2014 Icons of Britain 16 Days/15 Nights]
Start your trip at Glasgow Airport with a group transfer to your hotel, departing at 8:00 am, 10:00 am or 12:00 noon. At 2:30 pm tour Glasgow to see George Square and nearby Glasgow Cathedral and visit extensive collections in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Join your tour director and travel companions for a welcome drink before dinner.
Travel alongside the famous Loch Lomond, renowned for its unsurpassed beauty, and through the deep valley of Glen Coe. Continue through Fort William and stop at the Spean Bridge Woollen Mill, which offers quality Scottish goods. At Fort Augustus embark on a short cruise on Loch Ness and continue to the charming Victorian town of Strathpeffer. Check in to your hotel and relax before dinner.
Drive to Blair Athol Distillery in Pitlochry to see how whisky is distilled and sample some. Continue south to St Andrews on the east coast. Spend time on your own to browse around the British Golf Museum, the town or the cathedral ruins. Continue to Edinburgh and enjoy a Scottish Evening with lively singing and dancing and a chance to try some traditional haggis, neeps and tatties.
This morning take a guided tour around central Edinburgh, which is divided between the gracious, wide streets of the 200-year-old Georgian New Town and the compact medieval Royal Mile in the Old Town. Visit Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone. On August 1 to 15 departures, seats are reserved for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Journey through the Scottish Borders, stopping Gretna Green before driving into the Lake District National Park. See the charming hills and valleys that inspired William Wordsworth’s poetry and enjoy lunch in the quaint village of Grasmere. Check in to your elegant lakeside hotel and you are free to browse and dine on your own.
See heathery moors, flower-filled meadows and ancient stone villages of the Yorkshire Dales. Take a guided tour around York and walk to York Minster to visit the great medieval cathedral. Dine in a historic pub and explore narrow medieval streets on a fun ghost walking tour.
Travel on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway by vintage locomotive. Discover the picturesque harbor, 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 Waugh’s celebrated novel, “Brideshead Revisited,” was filmed.
In Haworth visit the Brontë Parsonage, where Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë penned their popular novels, including “Wuthering Heights.” In Liverpool a Beatles-themed tour will show you many of the places where the “Fab Four” lived, worked, played and came to fame. After dinner, explore on your own, if you wish.
This morning visit The Beatles Story to learn more about the Beatles and their music. Take a walking tour of Chester to discover the Roman walls and black-and-white buildings. Drive to London and check in to your hotel where dinner is served.
This morning take a panoramic tour of central London to see famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus, Nelson’s Column and lions of Trafalgar Square, Big Ben towering over the Houses of Parliament and Hyde Park. Visit the Tower of London to view the magnificent Crown Jewels, guarded by Beefeaters in distinctive Tudor uniforms. The evening is free for dining.
Drive to Salisbury Plain to view the huge monoliths of Stonehenge and learn about their history. Next head to Bath to visit the Roman Baths and Pump Room, hot mineral-rich springs that have been popular since Roman times. Travel into Wales to tour Cardiff Castle followed by a fun Welsh banquet.
Take a panoramic drive around Cardiff, Wales’ proud capital, to view the principal features. Drive through the Brecon Beacons National Park and continue north through charming countryside. Stop in a local town to get a flavor of the region. Take a narrow-gauge train ride through the heart of Snowdonia to admire mountain scenery. Drive to Caernarfon for your next overnight stay.
Today tour North Wales, starting with a visit to the National Slate Museum, which tells about the region’s former slate industry and pause for photos of Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. Stop in Conwy to view its massive castle, narrow medieval streets and the smallest house in Britain. Tour the massive walls and battlements of 13th century Caernarfon Castle.
Drive to the charming village of Llangollen before heading across the English border for a look around the picturesque town of Bridgnorth. Drive to Stratford-upon-Avon for a panoramic tour and visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace to see an exhibition about his life and work. Check in to your Tudor-style hotel.
Drive through the Cotswolds and stop in Broadway, typical of the lovely old villages in the region. Take a walking tour through Oxford to learn about the city and the most famous colleges. Tour Windsor Castle, one of The Queen’s official residences, to see the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel. After dinner, take a brief stroll around the town.
Take a transfer to Heathrow Airport in time for check in formalities. Transfers to Gatwick Airport can be arranged at additional cost.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner