Your Host: McKenna Jensen
Windermere Lake Cruise
Sarah's Nelson Grasmere Gingerbread Tour
Panoramic Tour of London
Changing of the Guard - Buckingham Palace
Tower of London
The Beatles Story Museum Liverpool
Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Gretna green and Famous Blacksmiths Shop
Panoramic Tour of Glasgow
Sweeney's Cruises Loch Lomond
Queen's View and Visitor Centre
Forth Railway Bridge
Walking tour of Edinburgh
Free time in Edinburgh city
Round-trip Airfare out of Denver, Minneapolis, Boston or DC (and other select U.S. cities)
Accommodations in 4-star hotels
Activities listed on itinerary
Transportation on chartered bus
per person (double occupancy)
+$999 for single traveler
Full payment due 90 days before and must be made by check
This trip is not wheelchair accessible
Trip deposit and final payments are non-refundable once paid
Passports are required and must be valid 6 months after final date of the trip
No Covid Restrictions
April 26 - May 7, 2023 - Sold Out
Fill out waiting list for 2024 Tour-->
Day One & Two
Travel to London! Upon arrival transfer to your hotel, and get rest before your big adventure in one of the world’s greatest cities. London really does have something for everyone.
Today we will go on a fabulous panoramic tour that starts at South Kensington, gateway to the city’s most revered museums and galleries. We’ll then journey onwards to the incomparable Westminster, home of one of the world’s most iconic Cathedrals, and the breathtaking Houses of Parliament before heading to one of the most visited landmarks in the city, the unforgettable Buckingham Palace; if you look hard enough, you might just catch a glimpse of Her Majesty sipping her morning tea at one of the palace’s 760 windows … Along the way, we’ll stop at the spectacularly beautiful St James's Park, edged with the beautiful Clarence House and Whitehall buildings, and backdrop to the world-famous royal pageants like the terrific Trooping the Colour.
Immerse yourself in the grandiosity and opulence of London’s most time-honoured and illustrious home, the magnificent Buckingham Palace. Built in 1703, today Queen Elizabeth II divides her time between Buckingham, Windsor Castle and, in summer, Balmoral Castle in Scotland. If she’s in residence, you’ll see the Royal Standard is flown; if not, it's the Union Flag, which means you can begin your royal journey! Kick off with the celebrated ceremony and oldest tradition at Buckingham Palace, the Changing of the Guard ceremony where The Queen's Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James's Palace to the New Guard.Musical support is provided by a Regimental Band or Corps of Drums with pipers occasionally taking part in the ceremony.
Few parts of the UK are as steeped in legend, superstition and extraordinary historical moments as the notorious Tower of London. But despite its grisly reputation as a place of torture and death, within its walls, you’ll also discover the enthralling history of a royal palace, a working armoury, treasury and zoo - and the world's largest diamond, the 106-carat Koh-i-Nûr, or "Mountain of Light". Most visitors to the Tower head straight for the Waterloo Barracks where the spectacular Crown Jewels are found, but this iconic landmark is perhaps best known as the prison where three queens of England: Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII; Catherine Howard, Henry's fifth wife, and Lady Jane Grey all met their grisly ends. Join one of the legendary Beefeaters on a tour and hear their bloody tales, stand on the spot - if you dare! - where famous heads have fallen; discover the legend of the Tower's ravens (free to roam within the Tower’s walls during the day), and learn about the wild and wonderful wildlife that inhabited the Tower throughout the centuries. An exceptionally fabulous day out!
Get your bearings by climbing the tower of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin for the finest views over Oxford’s skyline; take a ramble around the cobbled Radcliffe Square to drink in the views of the spectacular Radcliffe Camera; explore the city’s magnificent University colleges and iconic museums; get lost in the corridors and books of the Bodleian Library; or take a punt on the river and drink in the views of Christ Church College in the distance. And when you’re back on dry land? Head for the fabulous Botanic Garden, the UK’s oldest with its delightful walled garden, beautiful glasshouses and fabulous Arboretum - a simply breathtaking oasis of tranquillity. And of course, no trip to Oxford is complete without a visit to some of its delightful old pubs scattered around its lanes and alleyways, including local legends the Turf Tavern, the Lamb & Flag and the Eagle & Child, once upon a time regular haunts of the iconic ‘Inklings’, the group of literary enthusiasts that included JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. An unforgettable city that promises you won’t leave without promising to return.
