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Best of Britain - Trafalgar Guided Vacation

 

Overview

Hotel description:

15 days | 13 nights

Travel to the Scottish Highlands, exploring rugged Dartmoor, the idyllic Lake District and Tudor Chester. Take a ferry to the Isle of Skye and contemplate battles fought on Culloden.

Trafalgar Highlights

  • Connect with Locals: Enjoy a Be My Guest lunch with the Dyer family on their 15th-century dairy farm in Somerset, complete with homemade ice cream. (Day 6)
  • Stays with Stories: Enjoy Highland hospitality at Laggan Gaskmore Hotel located within Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. (Day 9)
  • Dive into Culture: Visit Buckfast Abbey, a Benedictine monastery built on the site where monks have lived and prayed for over 1,000 years. (Day 5
  • Hidden Treasure: Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.
  • Local Specialist: For included sightseeing in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh.


Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in London, Liverpool, Edinburgh.
  • ORIENTATION of Bath, Plymouth, Cardiff, Chester, Glasgow and York.
  • VISIT the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge, the Roman baths in Bath, Polperro, Buckfast Abbey, Glastonbury Abbey, the town of Ludlow, the Isle of Skye, Culloden, Edinburgh Castle, Alnwick and Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • VIEW Eilean Donan Castle, Alnwick Castle used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, York Minster and Anne Hathaway's thatched cottage.
  • SEE Dartmoor, the Lake District, Ben Nevis and Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands, the Isle of Skye and the 18th green at St. Andrews.
Travel Highlights
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • VIP entry to many sights

What's included

Package inclusions

  • Round-trip flights to London (if flight and tour package option is chosen)
  • 14 nights of accommodation
  • 19 meals (13 full breakfasts, 1 Connect With Locals lunch, and 5 dinners)
  • Transportation by luxury air-conditioned coach
  • Sightseeing as described
  • Porterage (1 piece of luggage per passenger)
  • $50 CAD credit voucher for an Optional Experience (described in the itinerary below; 1 voucher per person)
  • English-speaking travel director
  • Earn Aeroplan® Miles


Itinerary


Day 1        Depart Canada
Fly to London.

Day 2        Welcome to London
London's vibrant city streets are your launchpad to an epic journey through the iconic sights of Britain. Embrace the pomp and ceremony of this multicultural capital, exploring the treasures of its former Empire in museums, rambling through its picturesque Royal Parks or admiring the centuries-old façades that line its grand boulevards and hidden lanes.

Day 3        London Sightseeing and Free Time
Join a Local Specialist today for a tour of the city's iconic sights. See Big Ben, the imposing Houses of Parliament on the banks of the Thames and Buckingham Palace, the official UK residence of the UK's sovereigns since the mid-19th century. The rest of the day is yours to explore the fascinating melting pot that is London - an effortless mix of old-world charm and modern sophistication.

Meal(s): Full breakfast

Day 4        London - Stonehenge - Bath - Exeter
The rolling green and golden landscapes of rural Wiltshire provide a stunning backdrop for our scenic drive to Salisbury Plain this morning. We tread in the footsteps of druids and pagans amidst the mystical ancient monoliths of Stonehenge before travelling to UNESCO-listed Bath with its elegant Georgian façades and the centuries-old Roman Baths from which the town derives its name. Our home for the next two nights is the historic cathedral city of Exeter where we will enjoy a memorable Welcome Reception this evening at our hotel.

Meal(s): Full breakfast, Welcome reception

Day 5        Exeter - Plymouth, Polperro, Dartmoor and Buckfast Abbey Excursion
Our first stop today is in the ancient port city of Plymouth, where you'll delve into the history of the brave Pilgrim Fathers who set sail for an unknown New World from its shores. See the Royal Citadel overlooking Plymouth Sound and consider taking an optional cruise around the dramatic coastline. We take a step back in time at our next stop, the quaint fishing village and artists' retreat of Polperro, set within a picturesque harbour. Continuing along the brooding moorland of Dartmoor, we arrive at Buckfast Abbey where we'll Dive Into Culture and gain insights into how Benedictine monks have lived and prayed for over 1,000 years.

