Day 1: Leeds
Arrive in Leeds where you will meet your tour leader. You will then head to your first stop in Cambridge. You will tour the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s oldest academic centers. The university has a reputation for not only its long history & academic rigor, but also for its beautiful campus, many museums & collections. You will have the opportunity to tour the Fitzwilliam Museum, famous for its collection of a wide range of arts & antiquities. You will spend the evening in Leeds, the third largest city in the United Kingdom & with a rich culture of its own.
Day 2: York - Edinburgh
You will begin the day with a visit to York Minster, the second largest gothic church in England & the biggest of its kind in the north of the country. Then, enjoy a stroll along some of York’s oldest streets, Stonegate & Shambles, now lined with retail & dining. After experiencing York culture, you can learn its history at today’s afternoon stops. Live through the Viking-era at the Jorvik Viking Center, trace the evolution of British transport at the National Railways Museum & explore the grounds of York Castle & York Castle Museum. You will then travel on to Edinburgh for your overnight.
Day 3: Edinburgh
In Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, you will visit the beautiful Edinburgh Castle. The Castle, which sits atop volcanic Castle Rock, was the former home to Scottish monarchs & armed forces. Now, it houses the “Stone of Destiny” – an actual rock used as part of Scottish coronation ceremonies. On your way to Holyrood Palace, the official Scottish residence to the monarch of the United Kingdom, you will travel along the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is a series of streets connecting Edinburgh Castle & Holyrood Palace as well as a mix of restaurants, retail & history. While in Edinburgh, you can also visit the University of Edinburgh, one of Scotland’s beautiful & premiere public research universities. You will conclude the evening with “Jamie’s Scottish Evening” – a Scottish banquet including unlimited wine, & entertainment from Scottish artists.
Day 4: Loch Ness – Aviemore
Today, you will travel to Loch Ness – a celebrated destination in Scotland’s highlands. Along the ride, you will stop in Perth, a picturesque Scottish city nestled in the middle of the country. In Perth, you will visit Scone Palace, the original home of the “Stone of Destiny” as well as site of Scottish coronations. Then, visit the nearby Blair Castle which dates back to the 13th-century as home to the Clan Murray, an influential Scottish family. While on the property, you can stop by the Blair Athol Distillery & try a sip, or several, of Scotland’s treasured drink, Scotch whiskey. Once in Loch Ness, enjoy beautiful views of its sprawling & infamous freshwater lake. Keep your eyes peeled for Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster! Your overnight will be in Aviemore.
Day 5: Glasgow
After breakfast, you will begin your day at Woollen Mill for some shopping. Then, off to Urquhart Castle which offers breathtaking views of Loch Ness as well as a rich history. Uruquart Castle was a medieval fort of critical importance during the Wars of Scottish Independence. Following the Castle, enjoy even more scenery from the peak of Ben Nevis, the British Isles’ highest mountain. Next, you will tours Inveraray Castle, a piece of architecture unique for its style. It incorporates features of the Baroque, Palladian & Gothic eras. As you continue onto Glasgow, you will also see Loch Lomond, a freshwater loch which marks the boundary between the Highlands & central Scotland. You will overnight in Glasgow.
Day 6: Liverpool
You will begin the day with breakfast before heading to The Lake District National Park Stop at Gretna Green. The Lake District National Park is home to some of England’s magnificent superlatives – it is the largest national park & boasts Scafell Pike, the highest mountain as well as Wastwater, the deepest lake. Then enjoy time in Bowness-on-Windermere, a popular town located in a spectacular lakeside setting on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere. In the evening, you will arrive in Liverpool where you can take a Beatles Tour. Hailing from England, the Beatles live in infamy as one of the world’s most famous rock bands. Visit the Beatles Story Exhibition & have a pint at Cavern Pub, the club credited with being the place the Beatles formed their musical identity.
Day 7: Chester – Caernarfon
The morning begins with an excursion to Chester, a nearly 2000 year old city built as a Roman fort. It remains one of the most fully-walled cities. While in Chester, visit Chester Cathedral. Although the Cathedral has been restored several times, this active Cathedral has a history that also dates back to the Roman era. From Chester, continue onto Caernarfron, a small Royal town in Wales. Later, you will have a chance to explore Snowdonia National Park, a park of mountainous terrain & unique for its composition of both private & public lands. Your next stop will be Wales’ north coast’s Conway Castle, a medieval fort at the heart of the walled township of Conwy. Since the 13th century, Conwy Castle has seen battle as part of territorial reorganizations, War of Roses & the English Civil Wars, among others.
Day 8: London - Windsor
After breakfast, you will proceed onto Stratford-upon-Avon, a quaint market town along the River Avon & birthplace of the famous playwright, William Shakespeare. Today you will also visit Warwick Castle, Britain’s “Ultimate Castle.” Dating back nearly 11 centuries, the Castle has had a colorful history. From battles, to large-scale reconstructions, to site of such seminal moments like the trial of Joan Arc, the castle is a historic marvel.
Day 9: London - Windsor
Today you will have some time to experience the United Kingdom’s capital city, London. Following breakfast, visit some of England's most well-known sites. Among your stops today include the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. You may also choose to stop in Harrod's to enjoy some tea or to get some shipping done. Then, onto Windsor Castle, a remarkable building as well as an official residence of The Queen. Windsor Castle is one of the largest occupied castles in the world.
Day 10: London
Today, you will take to the water to explore London. You will enjoy a London Eye River cruise & from the vantage point of the River Thames, you will get an incredible view of some of London’s illustrious sites, like the London Eye, Tower Bridge (“London Bridge”), Big Ben & Houses of Parliament. Following the cruise, you will tour the Tower of London, a historic royal residence & fortress perhaps most famous for its use as a prison. In London, you will also have the chance to tour several of the United Kingdom’s prominent universities, such as King’s College & London School of Economics.
Day 11: Departure
Depart for your flight home.