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Duration: 9 days Visiting: England, Scotland
Uncover the very essence of Britain, as we introduce you to knowledgeable experts and passionate locals who will bring stories from the past and present to life. Meet iconic personalities, such as a Royal Horse Guard in London and a bagpiper in Edinburgh, and go to significant destinations that were once frequented by the likes of Shakespeare and notorious kings. As you travel in elegant style, stay at the most sought-after addresses in Britain, dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant and savour local specialities, such as English cream scones served in a dramatic Scottish dining hall. Enjoy a selection of exclusive VIP Experiences, including a private visit to RHS Garden Harlow Carr and the Tower of London for a viewing of the Ceremony of the Keys. From the beautiful Georgian city of Bath to the mesmerising Lake District, this is a journey of a lifetime.
On select Chairman’s Collection departure dates you’ll have the pleasure of meeting the Duchess of Northumberland for a private tour of her beautifully restored gardens at her home, Alnwick Castle. You’ll have the opportunity to walk through the castle’s pretty grounds and learn all about her projects at Alnwick Gardens, now home to one of the only poison gardens in the world.
Look for the CC icon on the Dates & Prices panel to see which departures feature the Chairman’s Collection.
Welcome to London.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport.
Traditions and Treasures of London.
A modern-day hub of culture and commerce, and once the centre of an empire, London is no doubt one of the world’s greatest cities, teeming with millions of stories. Your Travelling Concierge will introduce you to a Local Expert – a passionate resident who will share fascinating stories about the city, as you explore the city to see Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. You will then continue past Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. At the Household Cavalry Museum, uncover the secret messages hidden within a cavalryman's uniform and try on the royal uniform for yourself. Stop at Buckingham Palace to witness the colourful Changing of the Guard ceremony, when available. Spend the afternoon shopping at Harrods, listening to the soapbox orators of Speaker’s Corner or viewing the masterpieces in the National Gallery. Enjoy dinner as you please. Should you want to venture beyond your hotel, ask your knowledgeable Travelling Concierge for restaurant recommendations. In the evening, once the crowds have gone home, experience a private tour with a serving Yeoman Warder. After being greeted you will be lead through the grounds, with stops made through the quarters, including at the chapel, place of beheading and prison towers where the Yeoman Warder explains the history and importance of each place. You will then learn about the Ceremony of the Keys, carried out every night by the Beefeaters, without fail, for the past 700 years. The Yeoman Warder provides a history of the tradition and explains the etiquette of handling the keys before you are privy to witnessing this ancient gate-closing ritual.
Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Georgian Bath.
Windsor Castle, famous for its long-standing association with the British Royal family, dates back to the 11th century and is a spectacle of period architecture, manicured gardens and rich history. Visit the grounds with a Local Expert before you are then at leisure to explore the castle at your own pace, discovering the secrets that this royal residence has been keeping for over 900 years. Perhaps wander through the enfilade of suites in the State Apartments and marvel at the phenomenal Queen Mary’s Doll’s House or admire the endless armour collection in the Grand Vestibule. Your journey then continues to visit mysterious Stonehenge, a prehistoric UNESCO World Heritage burial site. You'll then move on to the Georgian city of Bath where people have been indulging in the healing waters for millennia. Enjoy a spectacular Highlight Dinner at a Michelin-star rated restaurant. With each Michelin-starred restaurant around the world meticulously selected based on outstanding food quality, you are in for an unrivalled indulgence.
Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon and York.
Visit the original Roman Baths and Georgian Pump Room, one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world, and imagine how Romans once gathered to relish the good life. Continue your journey through the Cotswolds which is among the most unspoiled regions of England, famous for gentle rolling hillsides known as ‘wolds’, green river valleys and historic market towns, where time has stood still for over 300 years. Stop in picture-perfect Bibury, described by the esteemed William Morris as the ‘prettiest village in the Cotswolds.’ Head to Burford nestled on the meandering River Windrush. Its high street is an eye-pleasing mix of honey-coloured stone, chocolate-box cottages and Tudor buildings. After browsing the tea houses and quaint shops, a leisurely drive brings you to the sleepy limestone villages of Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold, two of the most picturesque towns of the northern Cotswolds. Arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, and continue on to York.
Medieval Wonders of York.
Step back in time as you meet the lively characters and explore the medieval streets of York. Once an important centre of Roman occupation in England, this is a storybook city surrounded by a large stone wall dating back to the 13th century. Experience York Your Way with a choice of two outstanding experiences today. Either join a Local Expert for a pulse-raising walk on the famous city walls - the longest medieval walls in England - and appreciate spectacular views of the river and the Old Town. Alternatively, embark on a leisurely guided tour to the York Minster, the largest medieval cathedral in northern Europe and one of the most outstanding Gothic buildings in the world. Spend free time this afternoon exploring York’s many hidden gems. At sunset, join a senior gardener for a VIP, after-hours visit to the RHS Garden Harlow Carr, a prestigious member of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). In the same league as the iconic RHS Chelsea Flower Show, RHS Garden Harlow Carr boasts a wide variety of indigenous plants. Uncover the many hidden gems of the garden, before picking up a picnic bag to enjoy at your leisure on one of the garden's secluded benches. After a wander through the 57-acre garden, enjoy strawberries and cream and a refreshing, traditional Pimm’s cocktail.
