Explore the Lakes and Dales of Northern England on a small group multi day tour. This itinerary is designed to introduce you to the countryside that so inspired William Wordsworth and other Lakeland poets and authors, including Beatrix Potter, John Ruskin and the landscapes of J W Turner. Explore the Lancashire and Yorkshire dales, specifically the area known universally as Bronte Country in memory of the three Bronte sisters. Spend time in tranquil Windemere - England's largest natural lake, visit the stately home of Levens Hall in Cumbria and the fortified city of York, soak in the stunning scenery and stay in idyllic, English style Inns throughout.
With a maximum group size of 16, you will benefit from the customized services of a knowledgeable driver/guide, shared guided tours at places of interest along the way and travel in style in a luxury mini-coach. Small group tours depart every 2nd Monday from April 29, to October 14, 2013, and are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 participants.
Consider adding additional days to your trip with the services of a private guide and/or driver to see more of the country - your time on either side of your small group tour can be customized to suit your needs (and private guided tours can be added throughout your small group experience as desired).
Meet your driver for your private airport transfer today. Please note that this service includes up to 3 hours of service.
A welcome package with your vouchers, a city map, train tickets (if relevant) and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
The Royal Terrace Hotel in central Edinburgh is part of an impressive terrace of prestigious Georgian townhouses, overlooking Scotland's historic capital. Combining traditional charm with contemporary luxury, the hotel enjoys a tranquil location on a quiet city street and is only a short walk from Princes Street, George Street and The Royal Mile. Many of the rooms offer spactacular views of either The Firth of Forth or the private gardens to the rear of the hotel. Facilities include an onsite swimming pool, sauna & steam room. There is also an exclusive complimentary techno gym with cardiovascular equipment.
Meet up with your Tour Leader and fellow travellers this morning. The rendezvous is at 9:00am (please be here 30 mins before this) at the Royal Terrace Hotel, Edinburgh.
Leaving the wonderful city of Edinburgh behind, you travel south to visit one of the most mysterious sites in Scotland, Rosslyn Chapel and ruined Castle – made famous most recently by its appearance in the film The Da Vinci Code. Then drive through the beautiful scenery of the Scottish Borders, passing through Peebles and stopping in Melrose with its ancient Abbey. Witness Scott’s View, loved by Scotland’s most famous novelist Sir Walter Scott. You then pass Selkirk and head through the dramatic moorlands of Liddersdale and make a brief stop at the ruins of Hermitage Castle. This remote and spooky Castle was the scene of many a bloody battle in the territorial wars between the Scots and the English. Afterwards, you'll make your way to a restored 15th century medieval Scottish castle where you will overnight.
Enjoy a 3-course Scottish themed banquet dinner ths evening with your fellow travellers.
Comlongon Castle, near Gretna in Scotland, is a restored 15th Century Medieval Scottish Castle Wedding Venue and luxurious Baronial Hotel with 14 individually themed luxury en-suite 4-poster bedrooms and Honeymoon Lodge. It has fantastic displays of Armour, weapons and banners, whilst the opulent bedrooms boast 4-poster beds and luxurious en-suite bathrooms providing a stunning blend of Medieval and modern luxury. The Castle's private 120 acre estate reveals sweeping manicured lawns, secluded gardens, ornamental carp filled ponds, paddocks and woodlands.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
Your first stop this morning is at Birdoswald Roman Fort, one of the best Roman sites on Hadrian’s Wall. Follow the wall for a while, through the lovely scenery of the Northumberland National Park, before travelling through the Pennines, ‘the backbone of England’ to Alston, with its cobbled main street. This was once a major lead-mining area so look out for mine remains. Continue to drive through the lush, green valley of the River Eden, one of England’s best salmon rivers, to Orton.
Next stop is at a chocolate producer where you can see hand-made chocolates being made.
Finally you will visit one of the finest stately homes in Cumbria, Levens Hall, converted to its current style in 1590 with wonderful gardens dating from 1694. Arrive in Windermere which will be your base for the next two nights.
Waterhead Hotel makes the perfect retreat. Relax in the comfortable lounge bar area with views across the hotel lawns down to the lake. 24 bedrooms, some offering spectacular views over their beautiful gardens. The 'Mountain View' restaurant looks out onto magnificent mountain scenery and offers excellent local cuisine. Their lounge bar is a must if you want to taste the famous local Bluebird Ale and, of course, there’s draft lager and bitter, a selection of red, white and rosé wines, Champagne and a wide selection of soft drinks.
