Day 1 Arrival in London and Welcome Dinner
Arriving in to London Heathrow Airport, you will be met by your personal chauffeur and enjoy a private escorted drive by luxury transfer to the award-winning Milestone Hotel, an exquisite five-star hotel overlooking Kensington Palace and Gardens and a member of “The Leading Hotels of the World”. The day is then yours to explore the hotel or venture out in to London itself, as you spend the day at leisure; why not enjoy the most quintessential of English rituals, afternoon tea, hosted at your hotel? At 6pm meet your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for a grand welcome dinner hosted at your hotel. Experience classic British cuisine and take in the old-world and boutique ambiance of your surroundings (please note: departures on July 6 and July 20, 2018 will stay at the Montague on the Gardens instead of the Milestone Hotel).
Overnight: The Milestone Hotel, Kensington, London
Meals: Dinner included (with wine)
Day 2 London’s Treasures and Traditions
A thriving metropolis with a vibrant modern culture, London is no doubt one of the world’s greatest cities, boasting rich history and heritage. Today you will meet your passionate local expert who will guide you through the city sharing fascinating stories, as you explore the city to see Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. We’ll then make our way to the Household Cavalry Museum to uncover the secrets of a cavalryman's uniform have the unique opportunity to try on the exquisite garments yourself. We’ll meet a serving Guard at the Royal Horse Guards Parade and discover what it takes to be part of HM The Queen's Mounted Bodyguard. When available we’ll stop at Buckingham Palace to witness the colourful Changing of the Guard ceremony. By afternoon enjoy free-time to shop at Harrods, visit Speaker’s Corner or view masterpieces in the National Gallery. Enjoy dinner at leisure before an evening visit to the Tower of London, once the crowds have gone home, where you have the opportunity witness the “Ceremony of the Keys” carried out every night by the Beefeaters, without fail, for the last 700 years.
Overnight: The Milestone Hotel, Kensington, London
Meals: Breakfast included
Day 3 Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Regency Bath
Departing London, we head West for a private visit of the magnificent Windsor Castle, preferred Royal residence of the Queen of England herself. The castle dates back to the 11th century and is a spectacle of period architecture, pristine gardens and rich history; we’ll meet a serving Military Knight for an insight in to their life and duties performed living and working in the Castle. This intriguing day continues as you head towards Salisbury to visit the mysterious Stonehenge, a prehistoric site which enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status owing to its historic significance. By afternoon we continue to the Georgian Spa town of Bath where we visit the ancient Roman Baths and elegant pump rooms. This evening enjoy a spectacular Highlight Dinner at a Michelin-star rated restaurant. With each Michelin-star restaurant around the world meticulously selected based on outstanding food quality, you are in for a true indulgence.
Overnight: M-Gallery Francis Hotel, Bath
Meals: Breakfast and dinner (at Michelin Restaurant) included
Day 4 Villages of the Cotswolds and Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon
This morning we make our way North through the Cotswolds which are famously among the most quintessential and unspoiled regions of England; the “wolds” are synonymous with gentle, rolling hillsides, green river valleys and chocolate-box villages of thatch cottages, a region where time has seemingly stood still for over 300 years. We’ll visit a selection of the picture-perfect villages including Bibury, described by the esteemed William Morris as the ‘prettiest village in the Cotswolds’, Burford nestled on the meandering River Windrush, and of Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold two of the most picturesque towns of the northern Cotswolds. These quaint settlements will offer a feast the eyes with their mix of honey-coloured stone, Tudor buildings, tea-houses and antique shops. We’ll see the elegant town of Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the Great Bard William Shakespeare, himself before continuing north to the medieval city of York.
Overnight: The Grand Hotel & Spa, York
Meals: Breakfast included
Day 5 Medieval Marvels of York and Harlow Carr Gardens
Today, we take a step back in time as we explore the cobbled streets and medieval alleys of York. Historically an important centre of Roman occupation in England, this storybook city is surrounded by 13th century city walls with a series of gate towers or “bars”. Two fantastic experiences are at your discretion today; either join a local expert for a guided walk around the famous city walls to enjoy spectacular views of the river and the Old Town. Alternatively, take a leisurely guided tour of York Minster, the largest medieval cathedral in northern Europe and one of the most stunning Gothic buildings in the world. Afterwards, enjoy free time to explore York’s many hidden gems. At sunset, join a garden curator for an after-hours VIP tour of the majestic Harlow Carr Gardens, a prestigious member of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) on a par with Kew Gardens or the Chelsea Flower Show. Uncover the many hidden gems of the garden, before being treated to a spectacular twilight picnic, harvested from the on-site kitchen garden in Farm-to-Table style.
