DAY ONE-DEPART THE USA Today you'll depart the USA on your overnight flight to Edinburgh, Scotland, a place where centuries of history meet a vibrant, cosmopolitan city.
DAY TWO-EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND Upon arrival, you'll be met by a Mayflower Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. All flights should arrive by 3:30pm. The remainder of the day is at leisure to begin immersing yourself in the Scottish culture. This evening, join your Tour Manager and traveling companions for an included dinner. (Dinner)
DAY THREE-EDINBURGH The day begins with an included tour of this capital city. During the tour, you'll see the delightful contrast of the city between the 18th-century Georgian "New Town"€¯ with its wide, tree-lined streets and elegant squares and the medieval "Old Town"€¯ with its cobblestoned lanes. The famed Royal Mile is the backbone of the Old Quarter, running from the Palace of Holyrood House to Edinburgh Castle. See the iconic sites of St. Giles Cathedral, Parliament Square and John Knox House. During the included visit of Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city from its 400-foot perch, you'll see the Scottish crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny. Time will be allowed at the castle for you to visit the Royal apartments and St. Mary's Chapel. The balance of the day and evening are at your leisure. (Breakfast)
DAY FOUR-EDINBURGH TO MANCHESTER, ENGLAND VIA THE LAKE DISTRICT Todayā€s adventure begins as you depart the hotel on the motorcoach journey through the rolling hills of the Scottish countryside en-route to England. Before leaving Scotland, visit the famous Gretna Green, known as the "marriage capital of the UK," and see Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop which is steeped in history and magical charm. Learn the local legends and lure of this historic site. Crossing into England, travel through the scenic countryside to Hadrian's Wall, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Frontiers of the Roman Empire." Considered Britain's greatest Roman monument, this impressive fortification is the epitome of Roman power, a massive feat of engineering, and stands as a testament to the skill and ingenuity of its builders. The scenic wonders of northern England continue with a visit to the Lake District. Upon arrival, a local guide may inspire you while talking about William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, each of whom resided in this area at some point in their lives. Sit back and relax aboard a cruise on Windermere, the largest natural lake in England, as you enjoy the tranquil setting and picturesque landscape. This evening, arrive in Manchester, home for the next two nights. (Breakfast)
DAY FIVE-YORK, ENGLAND Today's excursion takes you to the Viking city of York. Upon arrival, a local guide will lead you on a walk through the historic Shambles, a medieval shopping street filled with character and charm. See the Roman city walls and visit the spectacular York Minster, the largest medieval cathedral in the United Kingdom. After the tour, free time will be available for your independent exploration before returning to Manchester this afternoon. This evening, dinner is included at a local restaurant. (Breakfast and dinner)
DAY SIX-MANCHESTER TO CARDIFF, WALES Departing Manchester, your journey continues to another capital city, Cardiff, Wales. En-route, a stop is made in the traditional English town of Stratford-upon-Avon with its typical oak-beamed, gable-roofed houses. Visit the most famous house in town, the birthplace and childhood home of the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, Britain's most famous playwright. You'll also see the school where Shakespeare received his education, and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, erected in his memory. Continuing on, experience the beauty of the Cotswolds, an area of rolling hills ("wolds"), beautiful countryside, river valleys, and sleepy villages that was designated as an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" in 1966. Houses made from the Cotswold Stone and cozy shops line the meandering streets of these typically picturesque English villages where time has stood still for over 300 years. Enjoy a visit to one of these charming towns before arriving in Cardiff early this evening. Upon arrival, the remainder of the evening is at leisure. (Breakfast)
DAY SEVEN-CARDIFF The day begins with a guided tour of Cardiff, the largest city in Wales. During the panoramic portion of the tour, your local guide will point out architectural sites that range from historic to modern, as well as provide history of the city. On the included visit to Cardiff Castle, whose walls conceal 2,000 years of history, you'll discover stories from the times of the Romans, Normans, Vikings, Victorian Era and even WWII. After the excursion, return to the hotel where the rest of the day is free of planned activities for your independent exploration. This evening, enjoy an included dinner. (Breakfast and dinner)
DAY EIGHT-CARDIFF TO LONDON, ENGLAND The day begins with a sense of mystery as you depart Wales and head to the pre-historic monument of Stonehenge. One of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World and on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this circular stone formation has puzzled man since it was founded. Scientific? Astrological? Spiritual? Will anyone ever know the true purpose of this mystifying stone circle? Discover the intrigue and learn about the history and significance of this awe-inspiring site on the self-guided audio tour. Continuing on, the next stop is the royal town of Windsor and a visit to its famous medieval Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world. Home of the Royal Family for over 900 years, it still serves as the weekend home to the Queen. During the included visit you get a real sense of British history as you see the lavishly decorated State Apartments containing priceless furniture in glorious colors and St George's Chapel, home to the 14th-century Order of the Royal Garter, Britain's senior chivalric order. Following a short drive to London, check into your hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure. (Breakfast)
DAY NINE-LONDON A guided panoramic tour of London, the last of our capital cities, will take you past the highlights of this magnificent city. See Westminster Abbey, steeped in more than a thousand years of history, and marvel at the amazing gothic architecture of the nearby Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Nelson's Column, a monument dedicated to Lord Nelson, is the centerpiece of Trafalgar Square which commemorates Lord Nelson's victory in the Battle of Trafalgar. Drive past Buckingham Palace and the Queen Victoria Memorial. Get a feel for the local life as you drive through Piccadilly Circus and along Oxford Street. Admire the baroque architecture of St. Paul's Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and the site of many historic events in London. As you see the Tower of London, one of the city's most famous landmarks, your imagination can help you picture what went on behind the walls of the fortress as your guide reveals some of its legends. After the tour, free time is available for you to visit the places that piqued your interest, or any other aspect of the city you wish to explore. Tonight, gather with your traveling companions and Tour Manager for the farewell dinner (Breakfast and dinner)
DAY TEN-LONDON/USA It's time to bid "cheerio" to Great Britain as you depart for Heathrow Airport with warm memories of the castles, countryside and capital cities of your journey through this amazing country. (Breakfast)
This itinerary is approximate. The exact times, days and destinations may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.