11 Day Luxury Elegance of Great Britain
11 Day Trip sampling Britain's historic castles, beautiful gardens and magnificent countryside. Visit elegant stately homes and picturesque villages all set in breathtaking surroundings
Our adventure map
Day by day
First day go from London to Chartwell, Hever and Winchester
Leave London and make your way into the Kent countryside. At the pretty village of Westerham, Winston Churchill watches over the neat village green and you visit his nearby residence of Chartwell next. Continue through brilliant yellow and green pastures to Hever Castle, home to the tragic tale of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. Cross the moat to explore the fortified manor house and stroll in the delightful gardens. Move on to your hotel in the cathedral town of Winchester, where King Alfred stands guard in the High Street. Later, join your Tour Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception, with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Second day Excursion through the New Forest to Beaulieu
After a good night's rest, take a scenic drive through the woods and glades of the New Forest to Beaulieu Abbey, once a Cistercian Abbey, now the stately home of Lord Montagu. Tour the Palace House, Abbey ruins and visit his lordship's collection of cars in the National Motor Museum. Return to your hotel, where the rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps walk down to the Norman cathedral containing Jane Austen's grave or visit the Great Hall with King Arthur's legendary Round Table?
Third day a Scenic Drive to Avebury, Sudely and Shakespeare’s Stratford
Travel to Salisbury to see the tallest spire in the land atop the 13th century cathedral. The country roads of Wiltshire lead you past pretty villages to Avebury, which is partially situated in a huge prehistoric henge monument of several stone circles. Wander among the stones of the inner circles and the great outer circle and witness the immense bank and ditch. Next, visit the gardens of Sudeley Castle, former home to one of King Henry VIII's wives, Katherine Parr. The award-winning gardens have been lovingly restored to complement the tranquility of the castle and its ruins. Continue on to pretty Stratford, beautifully situated on the River Avon. Your hotel is set in its own grounds just a short walk from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the town's wealth of black and white timber framed buildings.
Fourth day its onto Blenheim and the Villages of the Cotswolds Experience
An enchanting day awaits in the morning! Cross the beautiful Cotswold hills, a chocolate box scene of golden stone villages with roses round the doors. Tour the magnificent house and gardens of Blenheim Palace, the greatest building of the English Baroque. Return to Stratford for a look through the birthplace of William Shakespeare, full of interesting memorabilia and artefacts relating to his life. This evening, you are offered a fine selection of restaurants for your dining pleasure, each with its own special ambience and cuisine.
Fifth day Travel to Ludlow and across the Welsh Marches to the Lake District
Travel through the orchards of Worcestershire to elegant Ludlow, where 18C mansions rub shoulders with half-timbered Tudor buildings. The town is dominated by its castle, rich in tragic royal history. Explore the lanes, local market and hidden courtyards, before continuing through the remote Shropshire hills. Pass by Wenlock Edge, as celebrated in the poetry of AE Housman, to reach Ironbridge Gorge, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. From the eponymous 200-year-old bridge, the smooth motorway carries you north to the English Lake District. Your traditional country style hotel is set in the pretty village of Bowness-on-Windermere, right on England's largest lake.
Sixth day enjoy English Poets and the Lake District Experience
The next day is devoted to this scenic wonderland of rugged mountains and tranquil waters - an inspiration to a host of English poets. Visit Wordsworth's grave in the small churchyard at Grasmere, then free time to relax and admire the vast expanse of Windermere. Perhaps even consider a cruise on its limpid waters? Across the road from your hotel is St. Martin's Church built in 1483, well worth a look and don't miss the area behind the church, the oldest part of Bowness, a delightful web of narrow streets known as Lowside.
Seventh day its over the Border to Edinburgh
Cross the Scottish border at Gretna – for years the destination of eloping English lovers, before continuing through the Southern Uplands to Edinburgh. This afternoon, a local expert guides you through Edinburgh Castle containing the Honours of Scotland, the oldest Royal regalia in the British Isles. Follow the Royal Mile to Holyroodhouse Palace where Mary Queen of Scots lived. Drive along Princes Street, past the ornate Scott Memorial, to the 18th century ‘New Town' with its classical Adam facades.
Eighth day experience Edinburgh, Athens of the North
Free time today. Why not choose to discover the Botanical Gardens, visit the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art or just spend the day browsing the shops and getting a feel for this vibrant city. Tonight, selected departures attend the spectacular Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Ninth day go through the Borders to Abbotsford and Brontë Country
Travel through the Borders region to Abbotsford House, the 19th century estate of Sir Walter Scott, which now serves as a museum for the Scottish memorabilia and artifacts collected throughout his lifetime. Head south past ruined Jedburgh Abbey and over the border to visit Hadrian's Wall, boundary of the civilized world in Roman times! Stay for the next two nights in a grand Victorian hotel, set amidst a landscape that fueled the imagination of the Brontë sisters in writing their classic novels.
