The Best of BritainBook Your Tour Online Request a Quote
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person double occupancy
(6 Mo. Adv.)
May - November: $695
Price Includes: Very nice 3 1/2 and moderate 4 star hotels, breakfast daily, 5 dinners (beverages not included), modern transportation, sightseeing as listed, baggage handling for 1 piece per person, and taxes
Not Included: Airfare, fuel charges, air taxes, travel/cancellation insurance, lunches, 3 dinners, gratuities to driver and guide.
Deposit Required: $300 per person will reserve your place. A $100 service fee will be charged for cancellation at any time in addition to our normal payment and cancellation policy.
Day 1: Depart USA
Our adventure begins as we depart on our international flight to London, England.
Day 2: Arrival in London, Hampton Court Palace
Upon our arrival in London, our tour director meets us at the airport and we begin our tour at Hampton Court Palace. In 1604, James I commissioned the King James Version of the Bible during the Hampton Court Conference and we visit the room where it happened. In the Chapel Royal, we hear how Henry VIII’s decision to allow production of the Bible was influenced by his last wife, Catherine Parr. After the tour we have time to stroll through the beautiful gardens and try and find our way to the center of the hedge maze. Our welcome meal is at our hotel this evening. Our hotel is in London for the next three nights.
Day 3: Westminster Abbey, Thames River Boat Tour, London Eye
We begin our day at the magnificent Westminster Abbey where most British Kings and Queens since 1066 have been crowned and the final resting place of many monarchs, heroes and poets. In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death, C. S. Lewis will join some of Britain's greatest writers recognized here at Poets' Corner. Although not open to the public now, we will learn about historic events in the Jerusalem Chamber. It was used by the 17 men who translated the first third of the King James Bible Old Testament and the last half of the New Testament. Between 1644 and 1647, the Westminster Assembly met here to prepare the Westminster Confession of Faith. Next, we enjoy the “Changing of the Guards” at Buckingham Palace before a guided tour boat ride including all the sites along the Thames, concluding with a flight aboard the British Airways London Eye, the world's highest observation wheel offering amazing panoramic views of the capital city. The remainder of your day is free for shopping and sightseeing on your own…don’t forget to stop by Harrod’s. This evening our dinner will be on our own to be enjoyed at a local London restaurant of your choice.
Day 4: Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Bunhill Cemetery, Tower of London
This morning we visit the Metropolitan Tabernacle, where the great Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) held his great revival meetings. He preached to as many as 6,000 people every Sunday, with copies of his sermons printed and distributed worldwide. During his lifetime he preached to an estimated ten million people. It’s still a thriving congregation in the center of London. Next we visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, a marvelous building designed by Sir Christopher Wren and recently renovated to its former splendor. This afternoon we’ll enjoy a visit to Bunhill Cemetery where John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, John Gill and Susanna Wesley are all buried, before we tour the Tower of London, including the famous Crown Jewels.
Day 5: Salisbury, Stonehenge and Oxford
We depart London and make our way west to the Wessex area. Our first stop is in Salisbury for a visit to the famous cathedral. The builders of the gothic church claimed it to be "so great a church to the glory of God that those who come after us will think us mad even to have attempted it." Once again we are on our way to yet another wondrous sight, the Neolithic monument of Stonehenge which dates to around 2800 BC. Following lunch we turn northward to our lodging this evening in Oxford. The remainder of the day is free to stroll through this delightful town before dinner.
Day 6: Oxford, C. S. Lewis Tour, Stratford-upon-Avon
This morning, our local guide leads us on a tour of Oxford, including the Reformers Monument and the Cathedral. Famous Oxford alumni include: Charles and John Wesley, Lewis Carroll, William Penn, Albert Einstein, John Locke and C. S. Lewis who was later on staff. It was here that Lewis embraced Christianity, influenced by arguments with his Oxford colleague and friend J. R. R. Tolkien. He fought greatly up to the moment of his conversion, noting that he was brought into Christianity like a prodigal, "kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape”. We begin our C. S. Lewis Tour at the Headington Quarry Church, where Lewis attended and is buried. We also view the Kilns, house bought by C. S. Lewis, where he wrote "I never hoped for the like." We continue on to the Eagle and Child pub with it’s rich and colorful history for lunch. By the 1930s, the pub became one of two gathering spots for Lewis and his literary-minded colleagues and friends known as the Inklings. This afternoon we depart Oxford and set out for the charming Cotswold region. Driving through the beautiful small villages with the rolling brooks and bridges we arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon to surround ourselves by the world’s famous playwright Shakespeare. Upon arrival we view Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and stop for a tour of Shakespeare’s home in the picturesque village of Stratford-upon-Avon. This evening our lodging and dinner will be in Nottingham.
Day 7: Stratford, York, Edinburgh
After breakfast we continue north to York. York today remains as a true representation of medieval England. Taking a walking tour through these historic streets we arrive at York Minster, England’s largest cathedral. Inside you view the great stained glass window dating back to 1338 and reputably the size of a doubles tennis court. After lunch we continue northward to our lodging for the next three nights in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.
Day 8: Edinburgh, Castle, St. Giles Cathedral, John Knox
This morning we enjoy a tour of Edinburgh which takes us to the historic sites of the Edinburgh Castle, the Queen’s Holyrood Palace and points out the Royal Mile. We visit the 15th century house where John Knox, leader of the Scottish Reformation and founder of the Presbyterian Church, lived for a short time before he died. Today it is a museum that holds an exhibition about his life. We also visit St. Giles Cathedral to which Knox was appointed minister of the church and listen to the guides testimony of Knox’s great personal sacrifice and the contribution of his powerful sermons. Free time will be allowed today for your sightseeing and shopping pleasure. Your evening is free to eat in one of the local restaurants.
Day 9: St. Andrews and Stirling Castle
This morning we enjoy a morning tour of St. Andrews whose Royal and Ancient Golf Club, founded in 1754, has given us the rules of golfing. Stroll through the town, walk along the North Sea jetties that border the manicured fairways and visit the ruins of the cathedral, destroyed during the Reformation. This afternoon we enjoy a tour of Stirling Castle. Stirling is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has made it an important fortification from the earliest times. Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542. There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle. We return to Edinburgh this afternoon and take part in a farewell Scottish dinner together with time to share with each other the highlights of our tour.
Day 10: Return Home
We fly out today with many fond memories of our time in the British Isles.