Journey Through Britain
Itinerary & Accommodations
Day 1: Depart U.S. for Edinburgh, Scotland
Day 2: Arrive Edinburgh We arrive in the Scottish capital and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities planned during the day. Late this afternoon, we meet for a briefing about the journey ahead; tonight we gather for a welcome dinner. D
Day 3: Edinburgh Our morning tour of this stately city built on seven hills includes the 18th-century “New Town” and the medieval “Old Town,” where we visit Edinburgh Castle, symbolic heart of Scotland. This afternoon is at leisure to discover Edinburgh as we wish; museums, galleries, and shops abound. Dinner tonight is on our own, and Edinburgh boasts a robust culinary scene. B
Day 4: Edinburgh This morning we encounter the Royal Mile, the historic boulevard connecting Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyrood House. We tour Holyrood, as it is called, and see where British royalty schemed and slept as we tour the State Apartments. After lunch at a local restaurant, the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration and dinner on our own. B,L
Day 5: Edinburgh/Lake District Today we’re bound for the beautiful – and beloved – Lake District of northwest England, a national park and diverse landscape of lakes, rivers, ancient woodlands, and small towns and villages. On arrival we stop at Dove Cottage, where English Romantic poet William Wordsworth penned some of his most memorable lines. Late afternoon we reach our hotel on the shores of Lake Windermere. B,L,D
Day 6: Lake District Today’s explorations begin with a cruise on idyllic Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake at 10½ miles long. We continue to the village of Hawkshead, where we have time for lunch on our own followed by a visit to Hawkshead Grammar School, famously attended by poet William Wordsworth. Next, we visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery, showcasing the original artwork of the author who lived nearby in the early 1900s. Late afternoon we return to our hotel and dine there tonight. B,D
Day 7: Lake District/North Wales We travel through splendid Lake District scenery today en route to Wales, with its rugged natural beauty and distinct culture. Our first stop is at Bodnant Garden, the historic 80-acre National Trust property with a lovely hillside setting and ever-changing displays, from manicured lawns to flower-filled terraces. After our visit, we continue on to the seaside town of Llandudno, dubbed “Queen of the Welsh Resorts” and our home for the next two nights. We dine tonight at our hotel. B,D
Day 8: North Wales/Snowdonia National Park Wales is a land of fierce natural beauty, as we see for ourselves on this morning’s visit to Snowdonia National Park, where we enjoy a scenic train ride. Then we head to the port town of Conwy for a visit to 13th-century Conwy Castle, a medieval fortress whose brute appearance symbolized English domination over the Welsh. Strategically set at the mouth of its namesake river as it empties into Menai Strait, the castle was built starting in 1283 by King Edward I of England. This UNESCO World Heritage Site ranks as one of the finest pieces of 13th century military architecture remaining in Europe, with some of the UK’s best-preserved medieval chambers in store for us once we enter the castle. Mid-afternoon we return to our coastal retreat, with time at leisure before dinner together tonight. B,D
Day 9: North Wales/Stratford-upon-Avon Returning to England today, we travel to Stratford-upon-Avon, where our touring includes a visit to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens, the thatched farmhouse of Shakespeare’s bride that still contains some original furnishings. We also tour Shakespeare’s Birthplace, a restored 16th-century half-timbered house where the Bard is believed to have been born in 1564. Then we have time in this 800-year-old market town for lunch on our own and to explore independently before we dine together at our hotel this evening. B,D
Day 10: Stratford-upon-Avon/The Cotswolds/Bath Today we encounter the Cotswolds, England’s south central region of gently rolling hills dotted with villages of honey-colored limestone, market towns, and unspoiled countryside, looking much as it did 300 years ago. We arrive in Bath mid-afternoon, with the remainder of the day and this evening at leisure. B,L
Day 11: Bath We set out on a morning tour of this storied and graceful city where the ancient Romans first “took the waters” at England’s only hot springs. Today the historic Roman Baths count among the city’s most popular sites, along with Bath Abbey, the 18th-century Assembly Room, The Circus, and the Royal Crescent, all of which we see on our tour. The afternoon is free to explore as we wish before we dine together at our hotel this evening. B,D