Tenth day Excursion to York and Harewood House
After breakfast, drive to York, one of Britain's most historic cities. Walk within the town walls to see the huge Minster, Britain's largest medieval cathedral, and explore the maze of narrow streets, including the Shambles. Head out now through rich farmland to Harewood House, one of Britain's finest stately homes, magnificently set in the Yorkshire countryside. Built in the 18th century, Harewood boasts outstanding art collections, splendid State Rooms and a fascinating ‘Below Stairs' exhibition. Later this evening, raise your glasses with friends and enjoy traditional Yorkshire hospitality at your finalé Celebration Dinner.
Eleventh day Journey past Robin Hood Country to Cambridge
Hear legendary tales as you journey towards ‘Robin Hood Country' even though little remains of his beloved Sherwood Forest. Now a glimpse of Britain's ancient tradition of learning as you visit Cambridge. Enjoy free time to explore the tranquil quadrangles of the colleges, stroll beside the River Cam for superb views of King's College Chapel or spend time in the colourful and historic open-air market. Your journey concludes on return to London's Thistle Marble Arch Hotel.
Chartwell, It's still 1939 inside the home of Sir Winston Churchill, laid out with his many possessions.
Hever, Enjoy the lovely gardens and cross the drawbridge at the castle where Henry VIII courted Anne Boleyn.
Beaulieu, Visit the 14C Palace House and gardens, and tour the incredible collection of cars at the National Motor Museum.
Sudeley, Nestled in the Cotswold Hills, Sudeley Castle's unique gardens are amongst the finest in England.
Blenheim Palace, Witness a masterpiece of the English Baroque, brimming with priceless art and tapestries.
Stratford, Venture inside the timber-framed building where William Shakespeare was born and grew up.
Edinburgh, Walk with an expert within the walls of the Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels.
Edinburgh, For a limited time in August, you are witness to the breathtaking spectacle of the Military Tattoo.
Abbotsford, Visit the historic country estate where novelist, Sir Walter Scott, produced his literary classics.
Harewood House, Renowned for its stunning architecture, exquisite Adam interiors, furnished by Chippendale and landscaped by Capability Brown.
Westerham, See Winston Churchill's statue on the village green.
Winchester, Visit the cathedral town.
Salisbury, See the highest spire in England.
Avebury, Visit the famous stone circle
Ludlow, See the ruined castle and Jacobean timbered buildings
Ironbridge, Enjoy an introduction to the engineering miracle that spawned the Industrial Revolution
Lake District, Learn about the life of the poet William Wordsworth and visit his grave in Grasmere
Edinburgh, See Holyroodhouse Palace and the 18th century ‘New Town'
Borders, See Jedburgh Abbey and stop at Hadrian's Wall
York, See York Minster, city walls and medieval “Shambles”
Cambridge, Walk among the historic colleges
Scenic drives: Cotswolds, New Forest, Lake District
Stratford: You are offered a selection of restaurants to choose from on your Dine-Around evening.
Brontë Country: For the real taste of Yorkshire, enjoy your Celebration Dinner with an included pint of bitter of local beer!
10 full Breakfasts
2 three-course Evening Meals with choice, or buffets, plus tea or coffee and 1 Celebration Dinner.
Highlight Hotels and Locations
Bowness-on-Windermere: Nestled on the shore of England's largest lake, experience traditional country house charm at The Old England Hotel.
Brontë Country: With scenic views and tranquil surroundings, the historic grand Victorian Marriott Hollins Hall is set in 200 acres of beautiful countryside.
Winchester: Housed in a 16th Century building, the charming Winchester Royal Hotel is a hidden gem in the heart of the city, complete with a secret garden.
Stratford Dinner, Enjoy an evening out featuring a three course dinner with wine.
Lake Windermere Cruise and Steam Train Ride, There is no better way to appreciate the scenic beauty of the English Lake District than a relaxing cruise and steam train ride. First take to the limpid waters of Lake Windermere for a spectacular voyage, offering magnificent views of rugged mountains, secluded bays and wooded islands. At the southern end of the lake, your cruise connects with a steam locomotive for a nostalgic ride along the banks of the beautiful River Leven to Haverthwaite Station.
Royal Yacht Brittania, This magnificent ship has hosted some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. For four royal couples, Britannia was to provide a honeymoon sanctuary before the onset of married life in the world's most photographed family. Now berthed in Leith, you are welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.
Dinner in Edinburgh, Edinburgh has more eateries per head than any other city in the UK and your Tour Director knows which ones shine and which ones to shun! Join your fellow companions for a fun evening out in this vibrant city. Visit a prized local restaurant for a delicious three course dinner with a glass or wine, beer or soft drink included.
Scottish Dinner and Cabaret, Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. Besides the wine and gourmet dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best loved music and songs. Learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!
Where you stay
All hotels included in your tour package are hand-picked, of an outstanding standard and far better value than if booked individually. Our valued travel partners who organise these tours also own the Red Carnation Hotel Group and where possible Red Carnation Hotels are used and please see our link for further details.
Guarantees, Bonds and Awards
- This tour is run by our outstanding travel partners who are multi-award winning Globe Best Tour operator in the world 2013, 2014 and 2015.
- Tours are fully bonded, protected and guaranteed and you pay the operator directly when booking.
- ABTA, IATA and ATOL protected
- Part of the Trade Right Foundation
Best prices, more information and booking
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