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British Isles Tour

British Isles Tour

Introduction

Time: All Year

Accommodation: First Class Hotels

Start Date: 14 Nights / 15 Days

Group Size: Singles, Couples, Families and Small Groups

This incredible journey visits the main attractions of the four great countries that form the British Isles – England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Starting and finishing in the World’s greatest city, London you will get a true flavour of each different country and region within these beautiful islands.

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This tour is designed for visitors who have not been to the British Isles before so, you will see an unrivalled combination of culture, history and experiences. We have chosen the best hotels in each location so this tour will live long in your memory.

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Why not create your own tour? As with all our tours the attractions you see will take account of your interests and can be adapted to what you want to see. So, if you want to see places not on the list below, just let us know. Complete our enquiry form to find out more »


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Itinerary

We start out tour at the TOWER OF LONDON. William the Conquer began building the White Tower as a symbol of his power. Over the centuries, buildings have been added to form today’s large complex. You will see the Crown Jewels and meet the Beefeaters. Nearby, is the iconic TOWER BRIDGE over the River Thames. Both these are in the CITY, London’s main trading centre. Passing through the small streets, stopping at the site where the great fire of London started before we arrive at ST PAUL'S CATHEDRAL. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the cathedral became a symbol of defiance in WWII.

Day 1: London - Tower - City - St Paul's

We start out tour at the TOWER OF LONDON. William the Conquer began building the White Tower as a symbol of his power. Over the centuries, buildings have been added to form today’s large complex. You will see the Crown Jewels and meet the Beefeaters. Nearby, is the iconic TOWER BRIDGE over the River Thames. Both these are in the CITY, London’s main trading centre. Passing through the small streets, stopping at the site where the great fire of London started before we arrive at ST PAUL'S CATHEDRAL. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the cathedral became a symbol of defiance in WWII.

Day 2: Westminster - Galleries - British Museum

Day 2: Westminster - Galleries - British Museum

We start the day at WESTMINSTER, the resting place of English monarchs for over 1000 years. Just across the road from the Abbey is the seat of the Houses of Parliament and, the tower of BIG BEN. From here, we travel through St James’s Park to Trafalgar Square - now a fabulous pedestrian walkway and onto the NATIONAL GALLERY, home to many world famous paintings including Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Constable’s Haywain.The oldest public museum on the planet is the BRITISH MUSEUM. There are 94 galleries spanning 2 million years of World history.

Day 3: Cambridge - Burghley House

Day 3: Cambridge - Burghley House

The beautiful university city of CAMBRIDGE is our first stop today. Set in a series of parks and colleges we will visit KINGS COLLEGE and take a short guided tour of the city. You will then have a few hours to explore by yourself, to go punting or visit the world famous museums. About an hour north is BURGHLEY HOUSE. Described more as a town than a house, Burghley is the most opulent of Elizabethan palaces. Built by William Cecil, the interior displays a parade of collections of art from the C16-19th

Day 4: York City - Castle Howard - Rievaulx

Day 4: York City - Castle Howard - Rievaulx

YORK is an ancient city transformed by the Vikings in the C9th. YORK MINSTER is one of the most inspiring buildings in the World and the city is a great place to wander the medieval streets. CASTLE HOWARD is a C18th baroque masterpiece by the legendary architect Vanbrugh. Made famous in the TV production of Brideshead Revisited it houses one of the country’s premier art collections including paintings by Canaletto. RIEVAULX ABBEY was once the largest church in England until dissolved by Henry VIII. An exhibition creates an accurate impression of what life would have been like.

Day 5: Durham - Alnwick - Hadrian's Wall

Day 5: Durham - Alnwick - Hadrian's Wall

DURHAM is dominated by the stunning CATHEDRAL and CASTLE, both relics of the Norman Conquest. The castles of the coast are visible for miles around and provide a vivid impression of the past. ALNWICK CASTLE, seat of the influential Percy family, has a magnificent garden and extensive state apartments, remodelled by Robert Adam in the C19th. Travelling towards Scotland, HADRIAN'S WALL, dominates the scenery. Some of the best preserved roman artefacts have been discovered here. HOUSESTEADS is the best preserved Roman fort in Europe with great views of the Wall.

Day 6: Edinburgh Castle - Royal Mile - Holyrood

Day 6: Edinburgh Castle - Royal Mile - Holyrood

In EDINBURGH today, we will start our tour in one of the World’s most famous streets, the ROYAL MILE. At the top is the CASTLE, the most famous Scottish castle, dating from the C12th. You will hear the history, see the CROWN JEWELS and the Stone of Destiny. The Royal Mile has numerous alleys and legends and half way down is ST GILES Cathedral. Often referred to as the “Cradle of Presbyterianism” it was John Knox’s church in the reformation. At the bottom is the Palace of HOLYROODHOUSE – the Queen’s official residence in Scotland and best known as the home of Mary Queen of Scots.

Day 7: Stirling - Distillery - Highlands

Day 7: Stirling - Distillery - Highlands

STIRLING Castle was once the residence of the Scottish Kings and it perches onto an extinct volcano. It is here that some of the country’s most famous warriors lived and fought including William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Scotland's national drink is SCOTCH WHISKY. Discovering the process is very interesting and we can take a whisky distillery tour. We will then take the back roads to see some of the evocative HIGHLAND scenery with wonderful vistas of this lush valleys and ice worn hills. Tonight you will stay in a luxurious CASTLE.

