Day 1 : London – Stonehenge – Bath – Exeter (2 Nights)
The rolling green and golden landscapes of rural Wiltshire provide a stunning backdrop for our scenic drive to Salisbury Plain this morning. We tread in the footsteps of druids and pagans at Stonehenge before travelling to UNESCO listed Bath, with its elegant Georgian façades and the centuries-old Roman Baths. Our home for the next two nights is the historic cathedral city of Exeter where we will enjoy a memorable Welcome Reception this evening at our hotel.
Accommodation : Mercure Southgate
Day 2 : Exeter – Excursion to Plymouth, Polperro, Dartmoor and Buckfast Abbey
Our first stop today is in the ancient port city of Plymouth, where we'll delve into the history of the brave Pilgrim Fathers who set sail for an unknown New World from its shores. See the Royal Citadel overlooking Plymouth Sound and consider an optional cruise around the dramatic coastline. We take a step back in time at our next stop, the fishing village and artists' retreat of Polperro. Continuing along the brooding moorland of Dartmoor, we arrive at Buckfast Abbey, where we'll 'Dive Into Culture' and gain insights into how Benedictine monks have lived and prayed for over 1,000 years.
Day 3 : Exeter – Glastonbury – Cardiff
Enjoy a scenic drive through the pretty Devon and Somerset countryside to mystical Glastonbury, where we'll visit the ruined Abbey, said to be the final resting place of King Arthur. Later, we 'Connect With Locals', joining the Dyer family on their 15th-century dairy farm in Somerset for a 'Be My Guest' lunch. We journey to Cardiff, the capital of Wales, where we'll explore the proud heritage of the Welsh and modern icons, including the Principality Stadium during an orientation tour.
Accommodation : Park Inn City Centre
Day 4 : Cardiff – Ludlow – Chester – Liverpool
Tudor history is explored this morning as we visit the historic towns of Ludlow and Chester with their characteristic black and white half-timbered buildings. Join your Travel Director for an orientation walk past these famous Tudor Rows and enjoy views of Chester's medieval city walls and red sandstone Cathedral. The haunt of the 'Fab Four' is our final stop today. Join a 'Local Specialist' to gain insight into Liverpool's Beatles' history and enjoy a free evening in one of Britain's edgiest cities.
Accommodation : Jurys Inn
Day 5 : Liverpool – Lake District – Glasgow
Rolling Lancashire pastures give way to the soul-stirring Lake District, whose beautiful scenery has inspired poets and writers for centuries. We travel along the shores of Lake Windermere, through countryside made famous by the poet William Wordsworth. Stop in Gretna Green, where many an eloping couple have tied the knot. We arrive in Glasgow later for an orientation tour, including views of the Cathedral, magnificent George Square and the Clyde River, the former heart of the shipbuilding industry. This evening, enjoy during a Regional Dinner in a local restaurant.
Accommodation : Crowne Plaza/Holiday Inn City Centre Theatreland
Day 6 : Glasgow – Glencoe – Fort William – Scottish Highlands (2 Nights)
Journey along Loch Lomond, whose bonnie banks were immortalised in the well-known Scottish song. We arrive in Glencoe and remember the MacDonald clansmen who died tragically in the 1692 massacre which led this place to be called the 'Glen of Weeping'. At the World War II Commando Memorial near Fort William, we admire views of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Our day in beautiful surrounds comes to an end with a cosy dinner at our hotel located within the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands.
Accommodation : Laggan Gaskmore/Carrbridge
Day 7 : Isle of Skye Sightseeing and Scenic Highland Excursion
We travel to the coast this morning to the Isle of Skye where a 'Local Specialist' will take us on a journey to view the remarkable Cuillin Mountains. Against the backdrop of heather-clad mountains, we stop at the ancient settlement of Kyleakin. Later, we cross back to view scenic Eilean Donan Castle on the mainland. Travel through the Scottish Highlands past its picturesque lochs and glens, keeping your camera at the ready to capture 'Nessie' if you can.
Day 8 : Scottish Highlands – Pitlochry – St. Andrews – Edinburgh (2 Nights)
Heading back to the lowlands of Scotland, we stop in Pitlochry before heading to the historic home of golf, St. Andrews. Here, the first games were played during the 1400s. See its famous 18th hole before crossing the Firth of Forth to Scotland's enchanting capital, Edinburgh. Tickets to see the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo are included on departures that coincide with performance dates.
Accommodation : Marriott/Jurys Inn
Day 9 : Edinburgh Sightseeing and Free Time
Ramble up the Royal Mile today and see the iconic sights of one of Britain's most enchanting cities. The elegant Palace of Holyroodhouse, in the shadow of Arthur's Seat, and the Scottish Parliament feature on your sightseeing tour with a 'Local Specialist'. Visit Edinburgh Castle perched atop Castle Rock overlooking the city. Admire the elegant Georgian architecture in the New Town and amble through the hidden passages of the Old Town before enjoying an evening at leisure. Consider an Optional Experience including traditional song, dance and Scottish fare.
Day 10 : Edinburgh – Alnwick – York
We travel to the medieval market town of Alnwick this morning, where we'll see the impressive castle home to the Duke of Northumberland and the Tenantry Column, upon which the Percy Lion sits and surveys the town. Journey through Northumberland to the cathedral city of York. We'll embark an orientation walk past its cobblestone Shambles and see the inspiring Minster with its 'heart of Yorkshire' before joining our newfound friends for a Farewell Dinner.
Accommodation : Novotel Centre
Day 11 : York – Stratford-upon-Avon – London
Shakespeare's legacy and life are celebrated in his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, which we will have an opportunity to visit today on our return to London. See Anne Hathaway's thatched cottage and visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Centre. Later, we travel back to London where our amazing holiday comes to an end.