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I have come to expect excellence from Odysseys Unlimited and have never been disappointed.

Michael E. Leahy
Oak Lawn, IL
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Edinburgh touring, including Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood House, and Royal Mile
  • England’s pastoral Lake District
  • Boat ride on Lake Windermere
  • Wales’ Bodnant Garden and unspoiled Snowdonia National Park
  • Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Bath touring: Roman Baths, Assembly Room, Circus, Bath Abbey
  • Stonehenge visit
  • Windsor Castle
  • Cosmopolitan London
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Edinburgh, Scotland

Day 2: Arrive Edinburgh We arrive in the Scottish capital and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities planned during the day; though our tour director will lead an orientation walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding our hotel late this morning. Later we meet for a briefing about the journey ahead; tonight we gather for a welcome dinner. D

Day 3: Edinburgh Our morning tour of this stately city built on seven hills includes the 18th-century “New Town” and the medieval “Old Town,” where we visit Edinburgh Castle, symbolic heart of Scotland. This afternoon is at leisure to discover Edinburgh as we wish; museums, galleries, and shops abound. Dinner tonight is on our own, and Edinburgh boasts a robust culinary scene. Guests on August departures will enjoy an evening performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. B

Day 4: Edinburgh This morning we encounter the Royal Mile, the historic boulevard connecting Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyrood House. We tour Holyrood, as it is called, and see where British royalty schemed and slept as we tour the State Apartments. After lunch at a local restaurant, the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration and dinner on our own. B,L

Day 5: Edinburgh/Lake District Today we’re bound for the beautiful – and beloved – Lake District of northwest England, a national park and diverse landscape of lakes, rivers, ancient woodlands, and small towns and villages. On arrival we stop at Dove Cottage, where English Romantic poet William Wordsworth penned some of his most memorable lines. Late afternoon we reach our hotel on the shores of Lake Windermere. B,L,D

Day 6: Lake District Today’s explorations begin with a cruise on idyllic Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake at 10½ miles long. We continue to the village of Hawkshead, where we have time for lunch on our own followed by a visit to Hawkshead Grammar School, famously attended by poet William Wordsworth. Next, we visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery, showcasing the original artwork of the author who lived nearby in the early 1900s. Late afternoon we return to our hotel and dine there tonight. B,D

Day 7: Lake District/North Wales We travel through splendid Lake District scenery today en route to Wales, with its rugged natural beauty and distinct culture. Our first stop is at Bodnant Garden, the historic 80-acre National Trust property with a lovely hillside setting and ever-changing displays, from manicured lawns to flower-filled terraces. After our visit, we continue on to the seaside town of Llandudno, dubbed “Queen of the Welsh Resorts” and our home for the next two nights. We dine tonight at our hotel. B,D

Day 8: North Wales/Snowdonia National Park Wales is a land of fierce natural beauty, as we see for ourselves on this morning’s visit to Snowdonia National Park, where we enjoy a scenic train ride. Then we head to Caernarfon to visit 13th-century Caernarfon Castle, a medieval fortress whose brute appearance symbolized English domination over the Welsh. Mid-afternoon we return to our coastal retreat, with time at leisure before dinner together tonight. B,D

Day 9: North Wales/Stratford-upon-Avon Returning to England today, we travel to Stratford-upon-Avon, where our touring includes a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, a restored 16th-century half-timbered house where the Bard is believed to have been born in 1564. We also tour Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens, the thatched farmhouse of Shakespeare’s bride that still contains some original furnishings. Then we have time in this 800-year-old market town for lunch on our own and to explore independently before we dine together at our hotel this evening. B,D

Day 10: Stratford-upon-Avon/The Cotswolds/Bath Today we encounter the Cotswolds, England’s south central region of gently rolling hills dotted with villages of honey-colored limestone, market towns, and unspoiled countryside, looking much as it did 300 years ago. We arrive in Bath mid-afternoon, with the remainder of the day and this evening at leisure. B,L

Day 11: Bath We set out on a morning tour of this storied and graceful city where the ancient Romans first “took the waters” at England’s only hot springs. Today the historic Roman Baths count among the city’s most popular sites, along with Bath Abbey, the 18th-century Assembly Room, The Circus, and the Royal Crescent, all of which we see on our tour. The afternoon is free to explore as we wish before we dine together at our hotel this evening. B,D

Day 12: Bath/London We leave our pastoral days behind as we travel today to London, stopping en route to see Stonehenge, the 4,500-year-old Neolithic monument that remains something of a mystery today. That the prehistoric circle of stones is a masterpiece of engineering and building is undisputed; exactly why it was created is less certain. Next we visit Windsor, site of British royalty’s Windsor Castle, which we tour then have lunch on our own. We continue on to London, arriving late this afternoon. B

