Tour Highlights: Shakespeare Country, York, Durham, Hadrian's Wall, Jeburgh Abbey, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, St Andrews, Pitlochry, Scottish Highlands, Fort William, Glen Coe, Loch Lomond, Glasgow, Gretna Green, Lake District, Manchester, Cotswolds, Bristol, Bath and Stonehenge
Experience the fascinating Britain of a very different era as you visit Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, Scotland's Edinburgh Castle, the Roman spa in Bath and the magical stone circle that is Stonehenge. Also visit the handsome cities of York, Durham, St. Andrews and Manchester.
London - Stratford upon Avon - York
Welcome aboard and greetings from your Tour Director as you drive through the rolling Cotswolds Hills to Stratford-upon-Avon. Here visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and see Anne Hathaway’s cottage. In your free time explore the charming cobbled streets of the town or walk along the banks of the River Avon. Then travel on to Viking York. Here enjoy a walking tour of the city highlighting the ancient walls, the Mansion House, the picturesque Shambles and the magnificent York Minster. Finally arrive at your hotel in York where you will enjoy a Welcome Pub Reception with your Tour Director and fellow travellers.
Hotel: Hotel 53, York (or similar)
This morning it's off to Durham, which is dominated by its 11th century Norman Cathedral. See the Castle overlooking Palace Green and other fine buildings surrounded by the picturesque River Wear. Then stop to take pictures of a section of the Roman construction known as Hadrian's Wall before driving through the Northumberland National Park. Cross the Scottish border at Carter Bar for spectacular views. Pause to view the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey before arriving in Edinburgh, Scotland’s elegant capital.
Edinburgh Sightseeing and Free Time
Many fascinating highlights are included this morning on your sightseeing tour with a local expert guide. The Royal Mile, views of Holyrood House, Arthur’s Seat, Princes Street, the Scottish Parliament and a visit to Edinburgh Castle is included. This afternoon there is free time or the possibility to visit Rosslyn Chapel located just south of the city. Rosslyn retains an aura of mystery with its many references to the Knights Templar and Freemasonry – but more recently an important feature of the ‘Da Vinci Code’. During the Edinburgh Festival you will have included tickets to the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
After breakfast today drive across the Forth Bridge to the famous golf course at St. Andrews on the Fife coast where you can take a souvenir picture at the 18th hole! Then it’s into the Scottish Highlands and over the River Tay to visit Pitlochry, a charming Victorian holiday resort. There is a dam across the river here with a 'fish ladder' enabling the salmon to make their way upstream to spawn. Enjoy a visit to a local Malt Whisky Distillery where, after our guided tour, there is the chance to sample the end product! Then on to your hotel in the heart of the beautiful Cairngorm National Parlk.
Scottish Highlands - Loch Ness - Glasgow
This morning motor to view the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge then make the short drive to Fort William where you will see Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. Next is awesome Glen Coe called the "Glen of Weeping" after the tragic massacre in 1692 of members of the resident MacDonald clan. Finally reach the "bonnie, bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond en route to Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow – once one of the most important shipbuilding cities in the world. Our orientation tour will introduce you to some of the city's finest buildings including the ornate City Chambers and historic Glasgow Cathedral.
Hotel: Radisson Blu/Marks Hotel, Glasgow (or similar)
Glasgow – Lake District - Manchester
Manchester - Cotswolds - Bristol
Travel through the beautiful Cotswold countryside. The area is known for its rolling hills and historic towns which are built in the local honey coloured stone. Visit Stow-on-the-Wold and see the vast Market Square which was once a trading centre for the sheep and wool trade. Later arrive in Bristol and see the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain during your orientation. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow companions for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
Bristol - Stonehenge - London
Make your way to the beautiful city of Bath this morning to enjoy the superb Georgian architecture and visit the Roman Baths to test the famous health giving waters. Then cross Salisbury Plain to see the mysterious and imposing monoliths at Stonehenge. Finally we drive through Wiltshire and Hampshire and make our way into London where sadly your tour must come to an end.