Overnight: The Grand Hotel and Spa, York
Meals: Breakfast and dinner included (with wine)
Day 6 The Poetic English Lake District
Today, we make our way North in to the rugged and dramatic beauty of the English Lake District. This stunning area, famously inspired 19th century writers such as Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Experience the charms of a time gone by, as you step aboard a historic steam train at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway Station for a short ride along the southern banks of the lake. We’ll then explore the lakeside town of Bowness-on-Windermere. In the lakes we’ll wonder at views of towering mountain ranges, deep forests and sparkling waters, before heading for the vast Lake Windermere for a private cruise along the southern banks of the lake. This evening, we’ll enjoy dinner at a charming restaurant, Bistro at The Lakes Distillery, picturesquely located on Bassenthwaite Lake.
Overnight: Leeming House, Ullswater, English Lake District
Meals: Breakfast and dinner (at a local restaurant with wine) included
Day 7 The Architecture of Alnwick Castle
Today we journey to majestic Alnwick Castle to discover its elegant interiors. * We’ll be joined by a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the 11th Castle, with its striking medieval architecture and see why it was featured in the Harry Potter films as parts of Hogwarts itself. This afternoon, we journey north through the rolling hills of the Scottish Lowlands to the beautiful Scottish capital of Edinburgh where you have an evening to enjoy at your leisure. Your Travelling Concierge is a treasure-trove of knowledge and will happily guide you to the best local restaurants and attractions. During August, you’re invited to witness the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. *Chairman's Collection departures: Aug 10, 2018 and Sep 14, 2018: Exclusive Chairman's Collection departures offer a chance to meet Her Grace The Duchess of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle. She’ll personally welcome you for a private tour of her beloved garden with Head Gardner, Trevor Jones, who will lead you past a labyrinth, the serpent garden and ornate fountains, as you listen to the fascinating story of how The Duchess restored this exquisite garden to its former 18th century glory before indulging in a seasonal lunch within the estate. The day continues as above.
Overnight: The Glasshouse Hotel, Edinburgh.
Meals: Breakfast included
Day 8 Highlights of Edinburgh
After a leisurely start to the day today, we enjoy a visit of the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, the country’s most visited landmark. We’ll skip the queue and join a Local Expert for a guided exploration of the castle grounds when we’ll discover the castle’s tumultuous history, see the Scottish Crown Jewels and the mysterious Stone of Destiny. Afterwards, we’ll stroll along Princes Street, past the Gothic Sir Walter Scott Monument, and continue down the Royal Mile to the gates of Palace of Holyroodhouse, the principal residence of Scottish royalty since the 16th century. You then have the unique opportunity to meet a professional bagpiper, who is said to have been the Queen Mother’s favourite, and be enchanted as you listen to iconic music and tales of Scotland, whilst enjoying tea and scones. This evening we celebrate the end of our memorable journey with a finale dinner at one of Edinburgh’s very best restaurants.
Overnight: The Glasshouse Hotel, Edinburgh
Meals: Breakfast and dinner (with wine) included
Day 9 Return Home or Onward Travel
This morning enjoy a final breakfast at your hotel before bidding farewell to your travel companions and travelling concierge. If you are flying home from Edinburgh Airport then you’ll enjoy a transfer to the airport. Alternatively, you may choose to add a fixed extension to the tour which includes a transfer to Edinburgh Waverley Station, First Class rail travel through the Scottish hills and English countryside back to London, onward hotel transfer, a final night’s stay at the Milestone Hotel and a Heathrow Airport transfer the following day – please ask for details.
Meals: Breakfast included
*Journey times and distances are estimates and are based on the direct route between the start location and end location for each day of the itinerary, where applicable. They do not include detours or stops for sightseeing.
Unique VIP experiences
- Witness the Ceremony of the Keys - you’re invited to the Tower of London to experience this exclusive tradition carried by the Beefeaters, without fail, for the last 700 years.
