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On this Essential Britain tour you’ll experience some of Britain’s most fascinating towns as you travel through England, Wales, and Scotland stopping for overnights in London, Plymouth, Cardiff, Liverpool, Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh, and York. Plus, part of the charm of traveling through Britain is seeing the marvelous scenery and on this Britain tour you’ll get the opportunity to witness some of its most scenic areas. You’ll cruise on Plymouth Sound, one of the world’s great natural harbors; take a photo at breathtaking Land’s End, England’s most south-westerly point; drive through Brecon Beacons National Park, with its dramatic landscapes; explore England’s tranquil Lake District, England’s largest and finest natural park; visit the Isle of Skye, with some of Scotland’s best scenery; and trace the shores of Loch Ness.
On this tour to Britain, you’ll also travel to some of the charming towns. In Bath, you’ll explore the excavations of the Roman baths, used over 2,000 years ago for bathing and socializing. In Chester, you’ll enjoy a walking tour of this city famed for its Roman remains, black and white half-timbered buildings, and famous two-tiered arcades. In Liverpool, take a journey into the life of the Beatles. Walk through York’s quaint streets with your Tour Director, who will bring York and all of Britain alive with firsthand, in-depth knowledge throughout your tour. Lark Tours also brings these destinations to life with out-of-the-ordinary experiences—such as an authentic Cornish pastry in Cornwall and original Grasmere gingerbread in Grasmere—arranged just for you.
Majestic scenery, fascinating towns, special treats, an expert Tour Director bringing these destinations to life, and so much more are offered on this spectacular Britain vacation. Be sure to grab your camera so all you have to do is sit back and relax as you experience these wonderful destinations.
Day 1 Arrive in London, England
Welcome to London! Uniformed Lark Tours/Globus Hosts will be waiting to welcome you. After checking into your hotel and an afternoon at leisure, we recommend our optional Taste of London excursion with dinner, followed by a guided illumination cruise on the Thames River.
Day 2 London–Stonehenge–Plymouth
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and depart London at 8 am. First, try to unravel the mystery of prehistoric STONEHENGE; explore the stunning visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then take the shuttle to the stone circle and admire the magnificence of the monument up close. Continue on through Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, and head to Plymouth, where you follow in the footsteps of Drake, Raleigh, and the Pilgrim Fathers with a [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] CRUISE on Plymouth Sound, one of the world’s great natural harbors. You will also have time at the historic Barbican to see the Mayflower Steps. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel.Breakfast
Day 3 Plymouth. Cornwall Excursion
A day full of West Country sights as you head through Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall, where you will be treated to an authentic [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] CORNISH PASTY. After viewing St. Michael’s Mount, take photos at Land’s End before exploring the popular seaside resort of St. Ives. Back in Plymouth, why not join an optional excursion into Dartmoor National Park for an evening of storytelling at a local pub?
Day 4 Plymouth–Glastonbury–Bath–Cardiff, Wales
At Glastonbury, hear about its associations with King Arthur, and in elegant Bath, see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS with time to explore further on your own. Stay the night in Cardiff, the Welsh capital. You might want to join an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner tonight.
Day 5 Cardiff–Builth Wells–Chester, England–Liverpool
Your journey through Wales takes you north along the Taff Valley and Brecon Beacons National Park, and via the ancient market town of Builth Wells to Chester. On your walking tour, see the Roman remains, the characteristic black and white half-timbered buildings, and the famous two-tiered arcades called the “Rows.” Spend the night in Liverpool; you may wish to join an optional city tour this evening.
Day 6 Liverpool–Grasmere–Gretna Green, Scotland–Glasgow
Start the day with a visit to the award-winning BEATLES STORY, an atmospheric journey into the life, times, culture, and music of the “Fab Four.” Later, focus on the tranquil Lake District, considered to be the finest of England’s national parks. Take a break in Wordsworth’s beloved Grasmere and try original [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] GRASMERE GINGERBREAD. Then, head north for the Scottish border and stop at Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples, and take part in a [Globus Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] WEDDING RE-ENACTMENT. Overnight in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city.Breakfast
Day 7 Glasgow–Isle of Skye–Inverness
Follow the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond, then proceed via Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe, Fort William, and the “Road to the Isles.” At Mallaig, board your FERRY for the crossing to the Isle of Skye, the largest island of the Inner Hebrides and famous for its dramatic landscapes. Return to the mainland and trace the shores of Loch Ness on the way to the Highland capital.Breakfast
Day 8 Inverness–Braemar–St. Andrews–Edinburgh
Main features today: the battlefield of Culloden Moor; Braemar, home of the Royal Highland Games; St. Andrews; and over the elegant Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh. Tonight, an optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. For departures July 30 through August 20, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO.
Day 9 Edinburgh
Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists who lived there. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE (when available). Later, a unique optional excursion: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia once the perfect royal residence for glittering state visits and family holidays. Dinner rounds off this optional evening.
Day 10 Edinburgh–Alnwick, England–York
This morning at ALNWICK CASTLE the choice is yours: visit the CASTLE itself, the opulent ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, or explore ALNWICK GARDEN, where the fountains and waterfalls are a breathtaking feature. Next, make your way to York, England’s most complete medieval city. Here, stand in front of the great structure of the Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles.Breakfast
Day 11 York–Stratford-Upon-Avon–London
On the last leg of your journey, stop at Stratford-upon-Avon to take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE. On return to London at about 3:30 pm, a Shownight Theater Evening would be an incredible finale to your vacation.
Day 12 London
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.Breakfast