13 Day England, Scotland & Wales – Cosmos
Cosmos Coach Tour starting in London and finishing in London
Begin your England, Scotland, and Wales vacation in London with a day of independent activities or optional tours. Then, head out to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and Lady Godiva’s Coventry. Take a walking tour of York, England’s most complete medieval city, see a section of Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman coast-to-coast defense against marauding northern tribes, and cross the Scottish border. In Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, the guided sightseeing tour includes a visit to mighty Edinburgh Castle to see Scotland’s Crown Jewels. On to St. Andrews, home of golf, and via Dundee and Perth to the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry. Spend the night in Cairngorms National Park, then visit the Highland capital of Inverness, and search for elusive Nessie at legendary Loch Ness. Via Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, continue through the Lowlands to Gretna Green. A drive through the lovely Lake District takes you to charming Grasmere and to the shores of beautiful Lake Windermere. Overnight in Liverpool, of Beatles fame. In Wales, stop at Betws-y-Coed and Caernarvon as you travel through scenic Snowdonia. Later, drive via Brecon Beacons National Park to Cardiff, the Welsh capital. Back in England, explore elegant Georgian Bath, famous for its Roman ruins, and hear about King Arthur in Glastonbury. Visit quaint Widecombe-in-the-Moor in Dartmoor National Park, made famous in The Hound of the Baskervilles, and see the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked on their voyage in 1620. Explore mysterious, prehistoric Stonehenge on the way back to London, where your tour concludes with free time – a fantastic vacation!
Day By Day
Day 1 Arrive In London, England
Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, there’s time to rest or start exploring the lively British capital; uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
Day 2 London
What’s your pleasure? Today is devoted to exploring on your own or enjoying our exciting program of optional activities. You may choose to join a Local Guide for an optional morning sightseeing tour of the city’s famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Highlights include a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard (if held). Later on, maybe visit Windsor Castle or the Tower of London with its spectacular Crown Jewels, and tonight, a leisurely cruise on the Thames River would be fun! (B)
Day 3 London – Stratford-Upon-Avon – Coventry – Leeds
Meet your Tour Director and travelling companions and depart at 8 am for a memorable day of sightseeing. Head for Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon to take photos of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, then explore the town at your own pace. After lunch, visit Coventry, whose centre had to be rebuilt after the devastation of World War II bombings, and hear the tale of Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom before admiring the splendid modern cathedral. Finally, head northwards out of the Midlands to tonight’s destination. (B/D)
Day 4 Leeds – York – Jedburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh
In York, England’s most complete medieval city, stand in awe in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets including the narrow Shambles. Continue through wild Northumberland National Park and see a section of Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman coast-to-coast defence against marauding northern tribes. Then, cross the Scottish border and at Jedburgh, glimpse the house of Mary, Queen of Scots, and see the abbey ruins. Late afternoon arrival in Edinburgh. A suggestion for this evening: enjoy a traditional Scottish night out with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and, of course, the Ceremony of the Haggis. (B)
Day 5 Edinburgh
A full day to enjoy the Scottish capital. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. Afternoon at leisure. Later, a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia, which was once the perfect royal residence for glittering state visits and family holidays. Tour five decks and see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. For departure numbers 0801 through 0822, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO, a vast spectacle of massed Scottish pipe bands that takes place in an arena on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. (B)
Day 6 Edinburgh – St. Andrews – Pitlochry – Grantown-On-Spey
A day of memorable sightseeing: take the elegant Forth Road Bridge to St. Andrews, whose Royal and Ancient Golf Club has given us the rules of golfing, then cross the Firth of Tay and via Dundee and Perth, head into the Highlands. Stop in the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry before continuing to your overnight destination of Grantown-on-Spey. (B/D)
