2018 HIGHLIGHTS OF BRITAIN 16 DAYS / 15 NIGHTS
Tour begins 2 PM, Windsor hotel. Visit Windsor Castle, residence of The Queen and the largest inhabited castle in the world. Enjoy a welcome drink with your group before dinner. Then take a brief walk around this compact and historic town with a local guide.
Marvel at the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths of Stonehenge and learn about the primitive builders who managed to create such an enduring monument. Stop in Salisbury, a charming old city where the cathedral boasts the tallest spire in England. Arrive in Tavistock, a market town on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park.
Travel through Bodmin Moor, an area of unspoiled natural beauty, stopping for photos at Jamaica Inn, made famous by Daphne du Maurier's tale of smugglers. Explore Lanhydrock House, a late-Victorian country house with grand rooms and servants’ quarters. Back in Plymouth see the Mayflower Steps and cruise to Royal William Yard, former Royal Navy buildings which now host restaurants idea for independent dining this evening.
Visit the coastal village of Marazion to see the majestic outline of St Michael’s Mount, an important pilgrimage destination. In St. Ives enjoy a walking tour of the main sights and admire the array of beautiful sandy beaches surrounding the town. Enjoy some free time before returning to your hotel in Tavistock.
Explore Bath, popular with the Romans for its natural hot springs 2,000 years ago. Tour the wonderfully-preserved Roman Baths and Pump Room, renowned for mineral-rich hot springs. Head to Cardiff for a sightseeing tour around the city centre. Tour Cardiff Castle before sitting down for a Welsh banquet with dinner and some lively entertainment.
Travel through the Brecon Beacons National Park to Hay-on-Wye, a town famous for books. Continue to Shrewsbury, a picturesque town near the English/Welsh border. Take a walking tour with the town crier to see black-and-white buildings that line the narrow streets. Travel through Cheshire to your hotel in Chester.
Drive across the Horseshoe Pass for wonderful vistas. Visit a farm to see trained dogs herding sheep and travel to Conwy, a medieval town dominated by a huge castle. Enjoy a walking tour around the picturesque streets and see the smallest house in Britain. In Chester another walking tour will reveal medieval buildings and Roman walls.
Travel through the glorious Lake District, which inspired many of Beatrix Potter’s children’s books. Stop in the village of Grasmere, where Wordsworth lived and is buried. Stop at the Famous Blacksmith’s Shop in Gretna Green, a popular shopping venue for quality Scottish goods. At your hotel, enjoy a drink with your fellow travellers before a lively Scottish evening with dinner and entertainment.
Explore central Edinburgh, starting in the 200-year-old “New Town” with planned streets and elegant Georgian houses where many famous writers and inventors lived. See the Royal Mile with its narrow medieval houses and tour Edinburgh Castle to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. The rest of the day is free. On July 29 to August 12 departures, experience the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Tour Glamis Castle, the legendary setting of Shakespeare’s "Macbeth" and childhood home of the Queen Mother. Cross the modern Tay Bridge to the medieval town of St Andrews, ”the home of golf”. Enjoy a panoramic tour and spend some free time browsing on your own. Back in Edinburgh, head to a nearby pub for dinner with your group.
Visit Abbotsford House, formerly the home of historical novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott. Continue to Hadrian's Wall, built in 122 AD to mark the northern edge of the mighty Roman Empire. Upon arrival in York, visit York Minster, which is famous for its stained glass windows. In the evening dine in a centuries-old pub and then take a light-hearted ghost tour.
Head to Pickering or Goathland Station, which served as "Hogsmeade" station in the Harry Potter series, and travel on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway by vintage locomotive. In Whitby, take a guided stroll around the picturesque harbor, winding streets and quaint buildings. Tour the elaborate chambers of Castle Howard, an imposing 18th century mansion where “Brideshead Revisited” was filmed.
Travel to Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Discover the world that shaped the man as you look through an exhibition about his life and work. Drive through the scenic Cotswolds region, renowned for picturesque villages built of honey-colored stone with charming gardens. Arrive in London where the evening is at leisure.
Take a panoramic London tour to see some of the famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus, Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Visit the mighty Tower of London to see the many fortresses, Beefeaters in their elaborate uniforms, and the dazzling Crown Jewels. The afternoon and evening are free for independent activities and dining.
London sightseeing on an open-top bus tour around famous landmarks. There are a number of different bus routes as well as a walking tour and a River Thames cruise.
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner