Duration: 14 Days
COUNTRIES VISITED: Scotland
PLACES VISITED: London, Buckinghamshire, Oxford, Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon, York, Edinburgh, Loch Lomond and Stirling, Lake District, Liverpool, Chester, Roman bath, Stonehenge, Windsor
Arrive in London and travel through Buckinghamshire, perhaps stopping at Cliveden or Hughenden Manor on route to Oxford where you’ll enjoy the college quads and spires of the world-renowned Oxford University. Enjoy the unique academic ambience which once inspired the likes of Tolkien, CS Lewis and Oscar Wilde and explore the famous colleges such as Magdalen College, Christchurch College, New College Hall and the Bodleian Library which featured as parts of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. Nearby lies the village of Woodstock home of the stunning baroque mansion of Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill. In the afternoon proceed to Stratford-upon-Avon, your base for the next two days.
This day spend your morning exploring Stratford-upon-Avon, a medieval town of Tudor timberwork buildings, open greens and boats bobbing on the river Avon not to mention a wealth of heritage sites dedicated to the town’s most famous resident William Shakespeare. Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage or Mary Arden’s Farm. By afternoon venture South into the quintessential English countryside of the Cotswolds home to rolling hills, patchwork fields and chocolate-box villages of honey-coloured cottages with eccentric names such as Chipping Campden, Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold.
Let’s Continuing your journey towards north & you may choose to stop at England’s most impressive medieval fortress at Warwick Castle on route to the grandiose city of York. York is home to a wealth of historic and cultural sites from the cobbled Shambles, Britain’s first shopping street to Viking heritage at the Jorvik Centre. Stroll along the remaining medieval city walls, gates and towers. Historic attractions include the Elizabethan Mansion House or the Tudor exhibition at Micklegate Bar, before enjoying York’s undoubted highlight at York Minster, Northern Europe’s largest gothic cathedral.
With York as your base you can spend this day exploring the outlying countryside; York is surrounded by two areas of outstanding natural beauty in the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moor. The former is Herriott country and the setting of the famous veterinary tales whilst the latter was Bronte’s inspiration for Wuthering Heights. A journey to the North East coast will take you to the fishing village of Whitby home to a cobbled harbour and magnificent cliff-top Abbey whilst there are a host of historic sites closer to home including the World Heritage Site at Fountains Abbey and Water Gardens and the elegant, quintessential country manor at Castle Howard.
Departure from York continue North; you may choose to stop at Hadrian’s Wall the ancient border between England and Scotland where you can visit one of the famous Roman border forts which punctuate its path. Then crossing the border into Scotland pass through the mellow landscapes of the Scottish Lowlands perhaps stopping at one or more of the region’s stunning monastic ruins including those at Melrose Abbey, Jedburgh Abbey. Your final stop can be the intriguing Rosslyn Chapel, made famous by the Da Vinci Code book and film before arriving on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
Make your way into central Edinburgh and dedicate today to exploring the magnificent Scottish Capital from the winding streets of the cobbled old town to the wide avenues of the opulent Georgian new town before visiting the Queen’s residence at the Palace of Holyrood House. Enjoy the national museums and galleries in the shadow of the Burns Monument before strolling through Princes Street Gardens or climbing to Arthur’s Seat for spectacular views over the city. You may choose to head for the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith Docks or view the modern Scottish Parliament building before climbing the Royal Mile to the city’s centrepiece at the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, home to the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and St Margaret’s Chapel.
From Edinburgh travel north to nearby historic Stirling; on route you may choose to stop at the intriguing Falkirk Wheel, an amazing feat of engineering, or the beautiful towering scultptures of the Kelpies. Arriving in Stirling, visit the towering Wallace Monument erected in dedication to the Great Scottish Hero Braveheart William Wallace. Then explore the cobbled old town to visit Stirling Castle which, once the Royal Seat of Scotland, rivals that of Edinburgh for its historic significance and beauty. Time-permitting, venutre further north in to the the Trossachs National Park to Loch Lomond for a flavour of the Scottish Highlands before returning south for your overnight stay.
Departing Scotland travel south through the understated rolling hills of the Scottish Lowlands where you may choose to stop at New Lanark Mill a heritage site nestling on the banks of the River Clyde. Then pass through Gretna Green before crossing the border to England. First stop here can be Birdoswald Roman Fort visitor centre to uncover the secrets of Hadrian’s Wall before returning west in to the awe-inspiring landscapes of Lake District home to towering peaks, rolling dales and tranquil waters.
Today continue to explore the region in more depth; the area is a haven for walkers, hikers, budding artists and photographers or those simply looking for tranquil boat trips or lazy drives soaking up the scenery. Possible cultural visits include Wordsworth’s Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage along with Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop Farm. The region also boasts a wealth of stunning historic houses including Hutton in the Forest, Lowther Castle and Gardens and the Levens Hall.
Continue south to visit the magnificent city of Liverpool which was designated as European City of Culture in 2008. The city is home to two cathedrals, dozens of listed buildings, the famous Albert Docks and a wealth of Beatles Heritage including Matthews Street, the Cavern Club, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and the Beatles Story Exhibition. Then on to the Roman city of Chester, home to Roman City walls and gate-towers, the stunning excavated Roman Amphitheatre, an impressive cathedral and the unique Tudor Facaded “Rows”. By evening, cross the border in to Wales to the nearby town of Ruthin your base for the next two nights in the hotel.
From your base near the English/Welsh border spend today exploring North Wales. Pass firstly in to the glorious mountain scenery of the Snowdonia National Park where you can visit the National Slate Museum exploring the slate mining history of the region. Then descend the Conwy valley to the North Wales Coast. Here you can visit the 19th century seaside resort of Llandudno where you can enjoy a stroll along the promenade and admire the elegant Victorian architecture before travelling to nearby Conwy. Conwy is a hidden gem seemingly frozen in time, consisting of a medieval harbour, narrow streets, cobbled squares and still surrounded by its ancient town walls. The highlight though is the dominating 13th century fortress at Conwy Castle.
Departing north Wales pass by Welsh town of Llangollen to view the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which carries canal boats 126 feet above the valley floor. Crossing the border in to England you may choose to stop at quaint market town of Shrewsbury. By afternoon, continue to the City of Bath. Bath oozes Georgian opulence and is home to so many sites of historic importance that the entire city has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status. Visit the spectacular Roman Baths and Pump Room.
Returning East pass on to the Salisbury Plain to see the famous standing stones at Stonehenge or lesser known but equally enchanting Avebury Stone Circle. Afterwards, head to historic Windsor to spend the balance of the day exploring this beautiful and affluent town home to cobbled squares, timber fronted houses, and the world’s largest inhabited castle at Windsor Castle, the Queen’s favoured residence.
This morning enjoy a final breakfast in your hotel before checking out. You may have a chance for some last-minute souvenir shopping or sightseeing before making your way back to London Heathrow or Gatwick Airports, return your vehicle and check-in for your return flight to your home nation.
• Enjoy the unique academic ambience Of Oxford Unvercity
• Accomodation in 4 Star hotel with Breakfast & dinner
• World famous National park, Castle & Loch visit included.
• All Entrances, Transfers Prices & Taxes are included