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Welcome to Scotland - land of legends and romance, from the great cultural cities in the south, to the dramatic mountains and misty lochs of the Highlands. On arrival at Edinburgh Airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00 and 13:00. Then the rest of the day is yours to relax before joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner of modern European cuisine and wine at a chic bistro tucked away in the New Town.
Join a Local Expert to see the highlights of the city. Enjoy a drive along Princes Street to the ornate Scott Memorial and see the 18th century New Town with its neoclassical Adam facades. Over in the Old Town, see the Palace of Holyroodhouse - the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty, the Queen and visit the castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and the Honours of Scotland, Scotland's glittering Crown Jewels. With the afternoon at leisure, why not visit the art treasures in the National Gallery? On select departures, you will also attend The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo — a colourful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Depart the majestic Scottish capital and journey to Ardgowan, set on a stunning 10,000-acre coastal estate. Sir Ludovic Shaw Stewart welcomes you to his family castle. Learn the history of the area, the Shaw Stewart family and the conservation efforts to protect the land on this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, followed by a degustation of traditional Scottish tea and scones. Continue to Gretna Green to see the famous spot where runaway lovers were married over the anvil at the blacksmith's shop. Your travels continues to the picturesque English Lake District and dinner is served at your hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere.
Devote the day to a scenic wonderland of rugged mountains and tranquil waters - inspiration to a host of English poets.Visit Wordsworth’s grave in the small churchyard at Grasmere.Appreciate the scenic beauty of the English Lake District on a relaxing cruise admiring the magnificent views of rugged mountains, secluded bays and wooded islands. Then, embark on a nostalgic steam train ride along the banks of the beautiful River Leven.
Enjoy a morning at leisure before travelling through the Yorkshire Dales to arrive at the charming village of Haworth. Visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum, created within the actual home of the Brontë family. Learn about the family's literary legacy and what inspired them from the surroundings of their own home. Your journey continues to York, one of the oldest cities in England. In the evening join a family for a home-hosted meal at the historic Thirsk Hall. This grade II* listed three-storey town house was built in 1720 and extended in 1770 by York architect John Carr.
Enjoy an exploration of one of Britain’s most historic cities, controlled by the Vikings during the 9th and 10th century and now renowned for its exquisite architecture. Walk within the town walls with a Local Expert to see the huge York Minster, Britain’s largest medieval cathedral. Explore the tangle of quaint, narrow, cobbled streets and see the Shambles. There is plenty of time to further explore on you own, perhaps visit the National Railway Museum housing over 300 years of history, or continue wandering the well-preserved city walls?
Explore Lincoln with Insight Choice. Visit Lincoln Castle, one of the finest Norman castles in England, for a chance to see one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta. Alternatiely, Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience to visit a local café fighting against poverty, for delicious tea and cakes. Continue to pretty Stratford, beautifully situated on the River Avon. Your hotel is set in its own private grounds, just a short walk from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the town's wealth of black and white timber-framed buildings.
Discover how William Shakespeare and his incredible works continue to delight audiences today when you visit his birthplace, full of interesting memorabilia and artefacts relating to his life. Later, join your Travel Director for a traditional Sunday roast dinner, served with Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings.
An enchanting day awaits in the morning. Cross the beautiful Cotswold hills, a chocolate box scene of golden stone villages with roses round the doors. Visit the magnificent stately home and gardens of Blenheim Palace, the greatest building of the English Baroque, and learn more about Churchill's life at Blenheim during a talk by a historian. Continue to the elegant Georgian city of Bath, built in amphitheatre style on the surrounding hills. Your Travel Director introduces you to the Pulteney Bridge, built in mellow local stone. See the angels climbing Jacob's Ladder on Bath Abbey.
The City of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built above one of Britain's thermal, mineral springs. Explore Bath with Insight Choice. Choose to visit its incredibly well-preserved Roman Baths or alternatively, step into the world of an esteemed author on a private before the crowds visit to the Jane Austen Museum. With the rest of the day at leisure, why not soak and relax with a visit to Thermae Spa? In the evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at Brasserie Blanc. Raise a glass over your Celebration Dinner to commend your wonderful journey, while enjoying a delicious French-inspired meal accompanied with wine.
Travel across Salisbury Plain to visit the prehistoric and mysterious Stonehenge, where the strange and awe-inspiring monoliths are reputed to be up to 5,000 years old. Continue into the heart of Wiltshire to reach the city of Salisbury where you have time at leisure to enjoy lunch and explore the city. See the tallest spire in England, atop the medieval cathedral and walk the streets to observe an architectural timeline from the city's medieval walls and half-timbered Tudor town houses to Georgian mansions and Victorian villas. Upon arrival in London you are at leisure for the rest of the afternoon.
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast.
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