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"A blast of a trip!"
The trip was great from beginning to end, and we both came back with everlasting memories of the good time we shared with other tourists in the group
Embrace the pomp and pageantry of a global capital with multi-cultural verve. Today is yours to explore the vibrant mix of old and new around every turn. Spend the day delving into the royal heritage of London, stroll along the tree-lined Thames or admire treasures from across the globe, before enjoying the night-time buzz of this city.
Join your Travel Director this morning and indulge your love of theatre and poetry. We travel to romantic Stratford-upon-Avon, made famous by its favourite son, William Shakespeare, whose extraordinary works have been admired by audiences for over 500 years. View Anne Hathaway's thatched cottage and visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Centre for insights into the life of the 'Bard of Avon', before exploring the charming cobblestone streets of his hometown. Carry on to the ancient cathedral city of York where we will enjoy an orientation walk to view its ancient city walls, picturesque Shambles and magnificent 800-year-old Minster. Join your Travel Director and fellow travel companions this evening for a memorable Welcome Reception and delicious local pub fare.
We venture north to the medieval riverside town of Durham, whose exquisite 11th-century Durham Cathedral sits imposingly alongside Durham Castle watching over the medieval streets below. We cross what was once the northern frontier of the Roman Empire, Hadrian's Wall, before enjoying a scenic drive through the soul-stirring landscapes of Northumberland National Park. Admire spectacular views of the windswept Cheviot Hills as you cross the Scottish border, stopping to admire the 12th-century ruins of Jedburgh Abbey en route to Edinburgh.
Fall in love with the enchanting city of Edinburgh as you join a Local Specialist to discover what lies behind its medieval façades. Ramble up the Royal Mile and enjoy astounding views of the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament. Visit Edinburgh Castle perched atop Castle Rock overlooking the city. Spend some free time this afternoon strolling through Edinburgh and admiring medieval relics. During the Edinburgh Festival, your visit includes tickets to see the rousing performances at the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo on the castle grounds.
Cross the Firth of Forth to the ancient Kingdom of Fife and St. Andrews. This famous golf course is renowned for its 18th hole and 800-year-old Swilcan Bridge. We continue our journey into the dramatic Scottish Highlands, where we'll 'Dive Into Culture' at a whisky distillery and sample a wee dram. Visit picture-perfect Pitlochry, on the edge of the Ben-Y-Vrackie and Cairngorms National Park, before arriving at your hotel in the Scottish Highlands where you'll dine tonight.
The arresting natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands provides a stunning backdrop for today's leisurely drive to Glasgow. View the World War II Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge and admire views of Britain's highest mountain - Ben Nevis. See Glencoe, the site of a bloody massacre in 1692 following the Jacobite Uprising, and travel to the "bonnie" banks of Scotland's prettiest loch, Loch Lomond. We arrive in Glasgow this afternoon where our orientation will take us past St. Mungo's Cathedral and George Square, lined with statues and monuments dedicated to famous British subjects, including Robert Burns and Sir Robert Peel.
Today's first stop is in the runaway wedding capital of Gretna Green where eloping couples would make their vows over the Marriage Anvil. Returning to England, we 'Connect With Locals', joining Farmer John and his wife Christine for a Be My Guest lunch in the company of Highland cows. See beautiful Lake District landscapes and skirt the romantic shores of Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England, arriving in edgy Liverpool of 'Fab Four' fame for an evening at leisure.
Traverse the pretty Welsh countryside this morning and stop in an area of outstanding natural beauty - the Wye Valley, with its characteristic limestone gorge scenery and dense woodlands. View the spectacular ruins of the world-famous Cistercian abbey in Tintern before arriving in Bristol to see the Clifton Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain, the world's first ocean-going luxury liner. As the curtain comes down on a memorable journey through England and Scotland, we enjoy a memorable Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant with our Travel Director and newfound friends.
Journeying back to London, we visit the UNESCO-listed city of Bath to admire its elegant Georgian façades and the Roman baths from which the city takes its name. Emerging from the Salisbury Plain, the imposing monoliths of Stonehenge are our final stop before continuing through the lush Wiltshire and Hampshire landscapes to London for a final night at leisure.
We bid 'Old Blighty' a fond farewell as we prepare to return home after a memorable holiday.
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place every year in August.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, often referred to as "the most spectacular show on earth," is an exciting celebration showcasing the best of Scottish music, dance, and military pageantry. In 2019 it will take place in Edinburgh from August 2nd to August 24th, and is sure to draw entertainers and spectators from around the world.
Tickets and arrangements have been included on these select departures. Book early as they will sell out quickly!
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
We'll drive into the old city of Edinburgh to see the city at night with photo opportunities of the Castle and the Grassmarket, famous for historic executions and when possible visit one of the most haunted graveyards and see the grave of Greyfriars Bobby, the famous Skye Terrier. Then, we'll make our way to a local restaurant for a delicious dinner and drink.
Adult Price: £42
Join us and your travelling companions for a delicious traditional dinner and drink at a local restaurant.
Adult Price: £40
We’ll drive out of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Rosslyn, where you’ll hear the inside story on the famous Rosslyn Chapel. One of Scotland's most unusual 15th-century buildings, Rossyln is famed for its associations with the Knights Templar, the Masonic movement, and now 'The Da Vinci Code'.
Adult Price: £21
Enjoy a scenic drive to the ancient village of Torphichen, associated with Scottish kings and Knights Hospitaller. At the haunted Torphichen Inn your arrival will be toasted by our convivial host before enjoying an excellent dinner of local specialties and entertainment.
Adult Price: £46
Tonight is your chance to put on that tartan and join us for an evening of singing, dancing and bagpipe playing at an internationally famous venue. You’ll enjoy delicious food and wine, join in the singing and watch a Highland dance or two. There's even a chance to sample Scotland’s national dish – haggis.
Adult Price: £60
Set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery, we'll discover the ancient home of the Dukes of Atholl, home to Europe's last remaining private army. Unique amongst Scottish castles, Blair has hosted royalty from Mary Queen of Scots to Queen Victoria.
Adult Price: £20
Visit a real Highland sheep farm and meet Neil the Shepherd and his border collies. He’ll show you how he uses different whistles to command each dog to carry out different tasks. You’ll also have the opportunity to try your hand at sheep shearing, feeding the lambs and discover his training techniques. Weather permitting.
Adult Price: £14
Discover the wild beauty of the 'Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond'. As we cruise across the loch, the skipper will share stories of the area and point out Rob Roy's cave as you relax and savour the stunning scenery.
Adult Price: £15
See Stirling Castle and the Wallace Memorial by night. A truly local experience, you'll be piped in to your evening meal in the historic Scottish city and enjoy an evening of Scottish delights.
Adult Price: £44
Meet your Local Beatles/Liverpool Specialist who will take you around by coach to some of the sites of this great port city. You'll enjoy the buzz of Mathew Street and see the Cavern Club, where the Beatles played and the Bunch of Grapes pub where the lads enjoyed a pint between sessions. Enjoy a drink yourself in one of the pubs before enjoying free time for dinner in this exciting city.
Adult Price: £20
The centre of the British aeronautics industry since WWII, Bristol was also a great seafaring port and England's second city until not long ago. There's a wealth of history to be discovered and John Cabot, Brunel, the Plimsoll Line, John and Charles Wesley, Wills Tobacco, Archibald Leach (who's he?), Banksy, and Robinson Crusoe are all names that have unique links with Bristol. Find out how they all fit together on a rip-roaring tour of the town with Bristol's number-one local specialist.
Adult Price: £15
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