An unforgettable loop, a grand journey to remember, this comprehensive tour celebrates the unique regions of the United Kingdom, from Edinburgh in Scotland to London, England.
About the Tour
Explore the best of the United Kingdom on this unforgettable journey. Beginning in London, train to York and uncover its mesmerizing history. Your journey continues north into Scotland, where cities such as Edinburgh, Fort Williams, and Mallaig await your exploration. Moving south and back into England, Liverpool, Bath, and Bristol are all on the itinerary before returning to London. This journey is about so much more than amazing cities, though. Along the way, world-famous sites and unforgettable experiences complement this trip. Visit the York Minster, one of Europe’s largest gothic cathedrals; medieval Old Town in Edinburgh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; catch a glimpse of Loch Ness; ride aboard the Jacobite Steam Train and West Highland Line; stand amongst ancient stones at Stonehenge and experience the 11th-century wonder that is the Tower of London. With an inviting mixture of free time and guided group activities, this tour is what treasured memories are made of.
- Rail travel on local UK rail networks
- Scenic rail excursions on the West Highland Line and Jacobite Steam Train*
- Hotel accommodations for 11 nights
- 17 meals
- Guided tours of York and Edinburgh
- Excursion to Loch Ness
- Guided tours of Bath and Liverpool
- Excursion to Stonehenge
- Exclusive Yeoman's Opening Ceremony at the Tower of London
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 – To York
Arrive in London or Manchester and transfer on your own to York. This evening, meet your Tour Manager and fellow travelers at your hotel for a brief welcome meeting followed by dinner. Overnight York. (D)
Day 2 – Historic York
This morning, discover much of the city's long and fascinating history on a guided walking tour of its main attractions. These include the incomparable Minster, which is one of Europe's largest and most ornate gothic cathedrals, and the Shambles, a quaint street that has remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages. Following the tour, you have the chance to take in the sights of this marvelous city at your own pace.
This afternoon we transfer to the rail station for the train north to Edinburgh. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel for a two-night stay. This evening we are welcomed in true Scottish style, enjoying a traditional Great Scot's Dinner experience at the hotel, complete with exciting and traditional forms of entertainment. Overnight Edinburgh. (B, D)
Day 3 – Exploring Edinburgh
Today we enjoy a guided walking tour of Edinburgh, taking in the city's main sights. We pass the 16th century Palace of Holyroodhouse, more commonly known as Holyrood Palace. Home of the British monarchy in Scotland, the Queen typically spends some of the summer here. The center of Edinburgh is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, containing a beautiful medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town, complete with fantastic modern architecture that mixes and melds with its surroundings in a marvelous melting pot of both old and new. The remainder of the day is free to explore Edinburgh as you like. Overnight Edinburgh. (B)
Day 4 – On to Fort William
We travel to historic Fort William today, traveling by train to Glasgow and continuing the journey north by coach. After checking into our hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure before meeting the group for dinner this evening. Overnight Fort William. (B, D)
Day 5 – Jacobite Steam Train and Mallaig
This morning we transfer to the rail station for a journey on the Jacobite Steam Train* to Mallaig. Considered one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, this iconic train best recognized from the Harry Potter films showcases Scotland’s impressive sites from Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, to Loch Morar, Britain’s deepest freshwater lake. On arrival in Mallaig, we are free to explore before returning to Fort William by coach. Later this evening, we transfer to the train station for our journey aboard Scotrail service to Glasgow, where we spend the night. Overnight Glasgow. (B)
*Please note: On some early departures, the Jacobite Steam Train may not operate, and we make this excursion on the Scotrail service.
Day 6 – Travel to Liverpool
After a leisurely morning, we transfer to the rail station for the journey to Preston, continuing to Liverpool by coach. On arrival, the remainder of the day free to explore this port city or relax at the hotel. Overnight Liverpool. (B)
Day 7 – Discovering Liverpool
Liverpool may be best known as the home of The Beatles, but it is also a diverse coastal city with architecture dating to the 1500’s and a historic city center with UNESCO World Heritage Site status. This morning’s city tour showcases the city’s important landmarks from the Waterfront Pier Head to sites integral to The Beatles’ early years: the Cavern Club, where the band performed their first concert, Penny Lane, and Strawberry Fields, made famous by John, Paul, George, and Ringo in 1967. We also see Liverpool's vibrant China Town. Following our tour, you are free to explore Liverpool further at your leisure. Overnight Liverpool. (B)
Day 8 – Onwards to Bristol
We travel by coach to the station today, catching the rail service to Bristol, via Stafford, for a two-night stay. Upon arrival, the remainder of the day is at your leisure. Overnight Bristol. (B, D)
Day 9 – Historic Bath
Today, we enjoy a wonderful excursion by rail to the historic city of Bath. The UNESCO protected city is famous worldwide for its natural hot springs. Our guided walking tour showcases the city's main sights, including the stunning Abbey and the architecturally wonderful Royal Crescent. The Crescent, a row of 30 18th-century terraced houses, is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the country. Overnight Bristol. (B)
Day 10 – Stonehenge
We begin the journey to London by coach. En route, we stop at the famous prehistoric monument of Stonehenge. One of the most impressive Bronze Age monuments in the country, this ring of standing stones has long provided archaeologists with the mystery of what the complex design really represents. We arrive in London late this afternoon and check into our hotel. We enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant. Overnight London. (B, D)
Day 11 – The Tower of London
We arrive at the iconic Tower of London early this morning to witness the famous Opening Ceremony. We are given a short talk by a Yeoman Warder before witnessing the ceremony first-hand. The morning is then free to explore the famous landmark at your own pace. Built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the Tower has been utilized for a number of purposes, including a prison and most recently, a tourist attraction and home of the Crown Jewels. The rest of the day is at leisure in the capital. You may like to take advantage of the city's wealth of wonderful museums and galleries including the fantastic Natural History Museum and the ever-popular British Museum, both possessing a vast collection of some of the finest archaeological finds in world history. We enjoy a final dinner in the hotel together this evening. Overnight London. (B, D)
Day 12 – Tour Conclusion
After breakfast the tour concludes, and you are free to depart at your leisure. (B)
The Principal York, York
The 4-Star Principal in York stands in landscaped gardens a few minutes’ walk from the city center. The hotel has a fitness center, with an indoor swimming pool and steam room, a bar/coffee shop and a restaurant.
