Duration: 13 Days
Experience some of Britain’s fascinating towns as you travel through England, Scotland, and Wales, stopping for overnights in London, Leeds, Edinburgh, Strathpeffer, Glasgow, Liverpool, Cardiff, and Plymouth.
Part of the charm of travelling through Britain is seeing the spectacular scenery, and on this Britain tour, you’ll get the opportunity to witness some of its most scenic areas. Travel through Northumberland National Park, with its wide-open spaces and views of endless beauty; Brecon Beacons National Park, with its dramatic landscapes; Dartmoor National Park; and incomparable Snowdonia National Park in Wales, with picturesque villages, mountains, and lakes. Drive through the serene Lake District, England’s largest and finest natural park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your way to the beautiful Isle of Skye, admire some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery, including vast areas of unspoiled wilderness and gorgeous lochs (lakes).
On this Britain tour, you’ll also travel to some of Britain’s charming towns. In Stratford-upon-Avon, explore the town that Shakespeare called home and get a glimpse into life in 16th-century England. Walk through York’s quaint streets with your Tour Director and marvel at England’s most complete medieval city. In Bath, explore the elegant city famed for its excavations of the 2,000-year-old Roman baths. In Plymouth, see the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked in 1620. Enjoy an orientation drive in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, and sightseeing in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. These are just some of the many highlights of this value-minded Britain tour through England, Scotland, and Wales. Be sure to grab your camera so all you have to do is sit back and relax as you experience these wonderful destinations.
Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, there's time to rest or to start exploring the lively British capital. Uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
Today is devoted to exploring on your own or enjoying our exciting optional activities. You may choose to join a Local Guide for an optional morning sightseeing tour of the city's famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall's mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister's Downing Street residence, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. The highlight is a visit to St. Paul's Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece built between 1675 and 1708. Later, maybe visit Windsor Castle or the Tower of London with its spectacular Crown Jewels. Tonight, we recommend our optional Taste of London excursion with dinner, followed by a guided illumination cruise on the Thames River. (B)
Meet your Tour Director and travelling companions and depart at 8 am for a memorable day of sightseeing. In Oxford, a walking tour shows you the colleges where Britain's elite receive its outstanding education. Then, travel through the lovely Cotswold Hills to Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon. Take photos of Anne Hathaway's Cottage and explore the town at your own pace. Your overnight destination is Leeds. (B,D)
Today's Distance: 263 mi/ 423 km
In York, stand in awe in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. See a section of Hadrian's Wall, then motor through wild Northumberland National Park to the Scottish border. Then, at Jedburgh, see the abbey ruins before a late-afternoon arrival in Edinburgh. A suggestion for this evening: enjoy a traditional Scottish night out with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and, of course, the Ceremony of the Haggis. (B)
Today's Distance: 270 mi/ 434 km
A full day to enjoy the Scottish capital. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old "New Town," home to famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the "Old Town," visit Edinburgh Castle to admire Scotland's Crown Jewels. Afternoon at leisure. Later, consider a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia. Tour five decks and see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds out this optional evening. For departure numbers 0809 and 0823, tickets are included for tonight's performance of the worldrenowned Military Tattoo, a vast spectacle of amassed Scottish pipe bands that takes place in an arena on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. (B)
A day of memorable sightseeing: take the elegant Forth Road Bridge to St. Andrews, whose Royal and Ancient Golf Club has given us the rules of golfing; then, cross the Firth of Tay and, via Dundee and Perth, head into the Highlands, with a stop in the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry. Cross the battlefield of Culloden Moor with its memories of Bonnie Prince Charlie, then, via Inverness, head for your Highland destination. (B,D)
Today's Distance: 221 mi/ 335 km
More heather-clad moors as you drive through the western Highlands to Lochalsh and the Inner Hebridean Isle of Skye. Return to the mainland by ferry across the Sound of Sleat to Mallaig. Glen Coe, where the MacDonald Clan was massacred in 1692, and a drive along the "Bonnie Banks" of Loch Lomond are scenic highlights on the way to Glasgow, Scotland's great cultural city. (B,D)
Today's Distance: 234 mi/ 377 km
South through the history-steeped Lowland Hills and a visit to Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. Drive through beautiful scenery in the Lake District, considered to be the finest of England's national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. End the day in Liverpool, of Beatles fame, once the departure port of the great transatlantic liners. You may wish to join an optional city tour this afternoon. (B)
Today's Distance: 240 mi/ 386 km
A day dedicated to the mountainous splendour of North Wales. After a stop in pretty Betws-y-Coed, drive over spectacular Llanberis Pass and through Snowdonia National Park to Caernarvon, where the castle saw the investiture of Charles as Prince of Wales. Then, follow the coast road via the walled town of Conway back to Liverpool. (B)
Today's Distance: 185 mi/ 298 km
First stop today is in the pretty market town of Ludlow before heading back into Wales and Brecon Beacons National Park, land of salmon rivers and the Welsh mountain pony. Finally, head through "The Valleys," whose iron ore and coal were the raw materials for the Industrial Revolution, to the Welsh capital. Here, an orientation drive introduces you to the major attractions: Cardiff Castle, Cathays Park, Millennium Stadium, and the stately civic buildings. Tonight, why not join an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner? (B)
Today's Distance: 181 mi/ 301 km
Leaving Wales, cross the Severn Bridge for a visit to the elegant Georgian city of Bath, famed for its Roman relics, before heading into the romantically scenic West Country and Glastonbury with its King Arthur associations. In the heart of Dartmoor National Park, visit quaint Widecombe-in-the-Moor, ghostly setting for Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles. Finally, in Plymouth, hear about Sir Francis Drake and see the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked in 1620. (B)
Today's Distance: 197 mi/ 316 km
On the final leg of your journey, take in Thomas Hardy's Wessex and visit prehistoric Stonehenge. First, explore the visitor centre with its imaginative exhibitions, then admire the magnificence of the monument from up close. Return to London around 3 pm. How about celebrating the success of your tour with a night out on the town? (B)
Today's Distance: 218 mi/ 351 km
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)