Meal(s): Full breakfast

Optional Experiences

  • Devonshire Village & Dinner (37 GBP): We'll drive to a beautiful village in Devon, where you'll see cob-walled houses with thatched roofs and the parish church, which dates back over 700 years. You'll also savour a tasty pub dinner and meet the locals in a 700-year-old village pub.
  • Plymouth Harbour Cruise (15 GBP): Relax on a boat trip round the harbour of one of England's most famous seaports. As your skipper commentates, you'll see the Mayflower steps, which is where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America and ships sailed for Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland, and enjoy panoramic vistas of Plymouth Hoe. We'll also enter the Royal Navy Dockyard where you'll see some of the modern vessels of the Royal Navy.


Day 6        Exeter - Glastonbury - Cardiff
Enjoy a picturesque drive through the pretty Devon and Somerset countryside to mystical Glastonbury where we'll visit the ruined Abbey, said to be the final resting place of King Arthur. Later, Connect With Locals, joining the Dyer family on their 15th-century dairy farm in Somerset for a Be My Guest lunch. Our final stop today is Cardiff, where we'll enjoy an orientation tour before a free evening.

Meal(s): Full breakfast, Connect With Locals (lunch)

Optional Experiences

  • Cardiff Castle Tour (21 GBP): You'll explore this unique castle on a private tour and hear tales about the eclectic refurbishments. Done in the 1800s by architect William Burgess, his influences included Islamic art, Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales and even Aesop's fables. You'll also walk on the battlements and climb the 900-year-old Norman keep for superb views over Cardiff.
  • Welsh Evening at Millennium Centre (54 GBP): Enjoy an evening of Welsh music, culture and humour. The venue for the evening is the Welsh Millennium Centre, an iconic building in the fashionable Cardiff Bay area. After a warm reception, you'll enjoy a first-class meal of seasonal Welsh specialities, sourced and produced locally. Quality wine or soft drinks are included and the meal will be accompanied by our enchanting Welsh harpist. You'll then be entertained by the finest local singers presenting the beautiful music of Wales.


Day 7        Cardiff - Ludlow - Chester - Liverpool
Tudor history is explored this morning as we visit the historic towns of Ludlow and Chester with their characteristic black and white half-timbered buildings. Join your Travel Director for an orientation walk past these famous Tudor Rows and enjoy views of Chester's medieval city walls and red sandstone Cathedral. The haunt of the 'Fab Four' is our final stop today. Join a Local Specialist to gain insight into Liverpool's Beatles' history and enjoy an evening at leisure in one of Britain's edgiest cities.

Meal(s): Full breakfast

Day 8        Liverpool - Lake District - Glasgow
Rolling Lancashire pastures give way to the breathtaking Lake District, whose beautiful scenery has inspired poets and writers for centuries. We travel along the shores of Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England to Grasmere, where William Wordsworth was laid to rest at St. Oswald's Church. Standing at the threshold of the 'Marriage Anvil' in Gretna Green, we see where many an eloping couple has tied the knot. We arrive in Glasgow later for an orientation tour including views of the Cathedral, magnificent George Square and the River Clyde, the former heart of the shipbuilding industry. Warm Scottish hospitality and hearty flavours are ours to enjoy this evening during a Regional Meal in a local restaurant.

Meal(s): Full breakfast, regional meal

Optional Experiences

  • Private Cruise on Lake Windermere (17 GBP): Enjoy an exclusive cruise on a private boat on England's most beautiful and largest lake, taking in the northern coastline, beautiful houses, gardens and Wray Castle. You'll see deserted islands, boats and birdlife as you explore the area loved by Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.
  • Windermere Cruise & Steam Train Ride (19 GBP): A chance to view the glorious scenery of the Lake District as we cruise across England's largest lake. Then step back in time as we board the steam train for a short journey from Lakeside to Haverthwaite.


