See the places you’ve always read about on this exciting journey through southern England. Begin in London with guided sightseeing that shows off the city’s most famous landmarks: 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. Stop to admire the breathtaking gardens at Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, then drive through Runnymede, site of the signing of the Magna Carta, and explore the university city of Oxford. Spend the night in Stratford-upon-Avon and visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s cottage. Continue west through the scenic Cotswolds, stopping at the Elizabethan village of Broadway and at 12th-century Tintern Abbey in southeastern Wales. See the amazing Roman excavations in Bath, contemplate mysterious Stonehenge, and cross the Salisbury Plain on your way to the seaside resort of Brighton. Tour the Royal Pavilion, visit the beautiful Georgian spa town of Tunbridge Wells, and visit moated Leeds Castle before returning to London for a final overnight. 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 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–Oxford–Stratford-Upon-Avon. Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and depart at 8 am for a lovely day of sightseeing. First, a special visit to admire the [LF] ORNAMENTAL GARDENS of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace. Your Tour Director will take you on a walk through the breathtaking grounds. Then, drive through Runnymede, site of the sealing of the Magna Carta, and take a stroll in Oxford to see the colleges where Britain’s elite receives its outstanding education. Arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon in good time to take your pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. (B,D)
Day #4 Stratford-Upon-Avon–Broadway–Bath. A particularly scenic day. Enjoy vistas of the Cotswold Hills as you travel to the Elizabethan village of Broadway. On to Wales for a drive through the beautiful Wye Valley to the romantic ruins of 12th-century Tintern Abbey. Stop here for [LF] TEA and SCONES at an historic inn. Cross the 3,240-foot Severn Road Bridge, and in elegant Georgian Bath, see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS, with time to explore further on your own. This evening, consider an optional excursion to the picture-book 13th-century village of Castle Combe. (B)
Day #5 Bath–Stonehenge–Salisbury–Brighton. Try to unravel the mystery of prehistoric STONEHENGE on the drive across Salisbury Plain, then stroll through the picturesque city of Salisbury with its magnificent cathedral, the ultimate in Early English Gothic architecture. Pause in the town of Arundel, dominated by its huge castle, home of the Duke of Norfolk, before arriving in the Regency seaside resort of Brighton. A unique highlight: a tour of the exotic ROYAL PAVILION, the lavish oriental palace built for the Prince Regent in the early 1800s. (B,D)
Day #6 Brighton–Tunbridge Wells–London. Start the day with a visit to Royal Tunbridge Wells, a beautiful Georgian spa town, on your way to magnificent moated LEEDS CASTLE, which Lord Conway called “the loveliest castle in the world.” Take a leisurely stroll in the landscaped gardens, and admire the lavish state apartments where international summit meetings have been hosted. Return to London around 3:30 pm. How about celebrating the end of your vacation by taking in one of the great West End shows? (B)
Day #7 London–Paris, France. Board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN to Paris, arriving at lunchtime. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)
Day #8 Paris. Morning sightseeing features Paris’ most famous highlights, including the gothic NOTRE DAME Cathedral. (B)
Day #9 At Leisure in Paris. Full day at leisure. Ask your local host for suggestions. (B)
Day #10 Paris. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)