (left)

The extensive above ground collection dates from 1970 and shows tools and machines used in mining in the second half of the twentieth century, together with mineral specimens and the flags and uniforms that were part of the culture of Hungarian mining.
In the afternoon we will drive to Tés where once there were 4 six-sailed windmills although now only two remain, the Helt windmill built in 1840 and the Ozi windmill of 1924.
Dinner at the hotel

Thursday 16th May
The group will be split on Thursday between two choices:
  Choice A
Travel south to visit the largest nuclear power plant in Hungary at Paks where a guided tour will take us through the main control room, the turbine hall, the reactor hall and the visitor centre.
Numbers are strictly limited on this visit. Personal details will be required for security reasons.

After lunch, visit the (reconstructed) boat mill at Ráckeve (left) which should be in operation for us. Boat mills were once very common on the Danube with more than 4,000 recorded in 1863, several of them at Ráckeve, although the last sank during the hard winter of 1968.
Choice B
Join a “City Safari” style walking tour in Budapest led by Sue Constable. We will look at the civic, commercial and engineering legacy surviving in the city. The tour will be mainly on foot and will look at the river bridges especially the Chain Bridge, the transport links in the city including the M1 Metro line of 1896, and significant buildings in the city from an early 20th century spa hotel to the covered market.

We will travel by tram and Metro as well as walking and it is planned we will be able to include the funicular on castle hill and possibly the cog railway during the day. There will be about 5 miles of walking and there will be two steep hills to climb as we will be going to the top of Palace Hill and Gellért Hill. The route is still being planned and may change. Lunch will be included.

Numbers are limited on this tour.

If your first choice of tour for Thursday is full when your booking is received you will be allocated to the other tour – another reason to book early!

Dinner at the hotel
Friday 17th May
Friday morning brings two short visits in Budapest.

The first is to the Technical Study Stores. The artefacts are presented on metal shelves in three spacious halls – some sixteen-thousand pieces altogether. The collection contains world patents, first copies and enormous power-machines. Technical miracles, everyday achievements, household and electric devices of the last centuries can be seen in a huge amount and density. Telescopes, cameras, computing and electric devices, the outstanding inventions of optics, precision mechanics and geodesy are all to be found.
  Secondly we will visit the Ábraham Ganz Foundry Collection which occupies the buildings of the engineering works established by the Swiss iron founder Abraham Ganz (1815-1867) who opened these works in 1844, specialising in the manufacture of wheels for railway carriages and wagons.

After Ganz died the company continued under the direction of Andras Mechwart (1834-1907) and made important contributions to the development of roller milling technology and electric traction.
After lunch the afternoon is at leisure. Those who have not visited Budapest before and did not join Thursday’s walking tour might like to take this opportunity to see some of the other great buildings and attractions in the city centre at their own pace.
However we are offering an optional visit to the Electrotechnical Museum. This collection of Electrical Engineering, in a Bauhaus-style building, commemorates the history of light and lighting, and their power to form our society and culture. The building, which was originally a transformer station and now is a national monument, is paved with an art deco stone floor and is decorated with Zsolnay tiles. The exhibitions of the museum highlight Hungary’s essential role in railway electrification, lighting technology and transformer production.

You can decide on the day whether you wish to take this option. Entrance to the museum is HUF500 about £1.50

In the early evening the coach will leave from the hotel to join a ship, chartered exclusively for the group, for a dinner cruise on the Danube.

Saturday 18th May
The tour ends after breakfast at our hotel.
14:45  Optional coach transfer to Budapest airport
We will be staying in the Mercure Budapest Buda, Krisztina Korut 41-43, 1013 Budapest. All rooms are en-suite and air-conditioned with coffee/tea making facilities, TV, direct-dial telephone and free Wi-Fi.