Principal Hotel George St, Edinburgh
The Principal Hotel George Street (InterContinental Hotel) is a 4-Star facility in Edinburgh, located in the vicinity of some of this magical city's major landmarks. Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle, Arthur's Seat, and the shopping haven of Princes Street are all within walking distance. The hotel has been refurbished keeping in mind Edinburgh's cultural and literary heritage. Rooms are tastefully furnished with all basic amenities, including tea & coffee making facilities, while the bathrooms are equipped with toiletries and rainfall showers. The inhouse restaurant aptly named the Printing Press Bar & Kitchen, was once the residence of noted novelist Susan Ferrier.
Moorings Hotel, Banavie
Celebrated as one of the most popular hotels in Fort William, the Moorings Hotel is a hidden gem, located just a five-minute drive from Fort William town center but a million miles away from everyday hustle and bustle. Situated on the banks of the Caledonian Canal at the famous Neptune’s staircase locks. It is the perfect location for a short stroll along the canal-side or enjoying a more strenuous walk along the Great Glen Way. Bright, traditional rooms offer free Wi-Fi, tea and coffeemaking equipment, flat-screen TVs with premium channels and designer bath amenities.
Jurys Inn, Glasgow
The 3-Star Jurys Inn in Glasgow is conveniently located adjacent to the city's Central Station, within walking distance of many of the major attractions. The Jurys Inn has a restaurant, bar and a coffee bar. The rooms are air conditioned and come equipped with a telephone, flat screen television, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Novotel Liverpool Centre
A 10-minute walk from the Tate Liverpool art gallery, this modern hotel on a street lined with shops is also a 14-minute walk from live music at the Echo Arena. It's an eight-minute walk from Liverpool Lime Street train station.
Contemporary rooms feature Wi-Fi, flat-screens, minibars, and tea and coffee making equipment. Amenities include a fitness center and an indoor heated pool. A trendy restaurant serves international cuisine. There's also a vibrant bar that offers late-night cocktails and light fare, as well as a business center, and meeting spaces.
Mercure Bristol Brigstow, Bristol
The Mercure Bristol Brigstow is a 4-Star hotel located in Bristol City Center, a short walk away from Saint Nicholas' Market, the harbor, and other landmarks. The hotel offers spacious rooms equipped with a television, Wi-Fi, a mini fridge, and tea & coffee making facilities. Bathrooms are also fitted with a television screen and heated mirrors. The hotel has an inhouse café offering a wide array of deli items, pastries, and cakes. The hotel boasts great views of the River Avon.
NH Kensington Hotel, London
In London, we stay at the 4-Star Hotel NH London Kensington. Situated within the elegant borough of Kensington and Chelsea, this hotel is near numerous beautiful parks and palaces, as well as many public transport links. The rooms are modern and comfortable and come well equipped with an in-room safe, an en-suite bathroom, a television, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The hotel itself offers a lovely restaurant, as well as a comfortable bar, perfect for relaxing in after a day exploring the capital city.
West Highland Line
Named as the “Most Scenic Railway Line in the World” 2 years in a row, the West Highland Line offers a beautiful rail journey through Scotland. Riders begin their journey in the heart of Scotland in Glasgow and have the option to choose three end destinations: Mallaig, Fort William, and Oban. Along the way, the dramatic Scottish landscape unfolds. Enjoy a look at lochs, moors, mountains and the coastline as you meander through the countryside.
Jacobite Steam Train
Following a route from Fort William to Mallaig, the Jacobite Steam Train has been called the greatest railway journey in the world. The train follows a round-trip route the totals 84 miles in length - just over 41 miles in each direction. Along the way, sights to be seen include Ben Nevis, River Morar, the Glenfinnan Viaduct and Loch Nevis, amongst others. Scenic villages dot the landscape and complete the picturesque vistas.
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