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Castles of England

Explore The History Behind Medieval Walls

Day 1: Depart the USA for Edinburgh, Scotland

Day 2: Edinburgh


A private car will transfer you to the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa. After unpacking and time to freshen up, we will have cocktails and dinner at the hotel dining room.


Day 2: Edinburgh's castles and palaces


After breakfast a sightseeing tour of historic Edinburgh with our private guide is the perfect place to begin. The Palace of Holyroohouse, the Queen’s official home in the city is subject to closure when Her Majesty is in residence. We will explore 12th-century Edinburgh Castle, on the opposite end of the city's famous Royal Mile. There is much more of Edinburgh to explore on your own this afternoon. Guests arriving August 6 through August 27 will attend an outdoor evening performance of the famed Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Dinner this evening will be at the Loch Fynn Edinburgh restaurant. Overnight at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.


Day 3: Of Dukedoms and Distilleries


A short ride this morning brings you to impressive Blair Castle, the historic former home of the Duke of Atholl. Then it's off to the town of Pitlochry – an area which Queen Victoria herself once acclaimed as among Europe's finest resorts – for a bit of time on your own. Later, a private tour and tasting at a local distillery known for producing fine Scotch whisky precedes your return to Edinburgh for an evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.


Day 4: From royal yachts to legendary lochs


We start the day with a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia, for a peek at what life was like aboard the Royal Family's private cruise vessel. After lunch we will continue on to celebrated Loch Lomond for a cruise along its fabled waters and bonnie banks. Dinner and overnight at the Camden Hotel.


Day 5: On to the English Lake District - Langdale


Your Scotland and England travel experience takes you through Glasgow, home to some delightful Victorian architecture, en route to the English Lake District and some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain. Lunch along the way in a local eatery. As you visit Dove Cottage, where 19th-century poet William Wordsworth penned many a worthy word, you'll see for yourself, why this romantic region has inspired so many authors and poets. Spend the next two nights in the heart of one of England's largest national parks. Dinner and overnight at the Langdale Hotel and Spa.


Day 6: The Lake District, by land and by water- Langdale


In what is considered one of the loveliest parts of England travel to Levens Hall & Gardens, an Elizabethan estate dating back to the 14th century, featuring a celebrated topiary garden begun in the 1690s. We will enjoy lunch in a lovely lakeside restaurant. View breathtaking lakeside vistas during a private cruise on Lake Windermere in Cumbria, then enjoy some leisure time in Bowness-on-Windermere, dating back to the days of Queen Victoria. Dinner and overnight at the Langdale Hotel and Spa.


Day 7: Chester / Portmeirion / Wales


Explore the medieval town of Chester, and enjoy a walk through its ancient city centre, still surrounded by Roman defensive walls, en route to a two-night stay in picturesque Portmeirion. This idyllic Welsh coastal village entices with an enchanting mix of landscape designs and architecture. Our lovely Victorian hotel overlooks Cardigan Bay. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Portmeirion.


Day 8: Welsh castles and pageantry


The day begins with a visit to the historic town of Caernarfon and the castle where the investiture of the Prince of Wales takes place. Have lunch in lovely Betws-y-Coed, among old bridges, stone houses, antique churches and wooded paths. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Portmeirion.


Day 9: Wonders of Wedgwood and the Bard's backyard


Your England travel adventures continue today with a drive from rural Welsh landscapes to Stoke-on-Trent, where you'll watch skilled craftsmen create world-famous Wedgwood pottery on a factory tour. After a classic English lunch, arrive in atmospheric Stratford-upon-Avon, city of William Shakespeare, for a two-night stay. Explore the Bard's idyllic riverfront hometown, site of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and many historic Elizabethan and Jacobean buildings, as you please during an afternoon and evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the Shakespeare Hotel.


Day 10: The Cotswolds, Churchill's and the esteemed Oxford


In England travel through the hills and plateaus of the countryside, where quaint villages dot the peaceful Cotswolds – from the Old English for "God's high open land." This memorable day includes a visit to Blenheim Palace, the Baroque estate where statesman Winston Churchill was born, and a guided tour of the hallowed halls of Oxford University, now just a few decades short of its 1,000th anniversary. Dinner and overnight at the Shakespeare Hotel.


Day 11: Roman, Georgian & Victorian treasures in Bath


Known as one of the architecturally finest and most fascinating cities in all of Britain, the historic spa town of Bath invites exploration. Your private sightseeing tour of this compact city includes the Roman Baths, the Circus and the impressive Royal Crescent, among other sites that reflect its rich Roman, Georgian and Victorian history. Dinner and overnight at the Bath Spa Hotel.


Day 12: Ancient mysteries and the best of London


After breakfast we will depart Bath and head toward London, passing through rolling countryside where grazing sheep appear to be everywhere. Let your imagination take you back in time 4,000 years or more as you view Stonehenge, the mysterious circle of stones and monoliths erected by ancient peoples near the Salisbury Plains. Upon arrival in the British capital of London, we will take a leisurely tour of famous sights such as Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and #10 Downing Street, as well as a special visit to majestic Westminster Abbey, dating back nearly a thousand years. Dinner and overnight at the Langham Hotel.


Day 13: Merrie olde London and evening of West End Theatre


All of London is yours to explore at your leisure today. Your landmark Victorian hotel, Europe's original "grand hotel," is ideally located close to many of the city's major sites and within walking distance of some of the world's most famous shops. Tonight we toast our farewell dinner and attend a performance of one of the West End theatre district's hottest musical hits, Wicked. Dinner and overnight at the Langham Hotel.


Day 14: London


After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return to the USA


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