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ESSENTIAL BRITAIN
12 DAYS FROM $2,431 US  
Details below or click here for more information INQUIRY FORM

Treasures of England On this Essential Britain tour you’ll experience some of Britain’s most fascinating towns as you travel through England, Wales, and Scotland stopping for overnights in London, Plymouth, Cardiff, Liverpool, Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh, and York. Plus, part of the charm of traveling through Britain is seeing the marvelous scenery and on this Britain tour you’ll get the opportunity to witness some of its most scenic areas. You’ll cruise on Plymouth Sound, one of the world’s great natural harbors; take a photo at breathtaking Land’s End, England’s most south-westerly point; drive through Brecon Beacons National Park, with its dramatic landscapes; explore England’s tranquil Lake District, England’s largest and finest natural park; visit the Isle of Skye, with some of Scotland’s best scenery; and trace the shores of Loch Ness.

On this tour to Britain, you’ll also travel to some of the charming towns. In Bath, you’ll explore the excavations of the Roman baths, used over 2,000 years ago for bathing and socializing. In Chester, you’ll enjoy a walking tour of this city famed for its Roman remains, black and white half-timbered buildings, and famous two-tiered arcades. In Liverpool, take a journey into the life of the Beatles. Walk through York’s quaint streets with your Tour Director, who will bring York and all of Britain alive with firsthand, in-depth knowledge throughout your tour. Your Tour Operator also brings these destinations to life with out-of-the-ordinary experiences—such as an authentic Cornish pastry in Cornwall and original Grasmere gingerbread in Grasmere—arranged just for you.

Majestic scenery, fascinating towns, special treats, an expert Tour Director bringing these destinations to life, and so much more are offered on this spectacular Britain vacation. Be sure to grab your camera so all you have to do is sit back and relax as you experience these wonderful destinations.

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Essential Britain:
City of Bath
Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
Frontiers of the Roman Empire
Liverpool - Maritime Mercantile City
Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
Stonehenge Map


Day 1 Arrive in London, England
Welcome to London! Uniformed Hosts will be waiting to welcome you. After checking into your hotel and an afternoon at leisure, we recommend our optional Taste of London excursion with dinner, followed by a guided illumination cruise on the Thames River.

Day 2 London–Stonehenge–Plymouth
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and depart London at 8 am. First, try to unravel the mystery of prehistoric STONEHENGE; explore the stunning visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then take the shuttle to the stone circle and admire the magnificence of the monument up close. Continue on through Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, and head to Plymouth, where you follow in the footsteps of Drake, Raleigh, and the Pilgrim Fathers with a Local Favorite CRUISE on Plymouth Sound, one of the world’s great natural harbors. You will also have time at the historic Barbican to see the Mayflower Steps. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (B,D)

Day 3 Plymouth. Cornwall Excursion
A day full of West Country sights as you head through Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall, where you will be treated to an authentic [LF] CORNISH PASTY. After viewing St. Michael’s Mount, take your photos at Land’s End before exploring the popular seaside resort of St. Ives. Back in Plymouth, why not join an optional excursion into Dartmoor National Park for an evening of storytelling at a local pub? (B)

Day 4 Plymouth–Glastonbury–Bath–Cardiff, Wales
At Glastonbury, hear about its associations with King Arthur, and in elegant Bath, see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS with time to explore further on your own. Stay the night in Cardiff, the Welsh capital. You might want to join an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner tonight. (B)

Day 5 Cardiff–Builth Wells–Chester, England–Liverpool
Your journey through Wales takes you north along the Taff Valley and Brecon Beacons National Park, and via the ancient market town of Builth Wells to Chester. On your walking tour, see the Roman remains, the characteristic black and white half-timbered buildings, and the famous two-tiered arcades called the “Rows.” Spend the night in Liverpool; you may wish to join an optional city tour this afternoon. (B)

Day 6 Liverpool–Grasmere–Gretna Green, Scotland–Glasgow
Start the day with a visit to the award-winning BEATLES STORY, an atmospheric journey into the life, times, culture, and music of the “Fab Four.” Later, focus on the tranquil Lake District, considered to be the finest of England’s national parks. Take a break in Wordsworth’s beloved Grasmere and try original [LF] GRASMERE GINGERBREAD. Then, head north for the Scottish border and stop at Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples, and take part in a [LF] WEDDING RE-ENACTMENT. Overnight in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city. (B,D)

Day 7 Glasgow–Isle of Skye–Inverness
Follow the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond, then proceed via Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe, Fort William, and the “Road to the Isles.” At Mallaig, board your FERRY for the crossing to the Isle of Skye, the largest island of the Inner Hebrides and famous for its dramatic landscapes. Return to the mainland and trace the shores of Loch Ness on the way to the Highland capital.(B,D)

Day 8 Inverness–Culloden—Pitlochry–St. Andrews–Edinburgh
Main features today: the battlefield of Culloden Moor; the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry; St. Andrews; and over the elegant Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh. Tonight, an optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (B)

Day 9 Edinburgh
Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE (except when the Queen is in residence). Later, a unique optional excursion: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia to see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening.For departure numbers July 29 through August 19 tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO. (B)

Day 10 Edinburgh–Alnwick, England–York
This morning at ALNWICK CASTLE the choice is yours: visit the CASTLE itself, the opulent ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, or explore ALNWICK GARDEN, where the fountains and waterfalls are a breathtaking feature. Next, stand in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. (B,D)

Day 11 York–Stratford-Upon-Avon–London
On the last leg of your journey, stop at Stratford-upon-Avon to take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE. On return to London at about 3:30 pm, a Shownight Theater Evening would be an incredible finale to your vacation. (B)

Day 12 London
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

TRANSPORTAION
Motorcoach; Plymouth Sound cruise; ferry to the Isle of Skye. Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.

VACATION HIGHLIGHTS

STONEHENGE
Visit the prehistoric monument

PLYMOUTH
Plymouth Sound cruise; welcome dinner

CORNWALL
Take photographs of St. Michael’s Mount, visit Land’s End and St. Ives

BATH
Visit the Roman relics

BUILTH WELLS
Visit the ancient market town

CHESTER
Walking tour

LIVERPOOL
Visit the Beatles Story

GRASMERE
Visit Wordsworth’s village; [LF] try original Grasmere gingerbread

GRETNA GREEN
[LF] Take part in a wedding re-enactment

MALLAIG-ARMADALE
Cross the Sound of Sleat by ferry

PITLOCHRY
Visit the Victorian mountain resort

ST. ANDREWS
Visit the home of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club

EDINBURGH
Guided sightseeing, visit Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace

ALNWICK
Visit the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland or explore the spectacular garden

YORK
Walking tour

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
Take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, visit Shakespeare’s birthplace

NOTES:
Headsets throughout the tour except London
Edinburgh Military Tattoo ticket included for departures July 29 through August 19.


Meals
Full English breakfast daily; 4 three-course dinners with wine and choice of menus, including a welcome dinner in Plymouth


Departure Dates:
March - October


Prices:

From approx $2,431 US per person double occupancy


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