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On arrival at London Heathrow Airport, you will begin your journey with a transfer in an executive car, along with other guests arriving at a similar time, to the luxurious Rubens at the Palace, an exquisite five-star hotel overlooking Buckingham Palace. A part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, the Rubens is your home base to explore London, as you spend the day at leisure. At 18:00, meet your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for a Welcome Dinner hosted at English Grill restaurant.
A modern-day hub of culture and commerce, and once the centre of an empire, London is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest cities, teeming with millions of stories. Your Travelling Concierge will introduce you to a Local Expert, a passionate resident who will share fascinating stories about the city, as you explore the city to see Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. You will then continue past Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. Visit the Household Cavalry Museum, uncover the secret messages hidden within a cavalryman's uniform and try on the royal uniform for yourself. Spend the afternoon shopping at Harrods, listening to the soapbox orators of Speaker’s Corner or viewing the masterpieces in the National Gallery. Enjoy dinner as you please. Should you want to venture beyond your hotel, ask your knowledgeable Travelling Concierge for restaurant recommendations. In the evening, once the crowds have gone home, experience a private tour of the Tower of London. A serving Yeoman Warder will greet you on arrival, accompanying you through the grounds and regaling you with stories of the history and importance of this seat of British power. You will then learn about the Ceremony of the Keys, carried out every night by the Yeoman Warder, without fail, for the past 700 years. The Yeoman Warder provides a history of the tradition and explains the etiquette of handling the keys before you are privy to witnessing this ancient gate-closing ritual.
Journey out of London this morning to arrive at the mysterious Stonehenge and stand in awe of arguably Britain's best-known UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue your travels to the Georgian city of Bath where people have been indulging in the healing waters for millennia. Take a walk along streets lined with exquisite architecture and immerse yourself within the city's contemporary atmosphere. This evening unwind in chic cocktail bars and welcoming traditional pubs, or explore the evening scene that embraces comedy, live music and theatre. Ask your Travelling Concierge for recommendations.
Start the day by joining a Local Expert who will take you on a tour revealing the town's history. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to visit the immersive Jane Austen Centre dedicated to the writer who lived here in the early 1800s and used the city as a setting for two of her novels. Learn about her life, her works and the Regency period from entertaining actors. Alternatively, visit the Roman Baths and Georgian Pump Room, one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The rest of the day is yours to explore the charming Georgian town. Tonight, enjoy a spectacular Highlight Dinner at Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Journey through the Cotswolds, famous for gentle rolling hillsides known as "wolds", green river valleys and historic market towns. Arrive in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, with time to explore this famous market town. Your journey continues to the medieval city of York. York is like nowhere else in England with cobbled streets, quaint tearooms and gothic buildings.
Step back in time as you explore the medieval streets of York and learn about its lively characters. Once an important centre of Roman occupation in England, this is a storybook city surrounded by a large stone wall. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to join a Local Expert and embark on a leisurely guided tour to the grand York Minster, an excellent example of Gothic architecture. Alternatively, get active and follow a Local Expert as you walk on the 13th century city walls and you soak up the spectacular views of River Ouse and the Old Town. This afternoon, journey to the elegant stately home Castle Howard, one of Britain's finest historic houses. On arrival you are escorted to the Grecian Hall for a delicious, traditional English afternoon tea.Your Journey, Your Way. Receive VIP treatment once the castle has closed its doors to the general public. Choose to join a guided tour of the house and admire its intricate architecture. Alternatively, join one of the gardeners and explore the best parts of the landscaped gardens.
The rugged and dramatic beauty of the English Lake District famously inspired 19th century writers such as Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Journey to the town of Penrith to visit the Dalemain mansion and gardens. Meet Jane Hasell-McCosh, whose ancestors have been living at the manor since the 17th century and join her on a tour of their gardens. Learn about local history and the prestigious international Homemade Marmalade Award founded by Jane herself. Indulge in a private, homemade and sustainably sourced lunch in the Medieval Hall, one of the oldest parts of the house. Continue to your lakeside hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere for an evening at leisure.
Journey to majestic Alnwick Castle and explore its magnificent interiors. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the 11th century castle, with its striking medieval architecture and see why it was featured in the Harry Potter films. Your travels continue to the beautiful Scottish capital of Edinburgh where you have an evening to enjoy at your leisure. Your Travelling Concierge is a treasure-trove of knowledge and will happily guide you to the best local restaurants and attractions. During August, you’re invited to witness The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, one of the most spectacular military concerts on earth and a celebration of the history, heritage and colours of Scotland’s regiments both near and far. Hosted every August, this renowned international showcase of military pageantry boasts performers from forty-eight countries. Enjoy the sounds and sights of bagpipes rising, drums cracking through the night air and performers dressed in tunics, kilts and tartans with Edinburgh Castle, lit up in colour, providing a dramatic backdrop.
Join a Local Expert and visit Edinburgh Castle. Skip the queue and explore the grounds as you learn about its tumultuous history. Take a moment to appreciate the panoramic views over the city. Travel along Princes Street, past the Gothic Sir Walter Scott Monument, and continue down the Royal Mile to the gates of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence the home of Scottish royal history. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to visit the 17th century Mary King's Close with a Local Expert, walk in the footsteps of former residents and unlock fascinating stories from Edinburgh's sometimes dark past. Alternatively, try a wee dram of whisky as you embark on a tasting experience of this Scottish staple. Tonight take part in a special Celebration Dinner as you arrive to the Scottish Arts Club. Founded in 1873 it has been the social hub for Scottish artists ever since, acting as a cultural haven for its members and the public alike. Indulge in a beautifully composed meal, and in true Gaelic style, meet a professional bagpiper who is said to have been the Queen Mother's favourite. Be enchanted as you listen to iconic music and fascinating tales of Scottish culture. Raise a glass to your memorable journey and to new friendships.
Bid farewell to your travel companions and continue your onward journey with transfers timed to meet your flight.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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