10 Days British Isles

DAY   01:  NORTH AMERICA / LONDON.  We begin our British Isles tour by boarding our trans-Atlantic flight to London.

DAY 02: LONDON / SALISBURY / BATH / BRISTOL AREA. Upon arrival at London’s Heathrow Airport we are met by our tour escort and motorcoach.   We will drive swiftly to the market town of Salisbury to visit its Cathedral, which has the tallest spire in England.  Then on across Salisbury Plains to mysterious Stonehenge to visit the fascinating collection of ancient monoliths placed there nearly 2000 years before the birth of Christ.  They were once used to calculate the eclipses and equinoxes.  We continue via the beautiful Georgian town of Bath set upon the River Avon in a natural amphitheater of steep hills, to Bristol, rich in seafaring tradition and linked with the colonization of America.  Dinner and overnight at our hotel in the area.

DAY03:    BRISTOL AREA / OXFORD / STRATFORD / COVENTRY.  Leaving the Bristol area we drive to the university town of Oxford, where we will visit Regents Park College.  We then skirt the picturesque Cotswolds area on our way to Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of the Bard William Shakespeare.  We will visit his birthplace, see the 16th century Harvard House, the Guildhall and other points of interest in this beautiful old market town with numerous timbered old buildings.   A short drive then brings us to Coventry, where we will visit the new cathedral designed by Sir Basil Spence which is situated next to the old one destroyed by the tremendous air raids of World War II.  Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Coventry.

DAY 04:  COVENTRY / CHESTER / LAKE DISTRICT.  Our journey today takes us to the fascinating old city of Chester, where our sightseeing will include the medieval walls that completely enclose Chester, the “magpie” houses, so called because of their black timbers and white plasters; the 12th century Cathedral and St. Johns’, an impressive Norman Church.  Then we travel to the renown Lake District, favorite area of poets, writers, and artists, to Grasmere for dinner and overnight.

DAY 05: LAKE DISTRICT / CARLISLE / EDINBURGH.    We have a scenic tour through the Lake District National Park, a lovely region of inland water, forests and mountains.  We will see Lake Windermere, the largest lake in the area, and then drive through the quaint old town of Ambleside and the picturesque village of Grasmere on the fringe of Lake Grasmere to the pleasant old town of Keswick situated on the wooded shores of Derwentwater. After passing through Carlisle, we depart England at Gretna Green, the village famous for its“runaway” marriage ceremonies, and enter the land of the “kilts”- Scotland. We head for Edinburgh, the city of Sir Walter Scott, John Knox and Robert Louis Stevenson, among many others.  Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Edinburgh.

DAY 06:  EDINBURGH.  Our morning sightseeing tour of Edinburgh will include a visit to Edinburgh Castle; we also see the Palace of Holyrood House, so tragically associated with the reign of the Stuarts.  We drive to the Scott Monument, Princes Street, St. Giles Cathedral (Thistle Chapel) where John Knox was minister, the prestigious Edinburgh University, Greyfriars and the Mound. We also visit the John Knox house. The afternoon is at leisure for shoppingor other independent activities.  Dinner and overnight in Edinburgh.

DAY 07:  EDINBURGH / YORK / HARROGATE AREA.  Today we drive to Abbotsford, the turreted mansion built by Sir Walter Scott and his home until his death there in 1832.  We then continue southward through the wind-swept Cheviot Hills to Newcastle and on across the Yorkshire’s high open moors to York, founded on Roman and Viking towns.  Our sightseeingof York includes a visit to the Minster with its majestic towers and priceless stained glass windows, and a walking tour through medieval streets where the upper stories of houses lean precariously across the roadway towards each other.  The names are fascinating: Stonegate, Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate and Shambles, the old butchers quarter.  We then drive the short distance to the floral town of Harrogate for dinner and overnight.

DAY 08:  HARROGATE AREA / CAMBRIDGE / LONDON.  Today’s drive takes us southwards through the Midlands and south to the University city of Cambridge. We will have some time at leisure here to stroll around this beautiful old city, perhaps viewing one of it’s many colleges, or just strolling along the “Backs”, a picuresque area on the River Cam.  Continue to London for dinner and overnight.

DAY 09:  LONDON.  Our morning sightseeing tour of England’s exciting capital city will include Marble Arch, Mayfair, Piccadilly, The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard ceremony (if held).  The highlight of our tour will be a visit to Westminster Abbey.  The afternoon is at leisure for independent activities you may care to shop, to stroll in one of London’s many beautiful parks, or visit an art gallery or museum.  Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at our hotel.

DAY 10:  LONDON / USA.  This morning we transfer to the airport for our return flight to the Unites States at the end of our enjoyable journey.