This vacation offers a panoramic exploration of England, Wales, and Scotland. Begin with an overnight in London, then head west to prehistoric Stonehenge and picturesque Salisbury. Spend two nights in Plymouth, with an excursion to Land’s End and the seaside resort of St. Ives. Here, try our Local Favorite, a traditional Cornish Pasty—minced beef, rutabaga, potato, and onion baked in pastry. Travel north to Glastonbury, of King Arthur fame, and stop to see the amazing Roman excavations in Bath. Cross into Wales for an overnight in Cardiff and a drive through Brecon Beacons National Park to Chester. Then, journey to Liverpool, where you’ll visit the Beatles Story. Explore England’s scenic Lake District and Wordsworth’s Grasmere before crossing into Scotland for a stop in Gretna Green. Spend the night in Glasgow, then skirt the banks of Loch Lomond on your way to the Isle of Skye. After a stop in the Highland capital of Inverness, head south through Culloden Moor, Braemar, and St. Andrews. A 2-night stay in Edinburgh includes guided sightseeing and visits to Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. Back in England, choose between a visit to Alnwick Castle or to the lavish Alnwick Garden. Then, see a section of Hadrian’s Wall and medieval York with its awe-inspiring minster. Stop in Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon to visit his birthplace before returning to London for an overnight and the finale of your magnificent vacation.
Day #1 Arrive in London, England. Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts will be waiting to welcome you. After checking into your hotel and an afternoon at leisure, we recommend our optional Taste of London excursion, with dinner followed by a guided illumination cruise on the River Thames.
Day #2 London–Stonehenge–Salisbury–Plymouth. Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and depart London at 8 am. First, visit prehistoric STONEHENGE before taking a stroll in picturesque Salisbury with its vast cathedral. Continue on through Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, and head for Plymouth for the next two nights. Spend some time at the historic Barbican to see the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked in 1620, and hear about historical figures such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. (B,D)
Day #3 Plymouth. Cornwall Excursion. A day full of West Country sights as you head through Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall. After viewing St. Michael’s Mount, take your photos at Land’s End before exploring the popular seaside resort of St. Ives, where you will be treated to an authentic [LF] CORNISH PASTY. Back in Plymouth, why not join an optional excursion into Dartmoor National Park for an evening of storytelling at a local pub? (B)
Day #4 Plymouth–Glastonbury–Bath–Cardiff, Wales. At Glastonbury, hear about its associations with King Arthur, and in elegant Bath, see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS with time to explore further on your own. Stay the night in Cardiff, the Welsh capital. Tonight’s optional is to Cardiff Castle for an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner. (B)
Day #5 Cardiff–Llandrindod Wells–Chester, England–Liverpool. Your journey through Wales takes you north along the Taff Valley and Brecon Beacons National Park, and via Llandrindod Wells to Chester. On your walking tour, see the Roman remains, the characteristic black and white half-timbered buildings, and the famous two-tiered arcades called the “Rows.” Spend the night in Liverpool; you may wish to join an optional city tour this evening. (B)
Day #6 Liverpool–Lake District–Glasgow, Scotland. Start the day with a visit to the award-winning BEATLES STORY, an atmospheric journey into the life, times, culture, and music of the “Fab Four,” and take home your [LF] BEATLES STORY SOUVENIR. Later, focus on the tranquil Lake District, considered to be the finest of England’s national parks. After a break in Wordsworth’s beloved Grasmere, head north for the Scottish border and stop at Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. Overnight in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city. (B,D)
Day #7 Glasgow–Isle of Skye–Inverness. Follow the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond, then proceed via Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe, Fort William, and the “Road to the Isles.” At Mallaig, board your FERRY for the crossing to the Isle of Skye, where you visit the MUSEUM OF THE ISLES at the Clan Donald Centre, and enjoy [LF] TEA and CAKE at the Stables restaurant. Return to the mainland and trace the shores of Loch Ness on the way to the Highland capital. (B,D)
Day #8 Inverness–Braemar–St. Andrews–Edinburgh. Main features today: the battlefield of Culloden Moor; Braemar, home of the Royal Highland Games; St. Andrews; and over the elegant Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh. Tonight, an optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. For departure numbers July 27 through August 17, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO. (B)
Day #9 Edinburgh. Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE (except when the Queen is in residence). Later, a unique optional excursion: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia to see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. (B)
Day #10 Edinburgh–Alnwick, England–York. This morning at ALNWICK CASTLE the choice is yours: visit the CASTLE itself, the opulent ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, or explore ALNWICK GARDEN, where the fountains and waterfalls are a breathtaking feature. Next, pass a section of Hadrian’s Wall on your way to York, England’s most complete medieval city. Here, stand in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. (B,D)
Day #11 York–Stratford-Upon-Avon–London. On the last leg of your journey, stop at Stratford-upon-Avon to take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE. On return to London at about 3:30 pm, a Shownight Theater Evening would be an incredible finale to your vacation. (B)
Day #12 London. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)