Scotland evokes images of bagpipes, the Loch Ness Monster, Edinburg’s vennels and wynds of Old Town, Glasgow’s Victorian grandeur, and the rugged beauty of the Highlands. Mystical Wales beckons with the breathtaking beauty of Snowdonia, walled cities, and Medieval Castles. More than 900 years of history awaits you at Windsor Castle, Her Majesty, The Queen’s favorite residence. An experience of a lifetime that is easy, inclusive and affordable awaits you on this guided tour of the United Kingdom.
Why you’ll enjoy this trip:
♦ Be on the lookout for Nessy while cruising Lock Ness amongst the Scottish Highlands.
♦ Grab your spot of tea as we wind our way through medieval Edinburgh with a local guide.
♦ Scotland and whiskey. Learn all there is to know and become a famed expert at the Blair Athol distillery.
♦ Journey through the Lakes District and the time of Beatrice Potter.
♦ Explore mighty Caernarfon Castle. This fortress had stood the test of time.
♦ Head to new heights by cog railway on Mount Snowden.
♦ Say no more – London.
Day 1 - Depart for Glasgow, Scotland
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Glasgow, Scotland.
Day 2 - Arrive Glasgow - Pitlochry
Following arrival in Glasgow Airport, you will be met by your Local Irish Guide and escorted to your awaiting motor-coach. This morning, you will enjoy a tour of Glasgow City, often described as Britain’s finest Victorian City. In 1999, its architecture won it the accolade of ‘UK City of Architecture and Design’. Your city tour will also include a visit to Glasgow Cathedral, one of the most ancient and historic sites in the city. This afternoon, you will travel to Pitlochry known as the Gateway to the Highlands, where you will check into the beautiful Athol Palace Hotel for a two-night stay. This evening, you will enjoy dinner in your hotel. (D)
Day 3 - Scottish Highlands
Today, you head north to the Scottish Highlands. You travel through the breath-taking Cairngorms National Park to Culloden where the last major battle in Britain was fought on April 16th, 1746. This morning, you can relive the drama with a visit to Culloden Visitor Centre. You continue to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, where you will have some free time for lunch. This afternoon, you will enjoy a guided cruise on Loch Ness, hear the historic intriguing tales surrounding a mysterious monster, and see the spectacular ruins of Urquhart Castle. From here, you return to Athol Palace and enjoy another delicious dinner. (B & D)
Day 4 - Blair Athol Distillery – St. Andrews – Edinburgh
After breakfast and before departing Pitlochry, you will visit the Blair Athol Distillery and enjoy a guided tour followed by a wee dram before departing. You continue to Dundee before crossing the Tay Bridge to St. Andrews. Not only is St. Andrews famed as the home of golf, it is also an ancient ecclesiastical capital and Scotland’s oldest university. You continue south traveling over the Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh City for a two-night stay. (B)
Day 5 - Edinburgh
This morning, a tour of Edinburgh City awaits you. You will travel down Princess Street and the historic Royal Mile before visiting the Palace of Holyrood House - the official Scottish residence of her Majesty the Queen. Hear the tales of some truly intriguing characters - the Bodysnatchers, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Greyfriars Bobby. You will visit the majestic Edinburgh Castle and enjoy the breathtaking views of the city from the castle ramparts.
This evening, you will enjoy the Spirit of Scotland Show at the Jam House. This will be a traditional Scottish evening of song and dance accompanied by a great selection of quality Scottish food. (B & D)
Day 6 - English Lakes District – Caernarfon, Wales
This morning, you depart Edinburgh and travel south to the romantic town of Gretna Green for your first stop. You will have an opportunity to visit the Famous Blacksmiths Shop with over 260 years of history and heritage before departing. Your tour continues through England’s scenic Lake District, associated with the poet, William Wordsworth and children’s author, Beatrix Potter. You continue to Conwy where you will visit Conwy Castle regarded as one of the great fortresses of medieval Europe. From here, you travel to Caernarfon for a two-night stay. (B & D)
Day 7 - Snowdon Mountain Railway – National Slate Museum – Caernarfon Castle
Today, we travel a short distance to Llanberis and board Snowdon Mountain Railway. This Victorian railway climbs 1085m to the Summit of Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, where one of the world’s greatest panoramas awaits. From the visitor center, you will get some spectacular views of the valleys below, and on a clear day you can see Ireland in the distance. Following this adventure, you travel to the National Slate Museum and learn the story of the Welsh slate industry. On returning to Caernarfon, you will visit Caernarfon Castle, one of the most impressive castles in Wales. The remainder of the evening is free. (B)
Day 8 - Windsor Castle – London, England
This morning, you depart Caernarfon and head south traveling by the foothills of Cotswold’s mountains before arriving in Windsor. Here, you will visit the impressive Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s official residences. You will see the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel where Prince Harry and Megan Markle were married. Following your visit, you travel to London City for a two-night stay. (B & D)
Day 9 - London
After breakfast, embark on a panoramic tour of the city. You will see many famous landmarks such as Westminster Abbey, Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Following your tour, the remainder of the afternoon is free to explore this wonderful city on your own. (B)
Day 10 - Depart London
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to London Heathrow Airport for check-in for our flight home. On arrival back in the USA, transfer home. (B)