Upon arrival in London, our driver will meet you in the arrivals hall and transfer to your central city hotel. You could begin your discovery of London with a city tour conducted on the original London Double Decker Hop On – Hop Off Tour Bus. (Dependent on flight arrival time) The London tour offers several sightseeing routes that cover all the main sights in Central London with live commentary. Also included in your tour are the free walks and a cruise on the River Thames. The major sights include Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, The London Eye, Downing Street, St. Pauls Cathedral, The Tower of London, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.
The bus tour and route allow you the opportunity to come and go as you please, so that you can visit many of the great attractions around the city such as The Tower of London, where you can see the Crown Jewels including the Kohinoor, or experience to the breath-taking views of the city on one of London’s most popular attractions “The London Eye.”
In the evening, you could take yourself up to Leicester Square in the heart of London, where there’s plenty to see and do - including cinemas, restaurants, theatres, clubs and bars that make London such a vibrant city. Overnight at the hotel
Today is your free day to explore the city some more, or another *option would be to join one of the organised tours out of the city. Below is one of our most popular tours that includes a pick up at your hotel.
After breakfast your coach will stop by and collect you from the hotel lobby before setting off to visit three of the UK’s most famous sites, Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath - England's most beautiful Georgian city. This tour includes entrance to Windsor Castle, the home of the Royal Family for 900 years, and the world's largest and oldest occupied castle. Windsor Castle's fortified walls dominate the delightful town that has grown up around it over the years. You will see the lavishly decorated State Apartments and St. George's Chapel, travelling further through the rolling green Wiltshire landscape to Stonehenge, where a collection of stones dragged to this lonely plain near Salisbury 5,000 years ago set in a landscape dotted with prehistoric mounds and carvings, Stonehenge continues to enthral the imagination and captivate the heart of every visitor. Next, it's on to Bath, famous for its elegant Georgian architecture, during the tour you will visit the Roman Baths, the best preserved Roman spa from the ancient world and pump rooms which is a striking neo-classical salon where hot Spa water is drawn for drinking. Overnight at the hotel
A free day to explore...
Today once again you have an *option to join an organised visit Oxford, with a tour of Christ Church College, with your onboard guide and see some of the locations used from the Harry Potter films including the Hogwarts dining hall. You then take a drive through one of the most scenic areas of England the Cotswolds, passing through charming villages with thatched cottages, tea shops and ancient inns. You'll arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of the famous playwright William Shakespeare. You will visit Shakespeare's Tudor-era home, with its typical parlour, bedrooms, kitchen and buttery. Finally Visit the fantastic medieval Warwick Castle where you will be taken back 100;s of year’s in history to a time of bloody battles, extravagant banquets and royal ceremonies. See waxwork display from Madame Tussauds and hear the Earl of Warwick as he prepares for the battle. See the gruesome dungeons where prisoners were tortured. Overnight at the hotel
This morning is an early departure from London by train to Windermere. The 8.30 train arrives just after 11.30. We will arrange either an early check-in or for you to be able to drop your cases off at the front desk. You can then head into town for lunch.
After lunch you have a choice of one of two half day tours of the Lake District.
A) Afternoon Eight Northern Lakes Supertour Including Cruise on Derwentwater The northern lakes and mountain passes, Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick-on-Derwentwater and lake cruise, the Derwent Round and over Newlands to Moss Force Waterfall, Buttermere, Crummock Water and Lorton Vale, Whinlatter Pass, Bassenthwaite, the Vale of St. John, Thirlmere and Grasmere.
B) Afternoon Tour of Peter Rabbit & Wordsworth Country Inspiring views of central Lakeland, a cruise on Coniston Water, 10 lakes and tarns, stop-overs at Hawkshead (30 minutes) and Hilltop (40 minutes) and visiting many other places, houses and farms that are associated with Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth (and to a lesser extent Arthur Ransome and John Ruskin). Overnight at hotel
This morning it is time to jump aboard the train and head further north to the Scottish capital that is Edinburgh. The journey takes a little over two and a half hours, so need to leave until 10am, when the train will arrive just after 12.30pm. The afternoon is then yours to explore the city, with your Royal Edinburgh Pass.