So said Winston Churchill of this inimitable Unesco World Heritage Site, masterpiece of Baroque splendour and one of the greatest stately homes in Britain. Of course, Blenheim Palace is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also steeped in a history that will have you feverishly exploring its every nook and cranny as you wander the endless corridors and rooms. Designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor, and overflowing with extraordinary artworks, tapestries, and furniture, most visits to Blenheim start in the Great Hall, a vast 20m high space bedecked with statues and crowned with an exquisitely painted ceiling … From there, take a ramble through the opulent grand staterooms where you’ll discover the famous Blenheim Tapestries; the State Dining Room, with its painted walls and Trompe l’Iœil ceilings; and the jaw-dropping Long Library, home to over 10,000 books and simply mesmerising views across the Water Terraces. When you’ve had your fill of finery and frills, head out to the tranquillity and charm of the glorious palace gardens and be wowed by the delightful fountains and sphinxes, lavender garden and butterfly house and the fabulously fun Yew Maze - the perfect end to the perfect day.
The world's largest permanent exhibition solely devoted to the legendary story of the Fab Four’s rise to fame, the wonderful and award-winning Beatles Story in Liverpool is an exhilarating tribute to the John, Paul, George and Ringo’s story, and their fascinating journey from childhood friends to the greatest band of all time. If you think you’ve seen and heard it all when it comes to Liverpool’s greatest export think again - there’s an almost overwhelming abundance of memorabilia here that’s guaranteed to tell you something you didn’t know ... Explore the fab(ulous) themed rooms, immerse yourself in the incredibly authentic recreations of the iconic Cavern Club and Abbey Road Studios, explore the mesmerising White Room from John’s iconic ‘Imagine’ video and get up close and personal with Ringo’s drum kit, John’s New York piano, fabulous rare album sleeves, photographs and original hand-written lyrics from the ultimate icons of pop. Unmissable!
Home of the famous Brontë sisters, Haworth is an undisputed literary mecca, attracting visitors from all around the world. With its historic cobbled Main Street, iconic parsonage and rolling moors, the picturesque proportions of this Airedale village exude a vintage charm that makes you feel you've stepped into another era.
10.5 miles long, one mile wide and 220 feet deep, the breathtaking lake Windermere - from old Norse ’Vinandr mere’, Vinandr's lake - is one of the Lake District’s most popular spots, offering infinite adventures to those who come seeking … By far one of the best ways to experience this iconic waterway is by joining a cruise where you can enjoy spectacular views, shoreside scenes and hearty onboard banter, all from the comfort of the upper deck (or indoors if it’s a touch chilly). The lake is home to 18 islands, the largest of which is the 16 hectares Bell Isle and its resident 18th-century mansion … and the smallest, Maiden Holme where you’ll spot just one lonesome tree … There are a few departure points to choose from, but wherever you start your adventure, this thrilling journey affords the intrepid explorer sensational views, secluded bays and endless memories … Hands down our favourite way to explore the Lake District!
Undoubtedly one of Britain’s most beautiful and enchanting regions, the Lake District has inspired generations of poets, artists and authors, amongst them the much-celebrated and adored William Wordsworth. Dove Cottage on the edge of Grasmere was Wordsworth‘s home from 1799 to 1808, and the spot where he penned some of his most well-known and far-famed poems, and this ivy-bedecked, slate-floored home and its tiny rooms are crammed full of fascinating artefacts to explore. Look out the poet's spectacles and a delightful portrait of his much-loved pooch, Pepper, gifted to Wordsworth by none other than Sir Walter Scott. The museum next door to the cottage houses a remarkable collection of handwritten manuscripts, letters, published poetry and personal artefacts - all helping to bring Wordsworth’s remarkable story to life. Make sure you visit the fabulous Viewing Station where you can look out over the breathtaking Grasmere vale, Wordsworth’s ‘paradise’ and inspiration for much of his work.
Victorian cook Sarah Nelson invented Grasmere Gingerbread® in 1854 in the English Lake District village from where it gets its name. A unique, spicy-sweet cross between a biscuit and cake, its reputation quickly spread and it is now enjoyed by food lovers all over the world. Today, the business is run by third-generation owners Joanne and Andrew Hunter and every day visitors to the shop are greeted by the wonderful aroma of freshly baked Grasmere Gingerbread® hanging in the air. The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop also sells its own award-winning rum butter and a variety of ginger-themed foodstuffs, as well as toffee, fudges, chocolates, conserves, Cartmel Village Store Sticky Toffee Sauce, Kendal Mint Cake, conserves, ginger beer, ginger themed gifts, and much, much more.
