Scotland and England Tour

Day 1

Depart for Glasgow, Scotland, flying through the night with meal service en route and arriving at Glasgow airport in the AM

Day 2

We arrive Glasgow at in the morning to be met by your Scottish guide and your USIT tour conductor outside of customs.  (Remember, once you come through customs, you cannot go back through, so make sure you bring everything off the plane and through passport control and customs with you.)  We then board the coach for the brief ride to Edinburgh, the jewel of Scotland.   On arrival, we’ll enjoy a brief panoramic city tour, to include a stop at Holyrood Palace for pictures and then tour the famous Edinburgh Castle (adm. incl.), the site of the annual Edinburgh Tattoo.  Lunch is on our own on the Royal Mile.  Just down from the castle is St. Giles Cathedral, the national cathedral of Scotland, with its unbelievable stained glass, and we’ll have the entrance included there to see the cathedral.  Check in at our nearby four-star hotel will follow, and the rest of the day is free to explore this wonderful city.  Dinner is provided at the hotel.

Day 3

After full Scottish breakfast at the hotel, we travel out of Edinburgh towards Stirling for a visit to Stirling Castle still in use today as one of the Scottish Regiments Barracks. Optional visit to The Wallace Monument a magnificent landmark that can be seen for miles. Return to Glasgow via Loch Katrine and the beautiful area know as the Trossachs. A visit to Glengoyne distillery is also an option. Return to Edinburgh. We return to our hotel at about 6:00 Dinner is on our own tonight.

Day 4

After breakfast at the hotel, we board our coach for the short drive up to St. Andrews, where we will participate in the service at the Parish Church of the Holy Trinity.  After the service and lunch on our own, we all have the opportunity to enjoy a short walking tour of St. Andrews or exploring on our own, including the abbey in town.  Late afternoon, we depart to return to Edinburgh.  Dinner is on our own.

Day 5

After our final breakfast at the Apex City Hotel, we check out and board the coach for our trip south towards England, with our final destination near the city of Chester.  Along the way, we’ll visit Sweetheart Abbey in the Scottish Lowlands, and Gretna Green on the border of Scotland and England. Time permitting, we’ll make a visit to Windemere, the largest lake in the British Isles, and a beautiful little lake village. Further south, we come to rest for the night in Lleyland, just north of Chester, where dinner is provided.  We are well situated for our travel south to Chester and London in the morning.  Dinner and Hotel

Day 6

Today we change coaches, so please check with your tour conductor about the coach to board today. After an early breakfast, we depart for the ancient city of Chester just to the south, where our Chester guides meet us at 9:30 AM for a tour of Chester.  Chester was an ancient Roman fortress–(“chester” is the Latin root meaning “camp”)–and was important as the gatehead to Wales.   Much of the old city within the wall has been maintained and restored, and we will have guides for small groups to take us around the top of the city walls, explaining the wonderful history of the city as we go, including the incomparable Chester Cathedral, one of the finest cathedrals in the world.  We’ll also visit the 11th century Norman church and the ancient Roman ruins.  We’ll have an early lunch on our own after the tour with some time for exploring—Chester’s reputation as one of the finest shopping towns in all of England comes into play.  After lunch, we depart south for London, with brief stops in Oxford to tour the town briefly and in Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare.We arrive London early evening, and dinner is provided at the hotel.

Day 7

After breakfast at the hotel, we will enjoy a panoramic tour of the city by coach, including Piccadilly Circus, Oxford St., Parliament, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, and other sights.  We’ll have lunch on our own in the area of Westminster Abbey, and in small groups, you can go in on your own (adm. not included).  Afterwards, we’ll visit Covent Garden, one of the settings for the famous musical and movie, My Fair Lady.  The rest of the afternoon is on our own for exploring, and dinner is on our own

Day 8

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll go by underground (incl.) to the Embankment Station, across from Parliament, where we’ll catch our Thames River cruise (adm. incl.) with commentary through the heart of London, which takes us right to the Tower of London (adm. incl.), where we will have lunch on our own before entering the Tower grounds.  Built by William the Conqueror in 1070, the Tower was a royal residence until the time of King Henry the 8th, after which it was renowned as a feared and sinister prison.  The closely guarded Crown Jewels are on display at the Tower, and you will have the opportunity to see the Royal Apartments of King Edward the First.  We’ll have lunch on our own in the neighborhood of London Tower.  Then we’ll cross to the other side of the Thames to visit the Bankside district of London, where Southwark Cathedral is located, situated on the south side of London Bridge, where we find Shakespeare’s Old Globe Theater (adm. incl.), a restoration of the original theater, very much as seen in “Shakespeare in Love”, a recently popular movie, and take a tour of the theater. Next we transfer back to the hotel to prepare for dinner, which is served at the Albert Pub, one of London’s most famous restaurants, named after Prince Albert, for a traditional English carvery dinner.  After dinner, we take the tube directly back to the hotel.

Day 9

After breakfast at the hotel, we depart at 9:30 for St. Paul’s Cathedral (adm. incl.) in the heart of London, the masterpiece of England’s great architect Sir Christopher Wren and burial place of famous Britons such as Horatio Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.  Arriving at about 10:00, we have time to tour the cathedral and hear about its great history with our London guides. We then go to Covent Garden for lunch on our own.  After the concert, we travel to the nearby British Museum, the oldest, and one of the largest museums in the world. Here we can see at first hand The Elgin Marbles, The Portland Vase, The Lewis Chessmen, The Sutton Hoo Treasure, to name only a few of the wondrous collections.  Also there are the Egyptian Mummies and a superb exhibition of prints and drawings which changes several times a year. Other departments are Coins and Medals, Egyptian Antiquities, Ethnography, Greek and Roman Antiquities, Japanese Art, Medieval and Later Art, Oriental Antiquities, Pre-Historic and Romano-British Antiquities, Prints and Drawings, and Western Asiatic Antiquities.  From there, we’ll transfer to the Theater District for dinner on our own.  At 7:00 PM, we enjoy our West End show, TBD.  By 10:00 PM, we are back at the hotel to pack for our early departure the next morning.

Day 10

After a last hearty breakfast at the hotel, we check out and board our coach for London Heathrow Airport to arrive at least 2 hours before our flight

Full hot breakfast is served every morning in our hotels.  Lunches are always on our own, dinners are provided as indicated.

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