10-Day Tour of England and Scotland

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
scotland tour

See the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Tour members meet for our flight to England. After dinner is served, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the on-board entertainment to prepare for this exciting adventure of a lifetime. Today, we arrive at London Airport where we’re met by our English-speaking guide and driver before we transfer to central London. Take a ride on Europe’s tallest observation wheel for breath-taking 360-degree views of London. See Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, and a patchwork panorama of London stretching up to 40 kilometres (or as far as Windsor Castle) on a clear day. Afterwards, we enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel in London.  This morning we visit Westminster Abbey! The Gothic masterpiece of Westminster Abbey has been at the heart of British history since the formation of the Abbey by Edward the Confessor in 1065. A visit of Westminster Abbey takes in such highlights as the Coronation Chair, the medieval Lady Chapel, museum containing a collection of royal effigies, and the Abbey Gardens which whisk us away from the hubbub of the city. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a quick Thames River Cruise from Westminster Pier to Tower Pier. On the banks of the River Thames in the heart of London stands the Tower of London and nearly 1000 years of history and intrigue. It’s been used at various times as a palace, barracks, military stronghold, zoo and even a prison! The Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the only intact medieval buildings on the list. We overnight again in London with dinner at our hotel. This morning, visit the Metropolitan Tabernacle (subject to availability). This large independent Reformed Baptist church in the Elephant and Castle, the Metropolitan Tabernacle was once the largest non-conformist church of its day in 1861. The Tabernacle Fellowship have been worshipping together since 1650! Next, make a photo stop at Buckingham Palace and see the changing of the guard (conditions & timing permitting). From here, we head to St Paul’s Cathedral, the most recognizable feature of the London skyline. The cathedral was completed by one of Britain’s most accomplished architects Sir Christopher Wren in 1711. Destroyed and rebuilt after the Great Fire of London and an unlikely survivor of the Blitz, the Cathedral has earned a place among London’s most popular sights. This afternoon, we visit Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, the resting place of William Blake, Daniel Defoe, John Bunyan, and Susannah Wesley. We return to our hotel for our final dinner and overnight in London!

Visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

After breakfast, we depart London and journey onward to Oxford. Our first stop today is Salisbury Cathedral! Medieval Salisbury Cathedral may sit serenely within eight acres of manicured lawns in the Wiltshire countryside, but it also has a hugely important place in the history of Britain’s architecture, religion, and politics. This Gothic cathedral boasts Britain’s tallest spire, (123 metres / 404 ft), and largest close, quire and cloisters plus the world’s oldest working mechanical clock. We’ll have some free time in Salisbury as well as lunch (not included). After lunch, we visit the world-renowned Stonehenge! The Neolithic stone circle of Stonehenge in the Wiltshire countryside is one of the most famous wonders of the world. Dating back to approximately 3000 BC, the circle of huge upright and horizontal rectangular stones continues to fascinate academics, spiritualists, and visitors. A multitude of theories regarding the origins and purpose of Stonehenge abound – some serious and some a little hard to believe but all have their supporters. Afterwards, we transfer to our hotel in Oxford for dinner and overnight. Today after breakfast, we depart Oxford and journey to Nottingham. This morning, we’ll enjoy a combined city/C.S. Lewis tour of Oxford. Our first stop is Christ Church Cathedral. We have some free time for exploring and lunch (not included). After lunch, we continue our sightseeing passing by Headington Quarry Church, where Lewis attended and is buried. We also view the Kilns (visit of the house not included) house bought by C.S. Lewis, where he wrote “I never hoped for the like.” We then have a quick photo-stop at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage! This is the beautiful 500-year-old cottage where Shakespeare courted his bride-to-be. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a twelve-roomed farmhouse where Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare, lived as a child in the village of Shottery, Warwickshire, England, about 1 mile west of Stratford-upon-Avon. With Shakespeare on the brain, we then visit his birthplace. The charming town of Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare and a literary shrine to millions of pilgrims per year and gives visitors a glimpse into the life of Shakespeare through the artefacts and memorabilia of a number of exhibitions, one of which includes a copy of the only known portrait of the playwright. The house can be toured with an audio guide and there is also a shop, cafe, and gardens. Afterwards, we conclude our day by checking in to our hotel in Nottingham for dinner and overnight.

Take a Walking Tour of Edinburgh

This morning we depart Nottingham and journey to Edinburgh. On our way to Edinburgh, we stop in York for about 2 1/2 hours. Since its establishment as a city by the Romans in 71 AD, York has played a pivotal role in the history of England and today showcases well-preserved remains that bring this history to life. Over the centuries, York was a roman garrison town, Viking stronghold and prosperous medieval city and aspects of all this can still be seen today. We’ll hear stories of the city and the people of York who experienced plagues, sackings, genocides, an unsuccessful civil war, and the coming-and-goings of Roman, Viking, Norman, and Scottish armies. Afterwards, we continue our drive to our hotel in Edinburgh for dinner and overnight. This morning, enjoy a combined panoramic and walking tour of Edinburgh. Here we’ll discover the inspiring capital of Scotland. From the historical closes of the Old Town to the large avenues of New Town, explore an outstanding city of contrasts and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The medieval streets meander through the whole city and tell their own story of traditions and myths more than 1000 years old. We visit the John Knox House which dates back to 1470, making it and the Moubray House attached the oldest, original medieval building surviving on the Royal Mile. The house is associated with one of the most dramatic and turbulent times in Scottish History – The Scottish Reformation. Although John Knox only stayed in this house for a short time before his death in 1572, it was his association with it that saved it from demolition in the 1840s. Afterwards, we continue onwards to St Giles Cathedral. Founded in the 1120s, St Giles’ was the church of John Knox during the Reformation and is often referred to as the ‘Cradle of Presbyterianism’. The impressive Rieger organ was installed in 1992 and the famous Thistle Chapel, home of the Knights of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s great order of chivalry designed by Robert Lorimer for the Order of the Thistle, was added in 1911. We wrap up our day with dinner and overnight at our hotel in Edinburgh!

Visit Scotland’s Oldest University

Following breakfast, we visit Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s grandest castles! It towers over some of the most important battlefields of Scotland’s past including Stirling Bridge, the site of William Wallace’s victory over the English in 1297, and Bannockburn where Robert the Bruce defeated the same foe in the summer of 1314. The castle’s long, turbulent history is associated with great figures from Scotland’s past, such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots. It has seen many royal dramas and witnessed the lives and deaths of almost every Scottish monarch up to the Union of the Crowns in 1603. We then continue to St. Andrews for a walking tour. Known worldwide as The Home of Golf, the town also boasts Scotland’s oldest university. One of the top universities in Britain, St Andrews is often compared to Oxford and Cambridge for its defining presence and the collegiate feel it gives to the town. St Andrews has also two great beaches, one being the magnificent West Sands, where the famous opening sequence of Chariots of Fire was shot. This evening, return to Edinburgh to enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. Our final overnight is in Edinburgh before we return home! This morning, we transfer to Edinburgh Airport for our journey back home. During our flight home, we’ll have plenty of time to reflect on this new wealth of knowledge from England & Scotland!