Day 1 : London – Windsor – Bath – Cheltenham (1 Night)
Begin and end your journey back in time on the busy streets of London. The British capital won’t keep you from your exploration of the island’s colourful history. This morning you’ll travel west for a memorable encounter with royalty and the Roman Empire. Start with a visit to Windsor, home to the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, then continue to UNESCO-listed Bath. You’ll want to sink your toes into the milky warm waters of its Roman Baths, as you imagine a time, centuries ago, when this ancient bath complex stood at the centre of the city’s social life. Its steaming spring water once brought wellness and relaxation to well-heeled patrons. View the city’s beautiful Georgian façades before continuing to Cheltenham for your overnight stay.
Accommodation : Holiday Inn Express City Centre
Day 2 : Cheltenham – Chester – Liverpool (1 Night)
The Romans left their magic touch on the pretty town of Chester. You’ll view the city walls that they built in the first century to defend their fortress and the black and white half-timbered buildings, famously known as 'The Rows'. Take some time to explore Chester your way or join an Optional Experience to Llangollen in North Wales. Home of the International Eisteddfod, Llangollen has a tiny population but punches well above its weight when it comes to serene scenery and an array of cafés, bars and restaurants. Our home for the night is the haunt of the 'Fab Four', with an evening at leisure to explore Liverpool’s legendary nightlife.
Accommodation : Ibis Albert Dock
Day 3 : Liverpool – Lake District – Gretna Green – Glasgow (1 Night)
Settle in for a scenic drive north to the Lake District. Here you’ll see first-hand why the rugged and untamed beauty of the Lake District inspired William Wordsworth to wander 'lonely as a cloud' in his acclaimed piece of poetry, 'Daffodils'. There’s no better way to embrace the area’s heritage than to join an Optional Experience and chug between Haverthwaite and Lakeside in an old-world steam train followed by a cruise on Lake Windermere. Crossing the Scottish border, you’ll stop at Gretna Green, where eloping couples would exchange their vows over the Blacksmith’s anvil and be bound to each other forever. Resist the urge to tie the knot yourself and continue to the bold city of Glasgow, where you’ll have an opportunity to join an Optional Experience for a night on the toon.
Accommodation : Ibis City Centre
Day 4 : Glasgow – Scottish Highlands (1 Night)
Kickstart your day with an introduction to Glasgow’s industrial past and modern revival that have given the city its characteristic gallus strut. Channel your inner Highlander next, embarking on a journey north to the banks of Loch Lomond, where a cruise to Rob Roy’s cave could be on the cards should you choose to join this Optional Experience. Later, the breathtakingly beautiful scenery of Glencoe, 'Glen of Weeping', will stir all your emotions – not least as you remember the brave clansmen who fought relentlessly for their beliefs. Local shepherd Neil and his enthusiastic border collies are ready to welcome guests on their Highland sheep farm for an Optional Experience this afternoon. You can perfect your sheep-shearing skills before settling into your Highland hotel.
Accommodation : Laggan
Day 5 : Scottish Highlands – St. Andrews – Edinburgh (Airth) (2 Nights)
Robert Burns once wrote of his beloved hills of the Highlands. Your scenic drive through its mystical landscapes will leave you similarly inspired as you venture to picturesque Pitlochry on the banks of the Tummel. There’s time to explore this salmon fishing centre on your own or join an Optional Experience to Blair Castle, home of the Duke of Atholl and Europe's last remaining private army. The fairways and greens of St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf, beckon and you’ll have an opportunity to snap a selfie against the backdrop of the famous 18th green.
Accommodation : Airth Castle
Day 6 : Edinburgh sightseeing and free time
Tuck into a hearty Scottish breakfast with tattie scones and all the trimmings. Today you’ll need some extra sustenance as there’s much to see and do in Scotland’s hilly capital. The Georgian New Town, Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle all wait to be viewed in the company of your Local Specialist, so grab your camera and prepare for a memorable sightseeing tour revealing all the highlights of Auld Reekie. You’ll have plenty of time to explore on your own or consider joining an Optional Experience to the Royal Yacht Britannia or an in-depth tour of Edinburgh Castle.
Day 7 : Edinburgh (Airth) – York – Bradford (1 Night)
Cheerio the noo and wave goodbye to Scotland. It’s time to venture south on your return journey through England to London, but not before you come face-to-face with Hadrian’s first-century attempt to keep the ‘barbarians’ out of his Roman Empire. You’ll not see an ancient Roman wall like it anywhere else on earth. Continue to the walled city of York, where an orientation tour will guide you through its narrow medieval streets to the 13th-century Gothic cathedral, York Minster, which dominates the city. You’ll have some time to admire the structure’s beautiful stained glass before an evening on your own, although York’s alluring history may keep you on the edge of your seat. Delve into its tales of Romans, roses and ghosts. It’s the stuff great books are made of.
Accommodation : Jurys Inn
Day 8 : Bradford – Stratford-upon-Avon – London
Your return journey to London is almost at its end, but not before a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the famous bard, William Shakespeare, who became England’s most beloved playwright. It’s time for one last group picture as you say a fond farewell to your Travel Director and new friends in the capital of the United Kingdom.