Scotland, Lakes, Wales and the Cotswolds
May 20 - 31, 2022
4,270 per person (based on double occupancy) Includes all breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners - All guided excursions, entrance fees, all ground transport and transfers, Meet and greet at the airport in Edinburgh and porterage in and out of the hotels.
Please meet your Tour Director, Timothée the next morning at the Edinburgh Airport
A sightseeing tour of historic Edinburgh with a local guide is the perfect place to begin any Scotland and England travel. Enjoy an introductory tour to this city of cobbled streets, Georgian architecture and trendy life-styles, and a tour of famed Edinburgh Castle, built into rugged rock above the city skyline. Following a free afternoon in Edinburgh and lunch as you please, join us this evening for a journey through the aromas and flavors that lead to a perfect Single Malt Whisky. At the "Scottish Whisky Experience", you will learn the history of Scotland's most famous export, hear the stories behind the craft and enjoy tasting and dinner. Note that The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland is unfortunately closed from the 19 to the 28 of May (The Royal Family is in Residence)
Overnight Edinburgh – Hotel Apex Waterloo
Meals B, D
The journey to the Highlands starts with a trip west passing through the vibrant city of Glasgow and across the River Clyde, before turning north towards the Trossachs National Park. On the way, the scenery around you will begin to evolve from the gentle inclines and fields of the Lowlands in to the rugged beauty of the Highlands.
Following the banks of the largest loch in Scotland, Loch Lomond, we will arrive at our first stop in Luss. With its petite sandstone cottages, neatly kept and tucked away from the passing traffic - taking a stroll through the village is like taking a trip back in time. Once we’ve explored and picked up refreshments we head onward into the hills.
Visit Stirling Castle, one of the largest castles in Scotland and considered very important, both historically and architecturally.
Overnight Edinburgh - Hotel Apex Waterloo
Meals B, L
Your will leave Edinburgh this morning for the lovely village of Roslin (30 mn). There, you will have the opportunity to visit Rosslyn Chapel. Dating back to 1445, the chapel gained worldwide fame thanks to the increasing interest in Freemasonry and the Knights Templar.
Continue your journey into the heart of the Scottish Borders. This area is rich in hills, valleys, rivers, and moorland. Explore the fascinating Melrose Abbey along with its visitor centerfounded and surrounding herb garden with aromatic plants and a stone display at the west end.
Lunch served at a local restaurant in Melrose.
This Afternoon, on the way to the Lake District, stop at the Hadrian’s Wall. The Romans came, they saw, but they couldn’t quite conquer. After centuries of raiding, plundering, and fighting the ancient north of Britannia, they decided to build a wall. But this isn’t just any wall, it’s an astounding achievement. It showcases the might of the ancient Roman Empire and illustrates how the Roman's interacted with tribal Britain. Late afternoon, travel to the Lake District.
Overnight at Langdale Hotel in the Lake District.
Meals B, L
In the late morning, you will visit Beatrix Potter Gallery, located in a 17th century stone built house in Hawkshead. On display are original sketches and watercolors painted by Potter for her children's stories.
This Afternoon, stroll along the path in front of Levens Hall and you will find a small wooden gate leading into the Gardens. What awaits you, hidden behind the high stone wall, remains largely unchanged since the 17th century and is truly spectacular. Dating back to the 1690s, the ten acres of Gardens retain original features including the world’s oldest topiary gardens. This surreal and unique collection of ancient box and yew trees, in abstract or geometric shape, rises up from a beautiful display of underplanting, populated with an ever-changing array of over 30,000 bedding plants.
Dinner & Overnight Langdale Hotel
Meals B, D
Huge, strong and first built by the Romans, discover the power of walls built to keep ancient invaders out on a visit to the small city of Chester, one of England's best preserved walled cities. The town is nearly completely encircled by broad walls which still offer grand views from atop.. Lunch and early afternoon in the walled city of Chester which is renown for its medieval heritage and its wealth of half - timber buildings.
Overnight Wales – Rowton Hall and Spa
Mighty Caernarfon Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the setting for the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969, sets a remarkable scale this morning. Constructed to endure, the palace was begun circa 1283 by Edward I as symbol of English power over the Welsh. Enjoy a guided tour of the Castle before a lovely lunch at the Bodnant Welsh food Center where artisan chefs are devoted to sharing the best of Welsh cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.
This afternoon explore the walled city of Conwy on your own, choose to climb the 8 towers of the castle there, or walk on the ramparts or simply enjoy a stroll along the waterfront.
Overnight Wales – Rowton Hall and Spa
Meals B, L
Depart Wales for Stratford upon Avon and Shottery
Enjoy a lovely walking tour of Stratford Upon Avon, Shakespeare birthplace.
You will see Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (Family home of the woman Shakespeare married in 1582) in the village of Shottery, Hall’s Croft (One of the finest surviving Jacobean (early 17th century) town houses in England (and one of the best preserved family homes of Shakespeare), as well as the Holy Trinity Church (resting place of Shakespeare). Enjoy your free time in town for lunch or tea.
Overnight at the White Swan Hotel
This morning stop at the village of Chipping Campden for a stroll through this beautiful Costwolds village. You will then enjoy a scenic drive though the English countryside on our way to Bath. Visit Tetbury, a twin known as an architectural gem, because many wool merchants houses still look as they did years ago. You will enjoy a lovely lunch in Tetbury. Arrive in Bath, founded by the Romans as a thermal spa and developed more than a thousand year’s later into a lavish resort by the 18th century British aristocracy, Bath today reigns as a magnificent Georgian townscape crafted from native limestone. Architecturally, it ranks among Britain’s finest cities and enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status. You will learn why on a city tour with a local guide that takes in the 18th century terraced houses known as the Royal Crescent and the Circus, distinctive elements of British urban planning that were later incorporated in the city of London. View the elegant Pulteney Bridge and Bath Abbey, where the first king of England was crowned.
Overnight Moonraker Hotel
Meals B, L, D
This morning you will visit Blenheim Castle, a palace presented by the English nation to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his victory in 1704 over French and Bavarian troops. Built between 1705 and 1722 and characterized by an eclectic style and a return to national roots, it is a perfect example of an 18th century princely dwelling. It is also known as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.
later you will travel deeper into rural Wiltshire to Lacock Village, famous for its picturesque streets, historic buildings, and role as a television and film location.
Our final stop of the day is at the pretty village of Avebury, where you can wander amidst the largest prehistoric stone circle in the world. Lunch served in a pub.
Overnight Hotel London Airport
Individual transfers from your hotel to the airport terminals.