Day 9        Glasgow - Glencoe - Fort William - Scottish Highlands 
Journey along Loch Lomond whose bonnie banks were immortalized in the well-known Scottish song. We arrive in the Glencoe and remember the MacDonald clansmen who died tragically in the 1692 massacre that led this place to be dubbed the 'Glen of Weeping'. At the World War II Commando Memorial near Fort William, see breathtaking views of Britain's highest mountain Ben Nevis. Tonight, we stay at one of Trafalgar's Stays With Stories - the Laggan Gaskmore Hotel, located in the Scottish Highlands.

Meal(s): Full breakfast, dinner

Optional Experiences

  • Loch Lomond Boat Trip (15 GBP): Discover the wild beauty of the 'Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond'. As we cruise across the loch, the skipper will share stories of the area and point out Rob Roy's cave as you relax and savour the stunning scenery.
  • Highland Farm Experience (14 GBP): Visit a real Highland sheep farm and meet Neil the Shepherd and his border collies. He'll show you how he uses different whistles to command each dog to carry out different tasks. You'll also have the opportunity to try your hand at sheep shearing, feeding the lambs and discover his training techniques. Weather permitting.


Day 10        Isle of Skye, Culloden and Scenic Highland Excursion
We travel to the coast this morning, boarding a ferry over the sea to the Isle of Skye. Against the backdrop of violet-hued, heather-clad mountains, we enjoy lunch at the ancient settlement of Kyleakin. Later crossing the road bridge to view scenic Eilean Donan Castle on the mainland. Meandering through the Scottish Highlands past its picturesque lochs and glens, with a photo stop by Loch Ness to catch a glimpse of its fabled monster. Pass Culloden battlefield on the way back to your Highland hotel.

Meal(s): Full breakfast, dinner

Day 11        Scottish Highlands - Pitlochry - St. Andrews - Edinburgh
Heading back to the lowlands of Scotland, we stop in the picturesque village of Pitlochry before heading to the historic home of golf, St. Andrews, where the first games were played during the 1400s. See its famous 18th hole before crossing the Firth of Forth to Scotland's enchanting capital, Edinburgh. During the Edinburgh Festival, enjoy rousing performances with included tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo in the magical setting of Edinburgh Castle's grounds.

Meal(s): Full breakfast

Optional Experiences

  • Local Dinner Evening (38 GBP): Join us and your travelling companions for a delicious traditional dinner and drink at a local restaurant.
  • Edinburgh by Night & Dinner (42 GBP): We'll drive into the old city of Edinburgh to see the city at night with photo opportunities of the Castle and the Grassmarket, famous for historic executions and when possible visit one of the most haunted graveyards and see the grave of Greyfriars Bobby, the famous Skye Terrier. Then, we'll make our way to a local restaurant for a delicious dinner and drink.
  • Pitlochry - Visit of  Blair Castle (20 GBP): Set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery, we'll discover the ancient home of the Dukes of Atholl, home to Europe's last remaining private army. Unique amongst Scottish castles, Blair has hosted royalty from Mary Queen of Scots to Queen Victoria.


Day 12        Edinburgh Sightseeing and Free Time
Ramble up the Royal Mile today and see the iconic sights of one of Britain's most enchanting cities. The elegant Palace of Holyroodhouse in the shadow of Arthur's Seat and the Scottish Parliament feature on your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Consider an Optional Experience including traditional song, dance and Scottish fare.

