Get acquainted with some of Britain’s most cultural and compelling cities on a 5-day tour that takes you to the countries of England, Scotland and Wales. Marvel at iconic monuments and treasured landmarks on comprehensive walking tours; receive free admission to the birthplace of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon; and, if travelling on August 3, 10 or 17, enjoy a complimentary ticket to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Included on the tour is the following: daily breakfasts, except for on Day 1; 4 nights accommodation in centrally located, 4-star hotels in Liverpool, Cardiff, York and Edinburgh; entry to indicated attractions; a professional guide; and transportation by luxury coach.Day 1: London – Stratford-upon-Avon – York (D)
Leave central London by luxury coach and travel north to the pretty market town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare — the renowned English poet and playwright — and hear tales of his popular sonnets, stanzas and plays. After exploring the town with your guide, travel north to York, capital of the county of Yorkshire.
Stretch your legs on a stroll around the city, and pay a visit to York Minster and the pretty cobblestone streets of the Shambles. Check in to your York hotel, and then get to know your guide and fellow group members over a welcome dinner and drinks.
Overnight: 4-star Hilton York Hotel, York
Day 2: York – Edinburgh (B)
After breakfast, leave York and travel north through the rugged countryside of the Northumberland Moors, passing the romantic ruins of Jedburgh Abbey, a 12th-century stately home built for Augustinian monks.
Your journey to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, takes roughly four hours, meaning your estimated arrival time is around midday. First stop is Edinburgh Castle for a tour of the impressive historical landmark that towers on a rocky crag above the city. Learn of pivotal events in the castle’s history such as the Jacobite Rebellion, and see meticulously preserved rooms like the 16th-century Great Hall.
Return to your coach for a short drive down the Royal Mile to see Holyroodhouse Palace, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh. After viewing the historical palace from the outside, take a walk down Princes Street, passing its busy high street shops and independent boutiques, before a photo stop by the Sir Walter Scott Monument. Enjoy free time to shop, eat and sightsee at leisure. Check into your hotel in the late afternoon, and then spend your evening in the city independently. If traveling on August 3, 10 or 17, a ticket to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is included. Head to Edinburgh Castle with your guide in the evening, and enjoy a performance of ceremonial marching, drumming, dancing and music that culminates in a dazzling firework display.
Overnight: 4-star Missoni Hotel, Edinburgh
Day 3: Edinburgh – Lake District – Liverpool (B)
Enjoy breakfast, and travel southwest by coach, past the southern Scottish village of Gretna Green. The village is a popular British wedding venue, made famous from eloping English couples during the 18th and 19th centuries. Cross the border into England’s northeast and travel through the Lake District, a region so picturesque that it inspired several of Britain’s best-known poets. Stop to visit the grave of one such poet, William Wordsworth, in the pretty limestone town of Grasmere, and then take a break for lunch. Your tour then continues south to Liverpool, the lively northern city with a famous musical heritage.
After checking into your hotel, the remainder of your afternoon and evening is spent at leisure. Get recommendations for top attractions to visit independently from your guide; the Beatles Story exhibition and Albert Dock are well worth visiting at your own expense.
Overnight: 4-star Atlantic Tower Hotel, Liverpool
Day 4: Liverpool – Chester – Cardiff (B)
Relax over breakfast in your hotel, and then leave Liverpool to visit the former Roman fortress town of Chester, only a short drive away. Walk around the almost-intact city walls with your guide and learn about their use during medieval days. See Chester’s majestic Eastgate Clock — one of the most photographed clocks in Britain— and then admire Chester Cathedral from the outside.
Resume your journey and travel southwest through Wales to the country’s capital of Cardiff: your final destination of the day. Check in to your hotel on arrival, and then enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening doing whatever you wish.
Overnight: 4-star Mercure Cardiff Holland House, Cardiff
Day 5: Cardiff – Bath – Stonehenge – London (B)
Leave your Cardiff hotel after breakfast, and travel to the historical spa town of Bath, back in England. Learn about Bath’s heritage as a spa resort on a walking tour, and admire its Georgian architecture, resplendent in the local honey-hued stone. Your tour includes a visit to the Roman Baths, and a photo stop outside the 15th-century Bath Abbey.
Use your free time to enjoy lunch, and then travel out of Bath to the Salisbury Plains, home to the UNESCO-listed stone circle of Stonehenge. Believed to date around 5,000 years old, the ancient monument boasts an intriguing past, built from rare Welsh stone at a time when transporting such heavy material would have been near impossible.
The stones are roped off from the crowds for preservation, but a footpath around the outside of the circle lends itself to clear and close-up views. Learn all about the stone circle from your guide, and pose for photos in front of its megalithic stones.
From Stonehenge, travel back to London, and finally finish your 5-day tour with a drop-off at the start point.