Travel from Edinburgh to England’s legendary Lake District, from spectacular Snowdonia to the rural Cotswolds and Roman Bath, ending in cosmopolitan London. Watch history and legend come to life as you explore the culture and timeless hospitality of this fascinating region. 

Starting at: $6,196 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Houses of Parliament overlooking the Thames River  Edinburgh Castle  Victoria Street in Edinburgh's Old Town area  University of Edinburgh  Skyline of Edinburgh with Edinburgh Castle and St. Giles Church  Landscape of England's Lake District, near Haworth  Lake Windermere, England's Lake District  Caernarfon Castle in Wales. Credit: Britain On View/David Angel  Caernarfon Castle  Bodnant Gardens, Wales  Bodnant Gardens, Wales  The Roman baths of Bath, England  Typical village in the Cotswolds  The neolithic site of Stonehenge   Flags along Oxford Street in London  St. Paul's Cathedral. Credit: Pawel Libera / London and Partners  The gates of Buckingham Palace, London

Highlights of Britain

Featuring England, Wales, and Scotland

14 days from $6,196 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Travel from Edinburgh to England’s legendary Lake District, from spectacular Snowdonia to the rural Cotswolds and Roman Bath, ending in cosmopolitan London. Watch history and legend come to life as you explore the culture and timeless hospitality of this fascinating region. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

"Smithsonian Journeys offers the best possible combination of exploration and education. Expert commentary and distinctive accommodations make the difference and give one great value!"

- Mousa and Kristin I.

Our Smithsonian Journeys experience exceeded expectations and prompted an immediate brochure search to select another Smithsonian tour. Definitely a "wow" vacation!

- Philip, P.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: One of our Classic Land Journeys, this tour features visits to many cities, iconic sites, hidden gems, and various regions. Although comprehensive, it's not rushed, but well paced and finely tuned. Expectations include longer touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions and five different hotels. Mostly full-day excursions from four to six hours; seven afternoons at leisure. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and outdoor activities. Daily walks of up to three miles; walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, absence of elevators); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. The longest coach rides vary in length between two to three and a half hours, but stops are made along the way. This tour also features a leisurely boat ride on Lake Windermere.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

"Smithsonian Journeys offers the best possible combination of exploration and education. Expert commentary and distinctive accommodations make the difference and give one great value!"

- Mousa and Kristin I.

Our Smithsonian Journeys experience exceeded expectations and prompted an immediate brochure search to select another Smithsonian tour. Definitely a "wow" vacation!

- Philip, P.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Edinburgh, Scotland

Day 2 — Arrive in Edinburgh

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

Day 3 — Edinburgh

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

Day 4 — Edinburgh

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

Day 5 — Edinburgh and Lake District

Departing Edinburgh this morning, you’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 stop at Dove Cottage, where English Romantic poet William Wordsworth penned some of his most memorable lines. Late afternoon reach your hotel on the shores of Lake Windermere; dine tonight at the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Lake District

Today’s excursion begins with a cruise on idyllic Windermere, England’s largest lake. Continue to the village of Hawkshead, where you have time for lunch on your own followed by a visit to Hawkshead Grammar School, famously attended by poet William Wordsworth. Next, visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery, showcasing the original artwork of the author who lived nearby in the early 1900s. (B,D) 

Day 7 — Lake District and North Wales

Travel through splendid Lake District scenery today en route to Wales. Your 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.

From here travel on to Wales and your hotel, where you dine tonight. (B,D)

Day 8 — North Wales and Snowdonia National Park

Known as the “land of castles” and the “land of song,” Wales is also a land of fierce natural beauty, as you see for yourself on this morning’s visit to Snowdonia National Park. Named for Snowdon, at 3,560 feet the tallest mountain in England and Wales, the park comprises some 840 square miles of unspoiled wooded valleys, mountains, moorlands, lakes, and rivers, which you see during a scenic train ride through the park.

Then head to Caernarfon for lunch and a visit to 13th-century Caernarfon Castle, a medieval fortress whose brute appearance symbolized English domination over the Welsh. Mid-afternoon return to your coastal retreat, where you dine tonight. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — North Wales, Stratford-upon-Avon

Returning to England today, visit Stratford-upon-Avon, where 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. Also tour Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens, the thatched farmhouse of Shakespeare’s bride that still contains some original furnishings. Then enjoy time in this 800-year-old market town for lunch on your own and to explore independently before dining together at your hotel this evening. (B,D)

Day 10 — The Cotswolds and Bath

Today 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. Arrive in Bath mid-afternoon, with the remainder of the day and this evening at leisure. (B,L) 

Day 11 — Bath

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 you see on your tour.

The afternoon is free to explore as you wish before dining together at your hotel this evening. (B,D) 

Day 12 — Bath and London

Leave your pastoral days behind as you 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 visit Windsor, site of British royalty's Windsor Castle, where you have free time to explore on your own before you 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. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore this wondrous city as you wish; theater, museums, parks, a boat ride on the Thames – London offers an embarrassment of riches from which to choose. Tonight celebrate your journey through Britain at a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 14 — Depart for the U.S.

Transfer this morning to Heathrow airport for your flights home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)