Meal(s): Full breakfast

Optional Experiences

  • Dinner & Drive to Historic Torphichen (46 GBP): Enjoy a scenic drive to the ancient village of Torphichen, associated with Scottish kings and Knights Hospitaller. At the haunted Torphichen Inn your arrival will be toasted by our convivial host before enjoying an excellent dinner of local specialties and entertainment.
  • Rosslyn Chapel (18 GBP): We'll drive out of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Rosslyn, where you'll hear the inside story on the famous Rosslyn Chapel. One of Scotland's most unusual 15th-century buildings, Rosslyn is famed for its associations with the Knights Templar, the Masonic movement, and now 'The Da Vinci Code'.
  • Scottish Show With Dinner (60 GBP): Tonight is your chance to put on that tartan and join us for an evening of singing, dancing and bagpipe playing at an internationally famous venue. You'll enjoy delicious food and wine, join in the singing and watch a Highland dance or two. There's even a chance to sample Scotland's national dish - haggis.


Day 13        Edinburgh - Alnwick - York
We travel to the medieval market town of Alnwick this morning where we'll see the impressive castle home to the Duke of Northumberland and the Tenantry Column, topped by the Percy Lion. Meander through Northumberland, across the Tyne at Newscastle and to the cathedral city of York, where we will enjoy an orientation walk along its medieval city walls and cobblestone Shambles, and see the inspiring Minster with its 'heart of Yorkshire'. We enjoy a final Farewell Dinner together to bring our memorable journey to a close.

Meal(s): Full breakfast, Farewell dinner

Day 14        York - Stratford-upon-Avon - London
Shakespeare's legacy and life are celebrated in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon which we will have an opportunity to visit today on our return to London. See Anne Hathaway's thatched cottage and visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Centre before rambling through its quaint cobblestone streets.

Meal(s): Full breakfast

Day 15        London - Return to Canada 
Say a fond farewell to London and your newfound friends at the end of an unforgettable journey. 

Meal(s): Full breakfast

 

Accommodations

Additional fees might apply
The hotels listed below are presented as examples for your reference only. Where “or similar” is indicated, guests will stay at a hotel of the same star rating. The hotel accommodations will be communicated to the consumer or travel agent prior to departure.

Twin Room

Unless otherwise indicated, guests will stay in a standard room at all hotels during the trip. The location and corresponding hotels are as follows:

London: Park Plaza Riverbank or similar (2 nights)
Exeter: Mercure Southgate of similar (2 nights)
Cardiff: Park Inn City Centre or similar (1 night)
Liverpool: Jurys Inn or similar (1 night)
Glasgow: Crowne Plaza/Holiday Inn City Centre Theatreland or similar (1 night)
Scottish Highlands: Laggan Gaskmore/Carrbridge or similar (2 nights)
Edinburgh: Leonardo Royal Haymarket/Holiday Inn or similar (2 nights)
York: Novotel Centre or similar (1 night)
London: Park Plaza Riverbank or similar (1 night)

Room occupancy: 2 adults travelling together

Single or Triple occupancy option:
Travellers who prefer to stay in a single occupancy or a triple occupancy room can call us book: 1 866 529-2079. Subject to availability.


Important notes

2019 Tour Start Dates
June 20, 27
July 4, 8, 11, 18
August 26, 29
September 12, 16, 19, 26
October 3, 10
*Non-definite departure dates

Departure Dates:
Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange your departure flight to arrive on or before the Tour Start Date.

Transfers Heathrow Airport:
Transfers can be expensive, particularly between the airport and your London hotel. Trafalgar has negotiated special group transfer rates from London's Heathrow Airport to the door of your Trafalgar London hotel. Guests will be picked up and dropped off in time to meet all flights booked to and from London's Heathrow Airport.
Price: $77 CAD per person per trip to or from Heathrow Airport.

Pre-paid gratuities option:
For an additional $131 CAD per person, travelers can pre-pay gratuities for the Travel Director and Driver. Call us at 1 866 529-2079 to add this option to your reservation.

Optional Experiences:
Prices listed in the itinerary are valid as of November 1, 2018 and are subject to change without notice.