Day 8: Glen Coe - Loch Lomond - Glasgow

Day 8: Glen Coe - Loch Lomond - Glasgow

Driving south through the spectacular mountain pass of GLEN COE, you will hear the stories behind the conflict between the local clans and hopefully, the sounds of a PIPER. Passing LOCH LOMOND we will arrive in GLASGOW - Scotland’s largest city with elegant streets and outstanding Victorian architecture. To the east of the city is the Cathedral – a wonderful example of gothic architecture. Built in the C13th, the church has a shrine to St Mungo – the patron saint of Glasgow. Overlooking the Cathedral, Glasgow Necropolis NECROPOLIS which is a graveyard to the rich of Victorian Scotland.

Day 9: Lake District - North Wales

Day 9: Lake District - North Wales

A couple of hours south is The LAKE DISTRICT. This is an area of glacial erosion that created an awe inspiring set of lakes, interspersed with tumbling rivers and rugged mountains. We take a steam boat trip along the areas best lake, ULLSWATER. Travelling south, for a few hours we arrive in WALES. Along the coast there are spectacular castles built by Edward I. The tiny walled town of CONWY is a medieval masterpiece, a World Heritage Site and has several attractions including Conwy CASTLE, the smallest house in Britain and Aberconwy House – a C14th merchant’s house.

Day 10: Dublin - St Patricks - Trinity College

Day 10: Dublin - St Patricks - Trinity College

An early morning ferry will take us straight into the centre of Ireland's capital city; DUBLIN. Set around the River Liffey, the city has a wealth of attractions within walking distance of each other. We will start with CHRIST CHURCH, built by the Normans in C12th before visiting ST PATRICKS with is spectacular interior and momuments to prominet Irish Writers. Strolling through the busy shopping streets, our last stop will be TRINITY COLLEGE. This is one of the principal seats of learning and the building contains a glorious library, treasury and the BOOK OF KELLS - a richly decorated medieval manuscript.

Day 11: Newgrange - Guinness - Live Music

Day 11: Newgrange - Guinness - Live Music

A short distance away is pre-historic site of NEWGRANGE. This is a passage tomb dating back to 3200 BC. Irish legend states the kings of Tara - the Celtic kings are buried here. On the winter solstice, rays of sun enter the tomb and light up the burial chamber. On the way back into Dublin, the GUINNESS STOREHOUSE is a four acre site where you will discover the processes involved in making this most famous black beer. Dublin is famous for LIVE MUSIC. The improvisional nature make no two pieces the same. We will visit a pub famed for it's music.

Day 12: Ferry - Snowdon - Stokesay

Day 12: Ferry - Snowdon - Stokesay

The ferry back to Wales takes a couple of hours then will will take a fantastic drive through the SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK. This is the largest protected area of landscape in the Brtish Isles and is truly stunning in it's beauty. Crossing over into England, STOKESAY CASTLE is the best preserved C13th fortified manor house in the country. Much of the house has remained almost untouched since it was built. LUDLOW is arguably, the best market town with an outstanding reputatin for food. Tonight you will stay in a super restuarant.

Day 13: Stratford - Cotswolds - Hidcote

Day 13: Stratford - Cotswolds - Hidcote

A drive east ends at STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Anne Hathaway’s was Shakespeare’s wife and her COTTAGE is the perfect English thatched cottage. For the rest of the day, we travel through THE COTSWOLDS. This most quintessentially English of regions has beautiful villages presenting an exquisite view of England. Possible stops include THE SLAUGHTERS. The best garden in England is generally regarded as HIDCOTE MANOR. This is a spectacular arts and crafts garden created as a number of outdoor rooms each with their own plants and features.

Day 14: Bath - Roman Baths - Lacock

Day 14: Bath - Roman Baths - Lacock

We will discover the World Heritage City of BATH with a walking tour. Here you will see the three phases or architecture that make this city so unique: Queens Square, the Circus and Royal Crescent. At the heart of the city are the ROMAN BATHS, Britain’s only hot springs at a temperature of 46C. Close by is the ABBEY. This fantastic building is the last gothic church to be built in England. You then have free time to visit some of the other attractions like the JANE AUSTEN CENTRE or shops. Alternatively, LACOCK, a whole village preserved as it was over 200 years ago, is 30 minutes drive away.

Day 15: Avebury - Stonehenge - Oxford

Day 15: Avebury - Stonehenge - Oxford

The largest pre-historic stone circles surviving in England is AVEBURY. Built over 4500 years ago, the stones form a series of ceremonial avenues and are surrounded in mystery. Close by is Silbury Hill and Long Barrow is a prehistoric burial site. STONEHENGE is an awe inspiring stone circle and one of the wonders of the World. Built in stages over 1500 years our tour will bring the stones to life. Finally we head to OXFORD, England’s premier seat of learning and a fantastic ending to our tour. You will see some of the colleges which students such as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher studied.


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