16 Day Best of British – Albatross
16 Day Small Group Tour from London to London with Albatross
We take the time to do Britain justice…. from Stonehenge to the ‘bravehearts’ of Scotland and Tintern’s romantic Abbey. Discover the Kingmakers of Warwick and learn of Australia’s own heritage in Captain Cook’s Whitby. Soak up the history of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon and indulge in traditional British fare. As a finale, be treated like royalty with an overnight stay in magnificent Leeds Castle!
Day By Day
Day 1 Stonehenge and Bath
Your tour departs from London at 9am. Travelling west we reach Salisbury Plain where we visit the remarkable megaliths of Stonehenge. After time at leisure in nearby Salisbury, we continue to Bath where we stay for the next three nights. Stay: Francis Hotel
Day 2 Glastonbury and ‘My Time’ in Bath
A leisurely start this morning before we drive into Somerset to visit Britain’s earliest Christian sanctuary – the famous ruins of Glastonbury. Legendary burial place of King Arthur and his Queen Guinevere, Glastonbury was once the grandest and richest abbey in England. Later we visit Bath’s famous Roman Baths and Pump room. The remainder of your afternoon and evening is at leisure to explore Bath’s picturesque Abbey, the Georgian crescents, sights and shops.
Day 3 Tintern Abbey, Chepstow Castle & the Clifton Suspension Bridge
This morning we take a scenic drive beside the winding, picturesque River Wye through the delightful Welsh borderlands. The highlight of your day will be a visit to the ancient ruins of Tintern’s Cistercian Abbey, romantically set in a peaceful forest and providing inspiration to poets through the centuries. We will also visit Monmouth and enjoy a photo stop at Chepstow Castle. Set high above the River Wye, this Norman Castle dates back nearly 1,000 years. On the outskirts of Bristol we will also stop to take in the majestic Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, which gracefully spans the River Avon. Later we return to Bath. Dinner tonight is included in a local restaurant.
Day 4 Medieval Chester & Lake District
Heading north, we arrive into Chester late morning. Rich in Roman ruins, Chester also has a wonderfully preserved medieval centre, full of half-timbered houses and the famous ‘Rows’ – double level, balconied shopping arcades that date back to the Middle Ages, 700 years ago. Whilst exploring this incredibly historic town make sure you take a walk along the perfectly preserved, red stone, Roman city walls. Mid afternoon we continue to the picturesque Lake District where we stay two nights. Stay: Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa
Day 5 Lake District sightseeing
We will spend a delightful day touring the famous Lake District. This morning we visit Ambleside and Grasmere where we visit Dove Cottage, once home to the poet William Wordsworth. Later this afternoon we have included a private cruise on Lake Windermere.
Day 6 New Lanark and Edinburgh
Crossing into Scotland we enjoy a morning tea stop in Gretna Green before we reach the New Lanark World Heritage Site, a sensitively restored 18th century cotton mill village in South Lanarkshire. The giant mill wheels still sit over the torrential river and the 200 year old terraced houses have been restored offering an intriguing look at the workers family life two centuries ago. Later we continue to Edinburgh, where we stay for the next three nights. Before arriving at your hotel we have included a tour and tasting to sample a ‘wee tipple’ at the Scotch Whisky Experience. Stay: Hilton Edinburgh Carlton Hotel or Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Day 7 Edinburgh sightseeing and ‘My Time’
After a hearty Scottish breakfast, we are joined by a local guide to discover this city’s rich history. The highlights of your morning will be crossing the drawbridge to visit Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city’s skyline, and visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure in this grand city.
Day 8 Callander and ancient Stirling
Today you have a choice – enjoy a free day in Edinburgh or join us as we visit Stirling and the Trossachs. This morning we travel to the Trossachs and the town of Callander, in the heart of Rob Roy country. Set dramatically beneath high, wooded crags, this delightful town with its tearooms, craft and woollen shops makes the ideal morning tea stop. Continuing on we visit Stirling, the ancient capital of Scotland, that lies at the heart of the nation’s history. The streets of the old town wind upwards towards the castle, 250 feet up on a craggy rock. Our local guide takes us through this grand fortification, with its splendid views across the countryside to the Wallace Monument – built in commemoration of this legendary Scottish hero, William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace. Tonight we have arranged an unmissable evening. Enjoy dinner, including a taste of haggis, neeps and tatties & traditional Scottish entertainment including bagpipes, fiddles and dance.
Day 9 Alnwick Castle & Durham
Crossing the border into England and Northumbria, we reach striking Alnwick Castle where we have included a privately guided visit. Dating back 1000 years, the grand staterooms and lavish furnishings will not disappoint. Home to the current Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle is also famous for having featured in numerous TV series and movies, such as special editions of Downton Abbey, and of course as mysterious ‘Hogwarts’ in the Harry Potter series. In the afternoon we enjoy a stop in the beautiful city of Durham with its majestic cathedral. Later, we continue to the historic walled town of York where we stay the next three nights. Tonight promises to be memorable as we dine at the Guy Fawkes Inn. Standing in the shadow of York Minster, this is the birthplace of the notorious plotter Guido Fawkes. Stay: Dean Court Hotel
Day 10 York sightseeing and Betty’s Café Tea Rooms
This morning will be spent in the nearby city of York. After a city orientation tour the rest of the morning will be at leisure. Make sure you visit the Minster, the largest gothic church in England, go shopping in narrow streets around the historic ‘Shambles’ (the preserved medieval street) or maybe walk along the Roman built city walls. This afternoon we return to Harrogate to indulge in a decadent afternoon tea of dainty sandwiches, handmade cakes, scones and specialty teas experience, in the Imperial Room at ‘Betty’s Café Tea Rooms’. This private room with its beautiful 1920s plasterwork and oak fittings offers unrivalled views of the Montpellier Gardens.
