Grand Tour of the UK
An unforgettable loop, a grand journey to remember, this comprehensive tour celebrates the unique regions of the United Kingdom, from Inverness in Scotland to London, England.
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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, Inverness, 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.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Rail travel on local UK rail networks
- Scenic rail excursions on the West Highland Line and Jacobite Steam Train*
- Hotel accommodations for 13 nights
- 19 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 on a deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional Tour Manager
Day 1 – London to York
Join the group at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras then travel by First Class rail to York where we stay at The Principal. (D)
Day 2 – Historic York
We 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. (B)
Day 3 – Rail to Edinburgh
This morning we transfer to the station for the train north to Edinburgh in First Class. Upon arrival we check into our hotel for a two night stay. That 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. (B, D)
Day 4 – 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. (B)
Day 5 – On to Inverness
Today we board the rail service to Inverness. After checking into the Macdonald Hotel Drumossie, you are free to explore.
Situated a short distance from Inverness itself, this beautiful and historic town is known as the 'Capital of the Highlands', and has been used as a base for much of Scotland's travel, trade and communication for hundreds of years. Why not visit the incredible Inverness Castle? Although not open to the public, this is a picturesque 19th century sandstone building that overlooks the River Ness, and is a delight to behold. (B, D)
Day 6 – Loch Ness and Fort William
We travel to historic Fort William today, taking the coach from Inverness. Along the scenic route, we briefly stop at iconic Loch Ness. Upon arrival in Fort William, we have time for lunch, then transfer to our hotel, stopping en-route at Glencoe and the Three Sisters Mountains for a photo opportunity. (B, D)
Day 7 – Jacobite Steam Train and Mallaig
This morning we make our way back to Fort William, where we transfer to the station for a journey on the Jacobite Steam Train* to Mallaig. On arrival in Mallaig, we are free to explore before returning to Fort William by coach. Later this evening, we transfer to the station for our on the Scotrail service to Glasgow, where we spend the night. Our hotel in Glasgow is the Jury's Inn. (B)
*Please note: On some early departures, the Jacobite Steam Train may not operate, and we make this excursion on the Scotrail service.
Days 8-9 – Discovering Liverpool
On Day 8 we transfer to the station for our rail service to Preston, then continue by coach to Liverpool for 2 nights.
Day 9 begins with some sightseeing around Liverpool, home of The Beatles. We take in the Waterfront Pier Head, the Cavern Club, 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. (Days 8 & 9, B)
Days 10-11 – Onwards to Bristol
We travel by coach to the station today, catching the rail service to Bristol, via Stafford, for a two-night stay. We enjoy a wonderful excursion by rail to the historic city of Bath, on Day 11. The UNESCO protected city is famous worldwide for its natural hot springs. We embark on a guided tour, taking in 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. (Day 10 - B, D; Day 11 - B)
Day 12 – Stonehenge
We begin the journey to London, by coach. En route, we stop off 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 later checking into the NH Kensington. We enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant. (B, D)
Day 13 – The Tower of London
We arrive at the iconic Tower of London in time 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. (B, D)
Day 14 – Tour Conclusion
After breakfast the tour concludes, and you are free to depart, at your leisure. (B)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
The Principal York, York
The 4-Star Principal in York stands in landscape 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.
Macdonald Hotel Drumossie, Inverness
The Macdonald Hotel Drumrossie is a 4-Star hotel in Inverness, located in a picturesque setting close to some of the best restaurants in Inverness. Each room comes with a satellite television, spacious bathroom, armchairs, a large desk, an iron and ironing board, a trouser press, tea & coffee making facilities, and Wi-Fi. The hotel has both a restaurant serving delicious grills and other fares, and a lounge where guests can relax with drinks and views of the impeccably maintained grounds.
Moorings Hotel, Banavie
Celebrated as one of the most popular hotels in Fort William, the Moorings Hotel is a hidden gem, located just five minutes drive from Fort William town centre but a million miles away from every day 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 form the Tate Liverpool art gallery, this modern hotel on a street lined with shops is also within walking distance of live music at the Echo Arena and the Liverpool Lime Street train station. A 10-minute walk form the Tate Liverpool art gallery, this modern hotel on a street lined with shops is also 14 minutes' walk from live music at the Echo Arena. It's an 8-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 centre 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 centre, 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.
Passport & Visa Requirements
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
Dates & Prices
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: Departs 5th May 2020 ($3,895), 8th September 2020 ($3,895)
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