Famous for runaway weddings since 1754 Gretna Green is a wonderful place to get married in and visit. The Famous Blacksmiths Shop is steeped in history and has been standing since 1713 making it the earliest venue in the area for weddings. The visitors attraction and shopping village is visited by over 1 million people per year and has a range of lovely shops on site which stock the best of Scottish menswear, ladieswear - including brands such as Joules, Barbour, Harris Tweed and Ness - Scottish gifts, Hampers and Homeware as well as a Foodhall selling local and traditional scottish produce.
High Kirk of Glasgow, St Kentigern's or even St Mungo's Cathedral … whatever you call this near one thousand-year-old landmark, this astonishing example of Scottish Gothic architecture is widely regarded as one of Europe’s greatest cathedrals. Extraordinary stained glass windows; burial site of the city’s patron saint and founder, St Mungo; pristine white pillars and ceiling of the 16th Century Blackadder Aisle (or chapel) and crypt of St Kentigern - there’s plenty here to ignite the imagination and lift the spirit! Roam around the cathedral exploring and you’ll wander through Glasgow’s colourful and compelling history, from the age-old trades on which she built her fortune, to the military and the law. If you have time, head next door to the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art, an utterly charming haven of peace and tranquillity in one of the busiest cities in the world.
Visit the city of Glasgow today, the largest city in Scotland and full of architectural gems such as the medieval cathedral dedicated to St. Mungo, George Square and Glasgow College of Art. You will have a sightseeing tour of Glasgow. An unmissable visit in this city is its University. The University of Glasgow was founded in the mid-15th century and traditionally accommodated students from wealthy families. Through the installations of the University, Nobel prizes, prime ministers and even illustrious figures in the history of humanity such as the economist Adam Smith and Albert Einstein, who gave some of his first lectures on the theory of relativity in his classrooms, have walked. You could finish this tour in the Cathedral of St Mungo. The cathedral of Glasgow dates back to the 12th century, and they say that it rises right in the place where the patron saint of the city, St. Mungo, erected his church. After this building, the oldest preserved in the city we can find the necropolis of Glasgow, a Victorian cemetery that populates the hill where you can find fascinating funerary monuments.
Scotland does many things well, but it excels at landscapes and lochs. With its incredibly calm and clear waters reflecting the sky above, and dramatic, awe-inspiring mountains decorating its shores, a cruise on Loch Lomond is a truly unique experience in one of the most stunning settings in the world. This one-hour circular tour of the loch’s iconic South basin affords the most spectacular Scottish vista of the magnificent Ben Lomond, sweeping you alongside some of the Loch’s glorious stately homes and castles that you’ll spot dotted along the shoreline. You’ll also venture out to the intriguing Inchmurrin Island- the largest of 33 loch islands and one-time hiding place of a fugitive Robert the Bruce before he was to become King of Scotland. An intoxicating trip that you’ll want to do again as soon as you’re back on dry land.
Created by volcanic eruptions and sculpted by glaciers, Glencoe, one of the world’s top travel destinations and undoubtedly one of its most beautiful, has a habit of getting under your skin and into your heart - prepare to fall in love and to never want to leave this iconic landscape brimming with history, legend, adventure, myth - and loss. The enduring story of the 38 men, women, and children of the MacDonald clan who were murdered in the glen on the 13th February 1692 by a regiment of soldiers whom they had welcomed into their homes, is explored at the terrific Glencoe Visitor Centre, and although no buildings from the time of the massacre survive, you can find the nearby Inverigan ruins sitting on a site where several MacDonalds were killed. Beyond the area’s fascinating history, Glencoe is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. At the right time of year, skiing and snowboard opportunities abound at the celebrated Glencoe Mountain resort, with the beautiful Loch Leven offering a veritable banquet of watersports - if canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding is how you get your kicks, you’ll be more than satisfied. If you prefer your land legs, there’s plenty to explore as far as walking and hiking goes … head for the phenomenal Lochaber Geopark and set off on any of the fabulous trails; discover the mysterious Parallel Roads of the breathtaking Glen Roy, and set off to explore the hauntingly beautiful islands Eigg, Muck, and Rum … Our advice? Bask in the wonder of Glencoe’s ‘wow’ factor, and simply let your imagination be your guide …
Marking the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie unfurled his banner and rallied the nation’s many clans to his cause, the 18m-high Glenfinnan Monument was built as a reminder of the clansmen who gave their lives for the Jacobite cause - and enveloped by towering mountains and the inimitable Scottish scenery on the shores of Loch Shiel, there’s likely no better place for such a reminder. It was here that 1,200 Highlanders gathered to raise the royal standard, share a dram and pledge their allegiance to Prince Charles Edward Stuart before heading off to take back the throne for their Stuart king. Today, visitors can take a guided tour to the top of the monument where they can enjoy the sensational views across the mountains and over Loch Shiel - a real ‘wow’ moment, so have your camera at the ready! There’s also the terrific visitor centre nearby where you can refuel and grab a souvenir - or hang around to explore the world-famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, train station and museum, and infinite hiking and biking trails.