Day 7 Grantown-On-Spey – Culloden Moor – Inverness – Fort William – Glasgow
Via the battlefield of Culloden Moor and Inverness, the Highland capital, skirt Loch Ness as you drive to Fort William beneath Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. Enter haunting Glen Coe, where the MacDonald Clan was massacred in 1692, pass wild Rannoch Moor, and then drive along the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond to Glasgow. (B/D)
Day 8 Glasgow – Gretna Green – Lake District, England – Liverpool
South through the history-steeped Lowland Hills and a visit to Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. Drive through beautiful scenery in the Lake District, considered to be the finest of England’s national parks. Visit Wordsworth’s Grasmere, then follow the shores of Lake Windermere. End the day in Liverpool, of Beatles fame, once the departure port of the great transatlantic liners. You may wish to join an optional city tour this evening. (B)
Day 9 Liverpool. North Wales Excursion
A day dedicated to the mountainous splendour of North Wales. After a stop in pretty Betws-y-Coed, drive over spectacular Llanberis Pass and through Snowdonia National Park to Caernarvon, where the castle saw the investiture of Charles as Prince of Wales. Then, follow the coast road via the walled town of Conway back to Liverpool. (B)
Day 10 Liverpool – Chester – Ludlow – Cardiff, Wales
In Chester, the historic county town on the Dee River, your walking tour includes the Roman remains, black and white half-timbered buildings, and the two-tiered arcades called the “Rows.” Pause in the pretty market town of Ludlow before heading back into Wales and Brecon Beacons National Park, land of salmon rivers and the Welsh mountain pony. Finally, through “The Valleys,” whose iron ore and coal were the raw materials for the Industrial Revolution, to the Welsh capital. Here, an orientation drive introduces you to the major attractions: Cardiff Castle, Cathays Park, Millennium Stadium, and the stately civic buildings. A suggestion for tonight: why not join an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner? (B)
Day 11 Cardiff – Bath, England – Glastonbury – Widecombe – Plymouth
Leaving Wales, cross the Severn Bridge for a visit to the elegant Georgian city of Bath, famed for its Roman relics, before heading into the romantically scenic West Country and Glastonbury with its King Arthur associations. In the heart of Dartmoor National Park, visit quaint Widecombe-in-the-Moor, ghostly setting for Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. Finally, in Plymouth, hear about Sir Francis Drake and see the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked in 1620. (B/D)
Day 12 Plymouth – Stonehenge – London
On the final leg of your journey, take in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, and visit prehistoric STONEHENGE. First, explore the stunning visitor centre with its imaginative exhibitions, then admire the magnificence of the monument from up close. Return to London around 3 pm. How about celebrating the success of your tour with a night out on the town? (B)
Day 13 London
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
- INSIDE VISITS AND SPECIAL FEATURES: Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.
- SIGHTSEEING: Visits to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, Coventry, Hadrian’s Wall, Jedburgh, Edinburgh Castle, tickets for Edinburgh Military Tattoo (departure numbers 0801 through 0822), St. Andrews, Pitlochry, Culloden Moor, Fort William, Gretna Green, Grasmere, Liverpool, Betws-y-Coed, Caernarvon, Ludlow, Bath, Glastonbury, Widecombe-in-the- Moor, Plymouth, Stonehenge; orientation drive in Cardiff; walking tours in York and Chester
- SCENIC HIGHLIGHTS: Northumberland National Park, Scottish Highlands and Lowlands, Loch Ness, Glen Coe, Loch Lomond, Lake District National Park, Lake Windermere, Snowdonia National Park, Brecon Beacons National Park and “The Valleys,” Dartmoor National Park, Salisbury Plain.
- GUIDES: Local Guide for city sightseeing in Edinburgh; Host service in London. Professional Tour Director while touring.
- TRANSPORTATION: Private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach.
- HOTELS: Rooms with private bath or shower, hotel taxes, porterage, tips,and service charges.
- MEALS: Full English breakfast (B); 4 three-course dinners (D) with choice of menus.
- 12 Breakfasts
- 4 Dinners
- Hotel Classifications: Superior First Class (SF), First Class (F), Moderate First Class (MF), Superior Tourist (ST), Deluxe (D), Moderate Deluxe (MD), Best Available (BA), National Park (NP)
- London Kensington Close (ST) or Novotel London West (F), Leeds Mercure Leeds Parkway (F), Edinburgh Capital (F), Grantown-On-Spey Craiglynne (F), Glasgow Pond (F), Liverpool Holiday Inn Liverpool City Centre (F), Cardiff Novotel (F), Plymouth Jurys Inn (F), London Novotel London West (F)
- Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
- Prices are for land/cruise only. Flights not included.