The Heart of England, Wales and Yorkshire 5 Day Tour
Tour departs at 09h00.
Departure Point: All Tours departing from London depart from Stance 3, Greenline Coach Terminal, Bullied Way, Victoria, SW1W 0SH.
Departing from London, you travel to the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-on-Avon. Home to the beautiful gardens and thatched Tudor cottage of his wife, Anne Hathaway, you have time to explore the charming village of Stratford. Enjoy lunch in one of the quaint restaurants before heading to the World Heritage site of Ironbridge, the world's first ever bridge fully made of iron, set in a distinctive forested gorge on the River Severn. The amazing sights here were developed during the rise of Britain's Industrial Revolution and there are many attractions within the site for you to learn more about this fascinating period. You then wind your way down to the riverside town of Shrewsbury, a pretty county town that lies on the banks of the mighty River Severn. The birthplace of Charles Darwin, this bustling market town and its timber framed black and white Tudor buildings are your home for the next two nights.
Your tour takes you to the heart of North Wales today. Firstly, you explore the picture book beauty of Conwy and its picturesque medieval castle. Built by Edward I in the 13th century, this estuary fortress offers spectacular views from the battlements. Next you roam the impressive mountains and valleys of the Snowdonia National Park, delving into the massive Dinorwic slate quarries and the powerfully dramatic Pass of Llanberis under the shadow of Snowdon, Wales' highest peak. Relive the struggle for Welsh independence and the rebellious tale of Owain Glyndwr, the last native Prince of Wales before heading back over the English border to your accommodation.
Lying northeast of Shrewsbury are the incredible peaks and valleys of the Peak District National Park. Picturesque villages and unbeatable scenery line your route as you wind through the park's inimitable landscape. After a visually spectacular drive, you arrive in the charmingly attractive village of Castleton, nestled in the Vale of Hope. Overlooked by Peveril Castle, this hospitable place offers a chance for a pretty picnic and to enjoy the fine local fare. In the afternoon, you make your way to the Duke of Devonshire's famous mansion house and gardens at Chatsworth. Home to the Cavendish family, this renowned building is regularly named the UK's favourite country house thanks to its fantastically large collection of furniture, priceless paintings, Old Master drawings and neo-classical sculptures. Travelling east from the estate, you pass through rolling green hills to the historic walled city of York, where you will spend the next two nights.
Today there are two major options for the events of your day. Firstly, you can choose to spend the day leisurely exploring the medieval heart of York, an ancient city with a colourful history dating back to the times of the Romans, Vikings and Normans. The towering Gothic spire at York Minster rises above the city, casting its spirituality across the brilliant museums, narrow lanes and distinctive stone city walls. Alternatively, you could journey out with your guide on a half day excursion across the Yorkshire Dales to the handsome market towns of Knaresborough or Ripon. Take your time with the beautiful architecture and spa town luxuries on offer before heading to some of the more remote valleys and formidably impressive scenery of the Eastern Dale, followed by a free afternoon in York to dine and relax in the city's plentiful restaurants and shops.
Departing the fair city of York in the morning, you begin your journey south to London. Stopping in the town of Stamford, famed for its superior collection of historic stone buildings. Declared as "the finest stone town in England" by Sir Walter Scott, it's more than 600 listed buildings made from mellow limestone are a real visual feast, especially its five medieval churches. After leaving its phenomenal structures behind, you head south to the university city of Cambridge. Home to one of the world's finest universities, the iconic architecture of the 16th century Great Gate and the historic medieval streets surrounding it are a delight to behold. Wander through the world famous Kings College Chapel and stroll alongside the river Cam before heading back to London.