Classic Travelling was established in 2003 and offers motoring holidays and driving tours for classic, vintage and sports cars of all ages.
With Classic Travelling’s continual presence on the best touring roads, we are second to none for advice about exploring the world by road, and off the beaten track.
Our knowledge and experience mean we have an in-depth and unique knowledge of where and when to drive, depending upon your budget, interests and car. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail in preparing every trip we undertake. For example, we always spend a substantial amount of time inspecting the access to any car parking at hotels and ensuring that the security arrangements for your car are the best reasonably available. We actually drive every single mile of every single tour we offer, both as a reconnaissance trip and then to accompany the group tours. Unlike some other companies, we do not just rely on the internet for routes and directions!
Our Tour Guides are knowledgeable, friendly, experienced and approachable. On our Accompanied Group Tours they are there to look after you and ensure that you have an enjoyable and hassle-free holiday. Whether you need help with your luggage, recommending great places to visit, sourcing super unleaded fuel, or seeking medical advice, our guides will help to the best of their ability. There will also always be at least one qualified first-aider.
Tour Directors & Managers
As founder and director of Classic Travelling, Sarah Dowding, has extensive experience of touring and motoring, having driven well in excess of 500,000 miles over the finest roads in Europe, North America, and southern Africa. Sarah has always had a love of cars, even as a small child, and enjoys driving a lot. Thanks to her first job Sarah was fortunate enough to be able to buy her 1981 Morgan 4/4 back in 1997 and has been touring in it ever since, having taken it to over 30 countries on 3 continents. She added her 1965 Jaguar E-type to the garage in late 2008 (which has now been to 17 countries across Europe since then) and indulged in her love of pre-war cars with a rare 1935 Austin 12/6 Newbury Tourer in late 2014. A 1967 Mercedes 250SL Pagoda joined the stable on the New England Tour in 2015 and the car has since been to 15 countries on 3 continents (in just 3 years!). Sarah runs all the day-to-day aspects of Classic Travelling and will be the person you speak to or answers your emails – as well as accompanying each group tour as Tour Director and Journey Host.
Mel Bacon is incredibly capable, hard-working and great fun to have around as a tour manager, having managed tours in the UK and in Europe. Mel is a very good driver and prefers driving whilst Sarah navigates or takes photos. She is well-travelled, knowledgeable and speaks German. She is currently learning to fly and earn her PPL.
Liz Dowding (Sarah’s mother) has been a tour manager since the start in 2003, and very much encouraged the purchase of the Morgan and the first few journeys and founding of the business. Liz really sparked the idea of Classic Travelling when she took the Morgan to the USA on a tour in 2000 for 7 weeks.
Liz still accompanies some of the tours as a Journey Host and many will also know or recognise her from the Classic Travelling stand at Goodwood Revival and other events. Liz runs her Hampshire B&B, Farthing Corner, the rest of the time and welcomes many classic car owners to stay and enjoy the driving routes around the area.
Ella Pickard has been accompanying some Classic Travelling tours since 2010 and is a very popular member of the team, renowned for her sunny personality and infectious laugh. Her capable attitude makes her invaluable on tours.
Ella also runs her wonderful business Organisation Unlimited, and so knows how to get things sorted and has an excellent nose for outstanding restaurants and good places to eat. She’s superb as a tour guide, and a great raconteur around the dinner table. She also knows where all the shops are on each tour, and the best bargains to be had!
All tours to Europe and worldwide (not UK or Ireland) are accompanied by our trusty and friendly mechanic, Joe Coleman of Oldtimer Services. Read more here.
What does Classic Travelling do?
Classic Travelling specialises in the organisation of motoring tours and holidays for classic, vintage and sports cars of any age.
Accompanied Group Tours: Scheduled tours for small groups of around 12-18 cars, with wonderful camaraderie with like-minded travellers and drivers. You can rely on us for choosing lovely accommodation (with suitable parking), scenic routes and we give you a comprehensive tour book, with maps, routes, and all the details you need to make the most of your holiday. There is no convoy driving, early departures and competitive stages – just a relaxing and fun touring holiday.
Independent Tours: These are itineraries we have put together that can be taken at any time to suit you. This helps to take away the hassle and guesswork of organising your own trip. Our tour books are available to purchase to use all the information to make your own bookings, but enjoy the same tours as the group tours. These are not intended to be used by groups or clubs please, unless by prior arrangement.
Club Tours: We have worked with a number of car clubs (20-Ghost Club, Jaguar Drivers’ Club, XK Club, E-type Club, CAAR GB, Aston Martin Owners’ Club, Bentley Drivers’ Club) and private groups to arrange tours for their members. We can professionally organise the entire tour so clubs do not have to rely on the goodwill of volunteers. We take away the hassle of arranging a touring holiday for a large number of people – which always takes far longer and involves far more time than any novice volunteer ever thinks!
Private Tours: We have also arranged tours for groups of friends or families for special events and birthday celebrations.
Corporate Tours: We have organised classic car tours for businesses to be used as team-building exercises or as a reward for favoured clients. We can organise classic or sports car hire and we professionally organise the entire trip, so you can just enjoy hosting your employees or clients. Examples include a short tour to Epernay for Champagne tasting, and for classic car businesses for their clients to experience their cars and camaraderie.
We make all the arrangements and reservations (except for flights, where applicable). All you need to do is turn up! We are also agents for P&O Ferries, Brittany Ferries, DFDS Seaways & Eurotunnel, so do let us know if we can help with your sea crossings.