Day 1 Depart from London
Make your way to William Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford on Avon, home to the Tudor thatched cottage and gardens of his wife, Anne Hathaway. You will have time to explore the magnificent town of Stratford and enjoy lunch, before continuing to the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge. Set in a stunning forested gorge on the river Severn, this historic valley boasts the world’s first ever iron bridge and a host of attractions to choose from. From here you travel up to the historic Medieval town of Chester for the next two nights.
Day 2: Chester
You will have some spare time in the morning to explore, amongst other things, the stunning Chester cathedral with a history spanning almost 2000 years. Built on an ancient druidic temple site, with the monastic cloisters present today dating from the late 11th century, the cathedral is a masterpiece of medieval architecture. In the late morning your day will take you into the heart of northern Wales, with a visit to the picture book medieval castle of Conwy, built by Edward I in the late 13th century. You can enjoy lunch here before exploring the dramatic mountain scenery of Snowdonia National Park including the huge Dinorwic slate quarries, the Pass of Llanberis below Snowdon – the highest peak in Wales – and the historic Trefriw, a spa town since Roman times. You will return to Chester in the early evening.
Day 3: Peak District
Immediately east of Chester lie the beautiful hills of the Peak District with historic spa towns very popular in Victorian times, including the stunning town of Buxton, famous for its mineral waters and its Opera House. From here you will explore some of the National Park and stop for lunch in one of the beautiful little villages. In the afternoon you can visit the famous mansion house and gardens of Chatsworth, home to the Duke of Devonshire and the Cavendish family. Chatsworth is often named the UK’s favourite country house and a visit will reveal some of the finest collections of furniture, priceless paintings, Old Master drawings and neo-classical sculptures. From here you will travel east out of the hills and into the ancient woodlands of Sherwood Forest, famous as the home to the legendary Robin Hood. The day finishes in the wonderful, historic city of York where you will spend the night.
You will leave the London based tour here and be picked up tomorrow by the tour from Edinburgh.
Day 4: York
This is a leisurely day that gives you the flexibility to spend time exploring the medieval heart of York, a city whose rich history has been shaped by the Romans, Vikings and Normans before joining our excursion to the North Sea coast of Yorkshire. Our journey begins in the late morning when we head for the magnificent North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Lunch will be in Whitby, a bustling fishing port and the inspiration for the fertile imagination of author Bram Stoker, who stayed in the Royal Hotel on the western side of Whitby while writing his famous novel Dracula. After lunch, and free time in Whitby, we travel to the fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay *, a perfectly preserved conservation village of winding lanes and narrow alleys before returning towards York.
* The minicoach cannot access the main village because of local restrictions. The coach will drop you at the top of the village and you must walk down (and back up!) a steep hill to reach the old village centre.
Day 5: Yorkshire Dales
You will be collected from your accommodation and head west into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Established in 1954, the Yorkshire Dales National Park has outstanding scenery, a range of wildlife habitats and a rich cultural heritage. It really is a special place, comprising fantastic outdoor arena for recreation and peaceful relaxation and a haven for wildlife. Continuing West our route takes us through the Northern Dales an area of outstanding natural beauty that is the centre of the Dales cattle trade. Throughout the day you will have the opportunity to taste the flavours of Yorkshire when we visit the town of Masham, home to two of Yorkshires best known breweries, and the cheese-making centre in historic Hawes. Our final leg of day five takes us high up into the remote hills of the Yorkshire Dales before descending into the lively market town of Keswick where you will be dropped off at your accommodation, free to explore this charming town.
Day 6: The Lakes
After breakfast you head a short distance out of town to the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, thought by many to have been built over 5,000 years ago and the scene of ancient rituals. You then travel on to the shores of Ullswater, described as England’s most beautiful lake, where you can take a forest walk to see the mighty Aira Force waterfall. Continuing south over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass you stop at Windermere where you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the water or simply eat lunch while enjoying views of the mountains and lakes. After lunch you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water after which you arrive at the picturesque conservation village of Hawkeshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School. After free time to explore the village you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”. There is free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage or enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. In the late afternoon you return to Keswick.
Day 7: Scotland
Leaving the Lakes behind us we start our climb of Hartside Pass which stands at over 1900ft. On a clear day the hills and mountains of Scotland and the English Lake District are clearly visible as we follow the route of the old sheep drovers between England and Scotland. Stopping at Hadrian’s Wall, built by Emperor Hadrian to keep the Scots out of the Roman Empire, there is an opportunity to explore some of the Roman remains and walk in the footsteps of the Roman Centurions who patrolled this desolate frontier. Following the ancient Roman Dere Street, we cross into Scotland and continue on to the Border town of Jedburgh for refreshments in the shadow of the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey. Our final stop is at the world famous Scott’s View, encompassing outlooks of the River Tweed and the Cheviot Hills that broadly form the Scottish-English border before continuing north to Edinburgh.
All our London departures leave from Stance 3, Greenline Coach Terminal, Bulleid Way, Victoria, SW1W 9SH. If coming on foot access is through the building at 4 Fountain Square, 123-151 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9SH. See Map.
Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour.
We believe a small group tour with a maximum of 16 passengers really does make a big difference to your trip. It allows us to give you a more personal service and remain the only 5 Star operator to offer this personal guarantee. Touring with a maximum of 16 passengers you get more for your money, more personal attention, more time with the locals, more time off the bus, more time on the back-roads and just more of an authentic, friendly experience. The smaller groups allow you to meet people from all over the world and make friends for life.
Forced air ventilation as standard.
Services of a professional Rabbie's driver/guide
All ferry and bridge crossings.
Discount Card - money off restaurants, shopping and attractions.
Lunch and refreshments.
Entrances to all Visitor Attractions.
The tour price does not include accommodation but this gives you an opportunity to choose your budget and the type of accommodation you wish to stay in and we will book it for you - Hostel, B&B or Hotel - please refer to the booking form on this web site for prices.
Please note that in the case of late bookings accommodation availability and choice may be restricted and we cannot guarantee to find your first choice. There is usually a supplement for single rooms. By giving you a choice of accommodation it allows you to choose your budget, stay in smaller places and get closer to the local people. This also means you help to sustain their communities in the long term.
For more information click here.
*NB On occasions, when villages we stay in have events on, accommodation can be scarce and expensive so we may use other locations for your accommodation on the tour. We will always inform you of this when this is necessary.
Students, Seniors over 60 and Children between 5 and 16.
Because we believe in time off the bus and give you opportunities to take nature walks we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Accommodation on this tour is dispersed around Chester, York and Keswick. If you have mobility problems or special requirements please let us know when booking.
Discover the REAL England.............