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Best of England and Wales

Best of England and Wales

From $ 10,285 AUD

Description

Weave your way through England, Scotland and Wales on this three-week small group adventure that goes beyond the icons. Get a feel for the urban buzz in London then set your sights on the dramatic coastal landscapes in Cornwall and the rugged moors of Dartmoor and the Lakes District. After winding through national parks with some pretty epic scenery, head to the hearts of Scotland and Wales. Explore Cardiff (from the Doctor’s point of view) and striking Snowdonia before wrapping things up in the literary hub of medieval Edinburgh.

Trip Name
Best of England and Wales
Last Updated
2024-04-14
Days
20
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Marvel at the archeological wonder of Stonehenge and discover all you need to know about the rich history of this puzzling site. Then, explore gorgeous Cornwall.
  • Take part in punting – a truly timeless, quintessentially Oxford pleasure that will see you floating along the idyllic waters of this university city, seeing the beautiful architecture and gardens from the perspective of a boat (or punt).
  • Spend a day exploring arguably the most beautiful and most British countryside – the Cotswolds. Explore the sleepy villages, walk through endless fields and taste some of the best ales in the neighbourhood.
  • Discover cities Cardiff in Wales and Liverpool in England with leader-led walking tours, the best way to discover the city! In Cardiff, explore Dr Who filming locations and in Liverpool, tune in to everything The Beatles.
  • With Edinburgh Castle overlooking your every step, walk the winding streets of the Old Town and take a walking tour of the New Town Scotland’s artistic treasure – the birthplace of Harry Potter.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MUSEUM VISITS & OPENING TIMES Many sites, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays (and sometimes Tuesdays). We recommend checking the opening times of anywhere you're interested to visit and making reservations where required/possible.

