Our most popular Britain vacation offers you the best of this great land. A guided sightseeing shows you all the famous landmarks in London: the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and visits to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Changing of the Guard, if held. Head southwest to admire the breathtaking gardens at Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, then venture on to prehistoric Stonehenge, the Roman excavations of Bath, the Cotswolds village of Stow, Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, and picturesque Llangollen in northern Wales. Continue north through the Lake District, pausing in Wordsworth’s Grasmere and Gretna Green before arriving in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. Admire the Crown Jewels at Edinburgh Castle and explore Holyrood Palace. Traveling south again, visit Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford House, and in medieval York, admire the mighty minster and enjoy a walking tour through the narrow Shambles. Return to London by way of the market town of Stamford and the university city of Cambridge, then board the high-speed Eurostar train and head to Paris, the “City of Light,” for three overnights, plenty of leisure time, and guided sightseeing that includes the highlights and a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral.
Day #1 Arrive in London, England. Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
Day #2 London. After a hearty English breakfast, morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the River Thames, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Highlights are a visit to ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL (except on Sundays) and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard, if held. Free time in the afternoon for independent activities or to join an optional excursion to Windsor Castle or the Tower of London with its fabulous Crown Jewels. Later, maybe an optional dinner followed by a cruise on the River Thames? (B)
Day #3 London–Hampton Court–Stonehenge–Salisbury–Bath. Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and depart at 8 am for a memorable day of sightseeing. First, a special visit to admire the breathtaking [LF] ORNAMENTAL GARDENS of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace. Your Tour Director will take you on a walk to see the Great Vine, Pond Garden, Privy Garden, and the flower borders of the Great Fountain Garden. Then, westward to the intriguing prehistoric monument of STONEHENGE. Via Salisbury with its magnificent cathedral, the ultimate in Early English Gothic architecture, head for the elegant Georgian city of Bath, where you see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. (B,D)
Day #4 Bath–Stratford-Upon-Avon–North Wales–Chester, England. Savor vistas of the Cotswolds on your way via the medieval market town of Stow-on-the-Wold to Stratford-upon-Avon. Time here to visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE and for pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. The afternoon is dedicated to North Wales. Take a stroll in picturesque Llangollen, home of an annual international contest for poets and musicians. Spend the night at Chester, the historic county town on the River Dee. (B,D)
Day #5 Chester–Lake District–Edinburgh, Scotland. This morning’s walking tour includes the Roman remains, black and white half-timbered buildings, the cathedral, and the two-tiered shopping arcades called the “Rows.” Focus now 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. On the way through the history-steeped Lowland Hills, stop at Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. In Edinburgh, don’t miss our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (B)
Day #6 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). The afternoon is free to enjoy the Scottish capital at your own pace. Later, a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia, once the perfect royal residence for the Queen’s glittering state visits and family holidays. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. For departure numbers July 29 through August 19, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO, a vast spectacle of massed Scottish pipe bands that takes place in an arena on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. (B)
Day #7 Edinburgh–York, England. First on today’s agenda is a guided tour of Sir Walter Scott’s newly refurbished ABBOTSFORD HOUSE. After the tour, enjoy a [LF] CUP OF TEA and SHORTBREAD at the brand new visitors’ center. Melrose Abbey and the ruins at Jedburgh are pointed out on the way to the English border and Northumberland National Park. In York, England’s most complete medieval city, 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. (B,D)
Day #8 York–Stamford–Cambridge–London. Leave Yorkshire and its associations with James Herriot, and drive through the richest farmland in Britain. Pause in the market town of Stamford before arriving in the beautiful university city of Cambridge. Return to London around 3:30 pm. How about celebrating with newfound friends with a night out on the town? (B)
Day #9 London–Paris, France. Board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN to Paris, arriving at lunchtime. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)
Day #10 Paris. Morning sightseeing features Paris’ most famous highlights, including the gothic NOTRE DAME Cathedral. (B)
Day #11 At Leisure in Paris. Full day at leisure. Ask your local host for suggestions. (B)
Day #12 Paris. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)