Queen's View lies at the heart of Highland Perthshire and is the area's most popular visitor attraction. Just one look is enough to tell you why.
When Queen Victoria visited in 1866, she assumed that the sweeping view west along Loch Tummel was named after her – but she was wrong. We think the view was really named after Isabella, the first wife of Robert the Bruce, who lived more than 500 years earlier. Today, you too can enjoy views fit for a queen, along with a nice cup of tea from our café if you wish . Pick out some gifts at the well-stocked shop and relax before exploring the nearby forests.
Loch Tummel is a long narrow loch in Perthshire, 6 miles (9.6 km) west of Pitlochry.
The area around the River Tummel and Loch Tummel is known as Strathtummel and is one of the most beautiful parts of Perthshire’s ‘Big Tree Country’, with ever changing colours throughout the seasons and a great choice of walks, cycle routes and places to relax.
Looking every inch the world-famous landmark that it is, the vast and resplendent Blair Castle has been the home of the Atholl family for over seven centuries. With a richly fascinating 750-year history, and thirty rooms to explore, the only problem you’ll have is seeing everything you want to … Once home to an eclectic cast of entrepreneurs, politicians and soldiers, explore this spectacular castle’s fascinating 18th-century interiors and magnificent Scottish baronial architecture. Must-see highlights include the Entrance Hall and its sensational collection of weapons, the opulent oak-panelled walls of the Dining Room, and the exquisite Tapestry room and world-famous Mortlake Tapestries, sold by Cromwell after the execution of King Charles I. And don’t skip the spectacular William and Mary State Bed, hung with finest silks, and decorated with ostrich feathers - an utterly extravagant chamber. And once your appetite for luxury and opulence has been whetted, make a point of taking a wander through the enchanting gardens and grounds, from the captivating Hercules Garden, a nine-acre walled garden; and Diana’s Grove, a tranquil space known for its Grand Fir that stands over 60 metres tall. A true fairytale setting to wrap -up this exceptional Scottish experience.
With its rich golfing heritage and impressive linksland courses, St Andrews is a must-visit destination for both new and seasoned golfers. But golf is just one chapter of the St Andrews story. It’s also a stunning convergence of ancestral architecture and sweeping sea vistas. Walk through the old town and take in the sights of this ancient place. Or indulge in a spot of lunch—St Andrews is home to a host of independent restaurants and cafés serving a tantalising variety of cuisine—so you can take your pick. Or if it’s a quick swally* you’re after, visit golf’s most famous pub, The Dunvegan. Maybe browsing among the fine selection of speciality shops is more your thing. Whatever you decide, there’s sure to be something to love.
An iconic Scottish landmark and landmark achievement in the development of railway civil engineering, the unmistakable Forth Bridge was opened on 4th March 1890 by Edward, Prince of Wales, and stretches 2.5 glorious kilometres over the Forth between the two villages of South and North Queensferry. Taking 7 years to build during the period when railways came to dominate long-distance travel overland, this 53,000 tons of steel really does take the breath away at first sight with its marvellous red hues, three striking towers and inimitable industrial look. Over 200 trains use the Forth Bridge every day, carrying 3 million passengers each year, and its total painted area - that burning question! - is 230,000 sq metres. So yes, it’s the paint-job to top all paint-jobs! Of course, the best way to experience the bridge is to catch a train from either Edinburgh or from either of the Queensferry towns and enjoy the spectacular views from the comfort of your carriage - but whether you enjoy it from above or below, the photo opportunities are infinite. If it’s possible to have a favourite bridge, this is ours!
Enjoy a private guided walking tour and unlock Edinburgh's fascinating past – the culture, crime, politics, and people of Scotland’s capital! Where the buses can’t take you, and the guide books don’t show you is where this city’s stories lie – the streets, alleys, courtyards and homes of Old Edinburgh. You’ll visit the sites that are tucked away to see the secrets and tell the tales. You also visit Edinburgh Castle, Scotland's most popular visitor attraction and it's most iconic building, to explore its treasures and enjoy the breathtaking views of Edinburgh.
Explore Edinburgh City Centre at your own pace. Whether it's the stylish George Street shopping experience, mysterious closes along the Royal Mile or simply sitting back and people-watching in one of the parks or cafes, there's something to do for everyone.
Departure from Edinburgh Airport, thanks for traveling with us!