- Appreciate the beauty of York - join a local expert for an exploration of the city walls, or embark on a leisurely guided tour of York Minster.
- Enjoy a truly English Garden - gain after-hours, VIP entry to the majestic Harlow Carr Gardens, a member of the Royal Horticultural Society.
- Edinburgh City - stroll along Princes Street with a local expert to view the Gothic Sir Walter Scott Monument and Royal Mile to the gates of Holyrood Palace.
- See British pageantry at its best, as you witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace, which dates back to 1660 (subject to its running).
- Enjoy London with a passionate resident, your Local Expert, who will share the city’s fascinating history, as you see Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
- Explore Windsor Castle where you’ll meet a Military Knight who will tell you about life and work at this famous Royal Residence.
- Explore the famous Roman Baths of Bath City.
- Journey through the landscapes and villages of the Cotswolds which is amongst the most quintessential and unspoiled regions of England.
- Enjoy a nostalgic ride on a historic steam train along the banks of Lake Windermere.
- Journey across Lake Windermere on a romantic, private lake cruise.
- Explore majestic Alnwick Castle, steeped in history.
- Visit magnificent Edinburgh Castle, Scotland’s most-visited tourist attraction. Join a Local Expert, who will share tales about the castle’s tumultuous past and show you the Crown Jewels and Stone of Destiny.
- 8 x breakfasts
- 5 Evening meals with wine including:
- 1 x welcome dinner at one of London’s finest addresses, The Milestone Hotel. Surrounded by rich mahogany furniture and traditional decor, you’ll savour delicious seasonal flavours and wines recommended by a dedicated sommelier. Except on selected departures, where this will be enjoyed at “The Montague on The Garden Hotel”.
- 1 x Exquisite Highlight Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant, in the heart of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- London: Located opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens, the award-winning Milestone Hotel embodies old-world charm with its rich mahogany furnishings and timeless British style. Voted the number one hotel in London at the Best Loved Hotel Awards 2016, the five-star Milestone offers traditional dining, 24-hour butler service with two staff members to every guest and sumptuous comforts. (*6th & 20th July 2018 departures alternate accommodation at “The Montague on The Garden”)
- Bath: Located in the historic heart of Bath, the elegant Francis Hotel is set in an 18th century townhouse overlooking leafy Queen Square. It houses an impressive art collection and offers luxurious accommodation complete with a tea room, lounges and bars.
- York: Housed in the iconic former headquarters of the prestigious North-Eastern Railway Company, the five-star Grand Hotel & Spa places you minutes away from museums, shops and the River Ouse. It boasts elegant guest bedrooms, a restaurant and bar, and a luxury spa uniquely situated in underground vaults.
- Lake District: Set in the heart of the spectacular English Lake District, Leeming House is a short walk away from the shores of Ullswater. Its lounges and elegant guest bedrooms offer superb views of the lake.
- Edinburgh: Considered one of the best places to stay in Edinburgh, The Glasshouse is a five-star boutique hotel situated in the historic heart of the city. With beautifully- appointed guest suites and fine seasonal dining, the hotel’s expansive roof garden is what sets it apart.
Included First Class services
- The services of one of our fine Travelling Concierges, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser.
- All premium overnight hotel accommodation, as per the tour itinerary, featuring twin rooms and private facilities. All service charges, taxes and porterage are included.
- Enjoy the unique comfort of luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom.
- Enjoy local specialities representing the destination from your Travelling Concierge.
- Complimentary WiFi in the majority of hotels either in the lobby or bedroom areas and available on most touring coaches (subject to connectivity/service).
- Personal radio headsets for all guided visits allowing you to wander without missing any commentary.
- Private Transfers from your arrival/departure airport.
- A travel wallet with your tour documentation.
- Maximum group-size of 40 passengers on board.
- Pre or post tour hotel accommodation in central London.
- Airport transfers or transport to/from your departure/return cities.
- Your tour already includes a comprehensive sightseeing program however some additional excursions may be available to enhance your trip further - these are fully optional and bookable during your tour.
Departure Dates 2018/19
- Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room.
- Prices are for land only tours and all tours are subject to availability.
- Prices are correct at the time of publishing to website but are subject to confirmation at time of booking.
- Prices are in British Pounds Sterling (GBP£) for approximate costs in other currencies please contact us.
- All trip details are correct at time of publishing to website however are subject to change.