Day 1 : Journey to Stonehenge, Bath and Exeter
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 traveling to the 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 Dinner this evening at our hotel.
Accommodation : Mercure Southgate
Day 2 : Plymouth and More in the Southwest Dive Into Culture
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 delightful village 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.
Accommodation : Mercure Southgate
Day 3 : Onwards to Glastonbury and Cardiff Connect with Locals
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. Your journey back to a time of knights, lords and ladies is just beginning and you’ll head to Somerset for an unforgettable experience with Ian and Ann Dyer who are your warm Be My Guest hosts on their modern-day dairy farm, where guests will get to see the ancient manor which was mentioned in the Domesday book of 1085. The Dyers both hail from old farming families and you’ll learn what life is like in the rural countryside and the historical significance of their home as you Connect With Locals over a lunch featuring family favorites prepared by keen cook, Ann. 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 : Mercure Holland House
Day 4 : Explore Tudor History and on to 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 : Leonardo Hotel Liverpool
Day 5 : Venture to the Romantic Lake District and on to 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 on the Scottish border, where many eloping couples 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 a Regional Dinner in a local restaurant.
Accommodation : Crowne Plaza
Day 6 : On to Fort William and the Scottish Highlands
Journey along Loch Lomond, whose Bonnie Banks were immortalized 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 cozy dinner at our hotel located within the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands.
Accommodation : Carrbridge, Laggan
Day 7 : Discover the Isle of Skye
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 the mainland to view scenic Eilean Donan Castle. Travel through the Scottish Highlands past its picturesque lochs and glens, keeping your camera at the ready to capture ‘Nessie’ if you can.
Accommodation : Laggan
Day 8 : Journey to Enchanting Edinburgh
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
Day 9 : Uncover Edinburgh’s Treasures
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.
Accommodation : Marriott
Day 10 : Continue to 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 Center
Day 11 : Onwards to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and 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 Center. Later, we travel back to London where our amazing holiday comes to an end.