Day 13: London A panoramic city tour this morning passes such celebrated London landmarks as the infamous Tower of London, grand Parliament and Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and Hyde Park. Our afternoon is at leisure to explore this wondrous city as we wish; London offers an embarrassment of riches from which to choose. Tonight we celebrate our journey through Britain at a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 14: Depart for U.S. We transfer this morning to Heathrow Airport for our flights home. B

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Departures

Aug 5, 10, 17, 19: These departures include reserved seating at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, an entertainment extravaganza set against the backdrop of flood-lit Edinburgh Castle.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 12 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class and First Class hotels
  • 23 meals: 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

May 6May 20, 27
Jun 10, 17
Jun 24
Jul 1, 8
Jul 15
Sep 23
Sep 30
Sep 2
Sep 9
Sep 16
Aug 5*
Aug 10*
Aug 17*
Aug 19*
Newark$4,796$4,996$5,196$5,596
Boston, Phil$4,996$5,196$5,396$5,796
Atlanta, Balt, Chi,
Cincinnati, Cleve,
Detroit, Wash, DC
$5,096$5,296$5,496$5,896
Charlotte, Dallas,
Denver, Houston,
Miami, Minneapolis,
Orlando, Tampa
$5,196$5,396$5,596$5,996
Los Ang, Phoenix,
Port (OR), San Fran,
Seattle
$5,296$5,496$5,696$6,096

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $501, which are subject to change until final payment has been made.

Single travelers please add $1,395 Aug; $1,095 all other dates. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

*Includes reserved seating at an evening performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Business Class upgrade (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $3,795 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, Edinburgh / Days 2-4 / Superior First Class

    Well-located near the heart of one of Europe’s great walking cities, the Apex Waterloo Place Hotel offers easy access to Princes Street, as well as the lively  Royal Mile, the heart of the Old Town’s shopping and dining district.  Hotel amenities include a restaurant and bar, gym, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, indoor pool, sauna, steam room, and spa. Each of the air-conditioned guest rooms offers private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Low Wood Bay Resort Hotel, Lake District / Days 5-6 / First Class

    Low Wood Bay Resort Hotel sits on the shores of expansive Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake.  Amenities include three restaurants, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and a variety of wellness facilities, including a 50-foot indoor pool with vaulted ceiling, outdoor hot tub, gym, sauna, and steam room. Each guest room offers private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and phone.

    Llandudno Bay Hotel, Llandudno / Days 7-8 / First Class

    Additional information to come.

    The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon / Day 9 / Superior First Class

    Additional information to come.

    Francis Hotel, Bath / Days 10-11 / First Class

    The Francis Hotel sits in the center of the highly walkable city of Bath and occupies seven original 18th-century townhouses along historic Queen Square. Designed by architect John Wood the Elder in the early 18th century, Georgian Queen Square wraps around its namesake park and makes up the first portion of Bath’s celebrated architectural sequence, which also includes the Circus and Royal Crescent just a short distance away.  The sophisticated Francis offers a French restaurant, bar and lounge, afternoon tea service, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Amba Hotel Charing Cross, London / Days 12-13, Extension / Superior First Class

    Housed in a 150-year-old, Grade II-listed historical building, the Amba Hotel Charing Cross combines timeless architectural beauty with modern convenience.  Less than a mile from such historic landmarks as Trafalgar Square and Big Ben, the hotel boasts a host of amenities, including a restaurant and bar, afternoon tea room, gym, dry cleaning, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each of the air-conditioned guest rooms includes private bath with hair dryer, complimentary soft drink mini-bar and snacks, in-room safe, coffee machine, and in-room tablet computer.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

London – On Your Own

3 days/2 nights for $475 total price
Single Supplement: $345

Theater, art, shopping, restaurants – London has it all, in abundance. Enjoy this world capital in your own style, at your own pace.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • 2 nights’ accommodations at Amba Hotel Charing Cross (Superior First Class)
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Tour Directors for this Journey
Paul Daley

“Our tour director, Paul Daley, was terrific! He was very organized, paid attention to detail and was attentive to people’s needs. He was also knowledgeable about Scotch, English, and Welsh history and was interesting to listen to. One of his best qualities was his sense of humor.”
Lynn Bafaloukos
Glendale, AZ

Conor Delaney

“Conor was absolutely everything we could possibly want in a guide. One of the best of our 8 overseas trips.”
Owen and Bette Delman
West Hills, CA

Tim Godby

“Tim is a kind, patient, and very likeable guide.”
James E. White
Warsaw, IN

Joe Harrower

“Joe was great. So very informative and helpful. One of the best.”
David & Sally Mendelson
Cornwall, NY

Charlotte Holworthy

“Charlotte was extremely enthusiastic, well-organized, and flexible.  She made every effort to assure that we were comfortable, well-informed and that we were enjoying and learning as much as possible.  She is a wonderful person, as well as tour director, and we thoroughly enjoyed her company!”
Paul and Nancy Schorr
Antioch, CA