Day 11 Train to Whitby, Whitby Abbey & Captain Cook Museum
Driving north, we stop at Pickering where we board a heritage train of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for the ride to the coastal town of Whitby, once home to the famous explorer Captain Cook. Sit back and relax as we pass by charming villages, such as Goathland – known to many as Aidensfield in the television series Heartbeat, and the bewitching Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film. Arriving in Whitby, we visit both Whitby’s Benedictine abbey and the Captain Cook Memorial Museum and enjoy a fish & chip lunch. Your evening is at leisure in York.
Day 12 Chatsworth House & Stratford-upon-Avon
A leisurely start as we drive south into Derbyshire to reach Chatsworth mid morning. Here we enjoy a guided visit of stately Chatsworth House with its glorious interior, treasure rooms and gardens complete with an ornate maze and the 300 year old water ‘Cascade’, falling 200 metres down the hill in a series of 24 steps. Arriving in Stratford-upon-Avon we visit Anne Hathaway’s cottage before settling into our central hotel, where we stay for the next three nights. Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton
Day 13 Warwick Castle and ‘My Time’ in Stratford-upon-Avon
This morning we visit nearby Warwick and its medieval castle. An expert local guide will join us to breathe life into a thousand years of secrets which hide in the shadows of the castle – tales of murder, mystery, intrigue and scandal. After also visiting Shakespeare’s Birthplace the rest of the day and evening will be free to relax and wander the streets of Elizabethan Stratford-upon-Avon.
Day 14 Oxford and the Cotswolds
Today we visit Oxford, home to one of Europe’s oldest and most famous universities. A local guide takes us on a walking tour around the city and its colleges. Later this afternoon we will wander leisurely through one of the most beautiful and unique regions in England – the Cotswolds. Our country drive will take us through famous villages such as Bourton-on-the-Water and we enjoy an afternoon stop in Broadway. Tonight enjoy a traditional roast dinner with all the trimmings in a local restaurant.
Day 15 Magnificent Leeds Castle
Travelling south we skirt London and enjoy a morning stop in Windsor. Later we continue into the heart of Kent and arrive at Leeds Castle where we stay our last, and most memorable night! Set romantically on an island surrounded by a broad moat, the Castle, Gatehouse and Maiden’s tower comprise one of the world’s greatest sights. Tonight the entire castle becomes ours to enjoy! We have included a private tour through the grand staterooms, halls, library, chapel and the 13th century section of the castle. Later, in the Library, we will enjoy a pre-dinner drink before our farewell dinner in Lady Baillie’s Dining Room. (B/D) Stay: Leeds Castle
Day 16 To London
Mid morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we will transfer to St Pancras and Paddington stations, in central London, where your tour ends.
- ALL excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
- Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
- Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
- 15 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
- Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
- Hand Selected Albatross Experiences – Private cruise Lake Windermere, Captain Cook’s Whitby
- Local guides as described in the itinerary
- ALL tips to your Tour Manager, Driver and Local Guides
- Personal audio system whilst on tour
- Free WiFi on most coaches and at hotels
- Albatross Tours App
- Albatross Memories Photobook
- Stay 3 nights in historic Bath
- Visit the remarkable stone megaliths of Stonehenge
- Explore the ruins of Glastonbury and Bath’s Roman Baths and Pump room
- Enjoy Tintern’s Cistercian Abbey
- Take in the majestic Clifton Suspension Bridge above the River Avon
- Stay 2 nights on the shore of Lake Windermere
- Explore the walled city of Chester
- Spend a day touring the stunning Lake District
- Visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage & the Wordsworth Museum
- Cruise on Lake Windermere
- Stay 3 nights in the heart of Edinburgh
- Visit New Lanark’s 18th century Cotton Mill village
- Sample a ‘wee tipple’ at The Scotch Whisky Experience
- Cross the drawbridge to visit Edinburgh Castle and visit the Royal Yacht Britannia
- Explore the Trossachs in Rob Roy country
- Enjoy a William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace tour of Stirling Castle
- Stay 3 nights in historic York
- Dine in the historic Guy Fawkes Inn
- Visit the lavish and famous Alnwick Castle
- See Durham’s magnificent cathedral
- Relax in York and go shopping in the historic ‘Shambles’
- Indulge in a decadent afternoon tea at Betty’s Tea Rooms in York
- Board a heritage train and ride to Whitby
- Enjoy a fish & chip lunch in Whitby, once home to Captain Cook
- Explore Whitby’s Benedictine abbey
- Stay 3 nights in Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon
- Explore the stately home of Chatsworth House
- Visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
- Explore medieval Warwick Castle with an expert local guide
- Relax and wander the streets of Elizabethan Stratford-upon-Avon
- Discover Oxford on a guided walking tour
- Spend an afternoon exploring the villages of the Cotswolds
- Enjoy your final night with an exclusive stay in Leeds Castle!
- Visit the old town of Windsor
- Explore Leeds Castle on a private tour
- Indulge in a pre-dinner drink in the Castle library
- Experience a grand farewell Dinner in Lady Baillie’s Dining Room
- 24 Meals – including English/Scottish breakfast daily (B), 1 fish & chip lunch (L) and 8 dinners including a traditional Scottish evening, roast dinner in Stratford-Upon Avon and farewell dinner in Leeds Castle (D)
- Tea, coffee and a complimentary beverage with all included dinners
- Afternoon tea at Betty’s tearooms in York
- Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
- Prices are for land/cruise and internal flights as specified only. Flights not specified are not included.