The Wild and Poetic Lake District.
The rugged and dramatic beauty of the English Lake District famously inspired 19th century writers such as Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Experience the charms of a bygone era, as you step onboard a historic steam train at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway Station for a short ride along the southern banks of the lake. Wonder at views of soaring mountain ranges, mystical forests and emerald-green waters, as you journey past vast Windermere to reach your hotel. Disembark to explore the lakeside town of Bowness-on-Windermere. In the evening dinner is served at a charming restaurant, Bistro at The Lakes Distillery, located on the picturesque Bassenthwaite Lake.
Journey to majestic Alnwick Castle and explore its magnificent interiors. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the 11th Castle, with its striking medieval architecture and see why it was featured in the Harry Potter films. Travel up to the beautiful Scottish capital of Edinburgh where you have an evening to enjoy at your leisure. Your Travelling Concierge is a treasure-trove of knowledge and will happily guide you to the best local restaurants and attractions.
If you are travelling on a Chairman's Collection departure, you will meet Her Grace The Duchess of Northumberland as she personally welcomes you for a private tour of her beloved garden. You are also introduced to the Head Gardener, Trevor Jones, who will lead you past a labyrinth, the serpent garden and ornate fountains, as you listen to the fascinating story of how The Duchess restored this exquisite garden to its former 18th century glory over the last twenty years. Admire this masterpiece of passion and dedication, which remains a work in progress, before indulging in a seasonal lunch. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the 11th Castle, with its striking medieval architecture and see why it was featured in the Harry Potter films. Your travels continue to the beautiful Scottish capital of Edinburgh where you have an evening to enjoy at your leisure. Your Travelling Concierge is a treasure-trove of knowledge and will happily guide you to the best local restaurants and attractions. During August, you’re invited to witness The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, one of the most spectacular military events on earth and a celebration of the history, heritage and colours of Scotland’s regiments both near and far. Hosted every August, this renowned international showcase of military pageantry boasts performers from forty-eight countries. Enjoy the sounds and sights of bagpipes rising, drums cracking through the night air and performers dressed in tunics, kilts and tartans with Edinburgh Castle, lit up in colour, providing a dramatic backdrop.
Highlights of Beautiful Edinburgh.
Enjoy a visit to magnificent Edinburgh Castle, the country’s most visited landmark. Skip the queue and join a Local Expert for a guided exploration of the castle grounds. Learn about the castle’s tumultuous history, see its Crown Jewels and Stone of Destiny, and appreciate panoramic views of the city below. Travel along Princes Street, past the Gothic Sir Walter Scott Monument, and continue down the Royal Mile to the gates of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the principal residence of Scottish royalty since the 16th century. In true Gaelic style, meet a professional bagpiper, who is said to have been the Queen Mother’s favourite, and be enchanted as you listen to iconic music and fascinating tales about Scottish culture, whilst enjoying tea and scones. Raise a glass this evening to new friendships and a memorable journey, as we celebrate our finale dinner at one of the city’s very best restaurants, Galvin Brasserie de Luxe.
Bid farewell to your travel companions and continue your onward journey with transfers timed to meet your flight. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
London (Historic) - England
Located opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens, the award-winning Milestone Hotel embodies old-world charm with its rich mahogany furnishings and timeless British style. Voted the number one hotel in London at the Best Loved Hotel Awards 2016, the five-star Milestone offers traditional dining, 24-hour butler service with two staff members to every guest and sumptuous comforts.
Bath (Heritage) - England
Located in the historic heart of Bath, the elegant Francis Hotel is set in an 18th century townhouse overlooking leafy Queen Square. It houses an impressive art collection and offers luxurious accommodation complete with a tea room, lounges and bars.
York (Historic) - England
Housed in the iconic former headquarters of the prestigious North Eastern Railway Company, the five-star Grand Hotel & Spa places you minutes away from museums, shops and the River Ouse. It boasts elegant guest bedrooms, a restaurant and bar, and a luxury spa uniquely situated in underground vaults.
English Lake Distrct (Traditional) - England
Set in the heart of the spectacular English Lake District, Leeming House is a short walk away from the shores of Ullswater.
Edinburgh (Historic) - Scotland
Considered one of the best places to stay in Edinburgh, The Glasshouse is a five-star boutique hotel situated in the historic heart of the city. With beautifully- appointed guest suites and fine seasonal dining, the hotel’s expansive roof garden is what sets it apart.