Day 12: Bath/London We leave our pastoral days behind as we travel today to London, stopping en route to see Stonehenge, the 4,500-year-old Neolithic monument that remains something of a mystery today. That the prehistoric circle of stones is a masterpiece of engineering and building is undisputed; exactly why it was created is less certain. Next, we visit Windsor Castle, home to British royalty for more than a millennium. We tour the castle, including St. George’s Chapel, burial place of six of the last eight British monarchs. Then we continue on to London, arriving late afternoon. Dinner tonight is on our own in this world-class city. B
Day 13: London A panoramic city tour this morning passes such celebrated London landmarks as the infamous Tower of London, grand Parliament and Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and Hyde Park. Our afternoon is at leisure to explore this wondrous city as we wish; London offers an embarrassment of riches from which to choose. Tonight we celebrate our journey through Britain at a farewell dinner. B,D
Day 14: Depart for U.S. We transfer this morning to Heathrow Airport for our flights home. B
B = Breakfast included, L = Lunch included and D = Dinner included
Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, Edinburgh / Days 2-4 / Superior First Class
Well-located near the heart of one of Europe’s great walking cities, the Apex Waterloo Place Hotel offers easy access to Princes Street, as well as the lively Royal Mile, the heart of the Old Town’s shopping and dining district. Hotel amenities include a restaurant and bar, gym, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, indoor pool, sauna, steam room, and spa. Each of the air-conditioned guest rooms offers private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.
Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, Lake District / Days 5-6 / First Class
Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa sits on the shores of expansive Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake. Amenities include three restaurants, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and a variety of wellness facilities, including a 50-foot indoor pool with vaulted ceiling, outdoor hot tub, gym, sauna, and steam room. Each guest room offers private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and phone.
Llandudno Bay Hotel , Llandudno, Wales / Days 7-8 / First Class
Housed in a Grade II-listed Victorian building, the Llandudno Bay Hotel sits on the north coast of the town of Llandudno, close to several restaurants and across the street from an expansive beach and promenade. The hotel’s amenities include a restaurant, afternoon tea service, laundry and dry-cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Each guest room has private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone. Please note: air conditioning is not available in guest rooms.
The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon / Day 9 / Superior First Class
The Arden Hotel’s location could not be any more ideal: it sits directly opposite the Swan Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company on the banks of the River Avon. All the shops, restaurants, and pubs in this small town are within walking distance of the redbrick Arden, and the hotel offers a restaurant and champagne bar, outdoor terrace, several comfortable common areas, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Each of the hotel’s 45 air-conditioned guest rooms has private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.
Francis Hotel, Bath / Days 10-11 / First Class
The Francis Hotel sits in the center of the highly walkable city of Bath and occupies seven original 18th-century townhouses along historic Queen Square. Designed by architect John Wood the Elder in the early 18th century, Georgian Queen Square wraps around its namesake park and makes up the first portion of Bath’s celebrated architectural sequence, which also includes the Circus and Royal Crescent just a short distance away. The sophisticated Francis offers a French restaurant, bar and lounge, afternoon tea service, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.
The Clermont, Charing Cross, London / Days 12-13, Extension / Superior First Class
Housed in a 150-year-old, Grade II-listed historical building, The Clermont, Charing Cross (formerly Amba Hotel Charing Cross) combines timeless architectural beauty with modern convenience. Less than a mile from such historic landmarks as Trafalgar Square and Big Ben, the hotel boasts a host of amenities, including a restaurant and bar, afternoon tea room, gym, dry cleaning, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Each of the air-conditioned guest rooms includes private bath with hair dryer, complimentary soft drink mini-bar and snacks, in-room safe, coffee machine, and in-room tablet computer.