You have been provided with the Royal Edinburgh fast track tickets which include travel on four of the main bus sightseeing tours. The “hop on hop off” bus tours give you the chance to see the city from the comfort of an open air double decker bus but give you the option of leaving the tour if you see something you would like to have a closer look at and picking the tour up later on.
The three tourist attractions are . . .
Edinburgh Castle is built on top of the basalt remains of an extinct volcano proving impressive views of the entire city and beyond. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the Normans but there are buildings and fortifications that cover every period since that time. The castle is home to, amongst other things, the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and the giant 15th century siege gun Mons Meg.
The Royal Yacht Britannia is magnificent ship and has played host to some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, she was home to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family. First commissioned 11th January 1954 this floating palace served the royal family for over fourty years conveying them to 696 foreign visits, 272 visits in British waters and steamed an unbelievable 1,087,623 nautical miles!
The Palace of Holyrood House is the official residents of the Queen and stands at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile against the spectacular backdrop of Arthur’s Seat. This wonderful example of baroque architecture is closely associated with Scotland’s rich history. The state apartments are still used by the Queen and other members of the royal family for state ceremonies and official entertaining. Overnight at the hotel
Today is your free day to continue to explore the city with your passes
You have the option to take a tour to Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands, covering the magnificent beauty of Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, the Great Glen, Loch Ness and Pitlochry. Leaving Edinburgh, you'll pass Linlithgow Palace (birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots), Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, to reach the most dramatic of all Highland glens, Glencoe. This area is steeped in history, and you will hear the truth about the infamous 1692massacre of Clan MacDonald. Journeying through Fort William, site of the military post built during the Jacobite Rebellions in the 18th century, you'll continue up the Great Glen, between Fort William and Inverness. On the way back, you'll stop at Spean Bridge before heading through the Cairngorms National Park, Craig Meagaidh and along the shores of Loch Laggan, where the TV series Monarch of the Glen was filmed. Continuing over the Drummochter Summit, where herds of red deer often graze, you'll visit the Victorian town of Pitlochry. Overnight at the hotel
Today you head off to Scotland’s largest city Glasgow. This is just a short train journey and so you can be back in Edinburgh later on this afternoon.
Your open-top bus tour of Glasgow is the ideal way to discover all that is best about Scotland’s largest and most colourful city. There are up to 3 departures every hour and you can hop on and off at stops along the route so that you can explore the places of interest that you are hearing about in the commentary. The commentary is provided in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.
Tour Highlights: George Square, Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Science Centre, The Tall Ship, Glasgow University, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Botanical Gardens and Kelvingrove Park The history of Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city is rich and diverse. In its 1400 years Glasgow has been a religious community, a salmon fishing village, a medieval university town, a major centre of trade with North America and the second city of the British Empire, famed for its shipbuilding and engineering.
Today Glasgow is renowned as one of Europe’s foremost visitor destinations. Its outstanding variety of museums, galleries and performance venues led to the city being one of the first to be designated European City of Culture. Victorian Glasgow has left a magnificent legacy of civic buildings that are just waiting to be discovered. Visit the recently refurbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum where the highlights include impressionist paintings and wonderful medieval armour. Close by take a walk in leafy Kelvingrove Park or visit the campus of Glasgow University to enjoy the panoramic views from the tower.
Back in the city centre the Gallery of Modern Art has four floors of exhibition space that attracts visitors and locals alike and to the east the People’s Palace, on Glasgow Green, tells the story of the city from the perspective of ordinary working folk. The bustling Merchant City was once home to warehouses and markets. Now it’s a sophisticated area of bars, restaurants and housing. This historic area is home to towering Glasgow Cathedral, which dates from Norman times, the Necropolis where many of the city’s wealthy merchants are buried and the Provands Lordship, the oldest building in Glasgow. Glasgow is a city with its own style. A style that is reflected in its modern retail centres (known as "The Style Mile”) which attract shoppers from all over Europe
After breakfast say goodbye to Scotland and the UK, and take your private transfer to the airport.