Day 1 - London
Welcome to London! The capital and largest city in England, London stands on the River Thames and has a history spanning back to the time of the ancient Romans. There’s lots to see and do in this bustling metropolis, so it’s recommended that you arrive a couple of days early to explore the city. Your trip begins with a welcome meeting tonight at 6 pm. After, you’re free to hit a West End show or find a fancy restaurant for dinner with a view.
Day 2 - Salisbury
After breakfast at the hotel, get ready to leave the city behind as you make your way via train to Salisbury, located in England’s southern rural heartland. When you arrive in this modern medieval city that meets at the confluence of five rivers, follow your trip leader to get your bearings with an orientation walk. After, you're free to roam the city and maybe even make your own way to see the Salisbury Cathedral which dates to 1227 and showcases an example of Early English Gothic architecture. The rest of the evening is free to spend as you wish.
Day 3 - Dartmoor National Park
This morning after breakfast, it’s time to explore one of Britan’s most iconic sites – none other than the 5,000-year-old Stonehenge. Just a short drive away, the morning will be dedicated to delving into the history of this archaeological marvel. After absorbing everything you need to know about this fascinating monument, you’ll then make your way to Dartmoor. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. History lovers can learn about local myths and legends at some of the town's museums or galleries, or take it easy and find a cosy spot and a hearty feed at a nearby pub.
Day 4 - Penzance
Today after breakfast, you’ll have the chance to experience some of the area’s best walking trails and panoramic landscapes. Keep an eye out for famed Dartmoor ponies in the area and cosy farmhouses that hold years of history. Together as a group, you will make your way along the Dartmoor Princetown walk. This gentle walk includes some inclines along the gravel bridleway and offers sweeping views across the rugged moors and takes you to South Hessary Tor. On a clear day, you may be able to see as far as Plymouth Sound. Next, travel to the seaside town of Penzance, with time to stop for lunch along the way. Your afternoon is free to wander through the picturesque town where cobbled streets, local boutiques and fisherman’s cottages can be found.
Day 5 - Penzance
Enjoy breakfast before heading out to admire one of the most loved landmarks in the area – Land’s End, known for its impressive natural beauty and unique location. Hike along to Porthcurno and admire the spectacular terrain and coastal landscapes that stretch far into the distance, then enjoy some free time for lunch. Along the Cornish cliffs you’ll also visit The Minack Theatre – a spectacular open-air venue overlooking the water. Later, return to Penzance where the evening is yours to spend at your own pace.
Day 6 - Tintagel
After breakfast, you’ll visit St Michaels Mount, a fascinating tidal island in Mount’s Bay. You may have seen images of this rocky island, but nothing compares to witnessing the magnificent site up close. Enjoy time to explore St Michaels Mount at your own pace and maybe stop by the church and medieval castle set at the top of the island. Later, travel to the historic fishing village of Port Isaac. A guided walk with your leader will showcase the history and highlights of this cosy hub before continuing on to Tintagel – a destination that shares historic ties to King Arthur. The evening is yours to see what hidden wonders can be found within the town.
Day 7 - Tintagel
Step back in time after breakfast with a visit to Tintagel Castle and uncover the history, myth and tales of King Arthur. This historic site is set along the clifftops of North Cornwell and boasts dramatic views from all angles. The remainder of the day is yours. Make time to visit the Tintagel Old Post Office or drop into one of the small boutique gift shops or take a seat at one of the many eateries and restaurants.
Day 8 - London
Bid farewell to the panoramic coastline and vast landscapes and make your way to Newquay before catching the train to London. After arriving later in the afternoon, the evening is free to spend at your own pace. Maybe grab your group together and choose one of London’s many exciting pubs or restaurants to enjoy an evening of good times and good company.
Day 9 - London
Today after breakfast the first part of your trip will finish, and it's likely some people from your group will change. You're free to explore London as you wish, but please be sure to return to your hotel at 6 pm for a meeting with your new group, and potentially a new trip leader. After, you’re free to hit a West End show or find a fancy restaurant for dinner with a view.
Day 10 - Oxford
After breakfast this morning, take a train to Oxford – established in the 12th century, this city revolves around its prestigious university of the same name. The architecture of the city’s medieval centre led poet Matthew Arnold to the nickname 'City of Dreaming Spires'. When you arrive, enjoy a spot of punting – a timeless Oxford tradition of taking a leisurely boat ride (or punt) upstream. Pass along gorgeously green gardens and admire the city from the water. Then, you have a free afternoon to explore at your own pace. You might like to visit the famed college campuses or the Botanic Gardens, where you can picnic for lunch.
Day 11 - Oxford
After breakfast this morning, you have the day free to explore Oxford. If you haven’t already, it’s highly recommended that you take a tour of the University of Oxford, with its many prestigious libraries and historic buildings. Then, you might want to explore Oxford Castle and Prison or the Ashmolean Museum – the university’s museum of art and archaeology. Then, maybe check out Blenheim Palace – a 300-year-old country house in Woodstock and the only non-royal house in England to hold the title of palace. Tonight, why not reconnect with your group and find a spot of dinner?
Day 12 - Moreton-in-Marsh
Enjoy breakfast and then take a day trip to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. Designated as the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this region rises from the meadows of the upper Thames and is a beautiful place to spend a leisurely afternoon. Explore the English countryside and the peaceful beauty of the local villages. This area is also known for its distinctive local yellow limestone buildings, including medieval-looking cathedrals and thatched homes. If the weather is right, today is perfect for a picnic lunch in the park with your group. Tonight, you’re free to make your own dinner plans. Spend the night in Moreton-in-Marsh.
