London arrival - Explore Windsor
Your vacation starts at your Windsor hotel at 2:00 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. See the lavishly decorated State Apartments and courtyards. In the evening meet your tour director and trip participants over a welcome drink to discuss your itinerary before dining in your hotel. After dinner take a brief walk around this compact and historic town with a local guide.
Overnight: M Gallery Castle Hotel, Windsor (or similar)
Windsor Ė Stonehenge - Tavistock
Drive to Salisbury Plain to marvel at the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths of Stonehenge
and learn about the primitive builders who managed to create such an enduring monument. The Visitor Centre will give you background information on its construction. Stop in Salisbury
, a charming old city that is dominated by the cathedral with the tallest spire in England. Arrive in Tavistock, a market town on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park.
Overnight: The Bedford Hotel, Tavistock (or similar) (3 nights)
Dartmoor National Park Excursion
Today drive through Bodmin Moor
, an area of unspoilt natural beauty. Stop for photos at Jamaica Inn, made famous by Daphne du Maurier's
tale of smugglers. Visit Lanhydrock House to explore this magnificent late-Victorian country house as you tour grand family rooms as well as the downstairs world. Back in Plymouth see the Mayflower Steps
and cruise to Royal William Yard, former Royal Navy buildings which now host restaurants for independent dining.
Cornwall & Landís End Excursion
Drive to the picturesque village of Marazion located on the coast with magnificent long, sandy beaches. From here view the majestic outline of St Michaelís Mount
, an important pilgrimage destination throughout the ages and provides a wonderful photo opportunity. Drive to Landís End
, the most westerly point of Britain. Visit the Minack Theatre
, an open-air arena for staging plays that was first opened in the 1930ís. Enjoy the lovely views and gardens with their stunning blend of exotic and native plants. Return to Tavistock in time for dinner.
Tavistock - Roman Baths - Cardiff
Travel north to explore Bath, popular for its natural hot springs with the Romans 2,000 years ago. Tour the wonderfully-preserved Roman Baths and Pump Room
, renowned for mineral-rich hot springs. Drive to Cardiff and for a sightseeing tour around the City Centre. Tour Cardiff Castle
before sitting down for a Welsh evening with dinner and some lively Welsh music and entertainment.
Overnight: Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff (or similar)
Cardiff - Hay-on-Wye - Chester
Drive through the Brecon Beacons National Park
to view some majestic Welsh scenery. Stop in Hay-on-Wye
, a town that specialises in second-hand books. You will see bookstores everywhere, making a browse around the town centre great fun. Continue your drive north through the Shropshire Hills to Shrewsbury
, a picturesque town that is close to the Welsh border with England. Take a walking tour with the town crier to see black-and-white buildings that line the narrow streets and learn about the history of the area. Travel through Cheshire to your hotel, located near Chester.
Overnight: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel and Spa, Chester (or similar) (2 nights)
North Wales & Chester Excursion
Today drive through Llangollen
and 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
. Take a walking tour around the picturesque streets and see the smallest house in Britain. Drive to Chester
where another walking tour will reveal medieval black-and-white buildings and Roman walls. Return to Holmes Chapel for dinner.
Chester - Lake District - Edinburgh
Travel through the glorious Lake District
, associated with the childrenís author, Beatrix Potter
, and the poet, William Wordsworth
. Stop in the charming village of Grasmere, where Wordsworth lived and is buried. Near the Scottish border stop at the Old Blacksmithís Shop in Gretna Green, a popular shopping venue for quality Scottish goods. Continue northwards to your next hotel, set in spacious grounds just a few miles outside of Edinburgh, for a lively Scottish evening with special dishes and entertainment.
Overnight: Norton House Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh (or similar) (3 nights)
Edinburgh Castle & City Tour
Explore central Edinburgh this morning, starting in the 200-year-old "New Town
Ē with its planned streets and elegant Georgian houses where many famous writers and inventors lived. See the Royal Mile where narrow medieval houses are clustered and tour Edinburgh Castle
to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny
. The afternoon is free for independent activities.
On 29 July to 12 August departures, experience the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Glamis Castle and St Andrews Excursion
Impressive Glamis Castle was the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and the legendary setting of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Today it is ours to discover. Later we travel to St Andrews
, famously known as the "Home of GolfĒ and location of Scotlandís oldest university. Take a panoramic drive around the town then enjoy a short walking tour before spending some free time browsing around the town. Back in Edinburgh, head for a nearby tavern for dinner with your fellow guests.
Edinburgh Ė Scottish Borders - York
Drive south from Edinburgh stopping at Abbotsford House, the former home of Sir Walter Scott, the famous poet and novelist. Continue south to Hadrian's Wall which was built in 122AD to mark the northern boundary of the vast Roman Empire. On our arrival in York
visit York Minster
, which dominates the city centre and is famous for its stained glass windows. In the evening dine in a centuries-old pub with plenty of atmosphere followed by a light-hearted ghostly walking tour.
Overnight: Marriott Hotel, York (or similar) (2 nights)
Excursion to Castle Howard & North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Travel on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway
by vintage locomotive. Discover the picturesque harbour, winding streets and quaint buildings of Whitby
on a walking tour. Tour the elaborate chambers of Castle Howard
, an imposing 18th century mansion where Evelyn Waughís celebrated novel, "Brideshead Revisited,Ē was filmed. During the visit enjoy a traditional Cream Tea.
York - Stratford-upon-Avon - London
Travel to Stratford-upon-Avon
to visit Shakespeareís Birthplace
to see an exhibition about his life and work. Walk through the furnished house where he was born and see how the family would have lived. Drive through the Cotswolds
and onwards to your hotel in London.
Overnight: Doubletree by Hilton London - Victoria (or similar) (2 nights)
Tower of London & City Tour
This morning take a panoramic tour of central London
to see famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus, Nelsonís 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 afternoon and evening are free.
Depart for Home
Your tour ends after breakfast. Airport transfers to London Heathrow Airport are available.