2,000 Years (or so) of British History
|Travel the routes of Kings and Vikings - of ancient ruins and Runnymede - of wars, Civil and not so Civil, of Romans and Roses.
Trace the beginnings of Anglo-Saxon History, indeed, of Western civilization itself, on a 16 day tour that is the ingredients that dreams are made of.From the splendor of the Georgian city of Bath founded by the Romans, we travel north to the Tudor town of Shrewsbury. At Chester, where the main thoroughfare was designed in 79AD we are reminded of Dr. Johnson's words who declared
"Chester pleases my fancy more than any other town"
At Ruthin in Wales we spend a night in a castle destroyed by Cromwell's men, but our reward that evening, is a Welsh medieval banquet.Our journey north continues through the Lake District into Scotland where we spend four nights. Rich in History and Scots heroes to remember, such as Robert the Bruce and Rob Roy our time is well spent.Returning to England via York we arrive at London, a city alive in history from Roman times to the present day.
Overnight from North America to London.
Arrive London, to be met by your Tour Director and luxury bus. On our drive to Bath, Our first stop at Runnymede, where the Magna Carta was signed by King John on 12 June 1215. Close by is Windsor Castle, perhaps the Queen will be at home? Before arriving at Bath we visit the 4,000 year old site of Stonehenge. Hotel in Bath for two nights. Welcome reception and overview of tour.
A lazy day to tour this spectacular Georgian City, we visit the 2,000 year old Roman Baths, the Abbey and the 'Royal Crescent' a row of fine 18th century houses.
Leaving Bath we drive to Berkeley Castle, completed in 1153, it is England's most historic and oldest family inhabited castle, where King Edward II was put to death. A few miles north is the town of Tewkesbury where in 1471 one of the bloodiest battles of 'The War of the Roses' was fought.
Our hotel tonight is in the old Tudor town of Shrewsbury.
After a short driving tour of Shrewsbury, we head North towards the Roman town of Chester, whose main thoroughfare was designed in 79AD. Nearly 2,000 years later as we visit, we will be reminded of the words of Dr Johnson, who in 1799 declared 'that Chester pleases my fancy more than any other town I ever saw'.
We will have a stop here and give you an opportunity to explore the Rows, a two tier Gallery of shops dating from the middle ages.
Our hotel tonight is Ruthin Castle in North Wales, built in the 11th Century and much of the castle was destroyed by Cromwell's men during the Civil War.
This morning we drive to Caernarfon Castle, built on the orders of Edward I in 1283. It was here in 1969 that the Castle witnessed the investiture of Charles Prince of Wales. Over 1,000 years before this Castle was built, the Roman fort of Segontium was placed here to guard the North against the invasion from Irish tribes.
This afternoon you will have a chance to ascend 3,494 feet to the summit of Snowdon Mountain by rail installed over 100 years ago, the views on a clear day are amazing.
Return to Ruthin, tonight there will be a Welsh Medieval Banquet - eat with a dagger, drink wine from Pewter goblets and mead from clay cups, whilst enjoying traditional music.
We leave Wales and hurry north past the industrial cities and towns of Lancashire, our goal 'The Lake District' the homes of poet Wordsworth and author Beatrix Potter, At Conistan Water we will board the Victorian steam yacht the 'Gondala'. Relax and enjoy the tranquil peace and beauty of this delightful part of England.
Our Hotel tonight is at the border town of Carlisle.
Being so close to the Scottish border, Carlisle became a very important Roman garrison town. To keep the barbarians from the north out of England, Emperor Hadrian ordered the building of the 80 mile wall that now bears his name. We will see for ourselves what it must have been like for soldiers stationed here so far from home.
Crossing the border into Scotland we drive north to our next overnight stop in Stirling.
Probably the most famous and decisive battle on Scottish soil was fought here at Bannockburn in June 1314. The Scots King Robert the Bruce soundly defeated the English Army commanded by Edward II. Our drive this afternoon will take us into an area called the Trossachs, it was here in the 1730's that Rob Roy captured the hearts and imaginations of his peoples. If time allows we will visit Glencoe where in 1692 the clan Macdonald was massacred.
Return to our Stirling Hotel.
A short drive for us today to find old city of Edinburgh. We will visit Edinburgh Castle perched high above the city, then the Carlton Hill Observatory before arriving at our hotel early in the afternoon. An opportunity now for some r & r after your exertions of the previous days.Our hotel is located close to Princess Street, famous for its shops, pubs and restaurants.
Join us for a driving tour of the city, which will include a visit to the Queen's official residence in Scotland, Holyrood House and the Blackness castle where Mary Queen of Scots lived.
Or a day to yourself, shopping, relaxing, sight seeing or even perhaps a round of golf. This evening we have planned a traditional Scottish banquet, with dancers, bagpipes and even haggis.
This morning our route will take us through the beautiful Lowland countryside, before crossing the border into Northumberland. On our journey south, we will stop at Castle Howard in Yorkshire, the great family house where the classic television series 'Brideshead Revisited' was filmed in the 1980's.
Hotel this night in the Roman City of York.
This morning we will visit York Minister, one of the premier Cathedrals in England. Afterwards a must is the museum with its 'ride' through a Viking village which shows life in this region over 1200 years ago. Leaving York we drive south towards our final goal London. Through Sherwood Forest the home of Robin Hood and past the old Roman town of St Albans.
Our hotel for the next three nights will be in central London.
To wet your appetite for your final two days in London join us on a guided tour through the West End & the City, to include Westminster, The Houses of Parliament with Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Piccadily Circus, St. Pauls Cathedral, Tower of London, Tower Bridge.
Today you can either join us on a boat trip down to Hampton Court, Henry VIII's Palace on the river, Or perhaps your own sight seeing tour to art galleries, the British Museum and many other places of special interest that makes the city of London so fascinating. Join us in a final dinner as a group.
Transfer to London airport for return flight to North America.