The hotel is conveniently located close to the Déli pályaudvar (South station) which is also one end of Metro Line 2, 4 stops from the city centre, 7 stops from the Keleti pályaudvar (Eastern Station, where international trains arrive), 6 stops with a change from the Nyugati Pályaudvar (Western station). Trams also run nearby
The tour starts at the hotel on the Monday evening and ends after breakfast on the Saturday morning.
We leave you to make your own travel arrangements to and from Budapest to suit your own convenience and use of alternative departure points. I will be flying from London to Budapest and back and I will let you know which flights I am using in case you would like to travel on the same flights.
Detailed joining instructions will be supplied about two weeks before the start of the tour.

Travel during the tour will be by luxury, air-conditioned coach.

All site visits will include some walking which may include stairs.
All participants must carry a valid passport for travel in the European Union.
The cost of the trip is £635 per person sharing with a single supplement of £200. The supplement represents the additional cost applied by the hotel for single occupation of a double room. The cost includes:
  • 5 nights dinner, bed & breakfast accommodation
  • Lunch on 4 days
  • Entrance fees at all sites, private boat trip, rail trip and visits,  local guiding fees
  • Luxury air conditioned coach transport throughout including driver tip
  • Local guides, the services of an interpreter and an experienced tour manager throughout
  • Research for the visit and professionally produced, comprehensive tour notes
Excluded are:
  • Drinks and any other expenses at the hotel
Additional cost options:
  • Monday 13th : Transfer from Budapest airport to the hotel, £12 per person
  • Saturday 18th : Transfer from hotel to Budapest airport, £12 per person
All prices are quoted in Pounds Sterling (GBP) whilst most of the costs are in Hungarian Forint (HUF). In these more than usually turbulent times changes to exchange rates, accommodation, transport costs or taxes may necessitate a price change.

For this unique itinerary we believe the price represents excellent value for money.

Paid-up members of the AIA at the time of the tour enjoy a £20 discount per booking. (So you can book now and claim the discount as long as you join before the tour). The discount will be calculated on your invoice when it is issued.

Apart from the discount available on Heritage of Industry tours AIA members enjoy a range of benefits which are shown on the Membership page of the AIA website where you can also find full details of how to join:

An AIA member joining this tour will already have recouped more than 50% of the AIA membership fee but, more importantly, the support members give enables the AIA to continue its work.
Please note that cancellation charges will apply from 18th March 2019 and, although these will be modified to the extent that costs are not actually incurred, you are strongly advised to insure against the need to cancel and to cover medical treatment and repatriation charges in the event of illness etc.

Participants who do not have travel insurance must nevertheless accept full responsibility for these eventualities. 
Booking and management of this tour has been entrusted to Heritage of Industry Ltd which is run by Bill Barksfield. Bill is Overseas Tour organiser on the AIA Council and will accompany the tour.
Bookings will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to space availability. Booking is subject to a minimum of 40 and a maximum of 50 people. Book as soon as possible and by 18th March 2019 to ensure a place but please feel free to enquire after that date if a place is still available. We will contact you as soon as possible to confirm the booking and to issue an invoice for the balance of the price. Invoices for the balance of the price will be issued about 8 weeks before the tour starts.

A non-refundable deposit of £65 per person is required on booking. Bookings can be made definite only when the booking details and deposit are received and accepted in writing/email by Heritage of Industry Ltd. The company's standard terms and conditions apply. The balance of the price is to be paid to Heritage of Industry Ltd on presentation of the invoice. All monies paid to Heritage of Industry Ltd will be held, in accordance with government regulations**, in a customer protection account until the tour is complete so that your money is safe no matter what happens.

Payment should be made via your bank’s online banking facilities, the necessary details are shown on the confirmation of booking. Please send an email note when you have made payment.

If you are unable to use electronic banking please send a sterling cheque drawn on a UK bank made payable to Heritage of Industry Ltd. There is no extra charge for using cheques at present.

We are sorry that we are unable to accept payment by credit/debit card or PayPal.

Click here to book online now

Click here to download a printable copy of the above and a booking form to be sent by post

Enquiries about this tour should be directed to:
Bill Barksfield
Managing Director
Heritage of Industry Ltd,
The Gables,
20 Main Road,
East Hagbourne,
Tel: +44 1235 352275 (9am - 5.30pm GMT)

** The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (SI 1992 No. 3288)