Get to know beautiful central England and north Wales on this 5-day tour from London, with an expert guide. Leaving London behind, head for Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace and an essential fixture on many England visitors’ bucket lists. After a 2-night stay in the pretty town of Shrewsbury and time to appreciate Wales’ awe-inspiring Snowdonia National Park; explore the sweeping landscapes of England’s Peak District and then spend two nights in history-rich York. Finally, visit Cambridge as you wend your way back to London, where your tour ends.
Your tour includes round-trip transportation in a comfortable Mercedes minivan, plus two nights’ accommodation in a 3-star guesthouse or hotel (your choice) in both Shrewsbury and York in turn. Daily breakfasts are included, as is free time each day for you to enjoy lunch and dinner at your own expense. Entrance fees to attractions are not included.
Day 1: London – Stratford-Upon-Avon – Shrewsbury (B)
From London, head to Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare. Explore the beautiful, rural village and trace the playwright’s famous footsteps. Have lunch here (own expense) and continue your tour to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ironbridge, home to the first iron bridge in the world.
Then, make your way to the beautiful riverside town of Shrewsbury, where you’ll spend two nights in your choice of a bed-and-breakfast or hotel. Have free time to eat dinner in Shrewsbury (at own expense).
Overnight: 3-star hotel in Shrewsbury
Day 2: Shrewsbury – Wales – Shrewsbury (B)
After breakfast, your guide will lead you across the Welsh border into Northern Wales. Visit the castle of Conwy, which was built by Edward I and is an excellent example of a picture-book medieval castle.
After lunch in Conwy (own expense), move on to Snowdonia National Park. Take a look at the impressive Dinorwic slate quarry, and admire Snowdon, Wales' highest mountain. Then head to the small spa village of Trefriw, where you can enjoy free time before passing the village of Llanberis.
Return to Shrewsbury in the early evening and have dinner there in one of the various restaurants (at own expense).
Overnight: 3-star hotel in Shrewsbury
Day 3: Shrewbsury – Peak District – York (B)
After breakfast, head to the Peak District with its spectacular landscape, perfect for photos! Visit the pretty village of Castleton, home to Peveril Castle. Enjoy lunch in one of the local village pubs (own expense).
Stop at Chatsworth House, seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and the setting for the hit Jane Austen film adaption, Pride and Prejudice. Choose to either visit the house (own expense) and admire its fine collection of furniture, paintings and Neo-Classical sculptures, or take a walk through the woods with your guide to the nearby village of Eyam.
Leave the Derbyshire hills by coach and travel through Sherwood Forest, home to legendary Robin Hood, on your way to the historical city of York. Check in to your hotel, enjoy the evening in the city and have dinner in one of the various restaurants (own expense)
Day 4: York (B)
Spend today at leisure exploring York, a city with a rich history that dates back to Roman times. Visit beautiful York Minster, or get lost in the maze of narrow streets with their ancient city walls. Eat lunch at one of York's many cafes, restaurants or bars, or take an optional half-day excursion (own expense) into the Yorkshire Dales to visit the pretty market towns of Knaresborough or Ripon and see the remote valleys and rugged scenery of the Eastern Dales. Then, enjoy an afternoon of free time in York.
Day 5: York – Cambridge – London (B)
After breakfast, start your journey south to London via the town of Stamford to admire its fine collection of historic buildings. Stop for lunch, and then continue to the city of Cambridge for a walking tour with your guide. Marvel at the city's majestic architecture and medieval streets, and pose for pictures in front of Kings College Chapel before returning to London in the early evening.