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Pick-Up & Drop
Trip Location: Edinburgh
16 Nights Hotel Accommodation as detailed in the Day by Day Itinerary as described below.Breakfast Daily, All Hotel Taxes and Service Charges.14 Days Hertz CDMR Compact Manual Ford Focus or similar, Including Unlimited Mileage (UM), Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Theft Protection (TP) and Taxes, Maps, Information, and Detailed Directions to your Hotels. Emergency telephone numbers accessible 24/7 in the unlikely event you have a problem with a hotel or the rental car.
Places to be covered:
Bath, Blenheim Palace, Caernarfon, Cardiff, Chatsworth, Chepstow, Chester, City, Country, Dartmoor, Durham, Edinburgh, England Self Drive Tours, Exeter, Fort William, Glasgow, Glastonbury, Great Britain and Ireland, Hadrians Wall, Inverness, Kendal, Lake District, Loch Loman, Loch Ness, London, Oxford, Pembroke, Penzance, Plymouth, Portree, Powis Castle, Regions, Runnymede, Salisbury, Scotland Self Drive Tours, Sight, St Andrews, St. Andrews, St. Ives, St. Michael''s Mount, Stirling, Stonehenge, Stow-on-the-Wold, Stratford-upon-Avon, Wales Self Drive Tours, Warwick, Wells, Welshpool, Windsor, Windsor Castle, York, Yorkshire Moors
Welcome to London the political and artistic capital of the United Kingdom. Discover the wonders of this great city, with its royal palaces, parliament, art, shopping and theaters. Chose to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London (a World Heritage Site), Westminster Abbey, the Palace of Westminster (home of Parliament and Big Ben,), the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Wallace Collection, the National Gallery and Tate art galleries are but a few of the city’s many places of interest and all easily accessible by foot, bus, and underground.
Day: 20 miles | 0 Km*
There are so many interesting things to do and see in London but luckily you can add extra nights to your stay here if you wish. Shop at the world famous Harrods Store. With a wide choice of wine bars and traditional pubs in all areas, many offering entertainment, it is easy to find an interesting place to rest and revive yourself with a drink or a traditional London dish of perhaps an Arnold Bennett omelet made with haddock and cheese. Complete your perfect day with a visit to a Theater or Concert Hall.
Pick up your rental car and drive to Runnymede, where a circular temple commemorates the signing in the year 1215 of the Magna Carta (widely viewed as one of the most important documents in the history of democracy). Drive on to the cobbled streets of Windsor and visit England’s largest castle, Windsor Castle (dating back to Henry II in 1165–1179) which still remains today a favorite royal residence. Here you can tour the State Apartments, the magnificent St. George’s Chapel, and walk through Windsor Great Park. For lunch try the traditional Brown Windsor Soup. Across Windsor Bridge is Britain’s most famous school, Eton College, founded in 1440 by the young Henry VI. Then continue to the historic city of Salisbury where we have arranged your overnight stay.
This morning stroll through Salisbury, where its Market Square and medieval streets named after the trades which once flourished there – Fish Row, Butcher Row, Silver Street – are lined by gabled half-timbered houses dating from 14th to 17th century. View the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, which boasts the tallest spire in Britain. Leave Salisbury and as you drive across Salisbury Plain you see the great stone circle of Stonehenge, a World Heritage Site. Believed to have been erected 5,000 years ago it is the most celebrated prehistoric monument in Britain. From here your drive takes you to Stourhead House, whose idyllic Gardens are one of the supreme examples of English landscape. Continue your drive through Dorset (Thomas Hardy country) to the ancient seaport of Plymouth, where we have arranged your two-night stay. This was the port of departure for Drake, Raleigh, Cook and the Pilgrim Fathers when they set sail to America.
Your two-night stay will allow you to explore the beauty and charm of Devon and Cornwall, the part of England where the local accent makes everyone sound like pirates. From as far back as the 14th century there are legends of pirate gangs who attacked ships as they sailed by this area. Pass smugglers’ coves and quaint fishing villages to St. Michael’s Mount. This amazing rocky island, with its medieval castle and 1,000-year-old legends and myths is separated from the mainland by a 500-yard granite causeway. Stop at Land’s End, the most westerly point of the British mainland, then to Penzance, with its wealth of good shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs. Try the traditional Cream Tea served in Devon and Cornwall, warm scones topped with clotted cream and strawberry jam accompanied with a pot of tea. Beyond is Penzance Harbour whose inner dock shelters fishing boats and commercial vessels and where visiting yachts and the occasional tall-masted sailing ships lie against the granite quays. From here drive to the picturesque fishing harbor of St. Ives, a famous artists’ colony with its winding alleys, hillside terraces and color-washed fishermen’s cottages. The Tate St. Ives exhibits modern art from the London Tate collections and sculptress Barbara Hepworth’s home is now a museum. Drive across Bodmin Moor as you return to Plymouth.