Today you will enjoy one of Britain’s most beautiful national parks. Crossing the largest lake, Windermere, your first stop is Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm, still as she left it and where some of her famous characters were created. Continue to Hawkshead, home of the Beatrix Potter Gallery and the Old Grammar School, attended by William Wordsworth, where the Museum still houses his original desk. Afterwards, wind Your way through the beautiful back roads of this beautiful region, stopping for lunch in one of the countless picturesque villages in the area.
In the afternoon you will visit Sarah Nelson’s famous Gingerbread Shop in Grasmere, which has been making this delicacy since 1854. You’ll hear about the history and have a taste before getting back on the Wordsworth trail with a visit to Dove Cottage, his home and inspiration for his daffodils poem. Then enjoy a short lake cruise followed by dinner with the group in the evening.
Leave the Lake District and soon enter the third of this tour’s National Parks, the Yorkshire Dales. Your first stop is in the gorgeous village of Malham, overlooked by spectacular Malham Cove. Nearby is the amazing limestone pavement of Malham Tarn. You will then travel to Hawes to learn about the making of Wensleydale Cheese (enjoying a revival since Wallace & Gromit declared it their favourite!).
After lunch continue on to Thirsk, James Herriot’s home town, where you can enjoy a special guided tour of his former surgery. Your tour ends today in the historic city of York, one of Britain’s true gems!
Set in its own grounds, the luxury Churchill Hotel is one of best situated hotels in York, just a short walk from the York Minster and all of York's major attractions. The building is a superb example of a late Georgian mansion built around 1827. The hotel offers visitors to York a unique experience combining luxury accommodation, fine dining and exceptional service.
The final day in Yorkshire is dominated by the splendours of York. As historic cities go, York has to be one of the UK’s most beautiful and atmospheric. Narrow lanes house small, interesting shops, a wealth of fascinating visitor attractions and, of course, the amazing York Minster.
Today there is time for you to relax, sip coffee and wander at your own pace. Your guide will be happy to give you recommendations on where to visit if you have specific interests.
Today you leave York and pass through the fashionable town of Harrogate en route to Keighley for a short ride on a restored railway made famous by the 1970’s film The Railway Children. The train travels through a region that was once the hub of the world’s textile industry and where many of the austere mill buildings are now enjoying a rebirth as tourist centres. You will alight in Haworth, a delightful town with a cobbled main street, its centrepiece being the Bronte Parsonage. Passing over the scenic Pennine moors you cross the White Rose/Red Rose divide into Lancashire before continuing to Liverpool.
Liverpool is an inspirational city, which spawned many famous names including, of course, The Beatles. Accompanied by a local Beatles expert you will see all the places associated with John, Paul, George and Ringo including their childhood homes and the places that inspired some of their most memorable songs - Penny Lane and Strawberry Field. Your tour today concludes in Liverpool.
Your Small Group Tour ends this afternoon in Liverpool at 5:30pm. (Hotel to be determined). Bid farewell to your Guide and fellow travellers as you close the chapter on this part of your travels.
The Hard Days Night Hotel (4*) is located in Liverpool City Centre and is easily accessed by train, bus, boat or from John Lennon Liverpool Airport. All 110 rooms are individually designed around the contours of the original building and elegantly furnished with specially commissioned Beatles-inspired artwork adorning the walls. The hotel's restaurant Blake's, named after the celebrated Sergeant Pepper album cover and artist Sir Peter Blake, serves up a range of classic British dishes along with home cooked favourites. Bar Four offers guests a high-end destination cocktail bar, open to all who enjoy that little extra.
Enjoy your private transfer to/from Manchester airport.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of England for the most up to date visa information.
VISA/PASSPORTThere are no border controls when travelling within the United Kingdom including the land border with England. Scotland has the same immigration and visa requirements as the rest of the United Kingdom.
United Kingdom is a party to the Schengen Agreement. As such, U.S. citizens may enter for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/united-kingdom.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Edinburgh Language: English & Gaelic in parts of Scotland Religion: Predominantly Christian, with sizeable Muslim, Sikh, Jewish and Hindu minorities. Time: GMT (GMT + 1 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October). Electricity: 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs are standard. Telephone: Country code +44. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone operators. Coverage is mostly good, but can be patchy in rural areas. Internet: There are Internet cafes and centers in most urban areas.
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