2017 Best of Britain 10 Days / 9 Nights
Your vacation starts at your Windsor hotel at 2:30 pm when you meet your tour director. Close to your hotel, visit Windsor Castle, residence of The Queen and the largest inhabited castle in the world. Join your tour director and trip participants for a welcome drink before dining in your hotel. After dinner take a brief walk around this compact and historic town with a local guide.
Take a stroll through central Oxford to see some of the most famous colleges and impressive buildings. Learn about the city to understand how the two communities of “town” and “gown” co-exist. Drive north to York where a walking tour is the only way to access the tiny medieval streets including the Shambles, one of the city’s narrowest alleyways. Tour the Gothic York Minster, which is renowned for magnificent medieval stained glass windows. Check in to your hotel in York and savor dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Drive north and pause for photos at a section of Hadrian’s Wall. Visit Bamburgh Castle, an imposing medieval fortress that is one of the largest inhabited castles in Britain, dating back to 1096. This magical castle is set high on a rocky plateau affording wonderful views along the coast. Imagine what life was like for the kings, courtiers and servants as you explore the dungeons of the Keep, the King’s Hall and the Medieval Kitchen which produced vast quantities of food. Continue through the Scottish Borders to Edinburgh and check in to your hotel. Head out for a lively Scottish Evening with dinner and entertainment.
Explore central Edinburgh this morning, starting in the 200-year-old “New Town” with its planned streets and elegant Georgian houses. View Princes Street, the city’s premier shopping street and see the Royal Mile where medieval houses are clustered closely together. Tour the massive Edinburgh Castle to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. The afternoon is free for independent activities. You may like to visit some of the many museums or browse in the little shops along the Royal Mile. On August 06 to 20 departures watch the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Castle Esplanade.
Stop in Gretna Green, where eloping couples used to cross into Scotland to be married at the Famous Blacksmith’s Shop. While it still holds many weddings, today it is a popular shopping stop for quality Scottish goods. Drive through the Lake District, a region associated with Beatrix Potter who worked tirelessly for its preservation. See stunning views of lakes, gentle hills and valleys. Stop in the peaceful village of Grasmere where William Wordsworth penned some of his popular lines. Continue to Liverpool to visit The Beatles Story where you can hear their music and learn about their lives and work. Check in to your hotel and after dinner you may head to the world-famous Cavern Club.
Drive south through Shropshire, close to the Welsh border and one of the most unspoiled parts of rural England. Stop in Ludlow, a town that can trace its origins back 900 years, to see the huge castle and quaint old black-and-white houses. Continue south through the lovely Welsh countryside to visit the picturesque ruins of Tintern Abbey, founded in 1131 and dissolved in 1536 by order of King Henry VIII. In the 18th century it became a popular haunt of the poet, William Wordsworth. Head to Cardiff and tour Cardiff Castle, developed in Roman times and rebuilt through the centuries. Head to a Welsh evening for dinner and some lively music and entertainment.
Take a panoramic tour of Cardiff to see the principal areas and buildings and discover local information on a brief walking tour. A short drive will bring you to Bath for a visit to the Roman Baths and Pump Room, hot mineral-rich springs that have been popular since Roman times. At Salisbury Plain marvel at the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths of Stonehenge and learn about the primitive building methods used to create such an enduring monument. Drive to your hotel in London where the evening is free for independent activities.
This morning take a panoramic tour of central London to see famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus with its statue of Eros, Nelson’s Column flanked by huge lions in Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Visit the mighty Tower of London to see the many fortresses, Beefeaters, ravens and the priceless Crown Jewels. The rest of the day is free for further exploring and there is no shortage of great things to see and do.
London sightseeing by open-top bus tour around the many famous landmarks. There are a number of different bus routes to choose from as well as a walking tour and a cruise on the River Thames.
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
All components of this tour (hotels, meals, visits and attractions) for 2017 are subject to change until finalized in September 2016.
(Updated March 28, 2016)