Today’s journey skirts Dartmoor National Park where ponies, cattle and sheep graze freely on the moor with nearby wooded valleys, cascading streams and small villages. Make a stop to enjoy the real Cheddar cheese, named after the caves where it is ripened. Drive on to Glastonbury, which historical legend links with King Arthur and his Knights of the Roundtable, and see the Abbey ruins, a famous center of learning in the middle ages. Your drive now takes you passed the cathedral city of Wells, which has been used as the setting for several films. Then to the historic and elegant city of Bath, a World Heritage Site, which in the 18th century became a fashionable spa town, and where we have arranged your overnight accommodation. Admire the graceful Georgian terraces and villas, the Pump Room with its spa water fountain, where lunch and afternoon tea are served, and the elegant Assembly Rooms built for people to meet, dance, play cards, and drink tea. Visit the amazing excavations of the Roman Baths. These Roman ruins stretch out beneath the city in all directions and consists of the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple and the Roman bath house.
Leave the elegant city of Bath and drive across the border to Wales and the town of Chepstow, whose great Town Gate slopes down to the elegant cast-iron structure crossing the Wye. Here you will see Chepstow Castle, which dates back to 1067. Your drive now takes you to the capital of Wales, Cardiff, a city of contrasts where ornate buildings stand shoulder to shoulder with the city’s architectural cutting-edge designs. Cardiff Castle is a 12th century twelve-sided stone keep built within the ruins of a Roman fort. Within this compact city’s center, you’ll find unique attractions and top class entertainment. Browse through the unusual shops and cafes in the arcades. Innovative architecture sits alongside historic buildings and the bustle of the city center is only a few strides from acres of peaceful parklands. Cardiff Bay offers indoor and outdoor entertainment for everyone.
Depart Cardiff and drive to the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. Much of the Park is grassy moorland grazed by Welsh mountain ponies and sheep, with valleys, waterfalls and caves. Your drive then continues to the town of Welshpool where Powis Castle lies. The Italian style gardens were created in the 17th century, enhancing the Castle’s craggy site, and are one of the rare remaining masterpieces of the period. Continue to the historic city of Chester where we have arranged your overnight stay. At Chester a surveyor in the Roman era laid out the line of the Via Praetoria – now Bridge Street – and the Via Principalis – now Watergate Street. Its port was used by sea-going vessels during the Roman occupation and is the only city in Britain that has preserved a continuous circuit of walls.
Leave behind The Rows of Chester as you drive to the stunning Lake District, which takes its name from the beautiful stretches of water that occupies many of its glaciated valleys. Its rocks are used in the building of local cottages and whitewashed farm houses, and the wild drama of the fells is set off by the gentle pastoral character of much of its lowlands, such as the famous Lake Windermere, England’s longest lake. Arrive at the medieval city of Kendal, birthplace of Henry VIII’s sixth wife Catherine Parr, where we have arranged your overnight stay. Visit the Elizabethan manor of Levens Hall and its Topiary Gardens which have been preserved intact.
Leave Kendal, and your drive takes you to interesting sites along Hadrian’s Wall. In AD 122 the Roman Emperor Hadrian visited Britain and ordered the building of a defense wall, parts of which can still be seen today. At Segedunum are the remains of the fort – learn about garrison life at the museum here. The museum at the Corbridge Roman Site presents the layout of the site with its granaries, fountains, temples etc. The Roman Army Museum at Carvoran, with its audio-visual presentations, houses examples of Roman armor, dress and weapons. Cross into Scotland and your drive takes you through the scenic Lowlands to Glasgow, where we have arranged your overnight stay. An important industrial center and port, Glasgow is now enjoying a growing reputation as a cultural center. Whilst in Scotland sample some of its regional foods and specialties – Scottish beef and lamb, venison and grouse and of course its famous pure malt whisky.
