Highlights of Britain
A unique sightseeing experience, this comprehensive one-way journey is tailored to those who want to fully experience British history and culture. Our tour is designed to bring you the very best of Britain, from shimmering lakes, towering mountains, thatched cottage villages, traditional pubs, quaint harbours and medieval towns and cities. On leisurely days and fun evenings you'll discover more about the amazing people, history, landscape and culture of these unique countries –
London to Cotswolds
After London, there is no better introduction to England than Oxford, the ‘city of dreaming spires’. We see the grandest of all Oxford’s colleges, Christ Church, once the home of Lewis Carroll but more recently used in the Harry Potter films, before enjoying a guided walk of the city. After lunch we drive to a traditional 18th century woollen-mill in the Cotswolds, to learn about the industry that represents the cornerstone of Cotswold heritage. We then continue through quaint villages to our delightful Cotswolds accommodation. Tonight we will have dinner together at the world famous Pudding Club.
Cotswolds to Chester (2 nights)
This morning we drive to Worcester to visit one of England’s quietest but most interesting cathedrals, where you can see the tomb of the infamous King John. We continue our journey north to the town of Much Wenlock - the birthplace of the modern Olympics, followed by a short drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ironbridge to see the first arch bridge in the world to be made out of cast iron. We finish today by driving to historic Chester, once the Roman city of Deva.
Snowdonia National Park Excursion
Today we travel across the border into Wales to explore Snowdonia National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty. We experience narrow mountain passes, see gushing streams, cascading waterfalls, sheep-covered uplands and verdant and hidden valleys that some claim to be the resting place of the real King Arthur. This afternoon we make our way back to Chester along the North Wales coast visiting Conwy, the most complete walled town in Britain, with its stark and imposing 13th century castle.
Chester to York (2 nights)
This morning we explore Chester, seeing its medieval walls, the old Roman amphitheatre and Chester’s Rows, Britain’s first shopping mall. Our journey continues east across England’s backbone, the Pennine hills, to the Bronte parsonage at Haworth. After seeing what inspired the sisters to write the likes of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, we will then briefly stop at Salts Mill, set in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saltaire. The Grade II Listed historic mill was built in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt along with the village to house his workers. Our final stop today is in the market town of Otley, for an early evening meal, before we continue to York, the historic capital of northern England.
This morning your guide will take you through the old city pointing out its highlights including the city walls, York Minster, the York Castle Museum, the Jorvik (Viking) Centre, Clifford’s Tower and the famous Shambles. This afternoon you have free time to further explore York independently.
York to Lake District (2 nights)
Today we make our way to Whitby, dipping into the imposing North Yorkshire Moors on the way. Our first stop is at the Magpie Café to taste their wonderful fish and chips, reputedly the best in Britain. We then visit the museum chronicling a young Captain Cook’s training as a seaman before embarking on his epic voyages of discovery. From Whitby we travel west, stopping at a traditional Yorkshire brew house to sample award winning ale, before enjoying the wonderful scenery of the Yorkshire Dales. Our final destination is Lake Windermere, our base for the next two nights.
Today we enjoy one of Britain’s most beautiful national parks. Crossing Lake Windermere, our first stop is Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm, still as she left it and where some of her famous characters were created. We move on to Hawkshead, home of the Beatrix Potter Gallery and the Old Grammar School attended by William Wordsworth, where the Museum still houses his original desk. Afterwards, we wind our way through the beautiful back roads of this striking region, stopping for lunch in one of the countless picturesque villages in the area. This afternoon, we drive to Grasmere where we visit Sarah Nelson’s famous Gingerbread Shop, which has been making this delicacy since 1854. Taste gingerbread and learn about its history before we travel to Dove Cottage, once home to the poet William Wordsworth and inspiration for his Daffodils poem. We then enjoy a short cruise on the lake before returning to our accommodation.
Lake District to Scottish Borders
This morning we drive to the village of Orton, where we visit a small family homemade chocolate producer. We then travel through the lush, green valley of the River Eden, one of England’s best salmon rivers, to Alston. Located high up in the North Pennies, Alston claims to be the highest market settlement in England. Driving through the lovely scenery of Northumberland, we follow Hadrian’s Wall until we reach Birdoswald Roman Fort, one of the best Roman sites on Hadrian’s Wall. Tonight we will stay in a restored 15th century medieval Scottish castle, where we will also enjoy a 3-course Scottish banquet together.
Scottish Borders to Edinburgh
As we travel north we stop briefly at the ruins of Hermitage Castle. This remote and spooky castle was the scene of many bloody battles in the territorial wars between the Scots and the English. We then pass through dramatic moorlands on the way to Scott’s View, loved by Scotland’s most famous novelist Sir Walter Scott. We continue to Melrose, home of the rugby sevens and Melrose Abbey, the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart. This afternoon we visit one of the most mysterious sites in Scotland, Rosslyn Chapel, which was featured in the best-selling film The Da Vinci Code. Our final destination is Edinburgh, where our tour comes to an end.