Jaime Kerr

“We could not have asked for a better guide than Jaime for our journey through Britain. Her sense of humor, attention to detail and wealth of knowledge made the tour exceptional.”
Robert and Donna Witherspoon
Latrobe, PA

Jacky Paterson

“I think Jacky was the best tour director I have ever had. VERY knowledgeable! Wonderful personality.”
Thelma Taylor
Fayetteville, NY

Marina Scott

“This was our third Odysseys Unlimited tour; all of our tour directors were great but Marina went above and beyond.”
Nancy & Bill Sondervan
Sherrills Ford, NC

Michele Thompson

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

H.V. Morton, Jan Morris (Introduction)
In Search of England
The much-beloved, enduring account of Morton’s ramblings through the English countryside in the early days of the motorcar. Morton charmingly mixes a deep appreciation of the art, culture and history of the place with his own keen observations.

Bill Bryson
The Mother Tongue, English and How it Got That Way
An indispensable guide to the language that divides us, this book is an informative linguistic history that showcases Bryson’s wry wit.

Hugh Kearney
The British Isles, A History of Four Nations
The Celts, Romans, Vikings, Normans and modern immigrants all make an appearance in this Canto Classics edition of Kearney’s elegant and revisionist history of not just the English but also of the Scots, Welsh and Irish.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide Great Britain
With 1,400 photos, maps and excellent introductory chapters, this guide offers both a general overview of Great Britain and a region-by-region look at its attractions.

Michelin Travel Publications
British Isles Map, Great Britain and Ireland
A colorful and accurate map of both Great Britain and Ireland, at a scale of 1:1,000,000.

Streetwise
Edinburgh Map
An accordion folded, pocket-size, laminated travel map of Edinburgh at a walking scale of 1:12,000.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide London
This superb guide to London features color photography, dozens of excellent neighborhood maps and a district-by-district synopsis of the city’s attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.

Louise Nicholson
Fodor’s London’s 25 Best
This slim guide to London (with handy full-color maps) has everything you need to know for a short visit to the city, including recommended sightseeing, restaurants, hotels and shops.

Richard Tames
A Traveller’s History of London
The story of London, from the Romans to Tony Blair, tailored to the traveler.

Christopher Hibbert
The Story of England
Beautifully illustrated with color pictures, chronological charts, royal genealogies and maps, this popular history of English politics, economics and culture from the Neo-lithic Age to the 1990s is an excellent travel companion.

Craig Taylor
Londoners, The Days and Nights of London Now As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Have Left It, and Long for It
Drawing on the unforgettable stories of nearly 100 Londoners, Taylor provides a rich and vivid kaleidoscopic view of modern-day London through the diverse voices of those who, regardless of whether they love or hate it, capture the heart and soul of one of the world’s greatest cities.

Tom Aiken
101 Beautiful Small Towns Britain
A lavishly illustrated and informative tour of Britain’s beautiful and historic towns.

Rosemary Hill
Stonehenge
Hill captures the enduring mystery and allure of Stonehenge in this witty meditation on the myth and meaning of the most famous prehistoric site in all Europe.

Katharine Reeve
Jane Austen in Bath, Walking Tours of the Writer’s City
The city of Bath provided the inspiration and the setting for Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. This beautifully illustrated guide leads the reader through the places frequented by Austen and her fictional characters.

Jan Morris
A Writer’s House in Wales
In this extended essay, Morris uses her much-loved 18th-century house as a point of departure for a meditation on Welsh identity.

Adam Nicolson
Seamanship, A Voyage Along the Wild Coasts of the British Isles
Nicolson offers an engrossing account of a coastal voyage from Cornwall, along the western coast of Ireland, out to the Faroes and to Orkney in this brief hymn to the sea.

James S. Shapiro
A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, 1599
A dramatic tale of a pivotal year in English history, the life of the bard and the Globe Theater, resulting in Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and, most likely, Hamlet.

Paul Theroux
Kingdom by the Sea
This time, the prolific writer recounts a coastal journey around the British Isles in 1982, displaying his occasional ill temper alongside his celebrated ability to combine social history with a good old-fashioned traveler’s tale.

Robert Macfarlane
The Wild Places
MacFarlane climbs, walks and swims by day and spends his nights sleeping on cliff-tops and in ancient meadows and wildwoods in this marvelous exploration of the nature of the British Isles.

Norman Holmes Pearson, W.H. Auden (Editor)
The Portable Romantic Poets
This is the anthology to take along on a trip to Italy’s Cinque Terra, England’s Lake District or any other classic haunt of the romantic poets. This selection includes works by all the masters (and even an occasional mistress).

Tim Jepson
National Geographic the British World, An Illustrated Atlas
Featuring more than 95 new National Geographic maps, photos, literary highlights and quotes, this reference book is a resplendent tribute to Britain’s history.

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