Explore the charm of Glasgow”s surrounding area as you drive through the Lowlands with its windswept hills, wistful ruins, literary heritage, and golf. Freshwater Loch Lomond set amidst fantastic scenery, is the largest lake in mainland Explore the charm of Glasgow’s surrounding area as you drive through the Britain and contains many islands. As a popular leisure destination it offers every kind of watercraft including kayaks, canoes, wind-surfers, jet skis, and cruisers. The Trossachs is one of Scotland’s famous scenic areas, with rugged mountains and wooded slopes reflected in the waters of its many lochs. The whole area is one of great scenic beauty and easily accessible as you experience the spectacular scenery of heather covered mountains, cliffs and moorlands. Situated at River Ness, which flows from Loch Ness, is the traditional capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness, where we have arranged your overnight stay.
Leave Inverness and drive to Blair Castle. A large part of the castle’s tower, built in 1269, still remains. The castle’s interior houses interesting collections of armor and porcelain. On to Stirling, with its medieval Old Town of narrow streets leading to Stirling Castle. The Castle offers much interest to visitors, with its exhibition of life-size models, Great Hall, Royal Apartments and ornate interiors. We have arranged a two-night stay in Scotland’s beautiful capital, Edinburgh, a World Heritage Site.
Edinburgh is set on a series of volcanic hills, each giving a different vantage point from which to view this beautiful city, considered one of the most picturesque cities in Europe. With its past rich in history there are many places to visit by foot within the city – Edinburgh’s impressive Castle, Arthur’s Seat overlooking Holyrood Park, the Old Town, huddled for years on the ridge running down from the Castle Rock and contrasting with the New Town with its elegant Georgian streets and squares. Take a short drive along the Fife coast to the city of St. Andrews, with its imposing Cathedral, Castle, famous University and the “home” of golf.
From Edinburgh drive south through the county of Durham with its moors, rivers and magnificent scenery of stunning Pennine valleys and waterfalls. Arrive at the medieval city of Durham whose quiet streets and castle are a perfect foil for its great Norman Cathedral in a truly remarkable setting and a World Heritage Site. Leave Durham as your journey then takes you across the Yorkshire Moors to the walled city of York where we have arranged your overnight accommodation. York is one of England’s most historic cities noted for its rich 2,000 year history from the time of the Romans, Vikings and Normans to the Georgians and Victorians. Walk the tangle of quaint cobbled streets, visit the iconic York Minster, the Mansion House and world-class museums. Delve into the city’s vibrant café culture and enjoy talented street entertainers or watch the world go by as you have a drink in a pub by the river or have a traditional English dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
Today’s journey takes you to the magnificent stately home of Chatsworth, Derbyshire It is one of the true Treasure Houses of England and the ancestral home of the Dukes of Devonshire since Bess of Hardwick settled there in 1549. The House, set in expansive parkland, is on a massive scale, opulent and designed to impress (and it does). It contains a unique collection of priceless paintings, furniture, neoclassical sculpture, books and artifacts. The beautiful 1,000-acre park that surrounds Chatsworth is open throughout the year and everyone is welcome to walk, play and picnic there. Leave the opulence of Chatsworth for the beauty of Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and where we have arranged your overnight stay. Set on the banks of the river Avon and steeped in culture and history you get a taste of Olde England as you wonder through its streets. View Ann Hathaway’s thatched cottage, and the ornately carved half-timbered Harvard House where the American flag flies in honor of the son of the house, John Harvard, who founded Harvard University, which owns the building today. See a play at the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Leave Stratford for your drive to Warwick. Britain’s great medieval experience is a visit to Warwick Castle, which has been brought to life using tableaux of wax figures recreating characters and events of its fascinating history. On to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. This greatest building of the English Baroque with its exuberant details and theatrical composition is the residence of the Dukes of Marlborough and the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Its splendor is matched by the sublime landscape of its vast park. On to the ancient city of Oxford, on the north bank of the River Thames. Here England’s oldest university traces its roots back to the 12th century. Oxford University’s colleges, the Queen’s College, Merton, Magdalen, Oriel and Corpus Christi , each have their own history and picturesque settings. Today’s journey ends as you return to London where we have arranged your accommodation for a night’s stay.
Drop off your rental car at the airport .
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