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Journey Through Britain Itinerary

Edinburgh Castle


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


1Depart U.S.
2–4EdinburghApex Waterloo Place HotelSuperior First Class
5–6Lake DistrictLow Wood Bay Resort & SpaFirst Class
7–8Llandudno, WalesThe Empire HotelFirst Class
9Stratford-upon-AvonThe Arden HotelSuperior First Class
10–11BathFrancis Hotel Bath–MGalleryFirst Class
12–13LondonAmba Hotel Charing CrossSuperior First Class
14Depart London
Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.