London – Oxford - Cotswolds
After London, there is no better introduction to England than Oxford, the ‘city of dreaming spires’. We see the grandest of all Oxford’s colleges, Christ Church, once the home of Lewis Carroll but more recently used in the Harry Potter films, before enjoying a guided walk of the city. After lunch we drive to a traditional 18th century woollen-mill in the Cotswolds, to learn about the industry that represents the cornerstone of Cotswold heritage. We then continue through quaint villages to our delightful Cotswolds accommodation. Tonight we will have dinner together at the world famous Pudding Club. Stay: Three Ways House Hotel (or similar) (D)
Cotswolds – Worcester – Ironbridge – Chester
This morning we drive to Worcester to visit one of England’s quietest but most interesting cathedrals. We continue north to the town of Much Wenlock - the birthplace of the modern Olympics, followed by a short drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ironbridge, to see the first arch bridge in the world to be made out of cast iron. We finish our day in Chester. Stay: Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa (or similar) (B/D)
Chester – Snowdonia National Park – Chester
Today we travel into Wales to explore Snowdonia National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty. We experience narrow mountain passes, see gushing streams, cascading waterfalls, sheep covered uplands and verdant and hidden valleys that some claim to be the resting place of the real King Arthur. Stay: Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa (or similar) (B)
Chester – Haworth – York
This morning we explore Chester, seeing its medieval walls and Chester’s Rows, Britain’s first shopping mall. Our journey continues east across England’s backbone, the Pennine Hills, to the Bronte parsonage at Haworth. After seeing what inspired the sisters to write the likes of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, we continue to York, the historic capital of northern England. Stay: Churchill Hotel (or similar) (B)
After breakfast your guide will take you through the old city pointing out its highlights including the city walls, York Minster, and the famous Shambles. This afternoon you have free time to further explore York
Churchill Hotel (or similar) (B)
York – Whitby - Lake District
Today we drive to the magnificent 18th century Castle Howard, Yorkshire’s finest historic house and estate, which has been home to the Howard family for over 300years. We then enjoy a scenic drive through the wonderful Yorkshire Dales National Park, stopping at a traditional Yorkshire brew house to sample award-winning ales. Our final destination is Lake Windermere, our base for the next two nights. Stay: Wild Boar Hotel (or similar) (B/D)
Crossing Lake Windermere, our first stop is Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm. Afterwards, we wind our way through the beautiful back roads of this striking region, stopping for lunch in one of the countless picturesque villages in the area. This afternoon, we visit Dove Cottage, once home to the poet William Wordsworth and inspiration for his Daffodils poem. After a short cruise on the lake we return to our accommodation. Stay: Wild Boar Hotel (or similar) (B)
Lake District – Scottish Borders
This morning we travel through the forgotten county of Westmorland to Alston, which claims to be the highest market settlement in England. Driving through the lovely scenery of Northumberland, we follow Hadrian’s Wall until we reach Birdoswald Roman Fort, one of the best Roman sites on the wall. Tonight we stay in a restored 15th century medieval Scottish castle, where we will also enjoy a three-course Scottish banquet together. Stay: Comlongon Castle (or similar) (B/D)
Scottish Borders - Edinburgh
Travelling north we briefly stop at the ruins of Hermitage Castle for photos before visiting Abbotsford House, the home of Sir Walter Scott. Designed by Scott himself, the house holds an impressive collection of historic relics including Rob Roy’s gun and sword. This afternoon we visit one of the most mysterious sites in Scotland, Rosslyn Chapel, which was featured in the bestselling film The Da Vinci Code. Our final destination is Edinburgh
, where our tour comes to an end. (B)
This tour commences from the Grange Wellington Hotel, 71-72 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PA at 8:30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure. Drop-off 5:30pm at The Place, 34-38 York Place Edinburgh, EH1 3HU. Please bear in mind that drop-off time is an estimate only – traffic can be unpredictable!
Back-Roads Touring have hand-picked an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of our tours, hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary.
All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.