1. Heart of England, North Wales and Yorkshire 5-Day Tour
Discover the Heart of England on a scenic 5-day tour that also crosses the border into North Wales, where you’ll see the magnificent mountains of Snowdonia. Visit some of England’s oldest cities, including the cathedral city of York, the university city of Cambridge, and the medieval town of Chester. Go to Shakespeare’s birthplace, and vist Anne Hathaway’s tudor cottage. Travel by small minicoach, with accommodations in characterful bed and breakfasts for a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart London and head north to Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare and home to the Tudor thatched cottage and gardens of his wife, Anne Hathaway. There will be time to explore the quaint town center, and enjoy lunch at leisure, before driving to the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge close to the Welsh border. Set in a stunning gorge of the River Severn, the historic valley boasts the world’s first bridge made of iron, as well as a host of other attractions. Then, travel to the beautiful town of Shrewsbury to check in to your accommodation for the next 2 nights. Day 2: Today, you will head into the heart of North Wales and visit the picture book castle of Conwy, built by Edward I in the late 13th century. Marvel at the mountain scenery of Snowdonia National Park, including the huge Dinorwic slate quarries and the dramatic Pass of Llanberis in the shadows of the highest mountain peak in Wales. Hear tales of Owain Glyndwr and the Welsh struggles for independence before traveling back through the borderlands into England. Day 3: Leave Shrewsbury and drive to the hills of the Peak District National Park, where you will discover a mix of beautiful villages and rolling moors. Take a scenic route through the park to the village of Castleton. In the afternoon, visit the famous grouds and mansion house of Chatsworth, home to the Duke of Devonshire and often named the UK’s favourite country house. Inside, you’ll find one of the finest collections of furniture and paintings by Old Masters, as well as Neoclassical sculptures. Continue to the historic City of York, your base for the next 2 nights. Day 4: Today you have the option to spend the day at leisure exploring the medieval heart of York. Wander the streets of a city with a rich history that dates back to the time of the Romans, Vikings, and Normans. Visit some of York’s fascinating museums, and the stunning York Minster, or just lose yourself in the maze of narrow streets. Alternatively, join your guide on a half-day excursion into the Yorkshire Dales to visit the pretty market towns of Knaresborough or Ripon. Continue your scenic drive of the remote valleys and rugged scenery of the Eastern Dales, before returning to York for a free afternoon. Day 5: Leaving York for the return journey to London, stopping en route at Stamford, with its fine collection of stone buildings. Continue to the university City of Cambridge, where you can stroll the medieval streets in the shadow of the dreamy spires of historic colleges, including the famous Kings College Chapel. Walk along the banks of the River Cam, where you might see punters out for the day. Continue to London for an estimated arrival time of approximately 19:30.