Day 13 - Cardiff
After breakfast, take a train to Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. Enjoy some free time for lunch and then take a walking tour with a local guide – calling all Dr Who fans, this one is for you! Explore various filming locations and a few of the city’s hotspots related to The Doctor, all within Cardiff’s city centre. After you walk in the footsteps of David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker and Matt Smith, you’ll have the afternoon free to explore, time travel or visit Cardiff Castle – which has stood for almost 2000 years. Tonight, relax in your hotel, enjoy a Dr Who marathon, or find a great spot for dinner with your group.
Day 14 - Snowdonia National Park
Wake up nice and early this morning for breakfast at your hotel and then take a private transfer to Beddgelert – a village nestled in the Snowdonia area of Wales and translating to Gelert’s Grave. This community was named after the legend of Gelert the dog, who Prince Llywelyn left to guard his child. The prince found the dog covered in blood and assumed he had turned on the child, thus killing him. Tragically, the prince realised that Gelert had saved the child from a nearby wolf. Stricken with grief and remorse, the prince gave his heroic hound a ceremonial burial by the river, and to this day, thousands visit the cairn of stones that mark Gelert’s grave. When you arrive in this riverside village, take a scenic hike on the Lon Gwyrfai path to Rhyd Ddu. Winding through some of the best parts of Snowdonia National Park, this trail will wind through Welsh plantations, ancient woodlands and viewpoints spanning across the valley. An included group lunch will break up the walk, and after, you’ll take a private transfer to Bangor – the oldest city in Wales. When you arrive, the rest of the afternoon is free. Relax at your hotel or visit one of the many cathedrals in the city.
Day 15 - Liverpool
Have breakfast this morning at your hotel and then take a train to Chester – another cathedral city first founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century. Take a boat cruise along the River Dee and sightsee this ancient city, with its red sandstone Roman walls, from the water. Enjoy some free time for lunch and then take a train to Liverpool in northwest England. Enjoy a free evening when you arrive – maybe hit one of the many pubs and spend a night with some local Liverpudlians.
Day 16 - Liverpool
After breakfast, hit the streets of Liverpool – famously, the hometown of The Beatles. You’ll take a Beatles-themed walking tour of the city with a local guide, exploring the waterfront, the famous architecture of the Georgian Quarter, local pubs where the Fab 4 began their musical journey, and maybe even the childhood homes of Paul and John. Explore some local music shops, record stores, and other famous locations tied to the historic musical geniuses while learning about the history of Liverpool itself. After, maybe grab a pub lunch with your group before enjoying a free afternoon to explore on your own.
Day 17 - Lake District National Park
After breakfast this morning, you’ll take a train to Windermere, in the famous Lake District of England. A mountainous region and national park, this area is popular for its stunning scenery, glacial ribbon lakes and historic literary association. Enjoy some free time for lunch, exploring the town of Windermere and then take a guided walk with your trip leader along the Windermere west shore of the lake – by far, the most popular natural lake to explore in the district. This lake is also the largest in the country! Extend your walk this afternoon, relax in your hotel or find a quaint spot for dinner with your group – the evening is yours.
Day 18 - Lake District National Park
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning with your group. You have a free day to explore the Lake District National Park today – your trip leader will have many suggestions for hikes, short walks and activities in the area. You might like to take a boat tour, very popular on Windermere Lake, or take a drive to Beatrix Potter’s home in Near Sawrey. You could also choose to visit the Castlerigg Stone Circle – a UNESCO World Heritage site dating back to the Neolithic period. There’s so much to see and do in this gorgeous national park, it’s a nature-lover’s paradise!
Day 19 - Edinburgh
After breakfast, take a train to Edinburgh, Scotland this morning. The birthplace of Harry Potter, Edinburgh is a hilly city that has captured the hearts and minds of many. When you arrive, you’ll take a walking tour with your trip leader. Explore the medieval Old Town, with Edinburgh Castle looming above, then head into the Georgian New Town, with its beautiful gardens and neoclassical buildings. After that, you have the afternoon free. Maybe explore the castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels, or head to Arthur’s Seat, an imposing peak with sweeping views over the city in Holyrood Park. You can also book a Potter-themed walking tour to further explore the city and learn about JK Rowling’s inspirations and writing locations and even visit the grave of the original Tom Riddle! Maybe celebrate a trip well-travelled tonight with your group with a farewell dinner in one of the city’s popular restaurants.
Day 20 - Edinburgh
There are no activities planned for today so after breakfast, your trip will come to an end. If you’d like to stay and explore Edinburgh for longer, just speak to our booking agent about extended accommodation.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
08-05-202427-05-2024AUD $ 10,885-
05-06-202424-06-2024AUD $ 10,885-
03-07-202422-07-2024AUD $ 10,285-
31-07-202419-08-2024AUD $ 11,090-
28-08-202416-09-2024AUD $ 10,285-
18-09-202407-10-2024AUD $ 10,585-
04-05-202523-05-2025AUD $ 10,785-
01-06-202520-06-2025AUD $ 10,785-
06-07-202525-07-2025AUD $ 10,785-
20-07-202508-08-2025AUD $ 10,785-
03-08-202522-08-2025AUD $ 11,215-
17-08-202505-09-2025AUD $ 11,215-
31-08-202519-09-2025AUD $ 11,215-
14-09-202503-10-2025AUD $ 11,215-

Accommodation

Hotel (17 nights),Guesthouse (2 night)

Transport

Train,Private vehicle

Map